Want to lose weight? Do a little dairy. Or rather, do a lot. Researchers found that low or medium intakes of dairy did not help people lose weight as well as a high intake of dairy did. Women who consumed the most dairy actually lost more weight in their abdomen, and improved the amount of their lean muscle tissue.
Each of the groups consumed a hypo-caloric diet, and did moderate exercise to lose weight. While keeping the amount of protein constant, researchers classified their dairy intake as low, medium, and high. All of the groups lost weight; however, the group with the high dairy intake lost more weight between weeks 8 and 16 during the study than the groups with a low or medium intake of dairy.
The branched chain amino acids found in dairy products, as well as the calcium content of foods like cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and whey protein likely plays a huge role in this.
When the body begins to lose weight around the middle, and correspondingly begins to build lean muscle, this body composition ‘rearrangement’ speaks volumes about the healthier metabolism that is developing with these kinds of changes.
The researchers concluded that diet and exercise-induced weight loss that contains more protein and dairy intake promotes more favorable body composition changes in women, specifically because they reduced belly fat, and gained lean muscle tissue.
Source: A. R. Josse, S. A. Atkinson, M. A. Tarnopolsky, and S. M. Phillips. Increased Consumption of Dairy Foods and Protein during Diet- and Exercise-Induced Weight Loss Promotes Fat Mass Loss and Lean Mass Gain in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal WomenJ. Nutr. September 1, 2011 vol. 141 no. 9 1626-1634