Blog Nutrition Fenugreek For Weight Gain Or Weight Loss: The Truth According To Science

Fenugreek For Weight Gain Or Weight Loss: The Truth According To Science

Fenugreek is a potent herb that has a long history of use in traditional medicine. In Indian and Chinese medicine, it’s often used to treat digestive issues, respiratory problems, and inflammation. 

In recent years, fenugreek has gained popularity for its purported effects on body weight. Conflicting evidence exists regarding whether fenugreek can help with weight loss or weight gain. In this article, we take a close look at the science to find out the truth.

What Is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an annual plant in the family Fabaceae, with leaves that resemble clover and small white flowers. The plant is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region and is now common in India, North Africa, and the Middle East (4). 

Fenugreek seeds are the part of the plant that is most often used in cooking and traditional medicine. They have a slightly bitter taste and are often used to flavor curries, pickles, and other dishes. 

The seeds can also be sprouted and eaten fresh or dried and made into a powder that can be used as a spice or supplement.

Fenugreek is a source of several bioactive compounds, including fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals. These substances may offer health benefits, such as improved digestion, blood sugar control, and inflammation reduction (4).

How Does Fenugreek Affect Appetite?

You may have seen claims online that fenugreek works as an appetite stimulant that can help with weight gain. However, limited human studies suggest the opposite. 

Fenugreek is believed to increase the levels of hormones cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide-1, both of which are involved in appetite regulation. 

One study found that adding fenugreek to a carbohydrate-containing meal increased satiety (fullness) in overweight or obese individuals (27). 

Other studies have also found increased satiety and reduced food intake as a result of fenugreek supplementation (q).

Fenugreek may also increase levels of the hormone insulin or increase the number of insulin receptors on cells, which can help glucose get into cells and reduce the blood sugar response after you’ve eaten. The same study also found a reduced blood sugar response when participants added fenugreek to a carbohydrate meal (27). This may be useful for people with diabetes or insulin resistance. 

See also
Protein Powder 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Popular Supplement

So, while fenugreek may promote satiety, more research is required to determine if these effects are significant enough to cause actual weight loss over time.

Reasons why BetterMe is a safe bet: a wide range of calorie-blasting workouts, finger-licking recipes, 24/7 support, challenges that’ll keep you on your best game, and that just scratches the surface! Start using our app and watch the magic happen.

Will Fenugreek Help You Lose Weight?

In addition to its potential role as an appetite suppressant, fenugreek is believed to aid weight loss through several mechanisms. 

Fenugreek seeds are high in fiber, which can help you feel full and eat less. They contain a type of soluble fiber called galactomannan, which may act as a prebiotic to support a healthy gut microbiome (17). 

Fiber may also help slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which is beneficial for blood sugar control. In an older study, people with type 1 diabetes who took fenugreek seed powder were found to have better blood sugar levels after 10 days. They also experienced reductions in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (12). 

Fenugreek is also believed to increase the breakdown of fat cells and reduce the absorption of fat from the gut. 

One study found that rats given fenugreek seed extract on a high-fat diet experienced less weight gain and body fat accumulation and improved markers of glucose and lipid metabolism (16). 

In addition, fenugreek is a source of an amino acid called 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which may stimulate insulin release and help regulate blood sugar levels (1). This may theoretically contribute to reduced food cravings and weight loss.

Finally, fenugreek extract may increase the levels of hormones testosterone and adiponectin. Testosterone is associated with increased muscle mass, while adiponectin is believed to promote fat loss (6) (25). 

See also
7 Types of Salad to Add Color and Crunch to Your Plateau

While all of these potential effects are promising, more research is required in order to determine whether fenugreek can actually help people lose weight.

fenugreek weight gain  

How to Use Fenugreek for Safe Weight Gain

Sometimes people need to gain weight for medical reasons. Being underweight can place people at risk for health problems such as malnutrition, osteoporosis, infertility, and an increased susceptibility to infection (8). 

If your doctor has recommended that you gain weight, you’ll need to make changes that increase your calorie intake. 

Most evidence points to fenugreek supplementation helping with weight loss rather than weight gain. However, if you enjoy the taste of fenugreek, using it in dishes such as soups, stews, and curries can make them more enjoyable for you, which can lead to you eating more.

Explore other nutritious options for increasing weight in our blog post – Healthy High-Calorie Vegan Foods For Weight Gain.

