By Margarita Nahapetyan
According to a new Australian study, drinking fat free milk instead of a fruit drink for breakfast, can help people eat less at lunch as well as contribute to overall weight loss.
The investigators, who carried out the study, came to the conclusion that people who drank milk in the morning, felt more full before the subsequent meal which, in turn, resulted in decreased calorie intake at the next meal, as compared with a fruit drink. Those individuals who were drinking milk, were found to eat approximately 50 fewer calories (or about 9 per cent less food) during lunch.
For the purposes of their study, the experts involved 34 overweight but otherwise healthy men and women, and asked them to take part in two testing sessions. In one of these sessions the participants were served about 20 ounces of fat free milk, and in the other session the investigators presented them with the same amount of a fruit drink. Both drinks contributed about 250 calories to the breakfast meal.
After having breakfast, the participants in both groups had four hours before lunch. During this time, the men and women were asked to share their feelings of fullness and later, at lunch, all of them were allowed to eat as much as they wanted, until the felt comfortably full. The researchers revealed that the participants who were in the milk-drinking group, reported feeling fuller, more satisfied and therefore consumed fewer calories at lunch.
According to the experts, feeling satisfied after a meal is a factor that contributes to weight loss and weight maintenance. Researchers said in a news release that it may be that the protein, the lactose or just the thickness of the drink may be a reason why people were feeling more full and satisfied. They also noted that individuals who want to lose weight may be able to reach their goals with small changes, such as cutting just 50 calories a day, for example. Sticking to a diet that can help enhance satiety is an important success factor in any weight management plan, the researchers suggest. According to the findings of several previous studies, consuming an additional 100 calories on a daily basis, results in two pounds of weight gain every year, therefore contributing to obesity rates.
The findings of the current study are published in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A news release on the work did not provide any information about the funding or other support for the research. The investigators also did not appear to find out whether any of the people were able to lose weight on a consistent milk diet.