Flaxseeds are used to treat metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, hyperlipidemia and obesity. Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) is a main substance of lignan which belongs to the phytoestrogen family and exists abundantly in flaxseeds. In this study, SDG reduced the body weight and size of adipose tissue, and decreased protein expressions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα) in the high fat diet-fed-induced obese mice model. In the vitro study, we examined the anti-adipogenic effect of SDG during differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells into adipocytes. 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were differentiated and treated with various concentrations of SDG. Oil Red O staining was done to measure the quantity of lipid contents. As a result, SDG reduced lipid accumulation and decreased the expressions of adipogenic-related genes such as adipocyte fatty-acid-binding protein 2, adiponectin, and resistin. SDG also decreased the mRNA and protein levels of PPARγ and C/EBPα. Furthermore, phosphorylation levels of AMP-activated protein kinase α (AMPK α) and its upstream activator, liver kinase B1, were significantly increased by SDG in 3T3-L1 cells. These results suggest that SDG inhibits adipogenesis by activating AMPKα, suggesting it could be an attractive therapeutic candidate for the treatment of obesity.