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Is Yogurt Good For Weight Loss? Yogurt Diet May Help Burn Fat
Yogurt is a go-to food for people looking to add healthy options to their eating and health supplementation plans. This fermented dairy product is great on its own, and it’s ideal for adding to other recipes in place of milk or cream. With a nutritional profile that supports muscle growth, as well as gut and bone health, yogurt offers a wealth of important nutrients that can help you enjoy a healthful lifestyle. With so many health benefits provided, it’s also worth asking: Is yogurt good for losing weight?
Does Yogurt Make You Lose Weight?
Yogurt can assist your metabolism associated with weight loss for several reasons. A yogurt low in sugar and calories can provide all the benefits without sabotaging your weight loss eating plan. Being high in protein, yogurt increases muscle mass, which helps your metabolism burn even more calories. The probiotics in yogurt improve your gut health, which helps keep your digestive system running more efficiently. It is also believed that the calcium in yogurt helps inhibit the accumulation of fat in your body.
Is Yogurt Good For Weight Loss?
There is evidence that yogurt can assist your metabolism with weight loss for several reasons. A yogurt low in sugar and calories can provide all the health benefits without sabotaging your weight loss eating plan. Being high in protein, yogurt increases lean muscle mass, which helps your metabolism burn even more calories. However, for the time during which weight loss in fat is gained in muscle, it can be confusing (and disappointing) to see the equivocal results of your weight loss efforts because the scale doesn’t differentiate fat weight from muscle weight. On the upside, protein-rich foods digest slower, which keeps you feeling full longer and prevents you from getting hungry between meals.
On a microbial level, yogurt provides benefits toward fat loss. Being an excellent source of probiotics, yogurt improves your gut health, which helps your body digest food more efficiently. Findings in animal studies have demonstrated the favorable effect of probiotic consumption on improving body weight while losing body fat.
It is also believed that the calcium in yogurt helps by inhibiting the accumulation of fat in your body. Further studies are required to expand the findings, but both observational studies and controlled trials point toward yogurt being a great food to aid weight loss.
How Yogurt Can Help Lose Weight?
As part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise, yogurt can help you lose weight due to its powerful nutritional content. With vitamins B6 and B12 and minerals like calcium and potassium, yogurt provides nutrients that help your body work more efficiently overall, giving you energy to power through your workouts and keeping your hunger in balance.
Not only is yogurt a helpful element in your weight loss plan, but it also blends with other nutrients for a synergistic weight loss effect. According to lab studies, eating yogurt combined with taking a vitamin D3 supplement over a 12-week period has shown the most potential for helping people achieve their weight loss goals on a reduced-calorie diet.
Beware! It’s essential to keep in mind that not all yogurts are created equal. There are plenty of sugary yogurts with an ingredient profile similar to some desserts or a can of soda. Some even come with mix-ins like cookies and candy, turning them into something more like pudding than yogurt!
Even with the vitamins, minerals, and protein included, none of the options in these “booby-trapped” yogurts will help your weight loss goals. The added sugars and excessive fat content add unnecessary calories that will work against your fitness objectives of losing fat and improving your overall health, making these types of yogurt prime candidates for your “do not eat” list.
When To Eat Yogurt To Lose Weight?
Though your nutrition program may include supplemental fat burners, strategic placement of probiotic yogurt in your daily diet can promote weight loss by kickstarting your body’s ability to burn fat. Yogurt is a great breakfast food, satisfying your hunger and providing a much-needed energy blast early in the day. The high protein content of yogurt also makes it a perfect afternoon snack, preventing prolonged hunger that can lead to random snacking—and extra calories—throughout the day.
Two Yogurt Diet Programs For Weight Loss
With so many yogurt options in the dairy case, which one should you choose? What yogurt is good for weight loss? Your best bets are yogurts that are low in fat, sugar and added flavors. Plain yogurt is a great place to start; you can add your own fruit, flavorings like pure vanilla extract, and sweetener alternatives for a sweeter version. You could also use it as a savory replacement for sour cream to top other healthy dishes.
