50 Ways Greek Yogurt Can Help You Lose Weight
Creative (but ridiculously simple) healthy-eating hacks.
BY K. ALEISHA FETTERS December 1, 2015
Apart from tasting amazing, a one-cup serving of plain Greek yogurt contains 23 grams of slow-to-digest protein, which is critical for keeping you full, satisfied, and hunger pang-free—even when you’re cutting calories, says Laura Jeffers, R.D., of the Cleveland Clinic. And if you reach for non- or low-fat Greek yogurt, it only contains about 150 calories.
Plus, with loads of calcium, vitamin B12, and probiotics (look for “live and active cultures” on your label!), Greek yogurt can help keep you energized, prevent bloating, and ward off potentially weight-wrecking inflammation, she says. Excuse us while we run to Costco to grab a gallon of the stuff.
Though yogurt cup after plastic yogurt cup can get old really quick, this magical food is versatile and perfect for creating weight-loss friendly dips, sauces, and more. Check out these 50 (!) R.D.-approved Greek yogurt hacks you need in your life.
1. Mix Greek yogurt with taco seasoning, salsa, or onion soup mix for a yummy chip dip.
2. Use it in place of sour cream on top of chili, Mexican food, or baked potatoes.
3. Combine it with sugar-free Jell-O mix for a sweet, protein-rich treat.
4. Spread it on your sandwiches in place of mayo for less fat and more flavor.
5. Add Greek yogurt to smoothies and shakes for a powder-free protein boost.
6. Add it to mashed potatoes (or mashed cauliflower) for unbelievable creaminess.
7. Dip strawberries in Greek yogurt, and then freeze them for tasty treats. (Bonus points if you drizzle melted dark chocolate over them, too.)
8. Mix it with ranch-seasoning powder and a bit of milk for a low-cal take on ranch dressing.
9. Use it to cut down on the butter in your recipes. Tip: Instead of using one cup of butter, you can use a quarter-cup of Greek yogurt and a half-cup of butter.
10. Mix together Greek yogurt, fresh-squeezed lime juice, capers, and a pinch of salt and pepper for a quick sauce that goes great on salmon and chicken.
11. Add shredded cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt to hot pasta, along with a little bit of hot pasta water for a quick take on mac and cheese.
12. In recipes, sub out sour cream one-to-one for Greek yogurt.
13. Top your waffles and pancakes with it for a creamy, low-sugar topping. Or mix it with syrup to cut down on the sugar on your plate.
14. Blend it with spices like curry powder or cinnamon, and add a dollop on top of soups for a creamy garnish.
15. Use Greek yogurt in recipes in place of oil. If the recipe calls for one cup of oil, use three-quarters of a cup of Greek yogurt.
16. Combine it with peanut or almond butter for a protein-rich fruit dip.
17. Spread it onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet, top with cranberries and pumpkin seeds, and freeze until firm. Break apart, and enjoy a healthy Greek yogurt bark.
18. Stir it up with cucumbers, garlic, and dill for an awesome homemade Tzatziki sauce.
19. For faux chocolate chip cookie dough that will satisfy all of your slumber-party cravings, mix Greek yogurt with peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips.
20. Add it to your milk for soaking overnight oats or muesli. You'll get extra protein and creaminess.
21. Dish out a dollop of Greek yogurt to cut the spice in any Indian takeout meals.
22. Ditch the cream cheese, and use Greek yogurt (they equate one-to-one) in dessert recipes.
23. Flavor up your fish by combining plain Greek yogurt with lemon juice, a touch of olive oil, and minced garlic.
24. Add it to soups for a creamy consistency without all of the fat of heavy cream. Use it one-for-one in recipes.
25. Use it to lend some healthy creaminess to any pasta sauce recipe or jar. Tomato, pesto—it doesn’t matter!
26. Spice it up with cumin and cayenne, and then use it to top your fish tacos.
27. Use it in place of mayo in chicken, egg, tuna, or potato salad. One cup mayonnaise = one cup Greek yogurt.
28. Mix Greek yogurt with stevia and raw cocoa powder, and add fresh or frozen raspberries on top for a high-protein chocolate mousse.
29. Forgo buttermilk, and opt for Greek yogurt. One cup buttermilk = two-thirds of a cup of Greek yogurt + one quarter-cup of butter.
30. Mix Greek yogurt with finely chopped cucumbers and fresh dill for a beyond-the-basics baked potato topping.
31. Whip it with eggs for a fluffier, more satisfying scramble.
32. Mix it with steamed veggies, herbs, and some lemon juice for a side dish that actually fills you up. ***
33. Pop it in the freezer overnight (with sprinkles?) for fro-yo that doubles as a superfood.
34. Mix it with your favorite spices, and then marinate chicken in it for a juicier main dish.
35. Make deviled eggs a little less caloric by swapping out the mayo for Greek yogurt.
36. Spoon some yogurt into a baggie, snip the end, and squeeze dots onto a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Once they’re frozen, just pop them off and into your fruit bowl.
37. Mix Greek yogurt with hummus for a protein-fiber power combo that goes great with pita, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, or anything else you have laying around the kitchen.
38. Stir a dollop into your favorite guac recipe. The result: OMG flavor for fewer calories.
39. Fold toasted coconut shreds into Greek yogurt for a yummy fruit dip that's just as easy as any cream-cheese concoction you could buy at the supermarket.
40. Mix with garlic and dill, and then use it as the perfect nest for your poached eggs instead of hollandaise. Sop it all up with whole-wheat bread.
41. Mix Greek yogurt with 100 percent fruit juice or frozen fruit, spoon it into ice cube trays, insert popsicle sticks, and pop them in the freezer for frozen sweet treats.
42. Health-ify your Nutella habit by combining it with a spoonful of Greek yogurt.
43. Stir it into your oatmeal to give the carbs a kick of protein.
44. Top your yogurt with beets, arugula, carrots—or any of your favorite veggies—to help you hit your five-a-day.
45. Spoon it into one half of a cantaloupe, and top with berries and nuts for a hearty fruit-based breakfast.
46. Make an even more energizing chia seed pudding by soaking chia seeds overnight in a mixture of almond milk, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla.
47. Combine with minced herbs and olive oil for a bright yet rich salad dressing.
48. Stir it up with honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon for an awesome fruit topping.
49. Top pizza dough with Greek yogurt, either in place of or addition to marinara sauce for an extra creamy, satisfying pizza.
50. Mix Greek yogurt, a ripe banana, and cocoa powder for a nutrient-packed chocolate pudding.
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