I had clients in the past who were having a challenging time losing weight although it seemed they were exercising and eating right. For many of them the reducing or altogether eliminating dairy from their diets was the missing piece that allowed them to really look great.
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Do you need to eliminate dairy from your diet if you want to get lean? The short answer is mostly likely no. But you may want to minimize how much of it you consume. Some people are more sensitive to dairy than others and in the end too much dairy could be the thing preventing you from getting lean.
Dairy from grass-fed cows has as much as 5 times the level of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is shown to protect the heart and promote weight loss. CLA is an unsaturated fat i.e. a healthy fat. Grain fed cows have much lower levels of CLA.
So one simple switch might be to go to grass-fed dairy. Fitness models often use grass-fed butter in their diets as a healthy fat whereas grain-fed dairy (the majority of the dairy we consume) isn’t so good for you.
On the other hand you could have a food intolerance to dairy. Food intolerances can inflame your stomach and essentially sabotage your efforts to lose fat. Often times when people eliminate food intolerances from their diet the weight loss seems to jump start over night.
Casein is a protein found in dairy. As opposed to an out-and-out allergy to casein, intolerance doesn’t have the severe symptoms (such as hives) of allergies. Rather symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, or behavioral changes are common if you have a casein intolerance.
If you suspect you have a casein intolerance it’s good to get tested to make sure. One simple test you can do yourself (before running out to see the doctor) is to abstain from dairy for just 7 days. Then on the 8th day have a whole wack o’ dairy. Then see how you feel.
If you are overwhelmed with a sluggish feeling you may just have a casein intolerance.
Lactose is one of the most common food intolerances. Typical symptoms are all the various forms of stomach upset from gas to diarrhea to vomiting. If your stomach gets even a little upset when you have dairy this could be an issue for you too.
Are You Throwing Your Hormones Out Of Whack?
Dairy is responsible for 65% of the estrogen we consume from foods. The fact that cellulite build up is born from a hormone imbalance (in particular a high estrogen level) it would make one wary about the over-consumption of dairy products.
If cellulite is an issue for you, minimizing dairy would be a smart move as part of a greater overall strategy to tackle cellulite.
In The End, What Should You Do?
It all comes down to paying attention to your body and trying different things. If you have been reluctant to lose fat and you are working out and eating right, dairy could be the issue. A food intolerance could be the thing preventing you from really leaning down. You just have to identify which foods are irritating you and eliminate those foods from your diet.
Dairy and gluten are two of the most common culprits. Know your body, treat it right, and you will be on your way to feeling and looking great.