Many brides are confused between the relationship of dairy and fat loss. They’ve been told that dairy is simply too high in calories and fat to include as part of their regular diet plan.
As such, they begin omitting each and every serving from their diet. But, is this a wise move?
Science says it isn’t. In fact, keeping dairy products in your diet might just be the one thing that you absolutely must do to accelerate your success. Let’s look at this issue a little further.
Here’s one study that was conducted looking at the role dairy foods play in total body fat loss:
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: We have previously demonstrated an antiobesity effect of dietary Ca; this is largely mediated by Ca suppression of calcitriol levels, resulting in reduced adipocyte intracellular Ca2+ and, consequently, a coordinated increase in lipid utilization and decrease in lipogenesis. Notably, dairy Ca is markedly more effective than other Ca sources.
DESIGN: Obese subjects were placed on balanced deficit (-500 kcal/day) diets and randomized to control (400–500 mg Ca/day; n=16) or yogurt (1100 mg Ca/day; n=18) treatments for 12 weeks. Dietary macronutrients and fiber were held constant at the US average.
MEASUREMENTS: Body weight, body fat and fat distribution (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), blood pressure and circulating lipids were measured at baseline and after 12 weeks of intervention.
RESULTS: Fat loss was markedly increased on the yogurt diet (-4.430.47 vs -2.750.73 kg in yogurt and control groups; P<0.005) while lean tissue loss was reduced by 31% on the yogurt diet. Trunk fat loss was augmented by 81% on the yogurt vs control diet (P<0.001), and this was reflected in a markedly greater reduction in waist circumference (-3.990.48 vs -0.581.04 cm, P<0.001). Further, the fraction of fat lost from the trunk was higher on the yogurt diet vs control (P<0.005).
CONCLUSION: Isocaloric substitution of yogurt for other foods significantly augments fat loss and reduces central adiposity during energy restriction.
Now, for those of you who don’t speak science (or can’t be bothered to make sense of that), let’s give you a brief run-down of what’s going on.
Basically, it’s been noted before that calcium consumption, especially coming from dairy foods rather than calcium supplements tends to improve the rate of fat oxidation (burning) in the body, enhancing overall weight loss.
This study divided the subjects into two groups. Both groups used a calorie deficit of 500 calories below maintenance and one was using a high dairy protocol, eating yogurt regularly that contained 1100 mg of calcium, while the other was given a calcium supplement that equated to 400-500 mg calcium.
Researchers tested the body fat level of the subjects, body weight, as well as blood pressure, and circulating lipids both when the study first started as well as after 12 weeks into the study.
The results showed that those who ate the yogurt-based diet lost 81% more fat loss from the stomach area compared to the control and saw 31% less of a reduction in lean body mass.
So the take home message from this study is that if you want to see greater rates of fat loss, including better rates of fat loss from the stomach area, you want to be including not just calcium in your diet, but dairy products.
The dairy products in particular seem to be key for noticing these effects.
When selecting your dairy products to include in your diet, just be sure that you are choosing the healthiest sources possible such as skim milk, along with low fat cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. If you do that, you’re on your way to fat loss success.
Gebhardt, L. et al. (2005). Dairy augmentation of total and central fat loss in obese subjects. International Journal of Obesity. 29, 391-397.