Did you know that a diet including a good amount of calcium protects women from gaining “visceral fat”?– visceral fat is a dangerous fat that is deep in the abdominal cavity that collects against your organs. Studies in Journal of Nutrition note that people who consume less than 600 mg of calcium a day weigh more, have more body fat, a greater waist circumference and total abdominal fat tissue; however, researches find people who consume more calcium weigh less. BUT WHY!? The studies showed that calcium does this by converting a portion of dietary energy into heat rather than stored body fat. When people reduce their dairy consumption, the body sends a signal to make more fat to conserve the calcium while producing “higher levels of calcitriol, a hormone that triggers increased production of fat cells. Extra calcium in your diet suppresses calcitriol, leading to the breakdown of more fat, making fat cells leaner and trimmer” (Zemel). The author notes that a high dairy diet can boost weight loss as much as 70%!! His experiment gave overweight people three daily servings of yogurt, totaling 1,100 mg of calcium while the other group received 400-500 mg of calcium supplements. The results were that the yogurt eater’s waist size dropped more than an inch and a half and their weight dropped an average of 13 pounds compared with the supplement group, which lost six pounds or less and one quarter of an inch from their waist. Good sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, and low fat cheese!
Speaking of calcium, it’s in one of the easiest snacks and meals to make…yogurt bowls! I love having them in the afternoon for a snack or even as a meal because of how delicious and filling they are! I like to make mine using Greek yogurt, almond milk, nuts, fruit, and oatmeal or cereal! To see more why I love yogurt and its healthy benefits–> Check out this post
Try making your own!
- 6-8 oz vanilla, plain yogurt, or any flavor (I prefer Greek light and fit yogurt, only 80 calories!)
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- add fruit: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, apples
- add 1/4 cup cereal or oatmeal or granola
- chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans or other nuts
optional: honey, peanut butter (try pb2), almond butter, cinnamon, protein powder
Mix together & you’ve got a delicious yogurt bowl! If you use Greek yogurt, you’ll provide yourself with more satisfying protein to keep you fuller longer. My creation usually ends up having 15-20 grams of protein & being about 200-250 calories depending on what toppings I decide to use!