There are many ways to lose weight naturally, and eating the right foods is an important strategy. Dairy — cottage cheese, in particular — is a top favorite among those who are trying to get healthier and build muscle. But is cottage cheese good for weight loss?
What is Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese is a soft, white-colored, creamy cheese that’s popular for its small lumpy curds. Unlike how cheddar cheese is typically made, cottage cheese doesn’t involve draining all the whey, resulting in solid curds which are then cooked to remove moisture.
People incorporate cottage cheese into their diet in various ways, such as using it to replace ricotta cheese in meatball casseroles and pizza. Cottage cheese is also a good cheese for snacking. Mix it with frozen berries in a bowl for a creamy and fruity (and most of all, healthy) afternoon treat!
Is Cottage Cheese Good for Weight Loss?
Health enthusiasts love cottage cheese for a good reason: It can help with weight loss. This is because it contains specific amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates that influence satiety and prevent unnecessary cravings.
Eating cottage cheese to lose weight should also be done strategically, meaning that you can’t just have all the cheese you want and see results. It’s also a good idea to add cottage cheese to a diet that already includes other beneficial foods like fruit and steak, instead of unhealthy options like sugary cereals and processed meats.
How Cottage Cheese Helps You Lose Weight
There’s no doubt that cottage cheese is an excellent choice for those struggling with weight issues. But how does cottage cheese help you lose weight? Here are three science-backed reasons:
Packed with protein
A 100-gram serving of cottage cheese has a whopping 11 grams of protein at only 98 calories [*]. While controlling your overall calorie intake boosts your weight loss efforts, increasing protein controls hunger after mealtimes [*].
Furthermore, protein has a higher thermic effect, which means that your body has to work harder to break down protein, resulting in a greater calorie burn [*].
Little impact on your blood sugar
Another reason to eat cottage cheese for weight loss is that it’s a low glycemic index food. For those who don’t know, the glycemic index (GI for short) is a rating system that measures how likely a specific food increases blood sugar levels. High GI foods can potentially cause your body to store more fat unless you do moderate to intense physical activity each day.
Relatively low in fat
A 100-gram serving of cottage cheese provides only 4.3 grams of fat [*]. Although dietary fat plays a vital role in low-carbohydrate diets by replacing carbs for your energy requirements, not everyone embraces this way of eating.
One of the ways metabolically healthy people increase weight loss without sacrificing their carb intake is by reducing fat. This technique results in a lower calorie intake since dietary fat has the most calories per gram — 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories.
How Much Cottage Cheese Should I Eat a Day to Lose Weight?
You already know that cheese is good for you, but what’s a good amount of cottage cheese to eat for weight loss? It depends on the type of diet you’re following. Below are simple guidelines to help you decide:
If you’re on a calorie deficit for weight loss, be sure to track your calorie intake from each 100-gram serving of cottage cheese on top of other foods you eat within the day. For example, a person limiting themselves to 1,500 calories per day may get their 200-300 calories from two to three servings of cottage cheese.
However, if you’re not counting calories but are rather relying on a low-carb high-fat diet (like keto) that’s mostly whole foods, your focus would be making sure that you don’t go over 50 grams of carbs per day. Since a 100-gram serving of cottage cheese has only 3.38 grams of carbs, you can have up to three servings of cottage cheese and still have enough room for carbs from other foods.
That said, up to 3 servings (equivalent to 300 grams) of cottage cheese is a good amount to support weight loss, along with other healthy foods in your diet.
What is the Best Time to Eat Cottage Cheese for Weight Loss?
Some resources mention that cottage cheese is great as a bedtime snack for weight loss. Quality protein also allows your muscles to recover from your workouts while you sleep.
And if you’re struggling with low blood glucose at night, eating cottage cheese and other keto-friendly bedtime snacks will help without sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
On the other hand, you can have cottage cheese for breakfast to help you eat less later in the day. We would suggest pairing it with other sources of protein and fiber like eggs, almonds, and blueberries.
Cottage cheese is also great as a pre-workout or post-workout snack (regardless of whether you exercise in the morning, afternoon, or evening) since it contains whey protein.
Which Cottage Cheese is Best for Weight Loss?
The best cottage cheese is one that comes from hormone-free milk, meaning that the cows have not been given synthetic hormones meant to boost milk production. Although there’s no evidence showing that growth-promoting hormones in cows affect humans, it may be best to choose rbGH-free dairy products.
Here are common questions and answers on the topic of cottage cheese for weight loss:
Is cottage cheese good for losing belly fat?
Yes. Eating cottage cheese, along with other satiety-boosting and low-carbohydrate foods, can be used as a long-term strategy to burn fat.
Will I gain weight if I eat cottage cheese everyday?
No, you won’t gain weight as long as you watch your serving size each day. Having up to 3 servings or 300 grams of cottage cheese should not cause weight gain whether you’re on a calorie-restricted diet or cutting carbs.
Does cottage cheese boost metabolism?
Because cottage cheese is packed with protein, yes — it can increase your metabolism and the number of calories you burn.
The Bottom Line
Is cottage cheese good for losing weight? Definitely. It supports weight loss by providing a high amount of protein and fewer carbs and calories in a 100-gram serving. However, keep in mind that cottage cheese is best consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise, whole nutrient-dense foods, and other beneficial habits.