Lifestyle Factors to Consider

Using fenugreek for weight gain may or may not be effective, but there are other lifestyle factors that can also contribute to weight gain. 

Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re trying to gain weight: 

Eat More Calories Than Your Body Needs

You can use an online calorie calculator to estimate your daily calorie needs and then add 500 or so extra calories per day. 

Choose Nutrient-rich Foods

Make sure you fill up on nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Limit ultra-processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of saturated and unhealthy fats. 

Eat Often 

To make it easier to consume more calories, eat smaller meals or snacks every few hours rather than three large meals per day. 

Strength Train 

Strength training can help you build muscle mass, which can increase your calorie needs (19). Try to perform strength-training exercises two to three times per week if your doctor thinks it’s safe for you, and make sure you eat enough calories and protein to support muscle building. 

See also
4 Of The Best Mung Bean Recipes To Try

Be Patient

Gaining weight takes time, so don’t expect to see results overnight. Give yourself several months to see gradual improvements. 

How to Use Fenugreek for Weight Loss

If you’re interested in using fenugreek for weight loss, there are several ways of adding it to your diet. 

Fenugreek seeds can be sprouted and eaten fresh or dried or made into a powder that can be used as a spice or supplement. They can be soaked in water and made into tea. You can also take fenugreek supplements in capsule or tablet form.

When using fenugreek seeds, it may help to soak them in water for several hours before you consume them. This will help reduce their bitterness, making them easier to digest. 

If you’re taking fenugreek supplements, make sure you follow the instructions on the package. As with any supplement, it’s important to talk to your doctor before you take fenugreek for weight loss or any other purpose. 

Fenugreek is generally safe, but it can cause side effects such as bloating, diarrhea, and gas in some people (5). It may also lower blood sugar levels, so if you have diabetes or are taking medications to lower your blood sugar, make sure you monitor your blood sugar closely.

Fenugreek may also interact with certain medications, so make sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if it’s safe for you.

Read more: 7-Day Weight Gain Diet: Tips and Tricks to Maximize Your Gains

fenugreek weight gain  

Lifestyle Factors to Consider

In addition to adding fenugreek to your diet, there are other lifestyle changes you can make to lose weight and keep it off. 

Firstly, get plenty of exercise. Exercise helps you burn calories and build muscle, and it also helps reduce stress levels. Stress can lead to unhealthy eating habits, so it’s important to find ways of managing it (28). Finding ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine is also incredibly beneficial. 

See also
Mint Water Benefits, Risks, And Recipes

Secondly, eating a healthy diet is essential for weight loss. Make sure to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet. Limit ultra-processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of alcohol (28). 

Finally, make sure you get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to increased hunger and cravings, so be sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep per night (23).

BetterMe app will provide you with a host of fat-frying fitness routines that’ll scare the extra pounds away and turn your body into a masterpiece! Get your life moving in the right direction with BetterMe!

Other Health Benefits of Fenugreek

Weight management isn’t the only health benefit that is associated with fenugreek. Fenugreek has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for a variety of purposes. 

Some of the other potential health benefits of fenugreek include: 

Reducing Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural process that helps your body heal from injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation is associated with a variety of health problems, such as heart disease, arthritis, and some cancers (9).

Fenugreek has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation throughout the body (14). 

Helping With Digestion

Fenugreek is a source of fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system. 

Fiber helps add bulk to your stool, which can make bowel movements easier and help reduce constipation. Fiber may also help reduce the risk of or manage other digestive problems such as hemorrhoids, constipation, and diverticulitis (18). 

Lowering Blood Sugar Levels

Fenugreek has been proven to lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes (3). 

Fenugreek seeds contain a type of fiber that slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, helping keep blood sugar levels stable. 

Fenugreek may also help improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for people with diabetes. You should discuss the use of fenugreek with your doctor if you have diabetes or are taking medication to lower your blood sugar. 

See also
Juice It Up! A Guide to Reaping the Health Benefits of Mango Juice

Reducing Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease (26). Fenugreek seeds contain fiber and other nutrients that may help reduce cholesterol levels. 

In one meta-analysis, fenugreek supplementation was found to reduce total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol (11). 

Fenugreek seeds may also help increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels (11).

Improving Menstrual Symptoms

Fenugreek has been used for centuries for treating menstrual problems such as cramps and heavy bleeding. 

Fenugreek is a phytoestrogen, which means it’s a plant compound that may have weak estrogen-like effects in the body (20). 

