Let’s talk Dairy.

My Weight Loss Journey – Chapter 1

As kids, our mums had to literally run behind us to have milk, paneer, yoghurt and all that dairy. Well this was true for most of us! Then we grew up and fondness for dairy grew as well, so much so that it almost became indispensable for us; we need milk in tea, we love paneer and we tend to take extra dollop of butter with breads. Truth be told, dairy doesn’t love us back so much!

When I started my weight loss journey, this was the first thing I cut down. Milk doesn’t feature in my grocery list anymore. Although the popular belief is that elimination diets are not the best ones to follow, but dairy did not just help me in losing weight; I got rid of cystic acne, my digestion improved overnight (not kidding!) and I felt far more energetic.

It has been researched and established that 60-70% of the adults worldwide are lactose intolerant. Lactose, also known as milk sugar, is the primary carbohydrate of dairy milk and is the main reason why dairy is calorie-rich and difficult to digest. Symptoms of lactose intolerance are mainly digestion and skin related. Health fanatics who are calling this anti-dairy advocacy a modern fad, usually argue that dairy is a rich source of calcium and other proteins. Yes sure, dairy is a rich source of all that; but there are plenty of calcium rich foods and abundant dairy substitutes. I, for instance, beefed up my intake on nuts (esp. Almonds), tofu, meat and seafood.

Over this period of one year, of not consuming milk directly, I have seen tremendous positive changes in my overall well-being. Earlier, I used to feel bloated and lethargic most of the time, which has almost gone away. Rather I feel much lighter and energetic, which has helped me be a regular at the gym. Dairy had a reverse effect on my hormonal balance which led to breakouts and I had acne almost all year around. Going dairy-free has helped me get rid of acne and got me blemish free skin. I have fewer PMS acne and other symptoms.

It’s been a year that I have replaced dairy milk with So Good soy milk and So Good nut milk. Although I do sometimes have yogurt and cheese made of dairy, but I do not consume milk in its direct form. That’s because yogurt has probiotics and is lower lactose content unlike milk. One should always reduce dairy one thing at a time starting with direct milk consumption of course. And unless you are lactose intolerant, you should definitely consume dairy yogurt for its extremely beneficial properties for weight management. To know if you are lactose intolerant, you should go off dairy for a week and see if it is bringing positive changes in your body and overall health. If you are not lactose intolerant but want to lose weight, dairy ( except dairy yogurt) can be consumed but in moderation as it is high in calories. Although I would recommend complete abstinence, till you get the required weight loss.

Please appreciate that I am not a certified nutritionist and above views are only based on my own experience and my readings on health and fitness. Whenever you introduce any lifestyle change, listen to your body and observe the signs and symptoms. Cutting dairy is only a part of the solution, but it was definitely a game changer for me. Try it out!

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