I should probably be more specific; why does cheese make me fat?
I am a 29 year old mother of two, and I have lost about 20 lbs and 10% of body fat since going paleo in March. My weight loss obviously stalls and then begins to reverse when I am consuming any significant amount of cheese in my diet, though eating tons of ghee and a little heavy cream don't seem to have any detrimental effect. I also eat homemade kefir every day, and my body seems to thrive on it.
What's the deal? And any tips for avoiding something so evil and delicious? My kids eat alot of cheese, it is soooo easy, and so it is always around.
Dairy products can spike your insulin response, as mentioned in this hack. This can lead to increased appetite and more fat storage, as per carbs. Old time weighlifters used to guzzle milk just for this effect, and for the hormones. Heavy cream and ghee don't, as they are mostly fat.
Here's an article that seems to have some references and background on this.
We are in the same boat. You want to eat "a significant amount" of cheese. Me, I want to eat lots of nuts. We both don't want to get fat.
You know where this riff is leading, right? You need to get real with cheese, me with nuts.
Cheese is pretty dense in calories. For example just 1 ounce of pepper jack cheese is listed as 100 calories on my package. If you are still trying to lose weight, and would like to eat cheese, you might want to note how much you are eating and/or count a few calories to make sure you aren't going overboard. Cheese is super good and it's so easy to eat a bunch of.
As JakeA mentioned, it is calorie dense. Get the richest, tastiest cheeses for yourself (think Gorgonzola instead of string cheese), serve up as an accent to salad, chili, soup, or broiled on veggies. In other words, really enjoy what cheese you DO choose to eat so that you're seeking maximum cheese enjoyment from those calories.
To know exactly how much you are eating, and of what, including how many grams of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, you might be interested in logging and tracking what you eat.
www.fatsecret.com is very easy to use. There are other programs, such as fitday, dailyplate, etc.
Once you know exactly what you are eating, and how much of each macronutrient, it will be easier to determine what food or foods might be keeping you from losing weight.
Most of us are surprised when we see the real numbers.
All the best to you.
I tend to avoid dairy in general, as it makes me gassy and congested. However, my wife and kids do fine with it... Lucky them! I recommend using only full-fat cheese if you are eating cheese, as any reduced-fat ones will be less satiating, and have a higher glycemic index. Most folks doing paleo already know that glycemic index and glycemic load are at least as important as counting calories. IMHO, if you just leave cheese alone and eat meat instead (bacon is my favorite cheese substitute!)you will be doing yourself a big favor.
I notice you said tons of ghee and a little heavy cream. Cheese is made of the protein casein. It's just how you make cheese for the protein coagulation. It can be very problematic for some for this exact reason, concentrating the casein in this process; essentially, your mileage may vary in terms of tolerance to casein. If you have problems with casein, this is a good start. Butter contains insignificant amounts for moderately intolerant individuals, and a little cream may be alright. Other casein intolerant sufferers claim they do alright on heavy cream.
"If you have digestive difficulties, your gut may not have all the enzymes necessary to digest the proteins in casein. Avoiding casein is as simple as avoiding most dairy foods. If you eat raw dairy, note that raw cream contains casein, but that raw butter contains only very insignificant amounts of casein and tends to be better tolerated (unless you cannot digest fats well.)"