Whole milk helps you lose weight

whole milk helps you lose weight - the10principles

  • For the 10 years I was overweight I drank skim milk
  • Find out why low-fat dairy products keep you feeling hungry
  • Whole milk has many other surprising health benefits

Are you drinking skim milk, 1% milk, 2% milk or whole milk?

Whole milk helps you lose weight- milk types - the10principles

You might be surprised to learn that whole milk helps you lose weight. I was! For the 10 years I struggled to lose weight I only drank skim milk. When I went back to drinking 2% milk, along with making other healthy choices, I lost weight.

Recently I read about the benefits of drinking higher-fat milk. To my surprise, whole milk (3.25%) is actually the healthiest choice. If you’re new to this blog keep in mind: The healthiest choice helps you lose weight.

Now I’ve been drinking whole milk for almost 4 months and I love it! But I didn’t feel that way at first. I was actually put off by the idea. For some reason I thought whole milk was for people who are trying to gain weight–like kids going through a growth spurt or someone recovering from an illness. I think this false impression stemmed from all the weight-loss advertisements that push low-fat and no-fat food. We’re conditioned to fear fat! But now I know eating fat doesn’t make you fat. Eating fat from a natural source is part of a balanced meal. And eating balanced meals are part of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
whole milk helps you lose weight - conditioned to fear fat
Ok… let’s get to the facts.

Why whole milk helps you lose weight

Whole milk helps you lose weight because it’s the healthiest choice. And whole milk is the healthiest choice because it’s the most natural option.

…whole milk is the way it comes from the cow before processing.
-Dairy Council of California

whole milk helps you lose weight - drinking milkRemember, the more a food is processed, the more unnatural it is and therefore, the more it confuses your body. Whole milk is less processed than skim, 1% and 2% milk. In other words, milk that has 3.25% fat maintains more natural and healthy nutrients and has fewer ingredients added.

Skim milk, for example, is the product that’s left over after the cream is removed. But the cream is packed with essential nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins are key. Once consumed, they send a signal to your brain. Then you feel full. Why? Because your body has what it needs to do its important jobs.

Eating whole foods–especially eating balanced meals and snacks made of whole foods, prevents you from overeating. This combination of natural food contains the energy and nutrients your body needs. Then you feel satisfied.

Whole milk helps you lose weight - you feel fullBut skim milk is void of these vitamins. That’s why you can eat tons of low-fat dairy products–like low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese and low-fat sour cream, and still feel hungry; your body will keep sending hunger signals until it has all the nourishment it requires.

Put simply, the processing skim milk goes through is similar to white flour. White flour has the bran and germ removed; the most nutritious parts of the grain. The bran and germ contain B vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, protein, minerals and healthy fat. Not only do all these nutrients take time to break down (so energy is released slowly and you stay full longer) but your body also needs all these nutrients to function properly. And when your body functions properly, (drum roll!) it’s easier to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Eating whole foods fills you up naturally. Then you lose weight naturally.

Whole foods are natural one ingredient

Michael Pollan says it best:

To make dairy products low fat, it’s not enough to remove the fat. You then have to go to great lengths to preserve the body or creamy texture by working in all kinds of food additives. In the case of low-fat or skim milk, that usually means adding powdered milk. But powdered milk contains oxidized cholesterol, which scientists believe is much worse for your arteries than ordinary cholesterol, so food makers sometimes compensate by adding antioxidants, further complicating what had been a simple one-ingredient whole food. Also, removing the fat makes it that much harder for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that are one of the reasons to drink milk in the first place.
-From: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

Research proves whole milk helps you lose weight

Still not convinced that whole milk helps you lose weight?! Tons of studies found that men and women who eat full-fat dairy are less likely to be obese. In fact, more and more research is showing that cutting out foods that are naturally high in fat, like red meat, butter, dairy and eggs, and choosing low-fat alternatives like skim milk, not only lead to weight gain but have caused the rate of chronic disease to skyrocket.

More evidence that whole milk helps you lose weight

As much as I love scientific research, a personal story is always powerful.

Since we started drinking whole milk 3 years ago, my husband and I have each had a huge reduction in cholesterol. 30 points each to be exact! We also each lost weight. Him 10 lbs. Me 25 lbs. And we drink whole milk, eat full-fat sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt & savor real butter. A LOT.
DaNelle Wolford, farmer

Drinking whole milk helps you lose weight… and more:

whole milk helps you lose weight - infographic

What does pasteurized, fortified and homogenized mean?

