The best time to eat yogurt for weight loss is to eat it at the right time. Considered to be nutritional and enjoyable to consume, yogurt is particularly beneficial to eat in the morning or as a snack.
Eating yogurt for breakfast is a good choice since it provides energy and helps make you feel full for a significant amount of time. As a rich protein breakfast, yogurt will make you feel less hungry and curbs sugar cravings later in the day.
A wildly popular way of eating yogurt is as a snack. Its flavor is flexible which allows for a wide variety of tasty and healthy toppings. Ideal for people who are looking into weight loss, this creamy yet thick food offers a variety of benefits for your health and your weight.
While it’s not yet clear how eating yogurt will slim your waistline, the high amount of protein in certain yogurts might help you eat less and lose weight.
What Is Yogurt?
Healthy and light, yogurt is made out of fermented milk and is known to have all kinds of benefits as it contains nutrients like protein, calcium, probiotics, and more, all of which are great for your body.
Some yogurts contain live active bacteria cultures. These cultures or probiotics are considered “good bacteria” for the gut and can help maintain a healthy digestive system. Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are the specific bacteria required to produce yogurt. Lactose is fermented from milk into lactic acid which gives the characteristic texture and taste of yogurt.
Known Nutrient Facts
- Protein – Traditional yogurt already contains protein. But Greek yogurt has about twice as much and a protein-rich diet may help reduce hunger, boost metabolism, and build muscle.
- Calcium – As an excellent source of calcium, you need this for strong bones and teeth. Your nerves and muscles rely on this mineral to function properly.
- Probiotics – These good bacteria that are found in some yogurts are important for your health as the helpful microbes may improve gut health and boost immunity. The bacteria may help in restoring the normal bacteria in your digestive tract.
Yogurt For Weight Loss
There have been studies showing that adding yogurt to your diet can help in body fat or the prevention of weight gain.
In one study1, obese adults were on a controlled reduced-calorie diet and divided into two groups. For 12 weeks, one group was served fat-free yogurt with a total of 1,100 milligrams of calcium per day, and the other group was given only one serving of dairy with 400 to 500 milligrams of calcium per day. Both groups lost weight because of calorie restriction however, weight and fat loss were significantly greater for the group who were served yogurt.
In a simpler explanation from another study, regular consumption of healthy foods such as yogurt resulted in decreased intake of foods containing high amounts of fat or sugar. There was also evidence suggesting that the high calcium and protein contents of yogurt and other dairy products influence appetite and energy intake2.
Health Benefits Of Yogurt
While eating yogurt offers important nutrients, other benefits from yogurt also come from its live bacterial content. The nutrients and good bacteria in each serving of yogurt is packed with health benefits that will aid in:
- Digestive Health – Your digestive tract already contains good helpful bacteria and even some that may be harmful. Some of these good bacteria help in digesting food. The probiotics found in yogurt helps increase the good bacteria in your gut, which promotes a healthy balance of friendly bacteria that may help with several digestive issues such as easing constipation, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems.
- Boost Immune System – When you eat yogurt on a regular basis, especially ones containing probiotics, it may boost your immune system’s health and reduce your chances of getting sick. Yogurt is a great source of support for immune function including riboflavin, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Nutrients, specifically selenium and magnesium, play a role in the production of immune cells and can help protect the cells against damage. There has even been a study showing that zinc could help decrease the duration of symptoms of infections, including the common cold3.
- Lowers Blood Pressure – Dairy foods, especially greek yogurt, are an important source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are believed to help lower high blood pressure. On average, an American consumes more than 3,000 milligrams of salt per day which is more than the recommended limit of 2,300 milligrams. High salt intake leads to high blood pressure. To keep your blood pressure in check, the potassium found in yogurt helps flush salt from your body. There was also a long-term study participated by men and women showing that higher total dairy intake, especially in the form of yogurt, was associated with a lower risk of incident high blood pressure for middle-aged and older adult men and women4.
Best Time To Eat Yogurt For Weight Loss
Yogurt can be addicting and it’s fine to just consume one when you crave them. But there are times of the day when to eat yogurt best especially when you’re on a diet and you want to lose weight.
- After Meals – Consuming yogurt can help regulate your digestive system and improve your metabolism. When you include it in your breakfast, it could also give increased energy which is a great way to start your day. While some say to eat yogurt on an empty stomach, it is recommended to have it after meals.
- Snacks – Keeping you satiated and healthy is a great way to stick to your diet. Yogurt is one of the best options when you want to have a healthy snack. Because of its nutrients, it’s a very filling snack that can decrease sugar cravings which is beneficial in weight management.
- After Workout – For choosing post-workout snacks, a high-protein one is the way to go. Yogurt after a workout promotes recovery, muscle growth, lean muscle mass maintenance, and an increase in immune function.
