20 Delicious Yogurt-Based Recipes for Weight Loss
by Cassandra Talmadge
When it comes to weight loss, fat burning and fitness fuel, few foods are more powerful than yogurt.
Among the best yogurt brands, you can find varieties that offer up to 20 g of protein for less than 150 calories. And protein aside, it’s loaded with probiotics that aid in digestion, plus calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for bone health. But there’s no reason just to eat the glorious goop by itself. We’ve rounded up 20 amazing recipes from Instagram that incorporate the superfood in everything from breakfast to dessert. Get inspired.
Grilled Pineapple Kabobs with Honey Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Looking for an excuse to fire up that grill one last time this year? These Grilled Pineapple Kabobs with a Honey Yogurt Dipping are it. They’re simple, delicious, and perfect to pair with chicken recipes, as an afternoon pick-me-up or even as a guiltless dessert. The natural sugars in honey and pineapple are enough to satisfy any sweet tooth, and one cup of pineapple provides 76 percent of your RDA of manganese, a mineral that’s essential for energy production.
SPICY SALMON TACOS WITH YOGURT
If you don’t do Taco Tuesday at least once a month, you might want to start. Chobani’s Spicy Salmon Tacos are packed with healthy ingredients including tomato, apple, avocado, chili powder, and salmon. Don’t let the fish’s fat content dissuade you. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that participants who ate three 5-ounce servings of salmon per week for four weeks (as part of a low-calorie diet) lost 2.2 pounds more compared to those who ate a restricted-calorie diet that didn't include fish. Regularly consuming the right seafood can do wonders for your waist. Check out the 6 Best Fish for Weight Loss.
GREEK YOGURT COOKIES
Instagrammer Gabriela Paz illustrates how flawlessly greek yogurt blends into chocolate chip cookies, packing in protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Thank the Greek Gods for this one.
BLUEBERRY & PEAR PANCAKES WITH YOGURT
These Blueberry & Pear Pancakes boast muscle-building protein, cancer-fighting antioxidants and belly-slimming fiber. Pears help keep hunger at bay thanks to pectin, "a soluble fiber that attracts water and turns to gel, slowing down digestion," says Jennifer Glockner, RDN, and author of the Smartee Plate series. And a medium pear contains 6 grams (24% of your daily value).
FROZEN BANANA AND STRAWBERRY YOGURT
Bored of the same old post-workout fuel? Try this Strawberry Banana & Coconut “Ice Cream.” Bananas are an ideal post-workout bite, quickly replenishing depleted energy stores and warding off muscle cramps via their stores of glucose and potassium. Throw a muscle-building protein in the mix, like greek yogurt, and you’ve got the perfect formula for recovery. To recreate this recipe, chop a banana into thick chunks, dip them in strawberry Greek yogurt, sprinkle or roll them in coconut and freeze for an hour. Bananas aid more than your workout: Check out these ways eating a banana can really help you lose weight.
LAMB MEATBALLS WITH YOGURT DIPPING SAUCE
Yogurt-based dipping sauce adds an extra protein kick to these nutrient-dense lamb meatballs, perfect for an appetizer or a side dish that delivers a serious punch of iron, zinc, B12, and niacin. According to the USDA, a 3 oz serving of cooked lamb with the fat trimmed yields 160 calories, a whopping 26 g protein and only 5 g of fat.
CREAMY CUCUMBER AND BOK CHOY GAZPACHO
This refreshing creamy cucumber and bok choy gazpacho with toasted coconut, mint, and dill just might help you lose weight in a surprising way. A study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month! Not to mention, consuming mint sends signals to your brain that it's time to stop eating. Hara hachi bu is a Japanese expression that means “Eat until 80% full,” but it’s easier said than done—unless you let mint do the work for you!
CARAMELIZED APPLE AND GREEK YOGURT PARFAIT
Running out of things to make with the fall apples you’ve stocked up on? Try this seasonal parfait of oats, cinnamon, and caramelized apple layered between non-fat greek yogurt. When it comes to superfoods, apples are among the elite—rich in filling fiber, vitamins and the antioxidant quercetin, which is an endurance booster. According to Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, LDN, a Nashville-based nutritionist and author of Schedule Me Skinny: Plan to Lose Weight and Keep it Off in Just 30 Minutes a Week, “Quercetin can help to create new mitochondria in the body's cells and increase one's oxidative capacity, which signifies the maximum amount of oxygen your muscles can use.” Want to learn more? Check out 6 Foods that Boost Workout Endurance.
