Belly fat is considered to be dangerous especially for our internal organs. Research has shown that belly fat is associated with many of the most dreaded diseases, including diabetes, dementia, impotence, heart disease, strokes, kidney damage, and even some types of cancer. If you can pinch more than an inch around your tummy, you might be in trouble. Even people who are not overweight are at high risk for a heart attack and diabetes if they store most of their fat in the belly instead of the buttocks, hips, and thighs.
However, good news is that you can shed that extra fat around your stomach by eating a few servings of yogurt every day.
If you’ve been trying to lose weight – whether that annoying belly fat or total body fat – you may have been told that eating fermented foods such as plain yogurt can be beneficial. The fact is that following a healthy lifestyle is the best strategy to activate your body’s fat-burning engine and speed up your weight loss. Yogurt is one such food that contributes to good gut health, which is necessary to keep you healthy and fit.
Researchers have found a link between gut microbiota and obesity. For instance, a research review published in Nutrition and Metabolism showed that intestinal microflora may have a positive effect on energy metabolism and body weight regulation. Moreover, the calories in yogurt are composed of protein, carbohydrate, and fat – all of which contribute to your daily calorie intake and can help you stay in a calorie-deficit fat loss.
A study conducted at the University of Tennessee found obese adults who ate three servings of fat-free yogurt daily as part of a calorie-reduced diet lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat than those who simply cut calories.
Experts say, if you consume low-fat yogurt before meals it prevents fat from entering your cells because of the high calcium content of the yogurt. It is also low in carbs and sugar, but incredibly high in protein. Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics, which are live microorganisms that are good for your ‘gut microbiome’.
University of Tennessee scientist Michael Zemel, PhD, put 34 obese people on a low-calorie diet. Sixteen of them got pills with 400 to 500 mg of calcium per day. The other 18 people ate a higher calcium diet — enough yogurt to give them 1,100 mg of calcium per day.
After 12 weeks, everybody lost a lot of fat. The comparison group had six pounds less fat, and the yogurt group lost about 10 pounds of fat. But those who ate light yogurt in the General Mills-sponsored study looked different from those who didn’t. The yogurt eaters’ waists shrank by more than an inch and a half. The comparison subjects lost about a quarter of an inch from their waist size.
“Not only did yogurt help the study participants lose more weight — the average weight loss was 13 pounds — they were about twice as effective at maintaining lean muscle mass,” Zemel says in a news release. “This is a critical issue when dieting. You want to lose fat, not muscle. Muscle helps burn calories, but it is often compromised during weight loss.”
Zemel’s earlier research shows that calcium — especially dairy calcium — slows down the body’s fat-making process. He says that dieters should eat three servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy products every day.
“The moral of the calcium story is to not dump dairy when you’re dieting,” Zemel says. “Not only is it critical to keep your calcium levels high so you won’t lose bone density, but it will also help you maintain your muscle mass and increase your fat loss.”
Thus the studies have indicated that yogurt can be an effective food to trim tummy fat faster.
It’s important to note that Greek yogurt is a good belly fat food for those who can tolerate dairy. It contains 14 grams of protein per serving, so it will keep you full, and it has no sodium to make you puffy. It’s great for breakfast, lunch, or a healthy snack.
Opt for plain yogurt that is high in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients that are beneficial for your body, particularly your digestive system. Try adding fat-burning ingredients like fresh berries and almonds to your bowl of yogurt for a delicious and filling snack or breakfast. Also, ensure that you make water your go-to beverage of choice to yield fruitful results.