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Kefir For Weight Loss: 5 Reasons To Start Using Kefir In 2023

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Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

kefir weight loss

If you are looking for a healthy way to drop weight, consider adding a cup or two of kefir to your diet. Kefir is a protein-rich food that helps boost metabolic activity and keeps you feeling full, reducing the desire to overeat. Enjoying kefir with your morning meal is a great way to satisfy daily requirements for one serving of dairy and lose weight.

How To Use Kefir For Weight Loss 

Making an effort to consume 1 to 2 servings of 8 ounces of kefir every day is a safe way to use kefir for weight loss. Kefir is a fermented, protein-rich, low-fat food that staves off hunger and helps you lose weight. Many people struggle with weight loss because of imbalanced gut flora, overeating, and impacted bowels. Regularly consuming kefir can soften stools, reduce constipation, correct digestive problems, and keep you feeling satiated longer. 

Why Does Kefir Cause Weight Loss?

Struggling with obesity, inflammation, and overeating is often a result of your diet, hormones, and the body’s metabolic rate. Consuming kefir supports a healthier metabolism because of multiple factors. The probiotics in kefir impact how calories are absorbed, balance the gut’s microbiome, and reduce inflammation.

The gut and digestive issues are significant to maintaining a healthy weight and metabolic activity. Consuming fermented foods like kefir[1] for weight loss improves digestive health and keeps you feeling satisfied, so the desire to overeat diminishes. 

Kefir also contains the fatty acid CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid. CLA has undergone clinical studies for supporting the reduction of body fat, contributing to weight loss. The consumption of foods that encourage a balanced digestive system improves metabolism and eliminates toxins, waste, and excess weight.

Health Benefits Of Kefir

Use kefir for weight loss and because it contains many proven health benefits. If you wish to lose weight and also boost gut health, check out some reasons to add kefir to your diet. Kefir offers the following when regularly consumed.

  • It usually contains over 30 probiotics and microorganisms that are safe to consume and improve the microbiome of the gut for improved digestion.
  • Consuming kefir over time has been shown to improve lactose intolerance.
  • Adding kefir to your diet has been connected to lowering cholesterol and enjoying healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Kefir provides calcium, K2, B2, B12, protein, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Kefir is a highly versatile food and is consumable in multiple ways. Aside from drinking it, add it to cereal like milk, smoothies, or salad dressing. Get creative in the kitchen and enjoy how kefir’s tangy and tart flavors add depth to your meals and snacks. If dairy products are a concern, water kefir can be consumed for similar nutritional benefits.

Dairy-based kefir is not the only nutritional powerhouse around, as water kefir may offer unique antioxidant properties[2]. Instead of relying on cow or goat milk, water kefir is a dairy-free mixture of sugar, water, and kefir grains to jumpstart fermentation. Milk-based kefir is highly favored because it contains more strains of microorganisms and probiotics than water kefir. However, both types of kefir provide ample health benefits for weight loss and gut health.

5 Ways Kefir Supports Weight Loss

We offer five good reasons to add kefir to your diet other than supporting healthy weight loss. Like fermented foods such as kimchi and kombucha, kefir is rich in nutrients and includes plenty of benefits for the body.

  • The probiotics in kefir improve metabolism and break down fat.
  • Consuming kefir daily balances the gut microbiome[3], reducing bloating, constipation, and digestive problems that trigger the body to hold onto excess weight.
  • The protein, vitamins, and nutrients in kefir keep hunger in check, reducing the desire to overeat.
  • Kefir is a low-fat food that includes fat-burning CLA.
  • As a rich source of dietary calcium, kefir promotes bone health and supports weight loss via breaking down fat using thermogenesis.

Improves Metabolic Activity

Kefir has been linked to increased metabolic activity because it contains vitamin K2, dietary calcium, and probiotics. These three beneficial elements help boost metabolic activity, shrink fat cells, and help flush the body of excess weight and toxins. Keep in mind that gut bacteria influence body weight and metabolism, so consuming kefir helps regulate the body’s systems.