- At Night – When you eat yogurt at night, it can satisfy your hunger and prevent you from overeating other unhealthy foods; minimizing any unnecessary weight gain. Yogurt also refills our body’s calcium and calcium has been linked to support better sleep.
Kinds Of Yogurts
Knowing what to eat while maintaining a healthy diet can be overwhelming and the types of yogurts available are about as abundant as ever. Here’s a rundown of yogurt options to help you pick the right ones for you:
- Greek Yogurt – Plain greek yogurt contains fewer carbs, more protein, and less sugar than regular plain yogurt. Greek yogurt is strained to create a rich, creamy texture and has a tangy taste. Since it has more protein, it generally means it can help you feel fuller longer.
- Regular Yogurt – Though it doesn’t have quite the same protein punch as greek yogurt, regular yogurt is also a valuable source of protein and other nutrients. Some people even prefer its milder taste and thinner texture, so it’s worth a taste especially if you’re trying out yogurt for the first time.
- Flavored Yogurt – Depending on the brand, fruity picks and other flavored yogurts can contain a lot of sugar. If you want to include yogurt into your diet but don’t like the taste, look for flavored ones with less than 120 calories per container and no more than 12-13 grams of sugar.
- Whole-milk Yogurt – A whole-milk yogurt is an ideal option for children because of its extra creaminess and offers a variety of other flavors. Although it is high in saturated fat, so it may not be the best pick for older kids and adults. If you want something a little creamier, look for 2% milk fat instead of full fat.
- Plant-based Yogurt – Other choices of yogurts that are made from almond, soy, or coconut milk are good if you have a dairy sensitivity or are on a vegan diet. They are still a good source of protein and heart-healthy fats. However, there are some that are high in sugar, so it’s best to read labels carefully and watch your portions accordingly.
As yogurt continues to be a staple in most diets, it is often marketed as a healthy, calcium and protein-rich choice. Unfortunately, not all yogurts are made the same. You generally can’t go wrong with yogurt but it’s great to know how to pick a yogurt that’s both nutritious and delicious.
Choosing a Yogurt
When selecting quality yogurt, you will want to keep the following in mind:
- Sugar – If you want to lose weight, choose or eat yogurt brands with the least sugar per serving. Usually, the best choice is plain, unflavored yogurt.
- Stamps – Buy yogurts stamped or sealed with a “Live & Active Cultures (LAC)”. Yogurts with this seal contain probiotics and the type and amount can vary by brand.
- Fat – Lean toward nonfat or low-fat varieties for regular eating. Although full-fat yogurt is still an option, it comes with extra fat from saturated fat, which may raise bad cholesterol.
- Ingredient List – Look for yogurt with few ingredients. There are brands that have a list of stabilizers, thickeners, and other additives. All of these should be avoided since they are unnecessary and can lead to weight gain. The simpler the ingredient list, the better.
Side Effects Of Yogurt
If consumed regularly, yogurt doesn’t pose many side effects. But like everything that is good, consuming healthy foods must also be done in moderation. Possible side effects of yogurt are:
- Weight Gain – Yogurt can be very high in added sugar. Many low-fat yogurts are loaded with added sugars to compensate for fat that is removed to reduce the calorie content and sugar is usually added to boost flavor. Don’t forget to read the labels before you buy.
- Lactose Intolerance – The lactose in yogurt may cause discomfort for some people which can lead to Gas and bloating due to increased intestinal gas production.
- Autoimmune Reactions – For people with a weakened immune system, they may be vulnerable to negative dairy reactions. Always check with a healthcare practitioner for any doubts.
Whether enjoyed on its own for a meal or a snack topped with fruits and nuts, this tasty treat is a great addition to your diet. Yogurt’s nutrient-rich ingredients are not only beneficial to your health but its support in reducing weight adds to its appeal to a variety of consumers like you who want a little flavor in their healthy lifestyle.
With its versatility and availability, it can be enjoyed at any time of the day regardless of how you prefer it. For a food that’s made by “bacteria”, it’s definitely amazing how yogurt manages to be both healthy and delicious.
1 Eales J, Lenoir-Wijnkoop I, King S, Wood H, Kok FJ, Shamir R, Prentice A, Edwards M, Glanville J, Atkinson RL. Is consuming yoghurt associated with weight management outcomes? Results from a systematic review. Int J Obes (Lond). 2016 May;40(5):731-46. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2015.202. Epub 2015 Oct 7. PMID: 26443336; PMCID: PMC4856732.
4 Buendia JR, Li Y, Hu FB, Cabral HJ, Bradlee ML, Quatromoni PA, Singer MR, Curhan GC, Moore LL. Long-term yogurt consumption and risk of incident hypertension in adults. J Hypertens. 2018 Aug;36(8):1671-1679. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000001737. PMID: 29952852; PMCID: PMC6613217.