Does Whey Protein Make You Lose Weight?

picking-protein-scoopAfter you’ve finished a grueling workout, your body needs protein – and it needs it fast. When it comes to speed, nothing beats whey protein. Because it’s absorbed so quickly into your system, it has become a popular post-workout snack.

Other types of protein like soy or casein can also be effective, but they’re absorbed slowly over time. As such, they’re better choices for general protein supplementation or take before going to bed.

But a study by the USDA takes things a step further. For the study, overweight and obese individuals were divided into various groups. One of the groups was given 56 grams of whey protein per day while another group was given 56 grams of soy protein. The proteins were ingested through smoothies given twice daily.

Beyond the protein supplementation, the participants were given no nutrition advice and were allowed to eat whatever else they wanted.

Approximately six months later, researchers found that the whey protein group had lost both weight and body fat relative to other groups – and that their waist was nearly an inch smaller compared to the soy protein group. Participants in the whey group also showed lower levels of the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin.

Because participants had lower levels of ghrelin, researchers speculate that whey protein may lead to increased satiety. In other words, including whey protein as part of your diet – in addition to fueling your muscles – may help curb your appetite.

While more research is needed to further understand the connection between whey, hunger and weight loss, it seems that whey protein could play an important role in weight management.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. I just started practicing bikram yoga again and I’m loving the changes in my body. I was curious if you had any thoughts about taking whey protein when doing yoga?

  2. I thought Whey Protein made you gain weight (muscles), how could you possibly lose weight, let alone lose weight by eating whatever you want with just a serving of whey protein a day. I am so confused.

    If that is the case, I will just re-include my whey protein into my diet after my daily interval training. If these overweight individuals can lose weight by eating whatever they want, I should most likely show a substantial weight loss while eating healthy unlike they did.

    • If you read the article again, you’ll notice that the researchers’ working theory is that the whey increased the subjects’ satiety. Presumably, once their appetites were curbed, they moderated their eating. If you are already eating healthy (maintaining a reasonable caloric intake, avoiding sugars and bad fats, etc.) it’s doubtful that the reduced appetite from the whey will impact your weight loss further.

    • you loose weight by having a relative increase in muscle-mass, which is more metabolically active and burns fat.

  3. Or it could mean the soy protein was fattening.

    After a hard workout nothing beats a good solid balanced meal.

  4. Soy protein might be ‘lipogenic’ (fat-inducing) due to phyto-estrogens. I avoid soy unless it’s been fermented (soy sauce, tofu) which greatly reduces the phyto-estrogens.

    What is whey? It’s milk protein (as is casein). And what is milk from an evolutionary/teleological perspective? Food for immature guts that can’t yet deal with complex foods like meats and vegetables, i.e. baby food. It is 100% digested and absorbed, as opposed to steak of which only 60-70% of the protein is absorbed even in mature guts. Also, being baby food, it has a balanced compliment of essential amino acids. Specialized proteins in meats tend to be not as balanced. Collagen, a meat protein, is 40% proline.

    I should add that meats, on the other hand, are one of those foods that can promote weight loss as they require a lot of energy to digest, starting with the act of chewing. In fact, a cut of lean meat can be a caloric wash or even a negative i.e. require as much or more energy to digest as energy in the food.

  5. christopher says:

    whey protein isolate could help-if taken regularly.and often.

  6. Louis Munoz says:

    Hey Davey, really appreciate all the great info and advice you share, along with that great (shirtless) personality!

    Three “quick” questions, based on some of the whey/protein powder info you’ve shared: 1) any thoughts on which type of whey to use, concentrate, isolates, or hydrolysate?; 2) I usually work out in the very late evening, weights followed by cardio, between 9:30-11pm or so; should I consider using a protein combo, i.e. whey/soy drink? Lastly, should I have whatever drink I have right after the weights before my cardio, or can it wait till I get home after the whole workout?

    Sorry for what are probably pretty involved questions, and thanks in advance for any additional info and advice. Keep up the awesome work!!

    All my very best, Lou.

  7. Is there a certain brand of whey protein that you suggest?

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