Many people who want to lose weight avoid dairy products. That’s because there’s a myth lurking around this food group: they are fattening. According to studies, however, people who take three servings of low-fat dairy lost about 10% of their body weight over time.

Research also shows that people who have calcium deficiency hold a greater fat mass and have a harder time controlling their appetite. Other studies have revealed that dairy sources of calcium, such as low-fat milk and cheese, are more effective in promoting fat loss compared to other sources.

Upon analyzing the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, a 2008 study revealed that adolescents who consumed more dairy had less body fat and lower BMI (body mass index) compared to those who ate less.

That said, here are some ways to incorporate dairy for losing weight:

Regular Yogurt

Yogurt is great for accelerating your body’s fat-burning process. Both regular-fat and low-fat yogurts are rich in probiotics.

Probiotics are a weight loss-friendly bacteria. They help to minimize the amount of fat your body absorbs. Moreover, cells that contain calcium burn off more fat compared to those that don’t have.

A standard serving of yogurt is one eight-ounce cup, which will give you about 150 calories, 8.5 grams of protein, and about 17 grams of carbohydrates.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is another great choice of dairy for losing weight. A four-ounce serving of cottage cheese will give you about 14 grams of protein, which will boost muscle growth.

What’s more, the protein will increase feelings of fullness, preventing unnecessary snacking.  Keep in mind that cottage cheese is quite high in salt.

It can increase your thirst and hunger if you aren’t careful. It’s advisable to choose low-sodium options.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is one of the best dairy products for weight loss, and it has a myriad of other health benefits. It is rich in protein and belly-friendly probiotics. Probiotics promote healthy digestion and can help you feel less bloated.

You should consume at least two eight-ounce cups of Greek yogurt per day. One serving of Greek yogurt will give you 15 to 20 grams of protein and about 90 calories.

Low-Fat Chocolate Milk

Low-fat chocolate milk makes a great choice of food for your waistline after a rigorous workout. Research shows that chocolate milk is an effective post-workout recovery drink.

It delivers twice as much protein and carbohydrates as compared to regular milk or major sports drinks. The combination of carbs, protein, and electrolytes in the milk accelerates muscle recovery. You can work out for a longer time without worrying about sore muscles.

In conclusion, dairy foods should be a part of your daily weight loss diet. Be sure to include some dairy products like cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt in the diet. They’re high in protein and essential nutrients that will boost your weight loss efforts and keep you healthy.

Besides being rich sources of protein, zinc, and a variety of B-vitamins, dairy products are a major source of calcium. Calcium is essential for building strong and healthy bones.