4 Yogurt Habits That Jumpstart Weight Loss, Says Dietitian
Making yogurt a daily healthy eating habit is always a good idea. The benefits of this tasty, creamy snack are endless. According to WebMD, yogurt that contains active cultures could give your gut health a nice little boost, helping with constipation and even lactose intolerance. This nutrient-dense treat is also a stellar source of calcium and protein, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Yogurt is even a great option to grab and enjoy if you're looking to lose weight. So we've rounded up the best yogurt habits for weight loss, according to an expert. Get ready to take your healthy snacking game to the next level.
Eat This, Not That! chatted with Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, an award-winning registered dietitian, book author, and recipe developer who sits on our Medical Expert Board. She explains, "Yogurt can be a fantastic food to include in a weight loss-supporting diet. It contains high-quality protein and, depending on which one you pick, it can have some satiating fat, too. It is versatile, economical, and delicious. Many yogurts contain live and active cultures, which can help support healthy and diverse gut microbiota. This may, in turn, help support weight loss goals."
What are the weight loss benefits of yogurt?
Research links yogurt consumption to reduced or improved body weight. A study performed by the University of Tennessee revealed that participants who consumed three servings of fat-free yogurt on a daily basis—within a reduced-calorie diet—dropped 61% more fat and 22% more body weight than individuals who just cut back on calories. The individuals who ate yogurt also experienced a whopping 81% decrease in belly fat when compared to the calorie-cutting group, according to WebMD.
Now that we've established just how beneficial this snack is to include in your diet, let's talk about how you can up your game with these yogurt habits for weight loss. Keep reading to learn more.
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Pair your yogurt with a banana that's slightly underripe.
If you're a banana fan, this one's for you. According to Manaker, a banana that's just a bit underripe is a solid source of prebiotic fiber. (And we all know that bumping up your fiber intake can result in weight loss—science says so!)
"Prebiotics fuel probiotics, including the probiotics that may be found in your yogurt," Manaker explains, adding, "Eating both together can support a healthy gut microbiota, which may support weight loss efforts." So the next time you grab some yogurt, don't forget the slightly underripe banana to go with it!
Top off your yogurt with a handful of walnuts.
Walnuts are chock-full of satiating nutrients, including protein, fiber, and healthy fats. According to Manaker, "Including walnuts in your yogurt dish can help you feel fuller longer, potentially helping you eat less after your yogurt meal and help you lose weight." That sounds like a pretty sweet weight loss deal to us.
Be mindful of your portion size.
Okay, we've raved about how healthy and totally awesome yogurt can be for more than one reason, but as with all good things, you don't want to overdo it. Manaker warns that including too much of a high-sugar, high-fat yogurt in one portion can actually be detrimental to your waistline. Be mindful of portion control when enjoying this tasty snack so you don't hurt your progress.
Add fresh fruit for sweetness—not added sugar sources.
Last but not least, sweeten your yogurt with fresh fruit, and ditch the added sugar sources. Sure, maple syrup and honey taste undeniably good, but Manaker points out, "Opting for fruit for added sweetness instead of these sweeteners can help keep blood sugars in-check, thanks to the fiber included in these foods, which may support weight loss goals."