A few years ago, I remember reading in a gossip magazine that several slim celebrities had lost weight by avoiding dairy. Humbling but true confession: it was almost beach time, and trying to tug on a swimsuit in the harsh lights of the dressing room had reduced me to tears on a shopping expedition.
On my arrival home, therefore, I ruthlessly tossed every item containing dairy out of my fridge. Farewell to cheese. Adios to milk. Bon voyage to yogurt. And ciao, beloved ice cream and pudding. Sigh.
All that deprivation – and I didn’t lose a pound. So much for my no-dairy diet hopes!
The real skinny on dairy:
A recent study at the Curtin University of Technology revealed that consuming more dairy products on a low calorie diet actually can help you achieve your weight loss goals. The researchers contrasted dieters who ate three servings of dairy with those who consumed five servings of diet, while following a low-calorie diet for 12 weeks.
Those who ate the higher levels of dairy lost more weight and more fat. In addition, their blood pressure decreased, as did their abdominal fat.
How to use the latest research to help YOU achieve your weight loss goals:
1. One key to weight loss: reducing the number of calories that you normally eat. There are no “magic” foods for losing weight. I remember following a horribly boring diet in my teens that called for half a grapefruit and a hard-boiled egg as the only snacks. It claimed that these foods together would magically melt the fat from my pudgy body. The only magic was how quickly I became sickened by the very sight of grapefruit and eggs! True weight loss requires eating less, which means fewer calories.
2. Eating more dairy may help you to lose weight more successfully. However, as noted above, calories count. Don’t assume that you can eat as much as you want of such high calorie foods as cream cheese, whipped cream, and ice cream, just because they contain dairy. Go for lower calorie versions of your favorite treats, and measure them carefully. For example, you might enjoy one tablespoon of fat-free cream cheese spread on a slice of fresh apple, or a single sugar-free ice cream bar for dessert.
3. Give yourself enough time to lose weight. The study cited here required 12 weeks of dedicated dieting. Thinking you can lose weight in five days is a recipe for disappointment. So stir up a cup of fat-free, sugar-free hot cocoa, sit back, and get ready to succeed with a sensibly planned diet.
Curtin University of Technology, Curtin News.