Whether eaten as a meal or a snack, a container of yogurt is a great addition to a healthful diet for weight loss. Oftentimes packed with protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, the right tub can help to prolong feelings of fullness while fueling your body with weight loss-supporting nutrients.
Besides being a satiating snack, “yogurt can also aid in weight loss because it is often replacing other high-calorie meals, such as a buttery bagel, for breakfast,” says Bonnie Balk, RD, a Registered Dietitian, and Health & Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics. The weight loss benefits don’t stop there: “Many yogurts contain probiotics that help create a healthy gut, which can help with weight management,” adds Elizabeth Matchett, RDN, CD a registered dietitian at NapTown Fitness.
While yogurt has plenty of weight loss benefits, those benefits only hold up if you select the best yogurt for weight loss. Otherwise, your creamy container won’t get you anywhere closer to your goals.
When you’re shopping for slimming yogurts, there are some criteria to keep in mind: “Generally speaking, for someone trying to lose weight, I will recommend a low fat or fat-free yogurt option. And I always make sure that the yogurt, regardless of fat content, doesn’t have any added sugar,” says Matchett. She notes that less fat and sugar makes yogurt a lower-calorie option. She also recommend higher-protein yogurt options (they keep you fuller).
To help you reach your weight loss, we put together this list of yogurts to skip at the grocery store. These options are high in calories, fat, and sugar, or are lacking protein—all things you want to avoid when on a diet. Read on, and for more on how to lose weight, you won’t want to miss The Best Ways to Lose Belly Fat for Good, Say Doctors.
per 4 oz: 170 calories, 4 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (0 g fiber, 24 g sugar [19 g added sugar]), 5 g protein
Don’t be fooled by the “yogurt” on the label; If it looks like dessert and says it’s dessert, it’s dessert. Not even a shrunken 4-ounce serving (1.3 ounces less than your average yogurt tub) can help decrease the amount of sugar you’ll consume when you finish this mousse from Yoplait, which has the same amount of added sugar as what’s in a serving of Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio Ice Cream. “This added sugar can result in weight gain, blood sugar imbalances, and increased risk of heart disease,” Balk tells us.
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Per 2/3 cup: 200 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (0 g fiber, 23 g sugar [15 g added sugar]), 7 g protein
While Greek yogurt is a popular yogurt of dieters due to its high protein content, we’d hardly say that this option from The Greek Gods has enough of the muscle-building, satiating nutrient. Just 7 grams of protein is the equivalent of the less strained varieties and nearly half of what the average Greek yogurt brand has. That’s not the only knock on this container. It also has 30% of your daily recommended maximum of added sugar. (And contrary to what the label may lead you to believe, that added sugar isn’t only coming from honey; Both cane sugar and brown cane sugar come on the list of ingredients before real honey.)
per 5.3 oz: 110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (<2 g fiber, 19 g sugar [13 g added sugar]), 9 g protein
This container of yogurt isn’t just on our list for having a quarter of your day’s worth of added sugar, but also because there’s no fat. “Although in general, it’s best to opt for the no-fat variety, choosing a low-fat option can increase satiety and result in less overeating at future meals, ultimately being a better option for weight loss,” says Balk. And while there are fewer calories in this container, Stonyfield makes up for a lack of fat with excessive sugar.
per 5.3 oz: 390 calories, 35 g fat (31 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (0 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 3 g protein
There is not a single ingredient we take issue with in Coyo’s yogurt alternative. It’s made with coconut cream, sweetened only with fruit (no refined sugars), and contains 7 live and active cultures. So what’s our beef? The only reason we have Coyo on this list is because these are the worst yogurts for weight loss. And when it comes to weight loss, you need to keep your calories low—390 calories is more than you need—especially when this tub contains 150% of your daily value of saturated fats.
per 5.3 oz: 130 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 75 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (0 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 5 g protein
The only redeeming quality of this high-sugar yogurt is that Dannon enriches it with 10% of your daily value of vitamin D.
per 5.3 oz: 140 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (0 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 7 g protein
So not only does this container have more sugar than Dannon’s fruit on the bottom flavor, but it also has more calories. It gets worse: for some reason, Dannon got rid of the added benefit of vitamin D.
Per 5 oz: 160 calories, 8 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 13 g sugar [12 g added sugar]), 1 g protein
Don’t think dairy-free is synonymous with healthy. Most dairy-free yogurt alternatives are made with dairy alternatives that have no protein and are high in fat. So not only is this container higher in calories than other yogurts on this list, it also has 39% of your daily value of saturated fat, no calcium (one of the benefits of yogurt), and one measly gram of protein—all while filling you up with 12 grams of added sugar. This should be a pass if you’re looking for a yogurt for weight loss—even if you’re dairy free.
per 5.3 oz: 140 calories, 4 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (2 g fiber, 17 g sugar [16 g added sugar]), <1 g protein
So Delicious’ yogurt alternative is lower in calories and fat compared to Oui, but it is significantly higher in added sugars. With no protein to modulate your blood sugar levels, you’ll energy levels will come crashing down soon after eating this, which can lead you to looking for another snack. There are some redeeming qualities to this tub, however. It has 10% of your DV of vitamin D, 15% DV of calcium, and an impressive 50% of your DV of vitamin B12: a vitamin many vegans and plant-based dieters are deficient in.
per 6 oz: 150 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (0 g fiber, 20 g sugar [14 g added sugar]), 6 g protein
All yogurt has sugar. That’s because there are natural sugars, called lactose, in milk. Because people can have sensitivities or intolerances to lactose, some brands will remove it with a lactase enzyme. Great! So that means less sugar right? Wrong. “Because the lactose in dairy is a natural form of sugar, some sugar is fine, but you want to make sure that there hasn’t been a lot of sugar added on top of that,” says registered dietitian Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD. “This is where the new ‘added sugar’ label comes in really handy.” You’ll notice that there are still 14 grams of added sugars in this container—among the highest of the bunch.
per 8 oz: 280 calories, 11 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (0 g fiber, 34 g sugar [21 g added sugar]), 11 g protein
We love that noosa uses real fruit and live and active cultures in all their yogurts, so our only beef with the Australian yoghurt brand is that it’s not suitable for weight loss—especially if you want to eat yogurt for breakfast. With larger container sizes—each tub is 8 ounces, which is double the serving size of some of the other yogurts on this list—you’re more likely to polish the entire tub off if you aren’t used to managing your portion sizes. As a result, you’d take in 280 calories and 21 grams of added sugar (the most out of all the yogurts on this list). Maybe later in your weight loss journey when you have portion control down to a science, you can splurge on this tub as a healthy dessert.