Does yogurt aid in weight loss?

A certain brand of yogurt (am I allowed to say which one?) claims that including their yogurt as part of a diet program will increase weight loss–in other words, eating 1400 calories, some of which are their yogurt, will make you lose more weight than eating 1400 calories that include no yogurt.

On this company’s website, one gets the idea that the weight loss effects come from eating a low-calorie, high-calcium diet. Okay, so it’s not that their yogurt has some kind of special ingredient–it’s just the calcium that’s doing it.

But is it yogurt especially that does this? Would drinking skim milk do the same thing? Is yogurt a good choice because it makes a person feel relatively full for a relatively long time on relatively few calories? Do the active cultures in some way help with weight loss? Mireille Guiliano’s book French Women Don’t Get Fat includes two daily servings of yogurt as a key to skinniness and happiness and beauty.

(I am not, incidentally, looking for a miracle diet or even trying to lose weight myself, so those of you who were going to lecture me about there being no miracle yada yada yada can just not do so.)

According to the bottom of the foil cap of a cup of Yoplait fat-free yogurt, it says:

This is from their website:

Interestingly, they did not offer a cite for this claim. However, WebMD says the research was released in 2000, and was done at least in part at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. The National Dairy Council supported the study.

I still can’t find a cite for the actual study, but hopefully someone with more time and better research skills can find it.




I don’t think it’s a good choice at all. It’s loaded with sugar.

IME, calcium does help promote weight loss. All things being equal, if I take calcium pills every day for a week, I will lose more that week than if I didn’t take them. (Cinnamon also helps.)

It’s loaded with sugar? Plain yogurt? The diet yogurt that Yoplait is pushing? Lactose, sure, but that’s sort of legit…

AFAIK Yoplait doesn’t sell plain yogurt (the sour, bland stuff) but their standard 6 oz cup (called Original, features the BURN MORE FAT blurb) in any flavor has 27g of sugars.

I like your logic, its natural sugar so it must be good. That’s my justifacation for consuming mass quantities of maltose, the natural sugar found in beer . . .

Hey, “studies say” that a high calcium diet causes more weight loss than one lower in calcium, but do they say WHY? I mean, is it possibly because the foods high in calcium tend to make one feel fuller?

Also, I’m suspicious that it could be the protein in them that makes you feel full and lends its help to a diet that keeps you from losing less lean muscle mass. Unless it’s true that you can get the same result by taking a calcium supplement pill.

By the way, you can get Yoplait (and of course other brands of yogurt) without sugar. The 6 0z dannon ones have 90 calories, which is quite low for a snack that fills you up.

I’m by no means an expert. But I’ve just had some MAJOR education in nutrition from a Harvard educated nutritionist/dietician/R.N. Included was a seminar on calcium intake…how it’s absorbed best, why it’s good for you, etc. AFAIK all dairy forms of calcium are also very high in protein.

Plus, I like to freeze my sugar free, fat free yogurts part way and pretend they are ice cream :slight_smile:


I’m going to take a stab and guess that one can lose weight by eating several healthy snacks throughout the day. IANAD but apparently eating several small healthy meals (and snacks) throughout the day increases your metabolism and thus aids in weightloss without causing a loss of muscle mass. Yogurt (the light versions anyway) would fall under “healthy snack”

You’d probably have the same result from eating some fruit and chugging a glass of lowfat or skim milk between meals.

Agreed, but Yoplait has done some wild stuff in the years that I haven’t been eating yogurt. Orange Creme is a freaking dreamsicle, Peach Cobbler, Raspberry, Key Lime,my favorite, is so sweet and creamy - back in my day I only remember blueberry strawberry and cherry. Nowadays it’s better than ice cream.

I have a degree in biology, bub. My point is that a person does have to eat something, and reduced-fat (or hey, even full-fat) yogurt with lots of protein and a pretty reasonable amount of natural sugars sounds about as good as anything else.

I eat plain yogurt, BTW. It’s an acquired taste, but I love it. Tangy and creamy, mmm.

Does anyone have anything to say about what the live cultures might or might not do?

Live cultures are good for your gut…more so if you are on or finishing up a course of antibiotics.

You might also try kefir, an organic milk drink which you can get plain or flavored. Very beneficial and tasty.

Yogurt is a mainstay of the Perricone program, which I’ve been on since January.
And yes, I have lost a chunk of pounds and stabilized my blood sugar while consuming more dairy than I ever have before.

So, part of it is consuming actual dairy, not just low fat food? How does this work?

Maybe eating more high protien, high calcium, low calorie food every day helps preserve muscle mass and bone mass so that you can lose a better ratio of fat? I’m just guessing, but it is very difficult to cut calories and still get enough protein and low-fat dairy helps with that. Maybe when most people go on calorie reduced diets they lose muscle and bone mass and that contributes to a slower metabolism and less over all weight loss. This is a 100% guess, but the reason I eat yogurt is to get protein early in the day in the hopes that I will be big and strong.

This is all true according to the aforementioned nutritionist. I think the question is still “does extra calcium in and of itself help you lose more weight than if you don’t take in extra calcium.” I have been looking, but can’t find any information that points to that. All I find are studies done by yogurt companies, which, obviously, find that eating yogurt as a snack is good for you.

I’m sure studies by Hershey’s would suggest a different snack.

Which is not to say low fat, sugar free yogurt isn’t a great snack to choose.

Well, with the exception of ice cream, which I don’t eat anymore, there’s protein in eggs, cottage cheese, etc. It is filling, and being full means you don’t go grazing on cookies, chips, and so on.