BAKED SWEET POTATO WITH HERBED YOGURT SAUCE
Dress up your sweet potatoes with a creamy herbed yogurt sauce from this Instagrammer. Not only is this starchy vegetable packed with lasting energy and nutrients, but it can actually force your body to metabolize calories before they can be stored as fat. How? Sweet potatoes are rich in powerful antioxidant carotenoids, which help stabilize blood-sugar levels and lower insulin resistance, preventing calories from being converted into fat. Make them a regular part of your diet with these 10 Sweet Potato Recipes for Weight Loss.
GREEK YOGURT CHEESECAKE
Consuming calcium-rich foods like yogurt and cheese may help you fight the battle of the bulge. Studies suggest that the calcium in dairy prevents fat storage on a cellular level. This recipe’s Greek yogurt and cheese are rich in satiating protein and good fats. Debating what dessert to bring to Thanksgiving this year? Try this, and throw some pumpkin into the mix.
BEETROOT AND GOAT CHEESE DIP
Did you know that eating beets can actually improve athletic performance? According to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, runners who ate baked beets before a 5k ran five percent faster! This was attributed to nitrates, a natural chemical that increases endurance and lowers blood pressure. Looking to improve your performance at the gym? Whip up a beet and goat cheese recipe like this one which also includes yogurt.
PUMPKIN YOGURT WITH SPICED GRANOLA
This yogurt with spiced granola combines pumpkin puree, plain greek yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and pure maple syrup—the best syrup for both your taste buds and waistline. When it comes to 100% pure maple syrup, a little bit goes a long way, and the less syrup you have to pour, the fewer calories and sugar you take in. Plus, studies indicate that artificial sweeteners can actually increase your appetite and lead to weight gain. Yikes! Stick to the 100% real stuff.
Scrambled Eggs w/ Greek Yogurt on Toasted Whole Wheat Buns
This is a new one—even to us—but it makes perfect sense. Adding a dollop of Greek yogurt to your eggs ups the protein count and fluffiness. And don't just reach for the whites—the yolks contain the fat-fighting nutrient choline. Aside from aiding in weight loss, whole eggs are also loaded with amino acids, antioxidants and iron. Check out these 8 Fat-Burning Ways to Eat Eggs.
PUMPKIN PIE SPICE FRUIT DIP
Don’t wait ‘til Thanksgiving to get your pumpkin pie fix. This Pumpkin Pie Spice Fruit Dip has belly-slimming pumpkin, muscle-building protein, fat-burning cinnamon and anti-inflammatory ginger.
BEET SALAD WITH LEMON POPPY SEED YOGURT
We love the bright contrasting colors in this dish, and more colors equals more nutrients. Consume this meal around a workout and you’re basically on legal steroids. Kansas State University found that drinking beet juice caused a 38 percent increase in blood flow to muscles, particularly “fast twitch” muscles that affect quick bursts of speed and strength.
GREEK YOGURT FROSTING WITH NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER
This one is low in sugar, high in protein and rich enough to make you think you’re committing a sin. Just make sure you stick with natural peanut butter. “Peanut butters are most often processed with hydrogenated oils and sugar, so make sure you check the label carefully,” cautions Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN of Middleberg Nutrition. You can also mix things up with some of these nut butters.
PROTEIN POWDER STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
Calling all gym rats: this Strawberry Shortcake recipe will aid in muscle gains. Just be wary: Many protein powders have labels that read like a science experiment. Opt for one of these Vegan Protein Powder Lines That Are All-Natural instead.
FROZEN YOGURT BARK
With the holidays just around the corner, bark recipes are a go-to. This Frozen Yogurt Bark includes flat-belly foods like chocolate, coconut and strawberries. Just be choosy about your chocolate. According to Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition, “Chocolate should be as minimally processed as possible to offer the most nutritional benefit. Choose chocolate that is 70% cocoa or higher, and aim for one that has no milk solids, extra syrups (glucose syrup, sugar) or other unpronounceable ingredients.”
AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, avocado eaters have lower body mass indexes and smaller waist circumferences than those who don’t consume the fruit. That’s only one of the reasons we love this play on chicken salad composed of pulled chicken, avocado, diced red onion and Greek yogurt.
HOMEMADE BANANA BERRY FROZEN YOGURT BARS
Step aside, ice cream sandwiches. Potassium-rich bananas and belly-fat-blasting blueberries combined with yogurt and sandwiched between graham crackers in these frozen yogurt bars. Frozen banana “ice cream” is a secret weight-loss weapon worth discovering: We’ve rounded up some awesome Weight Loss Recipes for Frozen Banana Ice Cream.
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