Research Proven Weight Loss: Yogurt


Yogurt could be one key to unlocking weight loss success.


One of the key lessons to achieving lasting weight loss is actually learning to eat correctly.  There are many foods that can be added to your diet to maximize weight loss or reduce weight gain.  One such food is yogurt.  There are plenty of studies that show both dairy and yogurt have a positive effect on weight management and reducing waist circumference​[1]​,​[2]​.  The studies clearly show that yogurt is not only beneficial in losing weight and decreasing waist circumference, but it also assists with weight management after the weight is lost.   

It is postulated that protein and calcium reduce hunger and may possibly increase metabolism but researchers are still trying to nail down the mechanism and causative agent.  This would fit because yogurt is moderately high in both protein and calcium.

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt specifically has been studied as a calcium-rich food that helps burn fat and promotes weight loss.  A study from 2005 showed that dieters who ate three servings of yogurt a day lost 31% more weight and 81% more central or truncal body fat than those who simply cut calories and did not add calcium to their eating plan​[3]​.  Those that lost the most weight were also able to protect their lean muscle mass.  Muscle maintenance is key because it is the factory that burns calories and boosts metabolism.

I will add that some yogurts are quite dense in calories and may have sugar added.  I read the labels and try to stick to 120 calories or less and with 10 grams of protein or more per serving. 

The bottom line: Yogurt can be a part of a healthy diet as long as you choose wisely and avoid added sugar and excessive fat.


  1. [1]
    P. F. Jacques and H. Wang, “Yogurt and weight management,” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, pp. 1229S-1234S, Apr. 2014, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.073031. [Online]. Available:
  2. [2]
    A. Vergnaud et al., “Dairy consumption and 6-y changes in body weight and waist circumference in middle-aged French adults.,” Am J Clin Nutr, vol. 88, no. 5, pp. 1248–55, Nov. 2008, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2007.25151. [Online]. Available:
  3. [3]
    M. B. Zemel, J. Richards, S. Mathis, A. Milstead, L. Gebhardt, and E. Silva, “Dairy augmentation of total and central fat loss in obese subjects,” Int J Obes, pp. 391–397, Jan. 2005, doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802880. [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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