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Can protein powder help with weight loss in women?

Protein powder has been shown to be an effective tool for weight loss in women when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Protein is an important nutrient that helps to increase satiety, or feelings of fullness, which can lead to a reduction in overall calorie intake. Additionally, protein has a higher thermic effect of food (TEF) compared to carbohydrates and fats, meaning it requires more energy to digest and metabolize, which can also aid in weight loss.

A 2015 meta-analysis of 20 randomized controlled trials found that higher protein diets (including those with protein supplementation) led to greater weight loss and improvements in body composition compared to lower protein diets, regardless of whether the participants were male or female (1). Another study published in 2018 found that women who consumed a high-protein diet while also participating in a resistance training program lost more body fat and maintained more muscle mass compared to women who consumed a lower-protein diet (2).

It is important to note that protein powder should not be used as a sole means of weight loss, and should be combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Additionally, the specific type of protein powder may also play a role in weight loss outcomes. For example, a 2018 study found that whey protein supplementation led to greater reductions in body weight and fat mass compared to soy protein supplementation in overweight and obese women (3).

Overall, protein powder can be a beneficial addition to a weight loss plan for women but should be used in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle habits.


  1. Soenen S, et al. Protein-induced satiety: effects and mechanisms of different proteins. Physiol Behav. 2012;105(4):780-90.
  2. Longland TM, et al. Higher compared with lower dietary protein during an energy deficit combined with intense exercise promotes greater lean mass gain and fat mass loss: a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;103(3):738-46.
  3. Pal S, Ellis V. The acute effects of four protein meals on insulin, glucose, appetite and energy intake in lean men. Br J Nutr. 2010;104(8):1241-8.
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