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Dairy and Healthy Weight

You’ve read how dairy foods aren’t linked to weight gain and may even help to keep your weight on track. But how? While we still don’t know for sure, it seems that nature has got it just right. Research has shown the protein in dairy can help keep you feeling full for longer, while at the same time dairy calcium may reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs.

While this science might be news to some, for Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, the concept of dairy foods assisting with weight management is nothing new.

In her acclaimed book, Mireille writes about yogurt as a secret to tame hunger, revealing that French women often enjoy two serves a day. Now no one, especially Mireille, is suggesting that if you indulge in a dairy-only diet you are going to suddenly lose weight. The trick (as Mireille refers to it in her book) to enjoying a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight is not to avoid dairy, but to embrace it.

So now, Mireille wants to share how Australian women can enjoy good foods like milk, cheese and yogurt without gaining weight. It’s French Women Don’t Get Fat Australian style. 

For more of Mireille’s tips, read her Manifesto for Australian women.

Browse through our recipe collection from her French Women Don’t Get Fat cookbook.

Right now, approximately 63 per cent of Australian adults are overweight or obese and at risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. It’s not too late to do something about it though. 

Maintaining a healthy body weight is a matter of balancing the energy (kilojoules from food) you put into your body with the energy that we use up (kilojoules we burn) through your daily activities or exercise. If you don’t use up the energy you eat or drink each day, over time your weight will increase. Diet and physical activity are central to the energy balance equation.

There are many reasons to choose a healthy diet and start getting enough physical activity now. It will help you sleep better give you more energy, reduce the risk of depression and can help prevent conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Find out your healthy weight in our Healthy Weight fact sheet.

For more information about managing your weight visit the Shape Up website.

Choosing foods from the five food groups in the proportions recommended by the Australian Dietary Guidelines will help you get the right amount of nutrients without eating too many kilojoules. Here are some tips to get you started on healthy eating: 

  • Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups every day. These can be found at www.eatforhealth.gov.au;
  • Include milk, cheese and yogurt every day. These dairy foods are part of a balanced diet and can protect against heart disease and stroke, can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and some cancers and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables. Fill your plate with a variety of types and colours of vegetables and salad. These foods have few kilojoules and help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Eat two serves of fruit a day;
  • Limit intake of processed foods high in energy, saturated fat, added sugars, added salt or alcohol such as fried potatoes, cakes and muffins, chocolate, crisps, alcoholic drinks, soft drinks and energy drinks and meat pies;
  • Reduce portion size of meals;
  • Rethink sugary drinks. Too many sugary drinks can lead to unwanted weight gain and tooth decay . Water and milk are good drinks to choose from;
  • Plan meals and snacks. This not only helps you achieve your recommended number of serves from the five food groups but also helps with shopping and preparing meals;
  • Eat more mindfully, turning off the TV, slowing down, you can enjoy food more and be more in touch with how hungry or satisfied you are;
  • Limit alcohol intake. If you chose to drink alcohol keep to no more than two standard drinks on any day to reduce your risk of long term harm from alcohol.  

For healthy recipes and meal plans, check out The Dairy Kitchen or our Good Health recipe book.

Visit www.eatforhealth.gov.au to read more about the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

For a personalised weight management plan, consult an Accredited Practicing Dietitian.

You’ve always known that eating dairy is an important part of maintaining a balanced diet. Yet, many Australians cut back on this delicious source of essential nutrients for fear of getting fat. Well fear not!

According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, consumption of dairy foods is not linked to weight gain. In fact, for people looking to lose weight, research shows including three to four serves of dairy in a reduced-kilojoule diet can actually help accelerate weight loss, particularly from around the stomach.