Benefits of tofu & other soy foods for weight loss

Eating tofu or other soy products is good for weight loss, as they reduce appetite and insulin resistance, increase metabolism, and preserves lean mass!

Eat tofu for weight loss, as it’s filling

Above all, tofu consumption can help us lose weight because soybeans have a huge filling effect. They’re packed with protein and fiber. These two macronutrients control appetite and prevent cravings for fattening foods.[1]

Despite, the fact that soybeans are the most calorie-dense beans, they can help us consume fewer total calories in a day.

We lose weight when we consume fewer calories than we burn.

According to many studies, soy fiber can help lose weight, reduce body fat, and improve body composition in overweight people. Also, it may reduce LDL cholesterol.[2]

Soy protein helps lose weight

Furthermore, soy protein has beneficial effects on obesity. Not only it affects satiety, but also it can reduce excess body fat in obese people. 

Soy protein improves insulin resistance, which is a key risk factor for obesity.

Why should I eat tofu for weight loss?Pin

In addition, soy protein reduces plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, and fat accumulation in the liver and adipose tissue. Hence, soy protein may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and possibly other obesity-related complications.[3]

Soy milk contains approximately 7 grams of protein per glass, while a serving of cooked soybeans contains 31 grams of protein!

Fried tofu contains almost 19 grams of protein per 100g!

Moreover, soy milk has fewer calories than cow’s milk.

Tofu & other soy foods may increase metabolism

Moreover, soybeans and the most common soy products, like tofu, edamame, and tempeh, can help us lose weight because they appear to boost metabolism.[4]

Soy protein could affect the synthesis of certain hormones, which control satiety, brain signaling, and metabolism. Also, soy protein can interact with certain receptors in the brain.

Some people are resistant to these hormones. Hence, they always feel hungry. Eating foods that manage these hormones could help people stick to a long-term energy-restricted diet plan for weight loss.

Eat tofu for a lean body

Furthermore, soy protein is a complete protein. It contains all essential amino acids. It has a biological value closely to animal protein. Certainly, soybeans are among the best plant-based sources of protein.

Our bodies need all essential amino acids to build or even preserve muscle mass.

When we follow a hypocaloric diet for weight loss, we don’t lose just fat. We lose muscle mass as well. Resistance training and consumption of high-quality protein are key for minimizing the loss of muscle mass.

Increased muscle mass means better metabolism.

Even replacing animal protein with soy protein could help people lose weight. According to a study, replacing just 30 grams of animal protein with soy protein a day for 12 months, helped people lose weight and improve Body Mass index.[5]

You can find a wide variety of soy protein isolates on iHerb.

Also, the consumption of whole soy foods reduced the cardiovascular risk in volunteers.

Prefer consuming whole soy foods, like edamame, tempeh, or tofu, rather than highly processed soy products in order to take advantage of their health benefits. Whole soy foods are packed with fiber and certain micronutrients that are lacking in refined foods or animal-derived protein.

Soy isoflavones for weight loss & good health

Actually, soybeans are the richest food in isoflavones. Isoflavones are polyphenolic compounds with many health benefits.

Soy isoflavones could be beneficial for body weight reduction. They can control glucose, and insulin levels. Also, isoflavones may reduce Body Mass Index.[6,7]

In fact, isoflavones have many health benefits. They can help maintain blood vessel health, help support cellular health, reduce inflammations, and significantly increase the antioxidant status of the body! Soy isoflavones may reduce the risk of cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, menopausal symptoms, and osteoporosis.[8,9]

Moreover, if consumed instead of animal protein, soy products may reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Fermented soy foods may have a beneficial effect on diabetes and blood pressure as well. In addition, soy foods may alleviate hot flashes and improve skin health.[10]

Isoflavones are plant-derived compounds with estrogenic activity. They’re classified as phytoestrogens. Due to their high content of these phytoestrogens, many people think that soy foods are bad for our health. Tofu and other soy foods aren’t bad for you, though. Many studies support the safety and health benefits of soy foods.

Vitamins & minerals in soy promote weight loss

Soybeans are super nutrient-dense foods. They’re packed with minerals that support weight loss.


Soybeans are excellent dietary sources of iron. Regular consumption of soy products can help us meet our daily iron needs. Iron deficiency is pretty common worldwide. Obesity is highly associated with iron deficiency.[11]


Moreover, soy foods are particularly rich in calcium. A glass of soy milk may contain more calcium than a glass of cow’s milk!

Fried tofu contains 372 mg of calcium per 100g! This is 37% of the DV.

Getting adequate amounts of calcium may be beneficial for weight maintenance as well as weight loss.[12]

Calcium may prevent hunger and reduce insulin resistance. It can help people stick to a long-term calorie-restrictive diet. Moreover, high calcium intakes can improve body composition. Calcium helps maintain lean body mass.[13,14]

People who consume fewer calories in order to lose weight need more calcium. If these elevated calcium requirements are not met, the bone mass may be reduced, increasing the risk of fractures.[15]

However, most people shouldn’t get extremely high doses of calcium from supplements. We can get more than enough calcium from foods, such as cow’s milk, dairy, eggs, and fish, as well as plenty of plant-based foods.

For increased calcium absorption, try to get high amounts of vitamin D.


Furthermore, soybeans are excellent dietary sources of magnesium:

  • a serving of soybeans contains 148 mg of magnesium, or 35% of the Daily Value.
  • a glass of soy milk contains 44 mg of magnesium, or 10% of the DV.
  • fried tofu contains 60 mg of magnesium per 100g, or 14% of the DV.

