The Milk Diet – CLA reduces hunger

glasss of milkA recent study carried out at the University of Western Australia has discovered that drinking milk in the morning can help you to lose weight. The study found that people who drank milk for breakfast instead of fruit juice generally ate about 9% less food at lunchtime.

The research followed 34 people who were given either 600 ml of skimmed milk (25 g protein, 36 g lactose, <1 g fat; 1062 kJ) or 600 ml of a fruit drink (1 g protein, 63 g sugar, <1 g fat; approximately 1062 kJ). Both drinks had the same calories.

The study volunteers then kept notes on their satiety throughout the morning. Four hours after breakfast they were given a lunch where they could help themselves to whatever they wanted to eat.

The results of the study found that during lunch the milk drinkers consumed significantly less than the fruit juice drinkers. On average, milk drinkers are 2432 kJ (581 Calories ) and the fruit drinkers consumed 2658 kJ (635 Calories ).

Previous research has shown that consuming more protein for breakfast can help to reduce appetite and therefore aid weight loss. In fact, many athletes and fitness enthusiasts believe that drinking whey protein shakes, a supplement derived from milk, can also help to reduce fat and help to get a ripped / cut look (bodybuilding terms for excellent muscle definition).

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

The reason for this effect may be the role of conjugated linoleic acid that is found in milk. Conjugated linoleic acid is the scientific name for the type of fat that is in milk. CLA has been linked with weight loss in postmenopausal women in other studies.

So, anyone who is looking for a new way to lose weight, drinking milk for breakfast. If you need something more hearty, have a bowl of muesli with a generous helping of the white stuff. Just do not sweeten with sugar!

Will it really help with weight loss?

While the reduction in calories consumed is significant in scientific terms, it works out at an average of 54 Calories fewer. If the same is repeated for evening meal then maybe drinking milk may result in 100 fewer Calories a day. This will not result in any significant weight loss. However, it may help a little.

This research has lead to the development of the idea of the whey protein diet. Whey protein supplements are taken by bodybuilders and athletes to build more muscle without gaining too much fat. Many bodybuilders rate whey protein as being the best choice of supplement over casein or soy, and this research may be why.


Skim milk compared with a fruit drink acutely reduces appetite and energy intake in overweight men and women.” by Dove ER, Hodgson JM, Puddey IB, Beilin LJ, Lee YP, Mori TA. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;90(1):70-5.

The influence of whey protein and glycomacropeptide on satiety in adult humans.” by Lam SM, Moughan PJ, Awati A, Morton HR. Physiol Behav. 2009 Jan 8;96(1):162-8.

Photo by Janine Chedid.

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