Here’s some great new proof of the power of a plant based or vegan diet to promote weight loss as well as managing blood sugar levels. Researchers from Yale School of Medicine along with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine released this study after following 244 overweight men and women over 16 weeks. Half of the group was told to follow a low fat Vegan diet (75% carbs, 10% fat, 15% protein) and the other half was told to continue following their current diet. Both groups kept their same exercise routine.
So what happened?
The Vegan group significantly outperformed the control diet group in weight and fat loss. The Vegan group lost an astounding 13 pounds over the 16 weeks, with a significant loss of fat. Remember, this was without having to starve themselves or follow an extreme diet or fasting. Also, this was being compared to a control group who themselves were actively trying to diet and lose weight. So the difference between the two dieting groups is tremendous.
A Healthy Way to Lose Weight
This is a natural and healthy way to lose weight. This is not like extreme diets were one might have to consume only limited types of food, or starve themselves, or eat in an unnatural way. For a lot of diets, someone may lose weight until they have to go off it, because it’s not a sustainable long term solution. And then they might quickly gain the weight back. But a plant based diet is sustainable and one that can be done long term. So the weight can stay off and be permanently gone. Also, this is not a diet that would be unhealthy to eat long term. On the contrary, it is the healthiest and most natural way to eat that research and science have found. (See WFPBD Guide) You are eating natural and healthy foods which will be exactly what your body needs to maintain optimal health. This was a study done by Yale Medical School and Physicians, not a supplement company or any other type of scheme.
What caused the weight loss?
So the researchers found that there were two things working to create the weight loss for those doing the Vegan diet in the study.
- An increased metabolism
- Consuming less calories
The thermic effect of fiber
What was found was that fiber increases the metabolism and the amount of calories that the body is burning. This is called the thermic effect of food. Because a plant based or vegan diet usually has large amounts of fiber, the participants were naturally consuming more amounts of fiber than those not on a plant-based diet. This was naturally increasing the amount of calories their bodies were burning just in the process of digesting their food. In fact, they were burning 14% more calories once they started on the Vegan diet.
Consuming less calories
Whole plant based foods tend to have less calories than their animal based food counterparts. Because of this, by switching to a plant based diet, calories can almost automatically be decreased. Also the foods cause greater satiety so you feel more full with the same amount of food. In the case of the study, even though the participants were not told to restrict their food intake, they ended up eating 350 calories a day less when on the Vegan diet.
I lost weight too
I know this to be true because I lost weight when going Vegan and I wasn’t even trying to lose weight! I lost about 15 pounds without even trying and I have a smaller frame already. That’s how powerful it can be for weight loss.
It helps with blood sugar and diabetes
Blood sugar levels and insulin resistance were also found to be improved in the participants on the Vegan diet. Here’s some previous research that showed that a vegetarian diet can improve blood sugar levels even without losing weight.
This wasn’t a surprise
This study wasn’t a surprise, since it has been known previously that a plant based diet can help with weight management and diabetes. Previous studies have shown the effectiveness of the Vegan diet on weight loss. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine advocates plant based diets.