I’ve seen these words on milk, cheese and yogurt for years. I assumed they meant good things since they’re splashed on the packaging of dairy products. Surprise! These terms are all about processing milk and making it less natural.

Whole milk helps you lose weight - homogenizedPasteurization: Pasteurizing wasn’t introduced until companies put more cows in smaller spaces to produce more milk. These cramped conditions force cows to lie down and often eat their own manure. Mastitis, which is the inflammation of the mammary gland in the udder, result. Drinking this milk makes you ill. So pasteurization was introduced to kill the bacteria. Pasteurization means sterilizing a product to make it safe for consumption and to prolong its shelf life.

Fortification: Raw milk is full of nutrients that naturally occur in food. So our bodies recognize these nutrients and use them. When milk goes through the process of being pasteurized, much of the nutritional value is lost. So farmers fortify the milk to replace the lost nutrients. Sounds good until you remember that healthy is best and natural is healthy. When food is fortified it is void of real nutrients and full of synthetic nutrients that are almost no use to your body.

Homogenization: This high-pressured mechanical process also extends the milk’s expiry date and prevents the fat in milk from separating; cream naturally rises to the top in unprocessed milk. The fat globules remain suspended evenly in homogenized milk because they’re broken up to such a tiny size. Then the milk has a uniform consistency. Homogenization is so damaging to the milk’s fat globules that they clump together. For people who are lactose intolerant this process makes milk even harder to digest. When you buy milk that’s closer to it’s natural state (non homogenized) you just need to give it a shake to mix the cream back in. Then you can avoid yet another method of interfering with a natural product.

Pasteurization, fortification and homogenization are all examples of food processing and why food found in it’s most natural state work with our bodies the best.

Processed foods confuses your body

The good, better, best when choosing milk

Good: whole milk (3.25% fat)

Whole milk helps you lose weight - organic milk bottleBetter: certified organic whole milk
Certified organic means that the cows did not receive antibiotics, the grain the cows ate is non-GMO (not genetically modified) and the cows were raised in conditions appropriate to their behavioral requirements.

Best: raw, grass-fed, certified organic whole milk
Cows are herbivores. Their teeth and digestive system are specialized for eating grass. However many factory-farmed cows are taught to survive on anything from corn to candy because they cost less ;(

Just like moms take care in what they eat while breast feeding, we should pay attention to what the animals, whose products we eat, are consuming. I 100% trusted government regulation concerning animal welfare and the health of the food we eat, until I started reading Marion Nestle’s Blog: Food Politics. Along with a greater understanding of other food-related topics, I now realize that many animals eat terrible substitutes for the food they’re designed to eat and many animals live in conditions that are inhumane.

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
– Mahatma Gandhi, activist

The kind of whole milk I drink now

Presently, I’m at the “good” stage. The milk I drink is whole milk. Even though it’s pasteurized, fortified and homogenized it’s still a huge improvement from drinking low-fat milk. Writing this post has prompted me to find out where I can purchase organic whole milk. The next step will be raw, grass-fed, certified organic whole milk. I love animals. It makes sense that what’s best for the animal is best for you. I’ll post my findings on Instagram.

What I do know:
Good dairy is more effort to find and is also more expensive; there isn’t as much of a demand and more field space per cow is required. I love the expression: Each time you buy something you vote.

My aim is to purchase better dairy every other time I buy milk and build from there. It’s better to make a small change today than wait for the perfect day to make the perfect change.

I believe more people would buy better milk if there was more education. Then a higher standard of milk would be more accessible (and cows would live better lives). If you know anyone who may be interested in switching from skim milk to whole milk or anyone who cares about animal welfare, please forward a link to this post. Or post a link on Facebook.

Next Steps:

Don’t feel overwhelmed! Just switching from skim milk to 1% milk, with the aim of gradually working up to 3.25% milk, is a healthy plan for lasting change.

When I stopped drinking skim milk 18 years ago, I didn’t understand why higher-fat milk was the healthiest choice or even that whole milk helps you lose weight. I just switched to 2% because someone I trusted told me it was a healthy choice.

When I started drinking 2% milk I initially missed drinking skim; I loved the watery texture. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say, after 10 years of drinking skim milk I was used to the watery texture because I was afraid to eat fat. Now I know it takes time to adapt to change. But understanding why whole milk helps you lose weight makes it easier to make the switch.

Having a strategy for change also helps you turn unhealthy habits into healthy habits. Sign up (below) to receive one of the best strategies I learned.

