Remember when Mom used to admonish you to "Drink your milk?" She couldn't have offered better advice. Turns out that drinking plenty of milk is not only a great way to make sure that your body gets the calcium it needs to promote healthy teeth and strong bones, it can help you keep your weight on track and shed more pounds when you're dieting.
Calcium is part of the body's natural system for burning fat. Growing research shows that when your calcium needs are met, your body burns fat, particularly in the tummy, and maintains more muscle. All it takes is drinking 24 ounces or three glasses of fat-free or low fat milk each day.
Here are some tips to help make 24 ounces of milk part of your daily diet:
- Make sure your cereal is swimming in milk in the morning. Ditto for your oatmeal.
- Switch to a café au lait, which is equal parts coffee and milk, or a café latte, which is expresso with lots of frothy, steamed milk, from regular coffee.
- Use milk in your fruit smoothies. It's a cool way to beat the heat in summertime and a nutritious drink any time of the year.
- Please the child in you. Treat yourself to an eight-ounce carton of low fat chocolate or strawberry-flavored milk when your energy is flagging at work.
- Curl up with a warm mug of hot cocoa and a good book on cold winter days.
- Substitute milk for water in recipes. It thickens soup nicely, makes rice dishes taste creamier and adds a rich flavor to many pasta sauces.
- Drink it plain. A tall glass of milk is the perfect partner for soup or a sandwich at lunch, makes a fine snack and goes with any dinnertime meal.