Cottage cheese contains calcium to aid in weight loss.
There is no one magic food that causes you to instantly burn fat. Weight loss occurs only when there is a calorie deficit in your body, meaning you eat fewer calories than you burn in a day during everyday activity and exercise. Certain foods and nutrients, however, can help support your weight-loss efforts. Cottage cheese, while it doesn't necessarily promote fat burning, has many advantages for weight loss.
You accumulated fat stores because you ate more calories than your body needed in a day. The excess energy was put into storage as fat. To burn the fat, or lose the fat, you must create a calorie deficit. This occurs when there is not enough immediate energy in your bloodstream, muscles or liver to fuel your activity. Your body must then access your reserve energy storage in your fat cells, which it burns for fuel. Cottage cheese itself does not cause this fat-burning reaction to occur.
Calcium in Cottage Cheese
Certain nutrients found in cottage cheese and other dairy products may aid in weight loss and fat loss. Calcium is one of these nutrients. A 1-cup serving of low-fat cottage cheese gives you 138 milligrams of calcium. According to a September 2012 study in the journal "Obesity," consuming a dairy-rich diet providing 1,200 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day may increase fat and weight loss, particularly in the midsection of your body. Participants in the study were obese and also restricted calories daily to promote weight loss.
Protein for Fat Loss
Cottage cheese also contains significant amounts of protein to aid in weight loss. Eating 1 cup gives you 28 grams of protein. According to the Institute of Medicine, adults need at least 0.36 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. This protein is essential for supporting growth and repair of body tissues and muscles. Getting enough protein during weight loss helps ensure that you maintain muscle mass and specifically burn fat mass. An August 2012 article in "The British Journal of Nutrition" notes that adequate protein intake also helps improve satiety and may prevent weight cycling or weight gain.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Dairy products that are not fat-free, such as a 1 percent or 2 percent cottage cheese, contain a fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid. According to a May 2007 article in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," a diet rich in conjugated linoleic acid may aid in the reduction of fat mass in your body. A 1-cup serving of 2 percent cottage cheese gives you 25 milligrams of the fatty acid. As an added bonus, conjugated linoleic acid may also provide protection from cancer, diabetes and heart disease, according to Penn State.