High magnesium intake is beneficial for obese individuals or people with insulin resistance. Magnesium can help them lose weight, reduce waist circumference, and Body Mass Index.[16,17]

Obese people and people with diabetes tend to have low levels of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency may lead to many health problems, such as hypertension, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease.[18,19]


In addition, soybeans are pretty rich in zinc. A serving of cooked soybeans contains almost 2 mg of zinc, which is 18% of the DV. Moreover, a glass of soy milk provides 6% of the DV, while a serving of tofu provides 15% of the DV.

The rich nutritional value of tofu supports weight loss!Pin

High zinc intake might increase the effects of a restricted calorie diet on obesity. Zinc may reduce appetite, insulin resistance, inflammations, and other metabolic dysfunction associated with obesity.[20,21]


Moreover, soy foods are particularly rich in potassium. A serving of cooked soybeans contains 886 mg of potassium, or 26% DV. A glass of soy milk provides 9% DV, and a serving of tofu provides 4% DV.

A diet high in potassium promotes weight loss. It reduces waist circumference, Body Mass Index, inflammations, and insulin resistance!


Also, soybeans are good dietary sources of selenium. A serving provides 23% DV. Selenium supports weight loss, as it’s involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones, metabolism, and thermogenesis.

What’s the best time to eat tofu or drink soy milk for weight loss?

The best time to drink soy milk or eat tofu is after a workout. As, soy is packed with protein and antioxidants, it supports muscle recovery and gain.

Moreover, we can eat soybeans, or other soy foods, such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, or miso soup, at lunch or at dinner.

Also, a great time to drink soy milk is before bed. It could help us sleep better at night. A good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy body weight.

How to eat tofu for weight loss?

Above all, you should avoid cooking tofu with any vegetable oil. All oils are packed with calories. They’re almost 100% fat. So, they’re extremely fattening foods.

Also, you should avoid adding too much salt. Among others, it can make you gain weight, as it retains water! Use spices or herbs to spice up your favorite tofu recipes.

Always combine tofu with fiber-rich foods like vegetables. Meals high in both fiber and protein provide the highest satiety effect.

Easy & quick tofu recipes for weight loss!

Eating tofu as part of a healthy, filling, well-balanced diet is very easy. Here are 16 easy and quick tofu recipes that are ideal for weight loss and building a lean body!

8 Vegan recipes

  1. Tofu Scramble: Sauté diced tofu with vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and spinach. Season with turmeric, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast for a delicious and protein-packed breakfast option.
  2. Tofu Stir-Fry: Cut tofu into cubes and stir-fry with an assortment of colorful vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and snap peas. Add low-sodium soy sauce for flavor.
  3. Tofu Veggie Wrap: Wrap sliced tofu, mixed greens, cucumber, and shredded carrots in a whole-grain tortilla. Drizzle with a light dressing made from lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and a touch of honey.
  4. Tofu Salad: Cube tofu and combine it with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced radishes, and your choice of dressing. You can also add some avocado for healthy fats.
  5. Tofu Bowl: Arrange cooked quinoa, roasted vegetables, and baked tofu in a bowl. Top with a drizzle of tahini or light peanut butter for added flavor.
  6. Tofu Skewers: Marinate tofu cubes in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a touch of maple syrup. Thread them onto skewers with bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Grill or bake until cooked.
  7. Tofu Lettuce Wraps: Sauté crumbled tofu with minced garlic, ginger, and chopped water chestnuts. Season with low-sodium soy sauce. Spoon the mixture onto large lettuce leaves for a low-carb, flavorful meal.
  8. Tofu Soup: Simmer tofu cubes in a vegetable broth with diced vegetables like zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms. Season with herbs and spices of your choice for a comforting and low-calorie soup.

8 protein-rich tofu recipes

Moreover, you could add turkey, chicken, red meat, shrimps, or egg for a protein-packed tofu recipes. Combine with fiber-rich vegetables for a supper filling food that can promote the feeling of fullness with a few calories for hours.

  1. Tofu and Chicken Stir-Fry: Stir-fry sliced tofu and diced chicken breast with an assortment of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots. Season with low-sodium soy sauce.
  2. Tofu and Egg Scramble: Sauté diced tofu, cooked chicken breast, and scrambled eggs with vegetables like spinach, onions, and mushrooms. Season with herbs and spices of your choice.
  3. Tofu and Shrimp Skewers: Marinate tofu cubes and shrimp in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, and lemon juice. Thread them onto skewers with colorful bell peppers. Grill until cooked.
  4. Tofu and Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps: Sauté crumbled tofu and lean ground turkey with minced garlic, ginger, and chopped water chestnuts. Season with low-sodium soy sauce. Spoon the mixture onto large lettuce leaves for a low-carb and protein-packed meal.
  5. Tofu and Chicken Salad: Combine cubed tofu, grilled chicken breast, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and sliced cucumbers in a salad bowl. Top with a light dressing of your choice. You can even use light mayo!
  6. Tofu and Turkey Burger: Mix crumbled tofu and lean ground turkey with diced onions, garlic, and your favorite herbs and spices. Form into patties/ Grill or bake until cooked. Serve on a whole-grain bun or lettuce wrap.
  7. Tofu and Egg Fried Rice: Sauté diced tofu, cooked chicken, and scrambled eggs with cooked brown rice, mixed vegetables, and a touch of low-sodium soy sauce for a flavorful and protein-rich fried rice.
  8. Tofu and Beef Stir-Fry: Stir-fry sliced tofu and lean beef strips with a variety of colorful vegetables like broccoli, snap peas, and carrots. Season with a light soy sauce or stir-fry sauce.

Can tofu make you fat?

Certainly, tofu is one of the best vegan protein sources that’s ideal for weight loss. However, we should eat tofu and other soy products in moderation. They have a lot of calories. For instance, tofu has about 270 calories per 100g.

Soy milk has fewer calories than cow’s milk, though. It’s a great plant-based alternative!

Share to...