Drinking a glass of fat-free milk each day can double weight loss, research finds.
People sometimes steer clear of dairy because they believe it is fattening — actually, the reverse may be true.
Milk contains both vitamin D and calcium, which have both been linked to weight loss.
About 50 percent of people are deficient in vitamin D and around 50 percent of obese people have a calcium deficiency.
Low calcium levels may prompt the brain to increase food intake to get more of this mineral.
One study tested the effects of drinking milk after weight-lifting.
Twenty women carried out resistance training, then drank either a sugary sports drink or a pint of fat-free milk.
Professor Stu Phillips, study co-author, said:
“Resistance training is not a typical choice of exercise for women.
But the health benefits of resistance training are enormous: It boosts strength, bone, muscular and metabolic health in a way that other types of exercise cannot.”
The results of the study showed that milk increased muscle mass and reduced fat.
A previous study has shown the same positive effect of milk on men’s muscles and body fat.
Professor Phillips said:
“We expected the gains in muscle mass to be greater, but the size of the fat loss surprised us.
We’re still not sure what causes this but we’re investigating that now.
It could be the combination of calcium, high-quality protein, and vitamin D may be the key, and, conveniently, all of these nutrients are in milk.”
Although they put on muscle, the women did not gain weight, Professor Phillips said:
“The women who drank milk gained barely any weight because what they gained in lean muscle they balanced out with a loss in fat.
Our data show that simple things like regular weightlifting exercise and milk consumption work to substantially improve women’s body composition and health.”
The study was published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise (Josse et al., 2010).