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How to Make High-Protein Greek Yogurt

High-protein foods are vital to building and preserving strength throughout life.  

I have found that two elements of an optimal diet are 1) Sufficient protein from meat, fish, seafood, and dairy and 2) Nutrient-dense plants such as non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits.  These two types of foods fill most of the micronutrient requirements of an optimal diet.  

Dietary fats are found naturally in protein from animal sources, so your diet fat base will be automatically covered by eating protein in its natural form.  Of course, you can also include plant-based fats such as Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and nuts such as walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts and pecans.  

Carbohydrates, although fun to eat, aren’t necessary at all for survival.  No joke.  For most of us to experience optimal health, we would do much better by consuming far less carbs.  If you are training hard, like “500-kcals-hard”, for 60 minutes every day, and you are a woman, 100 grams is probably sufficient.  If you are a man, 150 grams should do the trick.  Most people are hardly moving at all and eating 200-300 grams of carbs daily, thus the obesity issue all over the planet.  

If the idea of protein, fats, and carbs are confusing to you and you would like some clear, real-life examples, please have a look at this article.  

The focus in this article is on high-protein greek yogurt, so first I want to instill in you a deep respect for the powerful macronutrient known as protein. 

Why is Protein So Important?

1. It’s Vital for Fat Loss

    • Supports Appetite Control
      • Protein is more satiating than carbs or fats, which helps you feel full longer after you eat.
    • Has the HIghest Thermic Effect of Food (aka TEF)
      • 20-30% of protein calories are burned while the body is digesting and metabolizing the protein.  The thermic effect of carbs are 5-10% and fats are 0-3%.   
    • Preserves Lean Muscle Mass
      • When you are dieting, you are in a caloric deficit (a fancy way to say you are eating less calories than you are burning).  Adequate protein turns on a switch in your brain that tells your body, “Keep the muscle and burn the fat!”
    • Increases Your Fat-burning Furnace 
      • Having lean muscle mass increases your resting metabolic rate, which means that your “inner furnace” burns hotter when at rest, which means that you burn more calories as a byproduct of having more muscle.

2. Protein is Essential for Building More Muscle

    • Protein Builds and Repairs Muscles
      • Proteins are made up of amino acids.  The amino acids build and repair muscle tissue.  9 of the 20 amino acids are essential, meaning your body can’t make them on its own, so you get them from protein in your diet.
    • Happy Hypertrophy, Baby!  (Hypertrophy means an increase in muscle size) 
      • Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) is a biological process in which protein is produced to repair muscle damage caused by intense exercise.  This can increase your muscle size.  When you have enough essential acids in your system from consuming ample protein, you provide your body with the fuel for MPS.  

3. The RDA in the USA isn’t focused on “Optimal Health”

    • The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is set at 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for adults in the USA.
      • This RDA is the minimum amount of protein needed to prevent deficiency and maintain basic bodily functions. For example, a sedentary adult weighing 70 kilograms (154 pounds) would require about 56 grams of protein per day based on this guideline.  In my opinion, this is far too low for increasing strength and muscle.  
    • The Contents of Most Meals People Eat are Heavy in Carbs and Fat
      • Carbs and fat are for “energy”, not muscle building or repair.  Carbs and fat if overeaten, end up as fat on the body.  
    • Northstar Fitness Low-end and High-End Protein Suggestions
      • Low-End Suggestions
        • If you want the bare essentials aim to consume 1.6g/kg of body weight or 0.73g/lbs of bodyweight
        • A man weighing 75kg x 1.6 or 165 lbs x 0.73g = 120g of protein per day
      • High-End Suggestions
        • If you are either 1) In a caloric deficit 2) Strength Training 2 or more times per week or 3) An Older Adult 60 years old, or older, we suggest you consume 2.2-2.4g/kg of body weight or 1.0-1.2g/lb of bodyweight
        • A woman weighing 50kg x 2.2-2.4 or 110 lbs x 1.0-1.2g = 110-120g of protein per day

Why Greek Yogurt over Regular Yogurt?

    • Oh, It’s So Creamy, Which Makes a Great Dessert 
      • Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, so it’s a satisfying replacement for ice cream and other creamy desserts.
    • It Has a Lower Carb Count
      • Because Greek yogurt is strained to remove much of the whey, which contains lactose (milk sugar), there are less carbs in it. This can be beneficial for individuals who are monitoring their carbohydrate intake, including those with diabetes.
    • Greek Yogurt Has More Than Double The Protein of Regular Yogurt 
      • See the data below
Greek Yogurt 5%- Cronometer
    • As you can see in the two images above, Greek yogurt has 2.6 times more protein than regular yogurt.

If you want to make your own Greek Yogurt at home, check out our 3-minute video on how to do it.

Why Not Just Buy Greek Yogurt Instead of Making It?

  • You Can! 
    • If purchasing it works best for you, by all means, do what makes you happy.  
  • I Buy It When I am On the Road
    • When on the road, I will either opt for protein foods or just fast (not eat anything) until I get home
    • Greek yogurt is excellent because it’s convenient, easy to eat and only requires a spoon to enjoy.  
      • Here is my go-to Greek Yogurt in Japan when I am out and about.  
        • It’s whole milk (5% milkfat) so it’s rich and has added fat for energy.
        • There is no sugar or fruit in it.   
  • Why We Choose to Make It
    • It literally takes 5 minutes to make
    • Compared to the other brands on the market, it’s more natural – even the Parteno brand that I shared above has two other ingredients other than milk.  
    • We can make our preferred fat% of the yogurt if we choose to
      • 5% is whole yogurt as you see in this video
      • If you are a person who likes to buy low-fat dairy, you can make 2% Greek yogurt.  
        • As far as I know, 2% Greek Yogurt doesn’t exist in Japan, so by being creative by mixing whole yogurts with non-fat yogurts, you can make your own 2% Greek Masterpiece.  
  • It’s Virtually Half the Price of Buying It Pre-made
    • After you strain the yogurt for 6-12 hours, you’ll have about half the volume of yogurt you started out with. In other words, if you strain 800g of regular yogurt, you’ll end up with a little over 400g of actual Greek yogurt. 

Here are links to items you may need to make your own Greek yogurt:

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If you have any comments, feedback, or questions, please leave them below.  I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.  

If you would like to transform your health, fitness and your entire life and you enjoy my content, reach out to me and I’ll make time to help you via a video call.  

Yours in Transformative Health and Happiness,