The Magic of Yogurt

Incorporating the French staple in your diet.

By now you are well aware of my love affair with yogurt. I’ve long employed the creamy treat as my “secret weapon” and I’ve gone to great lengths to expose its beneficial dietary effects. Recently, I stumbled across some nutrition facts about yogurt that shocked me, and I wanted to share them with you.

It turns out that yogurt actually promotes weight loss by accelerating your body’s fat-burning capabilities. By eating one half-cup serving of yogurt twice a day for a year, you can lose up to 10 pounds of body fat. This is especially true for those of you trying to lose a few inches in the waistline; many studies have called yogurt the “tummy trimmer.”

And here’s why: when the calcium in yogurt is broken down in your body, it produces heat inside your fat cells. There’s a big scientific word for this process: thermogenesis. Long story short, this helps to burn off the fats cells and convert them into energy and muscle.

Now, what’s unique to yogurt in this burn-off process? Many foods contain calcium: orange juice, milk, cheese, ice cream, etc. But it’s the living and active cultures in the yogurt that fuel the cellular fat-burning process.

So what are you waiting for? Time to get more yogurt, whether store-bought or homemade, into your diet, and now!

Here are some great tips for incorporating yogurt into your daily diet in place of offenders:

  • Swap a few tablespoons of yogurt for mayonnaise in dips, salads and salad dressings.
  • Try a dollop of yogurt on a baked potato instead of sour cream. This can work as a suitable replacement in sour cream dips as well.
  • Use yogurt in smoothies or milkshakes as opposed to milk and ice cream.
  • Try as a soup garnish.
  • Make yogurt cheese: Place yogurt in a coffee filter over a container, allow the whey to drip out and mix the yogurt cheese with herbs of your choice (scallions, chives, garlic, etc). Yogurt cheese has the consistency of cream cheese, but contains much less fat. Spread on bagels, crackers or mix into dips.

And if you want to really bring out your inner French woman, learn how to make it at home!