The key to losing weight is to take in fewer calories than your body burns, which is often easier said than done, especially when you're lured in by a yogurt and oatmeal diet plan that claims easy and fast weight loss. Oatmeal and yogurt are two foods that have been shown to increase satiety and boost weight loss while dieting, and as part of a healthy meal plan, they may help you lose five pounds over time. But an oatmeal and yogurt diet can get boring really fast. Consult with your doctor before you start any weight loss diet.
Weight Loss: Oatmeal and Yogurt
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you consume to lose a pound. Creating a daily 500-calorie deficit should result in a 5-pound weight loss in approximately five weeks. A meal of 1 cooked cup of oatmeal and 5 ounces of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt with 1/2-cup sliced strawberries weighs in at around 350 calories. The meal also provides 20 grams of protein, 39 grams of carbohydrate, 5.5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of fat.
Your two-meal oatmeal and yogurt diet, plus one 100-calorie snack, and a healthy 500-calorie dinner will add up to a 1,300 calorie meal plan. Most people can lose weight on a 1,300-calorie plan. Depending on activity level, men may need to add 200 to 300 more calories by consuming a larger dinner or higher calorie snacks.
Daily Yogurt Boosts Fat Loss
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein, two nutrients that have been proven to raise the body's metabolic rate and boost fat loss. An April 2004 study published in Obesity Research found that individuals consuming a calorie-restricted diet high in dairy products lost 70 percent more weight than those limiting calories only.
Another study published in the International Journal of Obesity in January 2005 found that including yogurt in a low-calorie diet significantly increases fat loss, specifically in the trunk region. To avoid excess calories, flavor your plain low-fat yogurt with a drizzle of honey, a sprinkling of cinnamon or choose a yogurt with a calorie-free natural sweetener, such as stevia. Greek yogurt provides even more protein than traditional yogurt and less natural sugar.
Eating Oatmeal for Weight Loss
Oatmeal is an excellent weight loss food because of its fiber content. The insoluble fiber contained in oatmeal slows digestion and helps you feel full for longer, and the cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber may help burn belly fat. In a September 2012 study published in Obesity, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that diets higher in soluble fiber were associated significantly with lower accumulation of belly fat over time. Choose old-fashioned oats or quick oats rather than packaged instant oatmeal, which has added salt and sugar. Sweeten your oatmeal with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey and top it with fresh fruit.
Finish With a Healthy Dinner
Oatmeal and yogurt should keep you satisfied throughout the day, but don't ruin your plan by overindulging at dinner. Choose a sensible dinner consisting of a lean protein source, several servings of non-starchy veggies, and a small serving of a starch or whole grain. For example, a 4-ounce grilled chicken breast with 1 cup of steamed broccoli, a small baked sweet potato and a lettuce salad or a 5-ounce grilled salmon fillet served with 1 cup of roasted asparagus and 2/3-cup brown rice are healthy dinners that will keep your weight loss on track. Aim for a 500- to 700-calorie dinner, depending on your activity level.
Beware of Boredom
Your oatmeal and yogurt meal plan may help you stay the course in terms of keeping calories under control as you lose the weight, but eating the same foods day after day can get old really fast. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, one of the reasons fad diets don't work for long-term weight loss is because of their rigid menus.
So, to keep your taste buds guessing, ditch the rigid oatmeal and yogurt meal plan every once in a while and replace your 350-calorie meal with something else. Use a calorie app to help you stay within your allotted calorie budget so you continue to lose. Healthy diet-friendly substitutes may include a hard-boiled and toast, a bowl of whole-grain cereal with nonfat milk, a bowl of broth-based soup with whole-grain crackers or a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread with mustard, lettuce and tomato.
- International Journal of Obesity: "Dairy Augmentation of Total and Central Fat Loss in Obese Subjects"
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: "Protein, Weight Management and Satiety"
- Obesity Research: "Calcium and Dairy Acceleration of Weight and Fat Loss During Energy Restriction in Obese Adults"
- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center: "Soluble Fiber Strikes a Blow to Belly Fat"
- United States Department of Agriculture: "Estimated Calorie Needs per Day by Age, Gender, and Physical Activity Level"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Yogurt, Greek, Plain, Lowfat"
- American Academy of Family Physicians: "What It Takes to Lose Weight"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Staying Away From Fad Diets"
- USDA Food Nutrient Database: "Cereals, Oats, Regular and Quick, Unenriched, Cooked With Water (Includes Boiling and Microwaving), Without Salt"
- Obesity: "Lifestyle Factors and 5‐Year Abdominal Fat Accumulation in a Minority Cohort: The IRAS Family Study"