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Khloé Kardashian says a dairy-free diet helped her lose weight

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Why ditching dairy isn't necessarily the key to losing weight

We know that Khloé Kardashian goes hard in the gym, but she also credits a dairy-free diet with a large part of her weight loss.

"I'm obsessed with cheese and milk, but eliminating them from my diet made the biggest difference," she told New Beauty magazine in a cover interview. "In a month and a half, I lost 11 pounds just from not eating dairy, without doing anything else different, and that totally blew my mind."

More: How changing my mindset helped me lose weight

But how?

A meta-analysis of 30 studies published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the results don't “support the beneficial effect of increasing dairy consumption on body weight and fat loss in long-term studies or studies without energy restriction" — meaning that consuming dairy can't necessarily be linked to weight loss, but it doesn't explain why some people experience weight loss by eliminating it from their diets.

There are a lot of anecdotal stories on the Web that point to a dairy-free diet as the reason for weight loss — and it's entirely possible, given that about 50 million Americans are lactose-intolerant. Those with intolerances for lactose lack the enzymes needed to break it down, so bacteria takes over and causes bloating, gas and inflammation in the gut. If that's you, you'll notice less bloating after going dairy free, which can mean dropping a few pounds. But it also could be that giving up dairy means eating fewer calories in general. Consume fewer calories than you need and weight loss will happen.

More: British Dietetic Association criticises diet plans endorsed by celebrities

"If you're cutting out ice cream and cheese, you may eat fewer calories, so you could lose weight," Susan Bowerman, Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife, International, told Allure. "It depends on what you eat instead of dairy products. Milk alternatives like almond and soy milk are only slightly lower in ­calories — and milk contains important nutrients, like calcium and vitamin D. If you remove dairy from your diet, you need to eat plenty of leafy greens and possibly take a D supplement to make up for it."

So while Khloé might have lost weight from ditching dairy, it's not guaranteed that you'll drop weight from doing the same.

More: 6 Things celiac sufferers should do after accidently eating gluten

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