The other day I was in an Oriental market and I came across a refrigerated area that contained mainly beverages. The soy milk was on special and I decided to buy some. Although I had known all about the health benefits of soy milk I hadn’t used it for a few years. I had just casually forgotten about it. And since I am back on a weight loss campaign, (yes again, because as you may have guessed I have been slacking off for the past few months and the weight has begun to sneak back into my abdomen area, which was brought to my attention by my ex-girlfriend – I’ll explain later) I realized that soy milk can be very useful for this precise purpose - weight loss.A few months ago I had met a whole new group of friends, well actually three. How we met was purely a coincidence. At the time I was going through a depressing stage because I had broken up with my girlfriend (ok she broke up with me but don’t tell anyone). I was working long hours - I immersed myself into my work so that I could forget her. And at night I was finding it very difficult to sleep. So I’ll tell you about the night that I met these 3 people who are now close friends who are actually 3 women. That night I remember being exhausted and was driving down a dark boulevard. I was so tired that I began to nod off. And the next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital and being all bandaged up.
Without getting into all the details I was involved in a 4 car collision, I had received a concussion and was knocked unconscious. The drivers of the other 3 cars involved were unharmed and they had taken me to the hospital because the emergency forces were slow to respond. Of the 3 women one was a nurse so she knew what she was doing. Up until that point all four of us were strangers. But for whatever reason they all stayed that night, beside me, until I regained consciousness. And then they continued visiting me at the hospital over the next few days and we sort of developed a bond which eventually turned into a good friendship (just platonic in case you were wondering).Anyway not to bore you with more of this story, we began spending time visiting each other’s homes, going to dinner and other social functions but mostly dinners. We were trying all kinds of restaurants from Chinese to Italian to Middle Eastern, you name it. We all love to eat you see, but the only one that was showing evidence of that is yours truly. Yes, I was beginning to get overweight again; while my three friends were as thin as models (I hate them). And so I had to break the bad news to them: from this point on I couldn’t see them as often as before because it was back to the gym for me and back to proper nutrition.
So when I began my weight loss regimen which included physical activity 6 days a week and proper dieting (I’ll get in to that in more depth in later blogs), which meant shopping for healthier food choices, I ran into soy milk. I was using soy milk years ago but had totally forgotten about it until recently. Many people may not know this but soy milk in your diet will help you lose weight. By that I mean substituting soy milk for cow’s milk and other beverages in you daily diet can significantly reduce fat and cholesterol intake. In fact soy milk is a plant source (soy beans) beverage and does not contain any cholesterol. Personally I still use skim milk with my coffee (2 coffees a day) because I find soy milk alters its taste although some people actually prefer it in their coffee over milk.Cow’s milk versus Soy milk
In 8 ounce servings, skim milk contains about 20 more calories than soy milk. It doesn’t sound like much but when you take it over a period of weeks and even months that would amount to a significant calorie reduction by choosing soy milk. To be fair, on one front both milks contain calcium which has been shown to induce weight loss in certain studies – but you have to look at the total fat issue. Also, soy milk contains no cholesterol. In fact, soy milk contains soy protein which has been proven to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol).Now exercise and strength training enthusiasts will tell you that cow’s milk is much more beneficial because it contains casein and whey protein which are important in muscle building. You may begin to wonder if milk would be a better choice here when you look at the following reasoning. Cow’s milk contains muscle building proteins that help to grow muscle, especially after a strength training workout. And we know that muscle burns more calories than body fat. Therefore a body that contains a higher muscle to fat ratio will burn more calories. So why not choose regular milk over soy? Well, let’s just say, First things first. People who are significantly overweight need to focus more on diet and cardiovascular exercise as means for weight loss. As they begin to significantly reduce body fat levels then the program can be altered to include or to increase weight training exercises. This is why I would suggest soy milk over cow’s milk at least in the early stages of weight loss until the weight loss target is reached. At that point we would concentrate on weight loss maintenance which is a whole new ball game.
We also have to look at the tremendous health benefits of soy milk as they cannot be avoided. Firstly soy milk is a good milk substitute for people who are lactose intolerant as it does not contain lactose. Various studies have shown that soy beans (used to produce soy milk) can favorably alter blood cholesterol and may reduce high blood pressure. Other studies have shown that soy can fight against cardiovascular disease and several forms of cancer including lung, endometrial and prostate cancers. Soy has been used in the treatment of constipation and diarrhea, and much more.I lost 11 pounds in one week by drinking soy milk without food reduction or even exercising at the gym! Let me explain. Before I started working out again, that is following my revelation to my three friends, I wanted to see how much weight I could lose in one week simply by using soy milk for most of daily beverage intake. That is, I simply drank soy milk instead of soda, milk and wine with my meals. The only other beverage I drank was plain water. That`s it. This was during the first week of my diet (although I hate using the word diet, because it pertains to something temporary). Keep in mind that during this first week I did not exercise or change the types of foods or the food portions of my meals. That’s right; I lost a total of 11 pounds in one week with soy milk. Not bad at all…35 more pounds to go.
By John TiniakosNL Natural Weight Loss Program