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Yogurt: In or Out on a weight loss plan?


Posted on September 30th, 2010 by Matt Schoeneberger

I got this question in an email recently:

Question. If I’m trying to cut down on sugars and carbs while still watching Calories, how bad is yogurt? I like my little yogurts, but just one carton has 27g of sugar (ouch). What should I do?

Here’s my response:

Well, it’s all about the big picture. If you have calorie and carb numbers you’re trying to hit, can you make yogurt fit into those numbers with whatever else you’re eating? If so, cool. If not, either adjust something else to save the yogurts, or adjust the yogurts.

If you don’t have calorie and carb numbers, go for a few weeks eating the yogurts and see what happens. If you don’t see the results you’re expecting, you know that yogurts will be one of the first things on the list to get axed. This method requires much more patience, because it might take 2 or 3 weeks to figure out if they’ll work or not.

Really, any food can work into a plan. I could choose to eat 4 pieces of pizza every day and plan the rest of my day around that. It would suck, because I wouldn’t get to eat anything or much at all for the rest of the day, so I have to figure out whether or not those 4 pieces of pizza are worth it. Maybe I should do 3 pieces of pizza and then I can have some string cheese and some ham.

One thing about yogurt is that it’s a dairy product, so there will be sugar (lactose) no matter what. But, some yogurts have added sugar in the ingredients list. If you find it hard to add yogurt into your day, maybe you could find a different yogurt that has different ingredients that would fit.

If yogurt is your thing, I recommend eating plain yogurt and adding your own fruit, preferably berries. Most people find out they don’t really like yogurt when they eat the real thing.

I hope this helps if you’re trying to crack the yogurt conundrum!

Also, remember we offer 1 month unlimited email coaching when you purchase our book.

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4 Responses to “Yogurt: In or Out on a weight loss plan?”

  1. Cristi says:

    Hey Matt, if you took out yogurt, what would you recommend to get the active cultures that it has. I have not found anything that I can get to regulate the digestive system like yogurt can. While I don’t have that problem frequently, I do occasionally eat it for that. I also saw a the question that said a small little carton has 27 grams of sugar. I use an organic brand that is larger quantity than most yogurts and only has 19 grams of sugar. The other member of the household has to eat yogurt to maintain his regularity. I can’t necessarily control what else he eats, but I haven’t found anything else that works that good by itself.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Hi Cristi,
      Thank you for posting a comment. Matt and I like to know what our readers are thinking, most of the time.
      I think Matt hit the nail on the head with his suggestions. When it comes to weight loss, if your goal is to minimize the intake of sugar, then to get your “good bacteria”, a quality supplement, like the one Matt mentioned, there are others, is probably your best bet.

  2. Matt Schoeneberger M.S. says:

    Hi Cristi!

    I’ll have Jeff weigh-in on this as well, but I think sauerkraut, kefir, fermented bean pastes like tempeh and miso, and some raw cultured vegetables, and I’m guessing would be found in raw dairy sources, like raw milk and cheese.

    Of course, there are always supplemental forms of probiotics like Designs for Health’s Probiotic Synergy (I think that’s what it’s still called – they may have changed the name). Supplemental forms will usually give a wider variety of bacterial strains.

    Yogurt seems to be the most readily-available source of probiotics in food, so if there isn’t a good reason to remove it from your diet, I would suggest you keep right on truckin’.

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