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When a cute little boy comes with a nasty little wound on his arm, the doctor says, “Drink milk, you’ll get healthy bones.” When a bulky, muscular guy comes looking for an even bulkier, muscular physique, the gym trainer says, “Drink milk, you’ll get protein.” When a fat munching foodie comes holding a photo of Hritik Roshan in his hands, the gym trainer says, “Drink milk, you’ll get abs.”

Okay, we will confess to a little exaggeration. Abs… is a bit far-fetched. But contrary to the popular belief that going dairy-free is the first thing a person with weight loss in mind should do, dairy can actually help one achieve the goal. While there aren’t any great scientific facts to prove a stronger hand of any of the two claims, results from several researches and studies pit the competition in favour of dairy.

Weight gain occurs when the body consumes more calories than it burns. The combination of less physical exercise and unhealthy appetite are most commonly the reasons we experience ‘weight creep’. Truth be told, milk and cheese do contribute significantly towards calorie and fat intake but there are several low fat alternatives available in the market now! A pint of low fat skimmed milk contains just 190 calories and 0.6g fat! And that too is without giving up the advantages of calcium and other important nutrients.

But don’t give up on your regular dairy just yet, because researchers suggest that having at least three servings of dairy foods in a calorie controlled eating plan may accelerate weight loss and body fat, improve muscle retention and reduce waist line. According to a research, children who drink standard milk are more likely to have a lower body mass than children who don’t. Another research shows that people who have calcium deficiencies hold a greater fat mass and are able to exercise less control on their appetite. In one study at the University of Tennessee, researchers have shown that three daily servings of dairy significantly reduce body fat in obese people.

A 2007 study by Canadian metabolic and pediatric researchers discovered that men who drank milk after a round of exercises lost more fat mass and developed more lean muscle mass over a 12-week period than men running solely on a soy protein beverage. Framingham Heart Study has also demonstrated that subjects who eat more dairy products seem to gain less weight over time and have lower waist circumferences as compared to other subjects.

Although there isn’t any conclusive scientific reason to explain these effects of dairy on the human body yet, a major contender is because calcium can reduce the amount of dietary fat absorbed by the body, and studies also suggest that dairy may reduce feelings of hunger. The calcium helps the body break down fat more efficiently, stimulating weight loss. Hence, a weight loss diet should include dairy products to help meet nutritional needs.

And in our quest to uncover all the advantages of dairy, we have reached a stage where we can really say that there is no reason good enough to stop eating dairy – there are options for the lactose intolerant, protein for the gym freak and now we know it is an option viable even for those trying to lose weight. So don’t bother thinking anymore! Whatever be the trouble, trust dairy with it!