Can't seem to lose that last 10 poundsor any pounds, for that matter? We feel you, this winter's been rough. Well, it turns out that a plant-based approach to eating may be your answer.
A new review of 15 studies published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that people following a vegan or mostly vegan dieteven without changing their exercise routine or controlling portions (yes, you heard that right!)lost an average of 10 pounds over 44 weeks.
The reason is two-fold, says study author Neal Barnard, MD. The first, and more obvious, is that a plant-based diet is naturally modest in calories. "Vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and beansthe core of a vegan dietare lower in fat and have loads of fiber," says Barnard. "So they fill you up without filling you out."
The second reason is that people who adopt a vegan diet boost their after-meal metabolism by about 16%. "It happens after every meal and lasts about three hours," says Barnard. "Over time, this equates to a significant calorie burn." The reason isn't totally clear, but potentially because a plant-based diet increases insulin sensitivity, enabling a faster conversion of energy.
Not sure if you want to eat all plants, all the time? You may want to try it, at least, because going halfway won't bring you the same weight-loss benefits, according to Barnard. "If you're feeling a bit nervous about rethinking the menu, test out an all plant-based diet for three weeks and see how you feel." Chances are, you'll notice some other improvements, too. Vegan diets have been shown to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and cancer risk, and emerging research suggests they help prevent Alzheimer's disease.
Test the plant-based waters with these 9 Vegan Recipes Even Meat Eaters Will Love.
Vegan Diet And Weight Loss | Prevention