Some relatively simple changes to diet have been shown to aid weight loss.
As little as three servings of yoghurt can lead to double the weight loss, studies suggest.
Those in the study who ate yoghurt daily doubled their body fat loss, compared with those on a low-dairy diet.
The extra weight loss may be due to the calcium and vitamin D contained in yoghurt, along with other popular dairy products.
Calcium is thought to help weight loss by signalling the body to stop storing fat and start burning it.
Calcium deficiency, in contrast, can boost cravings for food to try and obtain more of the essential mineral.
Vitamin D may help to support weight loss partly through its role in aiding the body in absorbing calcium.
Professor Michael Zemel, that study’s first author, said:
“When we put people on diets that include three servings of yogurt a day, we-re able to nearly double the amount of fat that is lost, compared to people on a low-dairy diet.”
The study included 63 people enrolled in two separate studies.
In both, people were put on either a high-dairy or low-dairy diet for 24 weeks.
For the high-dairy diet, people ate three servings of dairy, giving them the equivalent of 1,200 mg of calcium per day.
The results of one study showed that those on the high-dairy diet lost 4 pounds.
In comparison, those on the low-dairy diet lost nothing.
The second study found double the weight loss in the high-dairy group.
The study’s authors summarise the results:
“This study suggests that three servings of dairy foods per day produce significant reductions in total and central adiposity in obese African‐American adults—an outcome achieved without weight loss or caloric restriction.
We also found that dairy foods accelerate loss of weight and total and central adipose tissue mass secondary to energy restriction.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Obesity Research (Zemel et al., 2012).