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I quit dairy for a month to lose weight. Here’s what happened

Published on:29 May 2020, 16:19pm IST
I went dairy-free for a month to see what this new diet fad is all about. I wasn’t disappointed! Read on to know why,ladies!
Sonakshi Kohli
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Woah! A dairy-free diet actually works. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Let me begin with an honest confession here: I plead guilty of probably leaving no diet trend out of my list of hit-and-trials regardless of how unhealthy or unsustainable the diet was. All of these would end up falling flat every single time with me almost fainting, losing my hair, and struggling with fatigue as well as crankiness all day.

The result? New-found respect for the power of a fresh, homecooked, balanced meal. That being said, the adventurous streak in me still takes this for granted and I end up trying out a new fad every once in a while. But this time, the trend that caught my eye wasn’t quite a very challenging one. I am talking about giving #quitdairy a try.

After all, for someone who survived on just fat and protein for months, or simply on fruits and vegetables for a week of detox, just eliminating milk, cheese, curd, and all things dairy was supposed to be a cakewalk, or so, I thought.

But one successful month of steering clear of it and I can definitely say that it was the wisest diet decision that I ever made—thanks to these changes that happened in my body within the first month of going dairy-free:

Firstly, my favourite part: I dropped inches
Surely quitting dairy sounds easy-breezy. But when you have to actually make food choices, you realise that you can no longer enjoy cheesy pizzas/burgers, cold coffee, flavoured yogurt, homemade lassi, a cup of chai in the chilly weather, ice creams, puddings, creams, or any paneer dish.

Basically, your vegetarian survival kit is messed up suddenly. But this also comes with the advantage of mindful eating.

dairy-free diet
Cutting out all the milk and paneer actually made me lose inches from the get go. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

So you choose your food options wisely which results in cutting down a lot of extra calories and well—your fat intake too! Touchwood, it worked to my advantage and the jeans started getting looser.

The weight dropped too
Weight loss and inch loss are two different things, you know. Usually, you should concentrate on the inch loss. But who doesn’t find the weighing scale needle swinging to the left motivating?

I think, I will credit it to the fact that quitting dairy relived me of bloating and some very unwanted water retention.

dairy-free diet
All my bloating and digestion woes slowly went away. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Nope, I ain’t just assuming this. Apart from the fact that I woke up with a flat tummy every morning and felt lighter, what strengthened my belief in dairy causing bloating is a study published in the Nutrition Journal that revealed the fact that not everyone has the ability to digest a protein called A1 beta-casein present in milk and other dairy products. This can lead to digestion problems like an upset stomach, bloating, and diarrhoea.

My case wasn’t so bad when I used to drink milk because I am not lactose intolerant. But sparing the digestive system that much hard work worked well for me, perhaps!

And I felt more energetic than before
Since my digestive system no longer had to work so hard in digesting the dairy protein, my body saved on some energy as a result of which, I felt energetic and active throughout the day.

My skin became clearer
You don’t need my testimony to believe this, ladies. Countless studies including the one published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, found dairy products to be an acne irritant.

dairy-free diet
All my dreams of an acne-free supple skin were slowly becoming a reality. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

This is because the cow milk we usually consume contains the cow’s hormones. Plus, all the extra hormonal injections given to dairy animals to boost their milk production have a part to play here as well. Together, these can throw our hormones out of whack and cause acne and breakouts.

This is exactly why cutting out dairy also resulted in clear, flawless skin.

PMS became bearable
Maybe it’s too early to attribute the betterment of my premenstrual syndrome on quitting dairy because I’ve just had one pain-free cycle ever since I went off it. But maybe, cutting out milk and the extra hormones from it had a part to play.

periods myths
On the days aunt flo paid a visit, she didn’t bring PMS along after I quit dairy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So, clearly, giving a chance to this one trend of going dairy-free worked out well for me! If you’re someone who likes to follow diet fads in the hope that at least one of them will work, give this one a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.