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Why Greek Yogurt Helps You Lose Weight

Why Greek Yogurt Helps You Lose Weight
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 5 min read

Greek yogurt has been hailed as one of the best weight loss foods for several reasons. It's packed with protein which is vital for muscle retention and to keep your skin healthy. Greek yogurt is also convenient which is another main reason why it has become such a popular weight loss food. It can be easily mixed with fruit and it works as a great substitute for sour cream or mayonnaise. You do have to be careful to pick the right Greek yogurt brand, but once you have found a brand that doesn't have sweeteners and additives there's a lot that you can do to integrate it into your diet for weight loss purposes.


Greek yogurt has a high protein content and low fat

Most Greek yogurt brands are high in protein content which is why they are a great choice for weight loss, and there aren't that many foods that are as high as Greek yogurt in protein per serving. One serving of Greek yogurt has approximately 17 grams of protein per serving which is excellent for such a small serving size. Greek yogurt provides you with a quick and convenient way to get a higher protein intake without having to add very many more calories to your diet, and as long as you control your sugar intake with Greek yogurt it can be a great way to increase your protein intake.


Why is protein so important for weight loss?

Protein is essential for weight loss, and any diets that suggest you to avoid it or to reduce your intake are not likely to be successful. High protein diets can help you control your appetite and reduce your hunger levels, and they can help reduce the desire to snack. People on high protein diets often eat fewer calories, and the amount can total up to 440 calories per day or so on average [1]. Eating more protein helps you eat a lower amount of calories a lot more easily, and most people don't get enough protein in their diets.


Protein reduces your appetite for carbohydrates and it helps to promote muscle growth and repair. Your needs for protein will increase after working out, and increasing your protein intake on those particular days is very beneficial for building muscle, which in turn makes it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight. Appetite control is essential for weight loss, and ensuring that you get enough protein in your diet is very helpful for appetite control. Eating protein by itself won't necessarily lead to weight loss, but you have to be sure that you're getting enough of it. Many people recommend about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight if you are exercising, and a smaller amount if you aren't, closer to 0.6 grams per pound, but everyone is different and you can discuss this with your nutritionist or medical doctor.


Greek yogurt has probiotics that help you lose weight

Another main benefit of Greek yogurt is that it has probiotics which further help you lose weight, improve your digestive health and have several other positive effects on the body. The probiotics in Greek yogurt help you to lose weight by protecting your digestive system from bad bacteria and reducing inflammation levels [2]. Several studies have tied inflammation to the onset of belly fat, because inflammation causes the body to produce hormones that trigger the storage of body fat and put it in a "€œstressed"€Â mode. Belly fat increases when the body is stressed and adrenal hormones can trigger a wide range of other health problems such as high blood pressure.


Of course Greek yogurt is not the only food that fights inflammation by any means. There are dozens of fruits and vegetables that can reduce inflammation levels including blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, fish like mackerel and tuna and others that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, nuts like walnuts and almonds and many others. Greek yogurt goes well with several of the fruits that fight inflammation like blueberries, cherries, oranges and strawberries and that adds even more to their inflammation fighting effect. There are plenty of other health benefits to these fruits of course, but their ability to lower inflammation is one of the primary reasons why they are particularly useful for weight loss.


Greek yogurt is easy to prepare

Another major benefit of Greek yogurt is the fact that it's easy to prepare and relatively portable. It's one of the fastest ways to add more protein to your diet without having to spend hours preparing and cooking protein dishes. Adding a few servings of Greek yogurt to your smoothies instantly gives them a huge protein boost. The same goes for whey protein of course, but Greek yogurt is often preferred by many people compared to whey protein. There are probably thousands of smoothie recipes that utilize Greek yogurt and most of them take just minutes to prepare, making Greek yogurt one of the best weight loss foods in terms of convenience.


That makes a major difference because a lot of packaged foods and processed foods become popular because they are simply convenient. If you can come up with several recipes that are easy to make and don't take a lot of time to prepare then you'll be less likely to want to snack. Whey protein is another great alternative to Greek yogurt that also goes great in smoothies and takes just minutes to prepare. In terms of smoothies, whey protein may provide more amino acids and nutrients because it is designed to be more complete, but you also have to be careful about added sugar and other additives that can make whey protein just as bad as the sugary packaged Greek yogurt brands. You'll have to do you research and it's always preferable to pick organic varieties with as few additives as possible.


Avoid the brands that have a ton of added sugar

You have to be careful to avoid the Greek yogurt brands that have a lot of extra sugar, and there are a lot of them. Even the brands that are labeled "€œnatural"€Â or "€œorganic"€Â will add several grams of sugar or sweeteners per serving, and they can really reduce the quality of the yogurt and its healthiness. The best thing to do with Greek yogurt is to just make your own recipes or smoothie with natural ingredients and avoid any pre-packaged options. It really doesn't take much time to make your own smoothies or snacks and it's well worth it for the health benefits, and you get to control everything that you put into them, which makes a major difference in their healthiness as long as you use good recipes.


One serving of Greek yogurt with added fruit or sugar has anywhere from 10 to 20 grams of carbohydrates. That can quickly add up with just a few servings and it can make it a lot more difficult to lose weight. It's especially important to be careful with your carbohydrate intake when you're on a weight loss diet, and pre-packaged brands of Greek yogurt are definitely not going to help. Plain Chobani or other Greek yogurt brands work perfectly fine for weight loss. Be sure that you also avoid adding any sugar to your own recipes. There are also vanilla flavored Greek yogurt brands but you have to be careful with those as well because many of them have added sugar, even though there's no fruit, so avoid those when possible as well.




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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.