28-Day Dairy-Free Challenge

Could the dairy in your diet actually be causing health problems like weight gain, heartburn, joint pain, and even irritable bowel syndrome? Try this 28-Day Dairy-Free Challenge to see if milk is what’s slowing you down.

28-Day Dairy-Free Challenge

You grew up drinking milk and eating cheese – but could the dairy in your diet actually be causing health problems like weight gain, heartburn, lack of energy, high cholesterol, joint pain, lactose intolerance, and even irritable bowel syndrome? If these symptoms sound familiar, going dairy-free could be the solution to feeling and looking better. Try this 28-Day Dairy-Free Challenge to see if milk is what’s slowing you down.

Week 1: No Milk

The first step of the plan is easy: Replace milk with a non-dairy alternative! You can try almond, hemp, soy or rice milks – which are virtually free of saturated fat and cholesterol. They’re available for around $3 in major grocery stores.

To make sure you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D, eat a daily serving of green vegetables like broccoli and kale. Additionally, spend 10 minutes in the sun every day. If you’ve got a sensitivity to milk or are lactose intolerant, you may experience less bloating and fewer stomachaches by following this step of the challenge.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

Keep Reading Show less