The prevalence of overweight people in the U.S. has increased dramatically since the early 1990s to the point where it is now considered an epidemic. Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight. Weight loss supplements may help solve the problem.
Many diet plans use weight loss supplements rich in protein to help people lose weight. Soy is a high-quality protein that meets the body’s requirements for all of the essential amino acids, while containing less fat and fewer calories than many other protein sources. Research now suggests that soy products can make excellent weight loss supplements.
In a cross-sectional study (Medical Reference 1), dietary isoflavone intake, as measured from the consumption of soy foods, was shown to be inversely associated with body weight, total body fat mass, and waist size, suggesting that reductions in these measures were related to eating higher amounts of soy.
A similar study (Medical Reference 2) also reported that consumption of higher levels of soy isoflavones from soy products was associated with a lower body mass index (BMI). Other studies have shown that soy products and foods, particularly protein shakes, used as a weight loss supplement may be beneficial for weight loss. In one clinical trial (Medical Reference 3), overweight subjects consuming soy foods lost more weight and fat mass than the subjects receiving lifestyle education without any weight loss supplement. Similarly, studies using soy protein shakes as a weight loss supplement reported reductions in body weight, fat mass, and waist size (Medical References 4-6).
Soy foods, protein shake drinks, and other products make excellent weight loss supplements for a number of reasons. Soy is a high-quality protein that has been shown to make one feel full (Medical Reference 7). Additionally, most have a low glycemic index (Medical References 8, 9), thus helping to avoid unhealthy blood sugar spikes. These properties help to make soy-based weight loss supplements effective by reducing the urge to snack between meals and late at night.
Many soy-based weight loss supplements can be found by searching online. Soy protein shake drinks are the most common form; however, other types of foods like soy protein chips and soy nuts make a healthy snack and provide an easy way to increase the amount of protein in a healthy weight loss program. Therefore, weight loss supplements based on soy protein provide a healthy and effective aid. Make sure to include a good multivitamin and plenty of physical activity as part of your diet plan.
1. Goodman-Gruen D, Kritz-Silverstein D. Usual dietary isoflavone intake and body composition in postmenopausal women. Menopause 2003; 10:427-432.
2. Yamori Y. Worldwide epidemic of obesity: hope for Japanese diets. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology 2004; 31:S2-S4.
3. Deibert P, Konig D, Schmidt-Trucksaess A, Zaenker KS, Frey I, Landmann U, Berg A. Weight loss without losing muscle mass in pre-obese and obese subjects induced by a high-soy-protein diet. International Journal of Obesity 2004; 28:1349-1352.
4. Allison DB, Gadbury G, Schwartz LG, Murugesan R, Kraker JL, Heshka S, Fontaine KR, Heymsfield SB. A novel soy-based meal replacement formula for weight loss among obese individuals: a randomized controlled clinical trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003; 57:514-522.
5. Fontaine KR, Yang D, Gadbury GL, Heshka S, Schwartz LG, Murugesan R, Kraker JL, Heo M, Heymsfield SB, Allison DB. Results of a soy-based meal replacement formula on weight, anthropometry, serum lipids & blood pressure during a 40-week clinical weight loss trial. BMC Nutrition Journal 2003; 2:14-20.
6. Anderson JW, Fuller J, Patterson K, Blair R, Tabor A. Soy compared to casein meal replacement shakes with energy-restricted diets for obese women: randomized, controlled trial. Metabolism 2007; 56:280-288.
7. Eisenstein J, Roberts SB, Dallal G, Saltzman E. High-protein weight-loss diets: are they safe and do they work? A review of the experimental and epidemiologic data. Nutr Rev 2002; 60:189-200
8. Blair RM, Henley EC, Tabor A. Soy foods have low glycemic and insulin response indices in normal weight subjects. Nutrition Journal 2006; 5:35.
9. Foster-Powell K, Holt SHA, Brand-Miller JC. International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002. Am J Clin Nutr 2002; 76:5-56.