Maintaining a healthy weight is a matter of balance – balancing the amount of energy (calories from food) we put into our bodies with the amount of energy we use up during our daily activities or exercise.
Balancing your food intake means enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods from across the food groups. While dairy food are well known for their role in bone health, they are not usually the first food group that comes to mind when thinking of losing weight. In fact dairy foods can often be cut out in the mistaken belief that they are fattening. However research shows that eating 3 serves of dairy every day will not only help your bones but as part of a calorie controlled eating plan may also help you manage your weight.
Get your body moving
Regular exercise can help achieve a healthy weight. The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activities (such as walking) on most days of the week. Talk to your doctor about what kind of physical activity plan is best for you.
Healthy eating for life
Balancing your food intake means enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods to ensure all your nutritional needs are met. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, legumes and cereal foods, and include lean meat, fish, poultry, milk, yogurt and cheese in your diet.
To lose weight, you need to increase the amount of exercise you do and reduce the amount of calories you eat.
Here are some tips to help you cut down on calories:
• Reduce portion sizes
• Trim fat off meat and peel skin off chicken
• Use low fat cooking methods (e.g. stir fry, grill, steam, microwave, boil, fry in a non-stick fry pan, bake)
• Use oils and fat spreads sparingly
• Choose reduced or low fat dairy products
• Eat fewer sweet biscuits, cakes and fried take-away food
• Avoid drinking large quantities of sugary drinks
• Limit your alcohol intake if you choose to drink
Healthy weight with dairy
As one of the core food groups, dairy foods play a key role in a healthy balanced diet. Dairy foods contain at least 10 essential nutrients, including vitamins A and B12, calcium, carbohydrate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin and zinc.
While dairy foods are well known for their role in bone health, they are often not the first food that comes to mind when thinking about losing weight. In fact, dairy foods can often be cut out in the mistaken belief that they are fattening. However, scientific evidence shows that eating 3 serves* of dairy every day will not only help your bones but may also help you manage your weight. Research has shown that people who have low calcium and/or dairy intakes are more likely to have a greater amount of body fat, and a greater risk of gaining weight and more fat over time. In addition, if you are trying to lose weight and you normally have a low intake of dairy foods, it has been shown that including 3 serves of dairy in a calorie controlled eating plan may help you achieve a slightly greater weight loss.
3 serves of dairy every day
With the good news about dairy and weight management, there are now even more reasons for you to eat 3 serves of dairy foods every day. While all dairy foods can fit into a balanced diet, there is a wide range of reduced† or low fat dairy foods which are ideal for calorie-controlled diets.
Eating 3 serves of dairy foods every day is easy. One serve is equal to one glass (250mL) of milk, one tub (200g) of yogurt or two slices (40g) of cheese. Try these ideas:
• Start your day with a bowl of cereal and milk and top with fruit-flavoured yogurt
• For lunch, add two slices of cheese to a salad roll, or top
two slices of bread with tomato and grated cheese and melt under the grill
• For a tasty low-fat snack, make a fruit smoothie – simply blend low-fat milk and yogurt with fruits such as bananas or strawberries
* 3 serves of dairy provides approximately 100% of the average recommended dietary intake for calcium.
† Reduced or low fat dairy products are not suitable for children under 2 years.
The information provided in this document is to be used as general health and nutrition education information only. All material is published with due care and attention, and in good faith.
No responsibility can be accepted for omissions, typographical or printing errors, or situation changes that have taken place after publication. For further information on any of our resources, visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au/nutrition or call our consumer line on 1800 817 736. This brochure may be photocopied for non-profit or non-commercial applications. Dairy Australia ABN 60 105 227 987
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