Cutting calories and increasing your exercise level are the keys to weight loss, but here’s a surprising fact: Eating more dairy products can help you shed pounds too. You still have to burn more calories than you consume, but components of dairy—especially calcium—appear to ease the way.
One effect of weight loss, ironically, can be an increased desire to eat. A study published earlier this year compared that desire in two groups of women who had lost weight. Those who were on a milk-supplemented program had less hunger than those who did not ingest extra milk.
Another recent study looked at weight-loss benefits from reduced-calorie diets supplemented with low-fat cows’ milk, calcium-fortified soy milk, or calcium alone. All of these diets led to weight loss—particularly around the belly—but the benefits were most significant in the women who drank the low-fat cows’ milk.
Taking a probiotic supplement can help restore or maintain a proper balance in your digestive tract and may also foster weight loss. Probiotics keep yeast and certain types of bacteria in check, preventing those organisms from releasing toxins that can slow your metabolism.
Digestive enzymes help to metabolize nutrients, particularly fats. “Enzymes directly improve digestion by helping your body break down the food you consume,” writes Tom Bohager, author of Everything You Need to Know About Enzymes. “For some people, obesity is related to enzyme deficiencies, particularly lipase, the enzyme that breaks down fats.”
Tip: Personal trainer Bob Harper of the television show The Biggest Loser says these are his top five “fat-blasting” foods. If you’re trying to get into shape, give these foods a try!