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Eat yogurt to lose 81 percent more belly fat and shed pounds, says new study

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Slip sleekly into your skinny jeans, watch the scale move in the right direction and whittle your waistline. Sound like the promises of an infomercial? Wrong. It's the results of a study at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on the benefits of eating yogurt, reported Fitness magazine recently.

Researchers discovered that study participants who ate 18 ounces of yogurt a day along with cutting their calories experienced these benefits:

  • They lost 22 percent more weight.
  • They shed 81 percent more belly fat.
  • They retained one-third more lean muscle mass.

"Fat around your waist produces the hormone cortisol, which tells your body to accumulate even more belly flab," says nutrition professor and lead study author Michael Zemel, PhD.

By eating yogurt, your fat cells release less cortisol, so it's easier to lose weight. And the amino acids in yogurt help burn fat.

Look for a brand that contains "live and active cultures." This means that the yogurt contains probiotics, beneficial bugs that live in your digestive tract and help avoid intestinal infections.

You can make your own yogurt and experiment with adding flavorings such as pure vanilla extract or crushed strawberries. Yogurt makers are available in most kitchen equipment stores as well as online, such as:

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