Got Milk?


     Good news for the milk and yogurt lovers. Research suggests that having 3 to 4 servings a day of healthy dairy products may increase our weight loss efforts and help us keep weight off in the future.

     According to a WebMD article entitled Dairy Foods Help Burn Fat, Speed Weight Loss, studys showed that obese adults who ate a high-dairy diet lost significantly more weight and fat than those who ate a low-dairy diet containing the same number of calories.’If you compare a dairy-rich versus a dairy-poor diet you can nearly double the rate of weight and fat loss with the same level of calorie restriction,’says researcher Michael Zemel, PhD, professor of nutrition and medicine at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.”

     Zemel goes on to say that the weight loss results of those who ate dairy were greater than those who simply took a calcium supplement.  An even more recent WebMD article entitled Milk Drinkers May Loose More Weight goes on to suggest that the Vitamin D we get from dairy may be part of the reason why.

     Overweight participants had lower blood levels of vitamin D when the study began, but vitamin D levels increased among those who lost more weight. The higher the blood levels of vitamin D, the greater the weight loss, the study showed.

     Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin because our bodies make it when exposed to sunlight. Recent studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to a host of medical problems, including heart disease and certain cancers.

     “Low vitamin D is associated with weight gain, and raising vitamin D is looking more and more like it is able to help with weight loss,” says Vincent Pera, MD, director of the Miriam Hospital Weight Management Program in Providence, R.I.

     “I am more and more convinced that there is something helpful about vitamin D at regulating weight,” he says.

     “Milk is a great source of vitamin D, and it is also taking the place of other foods that are higher in fat and calories,” he tells WebMD.

     I was personally diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency a few years ago. I saw a great improvement to my overall health once my doctor added prescription level doses of D to my regimin. The fatigue I suffered with was greatly improved and my over all quality of life improved as a result. Feeling better led to being more active and being more active helped me procede with my weight loss plans.

     Getting plenty of dairy helps me feel more satisfied and stay full longer. The protein content makes dairy related snacks a good hunger killer and helps with building muscle when exercising.

     In the Zemel study participants were allowed to choose their own dairy with most choosing low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt and full fat cheese.  We do much the same in our household. It is important to note that the cheese was eaten in amounts that did not increase their fat intake over that of other participants. Remember that calories and fat grams still count here, people.

     The Zemel study showed that all of the groups lost weight, but those who ate the dairy-rich diet lost the most with an average of 24 pounds compared with 19 pounds in the calcium supplement group and 15 pounds in the low-calcium/low-dairy group. The difference between 15 and 24 lbs is definitely enough to get my attention.

     Even more good news, the higher dairy intake group lost a higher percentage of their body fat  from the abdominal area, shrinking their waist size and lowering their risk of illnesses such as heart disease.

     So, if your diet isn’t already dairy rich, consider adding an extra glass of milk or cup of yogurt today. Have a slice of real cheese on your wrap or sandwich. Enjoy the rich deliciousness that dairy has to offer and you could be upping your weight loss as a result. Does it get any better than that?


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