Whole Food Plant-Based, Oil-Free Diets Are Powerful for Weight Loss
When you hear of the word weight loss diet, the first thing that will come into your mind is how you should eat less. After all, everyone is programmed into thinking that the best way to lose weight is to have caloric restrictions. Recent studies, however, show that this might not be the case and that you can still eat as much as you want to. The secret lies in specifying the type of food that you eat and focusing it towards a plant-based approach. A plant-based diet emphasizes the need for high nutrient, low fat and low glycemic index foods that can help you shed off the unwanted pounds and prevent the development of health complications without compromising taste and quantity.
At least 70% of weight loss comes from diet, not exercise. Additionally, there is ample evidence that vegan and vegetarian eating are associated with lower BMI, weight loss as well as lower risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina, however, focused directly on how plant-based diets can be compared to omnivorous dietary patterns when it comes to managing body weight.
Research Studies and Patient Experience Confirm Weight Loss Success
Sixty-three adults, all of whom were diagnosed with obesity or were significantly overweight participated in this randomized study. It ran for eight weeks and compared five different approaches in diet including vegan, vegetarian, pescovegetarian, flexitarian and omnivorous. All of these dietary approaches focused on low-fat and low-glycemic index foods. After eight weeks, those who followed a strict plant-based diet lost an average of 8.2 to 9.9 pounds. Those that consume meat as part of their diet lost 5.1 pounds
Another study published in Nutrition Reviews showed that those who follow vegan and vegetarian diets are able to manage their weight better than those who eat meat. The study showed that weight loss occurs at a rate of one pound per week and is completely independent of exercise regimens. The researchers suggest that eating plant-based food can lead to better burning of calories compared to an animal-based diet where excess calories are stored in the body as fat. Aside from being fitter than their meat-eating counterparts, vegans and vegetarians also consume more nutrients including folate, vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium, thiamin and riboflavin while also consuming lesser amounts of fats. A separate study in 2009 was able to create an association between obesity and meat consumption through the use of linear and logistic regression.
Both research by the Adventist Health Study and by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition showed that those who followed a plant-based over the course of five years had significantly lower BMI than those who ate fish and meat. According to the European researchers, BMI among vegans and vegetarians are lower by two points compared to meat-eating individuals. Vegetarian children are also found to be leaner and it becomes more evident as they enter adolescence. For these reasons, the researchers highly recommend this dietary pattern as an effective approach to preventing obesity among children.
While the reasons for the greater loss in weight among those who follow a plant-based diet still needs more study, the University of South Carolina researchers attribute it to the fact that plant foods have high nutrient content but contain the lowest amount of saturated fat. And although there are no caloric restrictions, vegans and vegetarians are able to control what they eat since they feel fuller from the higher fiber, high complex carbohydrate and high water content in plant foods.
Thriving on Plants has an AWESOME 14-Day Shred Vegan Weight Loss Program that can really help your drop a few pounds fast! This fabulous program takes you through 14-day days of mindset change and suggest meals. It is affordable for ALL and touches on each aspect of what to do, step by step, to drop weight during just 14 days. Our program is a great reset for your eating to support your metabolism. It goes over all the rock-solid foundational holistic health basics, like how to balance blood sugar, improve metabolism, and ramp up overall health in the process – all while shedding those pounds, baby!
Your Taste Buds Will Adjust to Your New Way of Eating
Although following a plant-based diet can be tough at first, it does get much easier over time. Compared to other weight loss programs where there are a lot of limitations, restrictions, and monitoring, following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is simpler to adhere to once you develop the habit. This is also the reason why managing your weight on a long-term basis is possible in plant-based eating. It is good to focus on what you will eat and not on what you should not eat. If you are constantly thinking that you will feel deprived because there is a restriction on eating meat, chances are, your actions will start to reflect it. Instead of thinking about your limitations, focus on how you can create great meals with plant-based food such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts and beans. Since there are no caloric restrictions in your meals, you can eat your portions well.
There are a few other things to keep in mind. One is the great help that eating legumes (beans) can be in your diet. Legumes contain high amounts of protein. But other than that, the fiber content helps you feel fuller faster and longer, so you won’t be craving to eat more or in between meals. You should opt to get your fats from moderate amounts of nuts and seeds. Aside from protein, nuts contain monounsaturated fats, making it a healthier alternative to meat and processed foods which contain saturated and trans fats. You can easily incorporate nuts or seeds in your meals, be it as a topping to your oatmeal, salad or desserts. Most are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, so they make an ideal snack that will make you feel fuller longer. However, with nuts and seeds you should still limit your intake if your goal is to lose weight. If you want to have nuts for snacks, choose unsalted pistachio. This type of nut only contains 100 calories for every 30 pieces.
You’ll Likely Be Eating More Volume of Food with Fewer Calories
With a goal of weight loss, it is good to opt for fresh or frozen food instead of canned. When buying produce, the best choice is fresh organic food. However, if the vegetable of your choice is not in season, go for the frozen option instead. Frozen produce is picked at their peak of ripeness and their nutrition content is still intact from the packing. Avoid buying canned produce. Aside from the cocktail of preservatives and sodium which lowers its nutritional content, you also risk yourself to BPA exposure. The majority of cans are lined with BPA which has endocrine disrupting components. BPA can potentially leach into your food especially when exposed to heat or to acid. If you want preserved foods, opt for the jarred options instead. Just make sure that it is contained in food-grade, lead-free glass.
There are many ways to replace the meat when eating plant-based. Mushroom has a savory flavor that is comparable to meat. Grill it and eat it on its own or make it a patty to your burger. Another great substitute for meat is tofu. Above all, if you are currently eating a standard western diet, you’ll probably find the best success if you ease into a plant-based eating lifestyle. You don’t necessarily have to go to the grocery and buy every fruit and vegetable that you see. As you move through this new lifestyle, introduce yourself to new types of foods. Experiment different ways of food preparation that goes beyond salads and incorporate new plant food every time you do so. This is a great way to be constantly excited with what you eat.
Have you experienced weight loss after adopting a plant-based diet? We’d love to hear all about your success below!
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Thriving on Plants has an AWESOME 14-Day Shred Vegan Weight Loss Program that can really help your drop a few pounds fast! This fabulous program takes you through 14 days of mindset change and suggest meals. It is affordable for ALL and touches on each aspect of what to do, step by step, to drop weight during just 14 days.
Our program is a great reset for your eating to support your metabolism. It goes over all the rock-solid foundational holistic health basics, like how to balance blood sugar, improve metabolism, and ramp up overall health in the process – all while shedding those pounds, baby!