Estrogen is a hormone that plays an important role in the menstrual cycle. Fenugreek may help relieve menstrual symptoms, potentially due to its phytoestrogen properties (13). 


Fenugreek is sometimes used to increase milk production in breastfeeding mothers. 

Fenugreek seeds contain a compound that’s believed to mimic the effects of the hormone prolactin, which is important for milk production. 

In one meta-analysis, fenugreek was found to increase milk production in nursing mothers (10). It may not work for everyone, and can cause side effects, so you should consult your doctor before you try fenugreek or any other supplement to increase your milk supply.

Read more: Healthy High Calorie Vegan Foods For Weight Gain

fenugreek weight gain  


  • Which seeds are good for weight gain?

Fatty seeds that are high in calories, protein, and healthy fats can be good for weight gain. Examples of such seeds include:

Sunflower Seeds: Packed with protein and monounsaturated fats, sunflower seeds are a calorically dense snack that can contribute to a healthy diet for weight gain. They also contain significant amounts of vitamin E and magnesium, which are essential for overall health.

Pumpkin Seeds: These seeds are high in calories and also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. In addition, they offer a substantial amount of protein and dietary fiber that promotes muscle mass and aids digestion.

Sesame Seeds: Often used in baking and cooking for their nutty flavor, sesame seeds are high in calories and contain healthy fats that can help in adding weight. They are also an excellent source of calcium, which is essential for bone health

Chia Seeds: While they’re known for promoting weight loss due to their high fiber content, chia seeds are also calorie-dense and can help with weight gain when they’re consumed as part of a healthy weight gain diet. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can be easily incorporated into various dishes.

Flaxseeds: These seeds are another excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and are calorie-dense, which can help with healthy weight gain. They also provide antioxidants and fiber, supporting digestive health and preventing chronic diseases.

Hemp Seeds: They offer an excellent balance of essential fatty acids and can promote weight gain due to their high calorie and healthy fat content. Furthermore, they’re a complete protein source and contain all nine essential amino acids that are necessary for muscle growth and repair.

Discover more food options for weight gain in our previous post – 13 High-Calorie, Low-Carb Foods for Safe and Effective Weight Gain.

  • Does fenugreek increase muscle mass?

Fenugreek seeds are rich in protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals that can support muscle mass development.

  • Protein: Fenugreek seeds are approximately 25% protein by weight, which makes them a valuable source of this essential macronutrient. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissues.
  • Iron: Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to muscles during exercise. Adequate iron intake can prevent fatigue and promote endurance during workouts (21).
  • Calcium: This mineral is vital for muscle and bone health, as it supports contraction and relaxation of muscles. Calcium also helps in strengthening bones, which can help prevent fractures during weightlifting or other physical activities (7).
  • Magnesium: Similar to calcium, magnesium plays a vital role in muscle function and energy production. It may also help regulate blood sugar levels, which can impact muscle growth and recovery (22).

The impact fenugreek has on muscle mass has been examined in several studies and promising results have been achieved.

Some studies have shown that fenugreek supplementation may increase muscle strength and endurance, along with improvements in body composition (15). However, more research is required to determine the exact mechanisms of how fenugreek affects muscle mass.

Incorporating fenugreek seeds into a balanced diet may potentially promote muscle mass development due to their nutrient content and potential benefits for exercise performance.

  • Is fenugreek good for belly fat?

Fenugreek alone cannot target and eliminate belly fat, but it may have appetite-suppressing effects and may help with weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Fenugreek is believed to increase the levels of hormones cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide-1, both of which are involved in appetite regulation. 

One study found adding fenugreek to a carbohydrate-containing meal to increase satiety (fullness) in overweight or obese individuals (27). 

Other studies have also found increased satiety and reduced food intake with fenugreek supplementation (2).

In addition, fenugreek is a source of an amino acid called 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which may stimulate insulin release and help regulate blood sugar levels (1). This may theoretically lead to reduced food cravings and weight loss.

  • Do pumpkin seeds increase weight?

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are high in calories and healthy fats and can contribute to weight gain. However, as with any other food, consuming pumpkin seeds alone will not automatically lead to an increase in weight.

Weight gain is determined by overall caloric intake and expenditure. If you consume more calories than you burn through daily activities and exercise, then you’re likely to gain weight. Similarly, if you consume fewer calories than you burn, you may lose weight.

If you’re curious about fasting and gaining pounds, check out our previous post: Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Weight Gain?

