Study Shows Plant-Based Diets Are the Most Effective When It Comes to Losing Weight

Mar 31, 2022

Weight Loss and Diet

In today’s world while browsing the internet, you may be faced with a lot of conflicting and inaccurate information when it comes to diet and weight loss. With so many overwhelming diet fads out there, it can be hard to find the right one that can help you not only lose weight but keep it off without feeling restricted. 

Pink background with a journal that says "diet plan" alongside a pencil and apple

Plant-based diets have been proven to be the most effective diets for weight loss

There is also the misconception that “veganism” is a diet, when in fact it is a social justice movement dedicated to reducing harm towards nonhuman animals and the world around us. Vegans do follow a plant-based that omits any animal flesh or secretions and instead embrace plants. This plant-based diet has recently been growing in popularity due to its regard for human health, planetary health, and animal well-being and protection. 

The Most Effective Weight Loss Diet

So, how do plant-based diets rank when it comes to weight loss? Thankfully, scientists have provided us with information on how they perform during a 2013 study. It just so happens that a plant-based diet is not only the best for weight loss, but it is also the most effective in preventing and fighting off disease and illness.

Putting Plant-Based Eating to the Test

To get more technical about the study that was done, a randomized controlled trial of five different diets were tested to determine the effect of plant-based diets on weight-loss. Scientists put a plant-based diet to the test against omnivorous, semi-vegetarian, and pesto-vegetarian groups. In 2013, participants were enrolled in a 6 month randomized control trial in South Carolina. All participants attended weekly group meetings, augmented with weekly email sessions, with the exception of the omnivorous group who served as the control group. None of the diets of any group emphasized calorie restriction and participants were free to eat until they were satisfied.

The study noted that “Because traditional weight loss dietary approaches require dietary self-monitoring, which often is viewed as burdensome, time consuming, and tedious by participants, dietary approaches that do not require self-monitoring may be appealing for individuals who are resistant to dietary self-tracking. Additionally, rates of dietary adherence did not differ by group, demonstrating that no single diet emerged as easier for participants to follow.”

A pile of vegetables with a lot of hands

Plant-based diets have been proven to prevent and battle disease

After 6 months, the weight loss of the completely plant-based group, who ate a diet free of meat, dairy, and eggs was significantly different from all other groups. Completely plant-based participants decreased their fat and saturated fat more than all groups at 2 months and even 6 months into the study. The conclusion was that vegan-friendly plant-based diets may result in greater weight loss than ‘more modest recommendations’. 

Extra Benefits of Plant-Based Eating

The study also went on to state that “Well-planned vegan and vegetarian diets can provide adequate nutrition, and have demonstrated health benefits in disease prevention and treatment. Vegan and vegetarian diets have been used effectively for weight loss and maintenance.” Another important note that they made was that several epidemiologic studies have examined differences in weight-related outcomes among these diets and have found lower body weights and less weight gain over time among completely plant-based groups compared to others. 

Epidemiologic studies have found that high-fiber diets have been associated with lower body weights, and transitioning to a plant-based diet may lead to a great increase in fiber. People who follow plant-based diets rich in vegetables and fruits easily find daily fiber in foods such as lentils, black beans, pistachios, prunes, corn, chickpeas, oatmeal, brown rice, apples, broccoli and more. These studies have also gone on to find that transitioning to a plant-based diet is linked to greater decreases in dietary fat, and low-fat diets are associated with weight loss. 

In conclusion, if you are looking to lose weight, keep it off, and eat a diet that prevents illness, this study shows that plant-based diets are the way to go. Be sure to check out our various podcast episodes and free resources that can help you get started on your plant-based weight loss journey.

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