Reduces Digestive Problems 

A stressed-out unbalanced digestive system leads to bloating, flatulence, inflammation, constipation, and difficulty losing weight. Consuming kefir brings the gut’s microbiome and digestive system into balance, reducing persistent issues. Kefir contains probiotics that improve digestion, transit time for waste elimination, and control hunger.

A Rich Source Of Protein That Fights Off Hunger

Diets lacking in protein, fiber, and vitamins contribute to overeating and feeling hungry. A serving of 6 ounces of dairy-based kefir provides an average of 100 calories and 4 grams of protein. Consuming kefir will facilitate weight loss[4]. However, be careful not to drink too much, as it can create the opposite effect. Replacing foods that are high in sugar and fat with kefir keeps you feeling fuller and less hungry.

Includes CLA To Burn Fat

If you are looking for a way to break down fat, consume kefir for CLA. Research and studies have shown a connection between the consumption of CLA and an increase in specific proteins and enzymes in the body that target fat. CLA revs up metabolism, shrinks fat cells, and triggers fat cell death to lose weight.

Includes Dietary Calcium That Burns Fat

Consuming dietary calcium is integral to supporting bone health and reducing fat. Additionally, separate studies conducted on animals[5] and adult[6] and adolescent female[7] humans, show dairy products promote weight management. Dietary calcium within kefir helps to suppress calcitriol which triggers fat cell breakdown in the body. Additionally, dietary calcium helps accelerate metabolism via thermogenesis and reduces fatty tissue.


When adding kefir to your diet, your body will need time to adjust. Using kefir for weight loss can potentially trigger cramping, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, gas, and bloating after consumption. The body’s digestive system needs time to get used to the presence of probiotics. There are no adverse effects for pregnant or lactating women who consume kefir, as long as it is pasteurized and not raw.

As the gut microbiome becomes balanced, digestive issues typically subside after 2 to 4 days of daily consumption. Be cautious when consuming kefir if taking drugs to treat certain autoimmune diseases, have a problem with fungal or yeast infections, or have a sensitive stomach. Consult your physician for guidance.

+ 7 sources

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  1. Plessas, S., Nouska, C., Mantzourani, I., Kourkoutas, Y., Alexopoulos, A. and Bezirtzoglou, E. (2016). Microbiological Exploration of Different Types of Kefir Grains. Fermentation, [online] 3(1), p.1. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2311-5637/3/1/1
  2. ‌Proquest.com. (2013). ANTIOXIDANT POTENCY OF WATER KEFIR – ProQuest. [online] Available at: https://www.proquest.com/openview/c94fb282efc9ac7a278cc8f6707ed6b3/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1966353
  3. ‌Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. (2019). Modern perspectives on the health benefits of kefir in next generation sequencing era: Improvement of the host gut microbiota. [online] Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398.2018.1428168
  4. ‌Gaware, V., Kotade, K., Dolas, R., Dhamak, K., Somwanshi, S., Nikam, V., Khadse, A. and Kashid, V. (n.d.). THE MAGIC OF KEFIR: A REVIEW. [online] Available at: https://pharmacologyonline.silae.it/files/newsletter/2011/vol1/034.gaware.pdf
  5. ‌The Physician and Sportsmedicine. (2015). Proposed Role of Calcium and Dairy Food Components in Weight Management and Metabolic Health. [online] Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3810/psm.2009.06.1707
  6. ‌Lee, K. and Cho, W. (2017). The Consumption of Dairy Products Is Associated with Reduced Risks of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Korean Women but not in Men. Nutrients, [online] 9(6), p.630. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/6/630
  7. Wadolowska, L., Ulewicz, N., Sobas, K., Wuenstel, J., Slowinska, M., Niedzwiedzka, E. and Czlapka-Matyasik, M. (2018). Dairy-Related Dietary Patterns, Dietary Calcium, Body Weight and Composition: A Study of Obesity in Polish Mothers and Daughters, the MODAF Project. Nutrients, [online] 10(1), p.90. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/1/90

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Alex Smith is a NY-based content writer who enjoys covering natural health, supporting wellness, personal finance, history, and outdoor living. When he is not behind a keyboard living the wordsmith life, he enjoys visiting landmark destinations and bookstores.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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