  • Are chia seeds best for weight gain?

Chia seeds may not directly contribute to weight gain, but they can be a nutritional addition to a balanced diet that promotes healthy weight management. They offer protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids that promote satiety and support digestive health (24).

The Bottom Line

Fenugreek is a plant that has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It has gained popularity for its purported effects on body weight in recent years. 

Conflicting claims exist regarding whether fenugreek can help with weight loss or weight gain. It is believed by some to increase appetite and promote weight gain, but limited scientific evidence suggests that it may actually help you feel full and eat less. 

More research is required to determine the effects of fenugreek on body weight. If you’re trying to lose weight, there are more reliable and effective ways of doing so, including following a healthy diet and exercising regularly.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. 4-Hydroxyisoleucine: a plant-derived treatment for metabolic syndrome (2009,
  2. A fenugreek seed extract selectively reduces spontaneous fat consumption in healthy volunteers (2009,
  3. A simple dietary addition of fenugreek seed leads to the reduction in blood glucose levels: A parallel group, randomized single-blind trial (2017,
  4. A small plant with big benefits: Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.) for disease prevention and health promotion (2017,
  5. A systematic literature review of fenugreek seed toxicity by using ToxRTool: evidence from preclinical and clinical studies (2019,
  6. Beneficial effects of fenugreek glycoside supplementation in male subjects during resistance training: A randomized controlled pilot study (2016,
  7. Calcium and calcium supplements: Achieving the right balance – Mayo Clinic (2022,
  8. Caution, “normal” BMI: health risks associated with potentially masked individual underweight—EPMA Position Paper 2021 (2021, 
  9. Chronic Inflammation (2021,
  10. Effectiveness of fenugreek as a galactagogue: A network meta-analysis (2018,
  11. Effect of fenugreek consumption on serum lipid profile: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2020,
  12. Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type I diabetes (1990,
  13. Effects of Fenugreek Seed on the Severity and Systemic Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea (2014,
  14. Fenugreek: A review on its nutraceutical properties and utilization in various food products (2018,
  15. Fenugreek and Its Effects on Muscle Performance: A Systematic Review (2023,
  16. Fenugreek Seed Extract Inhibit Fat Accumulation and Ameliorates Dyslipidemia in High Fat Diet-Induced Obese Rats (2014,
  17. Galactomannan from Trigonella foenum‐graecum L. seed: Prebiotic application and its fermentation by the probiotic Bacillus coagulans strain MTCC 5856 (2018,
  18. Health benefits of dietary fiber (2009,
  19. Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High Frequency Strength Training to Lower Frequency Strength Training (2016,
  20. In vitro estrogenic activities of fenugreek Trigonella foenum graecum seeds (2010,
  21. Iron Status and Physical Performance in Athletes (2023,
  22. Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions (2018,
  23. Metabolic consequences of sleep and circadian disorders (2015,
  24. Optimising foods for satiety (2015,
  25. The Important Role of Adiponectin and Orexin-A, Two Key Proteins Improving Healthy Status: Focus on Physical Activity (2020,
  26. Total cholesterol as a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke in women compared with men: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2016,
  27. Trigonella Foenum-Graecum Seeds Lowers Postprandial Blood Glucose in Overweight and Obese Individuals (2014,
  28. Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies (2014,


150 million people
have chosen BetterMe

I've struggled to maintain programs…

I've struggled to maintain programs before, but somehow I've been able to stick with this. I enjoy the workouts and have made healthy changes to my diet with the challenges. Its nice for something to really have stuck and worked. I did the sugar free challenge and it's really changed how I relate to the signals my body is giving me about the food I'm eating.

Our Journey

This has been an awesome journey for my wife and I. Not only are we losing weight , but we are living a new life style. Our eating habits have been reformed by following the meal plan and our bodies have become stronger by simply doing the ten minute, sometimes twenty minute workouts. It really has been easy and convenient to transition into a healthier routine and has truly re energized our lives moving forward into the future.

It Works! This program is working for me!

lynne R.
This program is working for me! After a little over a month, I have lost 10 pounds. Slow, but steady. Guided exercises are done daily and there is an option to do other routines beside the one chosen for the day. It is very helpful having the recipes for all meals plus a snack. Would like if we could know the ingredients the day before. Makes preparing alot easier. I like the fact that alternative foods are suggested in case you can't eat(or don't like) the recipes listed. This is a very good program. Stick to it and YOU will see results. I have!