Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Can dairy help with weight loss?

Jill Ng
Don’t forget to include dairy in your weight loss plans!

A group from the Exercise Metabolism Research Group at McMaster University in Canada has shown that increased consumption of dairy foods and protein during diet and exercise induced weight loss promoted fat mass loss and lean mass gain.
The 16 week study which was done in overweight and obese premenopausal women, compared three groups of women who were trying to lose weight, into 3 groups – high protein, high dairy (HPHD), adequate protein, medium diary (APMD), and adequate protein, low dairy (APLD). Body composition, muscle and in particular fat loss during the time of the study was measured over different intervals during the course of the study (0,8, and 16 weeks).
All groups lost weight and fat, but the fat loss during weeks 8-16 was greatest for the HPHD group and was related to the increased diary intake. This group also gained lean tissue more quickly than their counterparts. The APMD group maintained their muscle mass and the APLD lost lean muscle mass.

The Australian Guidelines to Healthy Eating recommends having three serves a day which is equivalent to a 250ml glass of milk, 40g serving of hard cheese, or a 200g tub of yoghurt each day. See dairy Australia website for more details. 

Josse AR, Atkinson SA, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM, J. Nutr. 2011 Sep;141(9):1626-34. ‘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 women.’


  1. I'm drinking yoghurt drinks post surgery to lose weight. Have to keep up the calcium. Harder to keep up protein this early post surgery.

  2. Adequate protein is essential in the early days after surgery to help your body heal!
    In the first couple of weeks after lapband surgery we recommend focussing on liquids with higher nutrients such as Optifast (which has more protein and added vitamins than yoghurt drinks - and plenty of calcium as well!). If you've had sleeve or bypass surgery we recommend adding extra protein powder as well!
    Best of luck with your weight loss journey.