Whole milk helps you lose weight - summary

Heard this song in the documentary It’s Not Dark Yet about Simon Fitzmaurice who was diagnosed with ALS. It’s the most moving documentary I’ve ever seen and a beautiful story about the power of love.

Universe Tipping by Cathy Davey


Further reading:

Is whole milk dairy better than low fat?
This interesting article explains the history of skim milk.

Milk – good or bad?
This article shares a family’s experience switching to organic milk after understanding that the health of the animal affects your health.

Is low-fat dairy making you fat?
This blog post is by a farmer who is distressed by the impact money and profit have on the milk industry.

5 reasons to start eating full-fat dairy, according to science
This post explains many other benefits of full-fat dairy.


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Are you drinking whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk or skim milk? Please put your answer in the comments below – even if you just write: whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk or skim milk.

By |2018-06-14T23:07:37+00:00May 23rd, 2017|Healthy Eating|6 Comments

About the Author:

Hi! I'm Kelly. I lost weight when I stopped dieting. And I got my life back. Here's more about my turning point and why I'm passionate about sharing what I learned.


  1. Janne January 18, 2018 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Started drinking natural whole milk and it really much better for your stomach, also try adding 0,5-1 teaspoon of msm suppliment powder+lemon water in every morning to the diet, have used that one over two years now and it really suppressed my sweet tooth.

    • Kelly Clark January 18, 2018 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Janne, That’s great that you’ve found whole milk better for your stomach. Re: the supplement powder you’re using – it’s all about figuring out what works for you! For me I try to make the most natural choices possible. For example, getting in the habit of eating balanced meals made of fresh foods has suppressed my sweet tooth naturally. I do eat dessert here and there and have a square or 3 of chocolate most nights. And that keeps me satisfied. (Lately I’ve preferred dark chocolate, which is more natural and has less sugar than milk chocolate.) Otherwise I don’t desire sweet food. For me it’s all about habits. Whatever I’m used to doing, I like to do 🙂 In the past I was used to eating sweet food more often, because I ate sweet food more often. So if you’re hoping to cut back naturally believe me you can! Just cut back slowly. Baby steps. But going back to the start … Everyone should do what works for them. Thanks so much for sharing your experience 🙂

  2. Jonathan Franco February 18, 2018 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    growing up i used to drink a gallon of milk a day and never felt hungry but would be forced to eat refined carbs for my mom. then i shot up weight cause of all the refined carbs. My doctor told me to only drink %2 milk and then i gained liked 70lbs in 6 months! I used to get no cravings for food absolutely none i would just drink milk. But after i cut whole milk i substituted it for sugar i would add sugar to skim milk. I would never feel satiated, I’m also alot taller then my entire family, growing up i would watch basketball players in milk commercials so i was convinced it would make me taller and it did. Ive also haven’t ever been injured. Then when i completely cut milk out i started getting injured all the time.

    • Kelly Clark February 19, 2018 at 12:49 am - Reply

      Hey Jonathan, Thanks for sharing your story. I agree. Stick with whole milk (3.25%)! I just read an article in the New York Times that said many people cut out fat and replace it with sugar and then gain weight. So you’re not alone. I like that you’ve taken the time to stop, reflect and figure out what made you the healthiest in the past (whole milk!) When I was trying to lose weight I was always too busy trying to start my next diet (I felt anxious until I was back trying to lose weight). I never took time to press pause, think and learn. Hope you’re drinking whole milk again and that you’re injury-free 🙂

  3. Amol Godkhe April 18, 2018 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Earlier I use to avoid milk especially whole milk because of weight trauma. But, after reading some blog I changed my mind. I became more aware of whole milk health benefits. I have read in times blog that whole milk is also good for cardiovascular health, is it?

    • Kelly Clark April 19, 2018 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Hi Amol! That’s great you’re back to drinking whole milk because of the health benefits. You are correct! Full-fat dairy foods, like milk, cheeses, yogurt, cream and butter don’t increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), such as heart disease and stroke, as long as the dairy you consume is part of a balanced diet. This conclusion is the result of 29 observational studies of close to 1 million people from all over the world. Here’s a link to the study, that’s found in the European Journal of Epidemiology: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10654-017-0243-1 Keep in mind, along with eating balanced meals made of whole foods, regular exercise (being active each day and doing 3 workouts each week that get your heart pumping for about 25 minutes) is the best approach to having a healthy heart. Not smoking is also key when it comes to CVD prevention.

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