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Dairy Proteins May Be Key in Losing Belly Fat

Tim Boyer's picture

Here is a new finding on how to lose weigh: dairy proteins may come to help to lose belly fat.

For most, fighting the “Battle of the Bulge” is a never-ending battle. Weight goes down, weight goes up, weight goes down, weight goes up and stays up as we eventually surrender to genetics, lack of will or just from the sheer exhaustion and stress of counting calories and watching the clock for the next meal. And even when we do lose weight, often it’s not from the area we want to lose the most. This may change however, as new research shows that a diet high in protein, from low-fat dairy products may be the key to losing belly fat and giving us an edge in fighting metabolic disease and obesity.

Losing weight and belly fat

In an article published in this September’s edition of the Journal of Nutrition, researchers have come across some interesting findings after comparing three groups that were monitored under slightly different dietary plans. Although all 3 groups lost the same amount of weight, one group lost more belly fat and gained more muscle in comparison to the other two groups.

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The study consisted of three groups of overweight, middle aged, pre-menopausal women who did not have any significant medical issues aside from their obesity. Over a period of 4 months all of the women from the 3 groups underwent a weekly exercise routine that consisted of five days of aerobic exercise and two days of weight training. The groups, however, differed by their dietary plans. One group had a high-protein, high-dairy diet. A second group had a lower-protein, medium-dairy diet. And the third group had a lower protein, low-dairy diet. The results of the study showed that the women from the group who had the higher protein, high-dairy diet were the ones who lost the most whole-body and abdominal fat—with the added benefit of having gained lean muscle mass. The women from the group with a lower protein, low-dairy diet fared the worst by having lost muscle mass and less overall fat. The in-between group lost no muscle mass, but less fat than the higher protein, high–dairy group.

"One hundred per cent of the weight lost in the higher-protein, high-dairy group was fat. And the participants gained muscle mass, which is a major change in body composition," stated Andrea Josse, lead author of the study. "The preservation or even gain of muscle is very important for maintaining metabolic rate and preventing weight regain, which can be major problem for many seeking to lose weight."

According to Josse, belly fat is believed to be especially detrimental toward cardiovascular and metabolic health. She believes that their results from this study indicate that a diet (with exercise) high in protein—especially proteins found in dairy products—may contribute to fat loss specifically from the abdomen. Dairy foods high in protein include low-fat varieties of cheese, skim milk, yogurt and cottage cheese.

Armed with this new dietary information perhaps we can now return to wage war in our own personal battle of the bulge and perhaps even eventually discover that when we stand at attention it will no longer be necessary for us to have to suck in our guts.

Source: 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 J. Nutr. 2011 141: 9 1626-1634



Of course, the effect of the aerobic exercise and weight training (and amount of each, not just the number of days) wasn't discussed. Thus, the implication is that eating lots of meat and dairy products (a conclusion apparently drawn in another study sponsored by a dairy association) would result in reduced belly fat - something I think might be nothing more than bovine fecal matter. Would men get the same results?