Greek yogurt has almost twice as much protein and nearly half as much sugar as regular yogurt, though it also has a higher calorie count. But, even with the extra calories, it’s still a great choice when adding high-protein yogurt to your weight loss eating plan.
Another healthy option to add to your weight loss yogurt list is kefir. Whereas yogurt is made by adding cultured bacteria to milk, kefir is a yogurt-like beverage made by fermenting milk with kefir grain. Low in fat and calories and high in protein, kefir is an excellent addition to your healthiest yogurt choices to lend variety to your diet. It’s great on its own as a tangy drink, and it’s even better as a base for a smoothie with healthy fruit and green vegetables added. If you can find kefir in your local grocery store, consider keeping some in your refrigerator as a yogurt alternative in your weight loss diet.
Here are examples of two daily yogurt diet programs for weight loss that will give you some ideas for how to add this healthy food to your eating plan.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (160 calories)
- Fresh fruit such as strawberries or peaches (50 calories)
- Sprinkle with sugar-free sweetener (optional)
- Medium green salad (80 calories)
- Mixed vegetables (100 calories)
- 6 oz. grilled chicken (185 calories)
- 1 cup fat-free or low-fat yogurt (100 calories)
- ¼ cup low-fat granola (100 calories)
- 6 oz. fresh fish, grilled (150 calories)
- Grilled vegetables (100 calories)
- Small baked potato (160 calories)
This plan includes a yogurt breakfast and snack, providing you with the high-protein diet you need when you need it most. It also has clean proteins, various fresh fruits and vegetables, and a few starchy carbohydrates. The basic calorie count for this plan is around 1200 calories, which may be slightly lower than your weight loss plan calls for. However, other healthful options can be added to increase calories and macronutrients for your needs.
As “lean” as this diet may seem, it’s good nutrition; one should not sacrifice good nutrition (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) to lose weight; that’s a bad trade-off and contrary to the whole idea of losing weight to be healthier.
- Smoothie: 1 cup kefir (160 calories)
- 1 cup frozen blueberries (80 calories)
- 1 cup spinach (10 calories)
- ½ cup fat-free milk (45 calories)
- Turkey and veggie wrap: 2 oz turkey (100 calories)
- Fresh vegetables (50 calories)
- Tortilla (100 calories)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (160 calories)
- 1 medium banana (100 calories)
- 6 almonds (40 calories)
- 1 tsp honey (20 calories)
- 2 cups steamed broccoli (70 calories)
- ½ cup whole-grain rice (100 calories)
- 4 oz lean steak (280 calories)
Though similar in total calories, this plan changes up your options and gives you a few alternatives for adding yogurt for weight loss into your daily eating habits. Because the healthiest forms of yogurt can be a bit difficult for the palate, the more low-calorie, high-flavor ways you can come up with to add taste and texture, the easier it will be to keep to your mindful eating plan. And because yogurt adds to your daily protein, fat, and carbohydrate counts, be sure to factor it into your tracking, even when using it as a topping. Even yogurt’s calories are not invisible!
The Bottom Line
If you’ve been wondering whether yogurt is good for a diet to help the number on your scale go down, the answer is a resounding yes! Studies have shown that yogurt does assist with helping people lose weight for several reasons, one of which is that the calcium in yogurt helps with thermogenesis – your body’s process of burning fat.
As a low-sugar, low-calorie substitute for richer foods, yogurt helps you ratchet down your calorie intake to keep you heading in the right direction. The variety of ways in which you can introduce nutritious yogurt into your daily menus can help you succeed with your weight-loss objectives without sacrificing flavor or enjoyment!
+ 3 sources
Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here
- Aoun, A., Darwish, F. and Hamod, N. (2020). The Influence of the Gut Microbiome on Obesity in Adults and the Role of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics for Weight Loss. Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, [online] 25(2), pp.113–123. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7333005/.
- Journal of the American College of Nutrition. (2013). Calcium and Weight: Clinical Studies. [online] Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2002.10719213.
- Zhu, W., Cai, D., Wang, Y., Lin, N., Hu, Q., Qi, Y., Ma, S. and Amarasekara, S. (2013). Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation facilitated Fat loss in overweight and obese college students with very-low calcium consumption: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal, [online] 12(1). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3599592/.