When you’re on a mission to lose weight, it can be easy to find yourself focusing on all the foods you can’t eat, instead of the ones you can.
The next problem occurs when we’re not 100% what we can eat in the first place! The thing is, in reasonable amounts, most food is okay. But it’s when your portions – and exercise – go out the window that things start to go pear-shaped.
Now, one biggie for those eager to lose weight is: Cheese.
We all love cheese. Whether in a sub, on a pizza, or, well, in pretty much anything. But can you eat it cheese and still lose weight? Let me tell you, we’ve done a little digging and it’s looking positive. But how can that be? Let’s take a closer look.
Cheese, cheese, cheese
The key to creating a healthy lifestyle, losing weight and keeping it off, is by creating a healthy diet that is long term sustainable. And cutting out foods that you enjoy, like cheese, isn’t long term sustainable. In fact, cheese is a nutrient-rich food, it’s just also calorie-dense, so you need to maintain portion control.
So, how calorie-dense is calorie-dense? Well, we think you’d be surprised. Let’s take a look:
- 1-ounce slice of cheddar cheese has 115 calories
- Goats cheese, gouda, Parmesan, and Roquefort have more than 100 calories per ounce.
- Feta has 75 calories per ounce
- Ricotta has 42 calories per ounce
- Cottage cheese has 28 calories per ounce.
In comparison, an ounce of tomato has five calories. So yeah, cheese is calorie-dense. Because of how high in calories cheese is, the USDA recommends limiting your cheese intake of hard cheeses like goats cheese, cheddar, gouda and parmesan to 1.5 ounces per day.
Also Read: 21 daily habits of healthy women
However, softer cheeses that have lower calories, have higher daily consumption recommendations and the USDA recommends no more than half a cup of ricotta or two cups of cottage cheese per day.
Does cheese make you gain weight?
As we’ve discussed, cheese is much more calorie-dense than fruits and vegetables, and this is why diets would generally recommend that you avoid cheese. However, just because it is high in calories and has a high-fat content, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid cheese altogether.
In fact, a recent study revealed that the consumption of high-fat dairy products was linked to a lower risk of weight gain compared to low-fat dairy products. And this isn’t a one-off, another study had similar findings.
Cheese is just one of those things that need to be enjoyed in moderation.
What’s good about cheese?
Despite cheese’s bad rap, it’s an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals like:
- vitamin A
- vitamin B-12
As well as these vitamins and minerals, research has suggested that when we get enough calcium, we tend to burn more fat. Plus, thanks to the protein-richness of cheese, it gives your metabolism a boost and reduces your appetite, therefore supporting your weight loss goals.
Also Read: How to rediscover your workout motivation
That’s not all! Dairy products also help you to boost muscle because of the vitamin D content, which is excellent for your hormone health, which in turn boosts your goals.
Even when we’re on a diet, we still need some fat content to help us feel satisfied. Although you should aim to keep saturated fat below 7% of your daily calories.
How can you lose weight and still eat cheese?
Here are our top tips for losing weight without having to ditch the dairy.
Choose cheese for the flavor you fancy
Rather than just overloading on cheese for the sake of it, choose particular types of cheese when you’re craving a particular flavor. So if you’re after that nutty, strong cheese taste, then go for a little parmesan or blue cheese, a little will go a long way.
But if you’re craving a milder, creamy flavor, then opt for some feta, ricotta or cottage cheese – you’ll get the creamy flavor with fewer calories.
Switch full-fat cheeses for the low-fat version
We know, low-fat dairy products don’t have the best reputation but hear us out! When you’re looking to get that experience of cheese, use full-fat cheese and really enjoy the flavor. In foods like sandwiches and tacos, skip the cheese because you’ll have other flavors to make up for it.
Also Read: Sneaky ways food can make you gain weight
But when cooking or following a recipe, switch to low-fat cheese when using cheeses like ricotta, mozzarella or cottage cheese. The difference will be negligible. Top your bagels with low-fat cream cheese, and you’ll save 3g of fat and 20 calories per tablespoon.
Replace mayo with cheese
Many of us are big mayo fans, especially in a sandwich. When you’re next making a sandwich, switch the mayo for low-fat cream cheese. One tablespoon of full-fat mayo has 94 calories and 10g of fat. Whilst, low-fat cream cheese has just 30 calories and 2.5g of fat.
For pizzas and salad, switch to feta
In the Mediterranean, they’re big fans of feta and it’s not hard to see why. Not only is feta delicious, you only need a small amount to get a cheesy flavour into your salads.
But it offers health benefits like good heart health and a lower fat content than most other cheeses.
Choose cottage cheese
As we’ve discussed, cottage cheese is one of the lowest calorie-dense cheeses. Not only that, but it’s a rich source of protein as well as super tasty.
So, there you have it, ladies! You don’t need to cut out cheese to hit your weight loss goals, just make a few swaps and adjustments and you’ll be good to go!
Now’s the time to hit your weight loss goals
We hope this blog has helped to boost your weight loss efforts as well as clearing up some of the bad reputation that cheese gets, you’re now good to go!
But if you do need a helping hand, why not try Zotrim? Our 100% natural formula works to suppress your appetite and curb your cravings, so you can focus on your goals!