How Do Plant Foods Help You Lose Weight Healthily?
Updated: Jul 18
One of the wellness trends that is taking the world by storm is a plant-based diet weight loss plan. It has been around since the time of the French revolution in 1789. Today, over 9.7 Million Americans commit to the plant-based lifestyle. Tennis star Venus Williams, the greatest football quarterback of all time Tom Brady, and Boston Celtics superstar and 2018 MVP candidate Kyrie Irving all practise a plant-based diet. Even celebrities like Benedict Cumberbatch, Zac Efron, Ariana Grande, and Beyonce support the movement to consume more plant-based foods.
A plant-based diet is a way of eating solely focused on real, whole foods that come from plants. This includes foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and whole grains. Say goodbye to meat, fish, and dairy products, and hello to healthy, delicious, plant-based foods!
What does the research say on weight loss and a plant-based diet?
One of the many reasons why people yo-yo on different diets is because they want to lose weight. It's time to get off that diet rollercoaster, as switching to a plant-based lifestyle will not disappoint you! Several studies show that a plant-based diet and weight loss go hand in hand.
In 2017, a study was published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. They have tested a group of 74 diabetics. Half of them followed a plant-based diet plan while the other half adhered to a conventional diabetes diet plan. Results show that those who adopted the plant-based diet achieved greater weight loss compared to the other group.
Susan E. Berkow, Ph.D. CNS, and Neal Barnard also released a special article in Nutrition Reviews that a plant-based diet can help in managing weight loss. Through their comprehensive study, they found out that individuals practising this diet have a lower rate of obesity. They also discovered that a person’s average weight loss on a plant-based diet is approximately one pound per week.
Weight management can be effortless on a plant-based lifestyle. This is based on the study by M Rosell, P Appleby, E Spencer & T Key published in the International Journal of Obesity. They assessed subjects who were on different diets for five years. Results show that individuals following the plant-based diet had the lowest mean weight gain and mean BMI.
Bonnie Farmer, MS, RD, and her group are also happy to report the same outcome. As per their study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, participants who switched to a plant-based diet were slimmer at the end of their study. Furthermore, they had a lower amount of fat and increased iron, potassium, vitamins, and other nutrients in their body than ever before.
Tips on starting a plant-based diet for weight loss
Stock up on healthy foods
Make sure that your kitchen is loaded with vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, and more. Dips, soda’s, instant noodles, and other unhealthy foods in your pantry should no longer have a place in your house. Since the goal here is to have a healthier lifestyle, it’s better if you prepare your own plant-based meal plan for weight loss. In this way, you can be sure that what you have prepared is truly healthy and doesn’t have unnecessary ingredients.
Keep it fun
A plant-based diet should not be plain and boring. Search for recipes online. The Internet is full of resources to explore. Having a barbecue night? Have grilled vegetable kebabs instead with some grilled tofu or tempeh. Craving for a burrito? Use a whole-wheat tortilla and add in your preferred ingredients like peppers, onions, or black beans. And who says you can’t enjoy a healthy dessert? You can make fruit smoothies, ice cream or cookies all using plant-based ingredients. The possibilities are endless!
Slowly remove meat from diet
Most of us have eaten meat our entire lives and removing them from our daily consumption can be a challenge. When switching to a plant-based diet weight loss plan, remove meat from one meal at a time and replace it with a plant protein. Before you know it, you’ll be eating all plants!
Unsaturated fats are good too
Fats are important for our bodies. Aside from being an energy source, it also helps protect the heart and the brain. However, they should not be the main focus of meals, especially if the goal is for weight loss. Whole plant-based fats such as avocados, olives, seeds, and nuts, can be added to your meals in moderation.
Don’t deprive yourself
If you’re hungry, eat. It’s as simple as that. But make sure that what you are eating is healthy. Beans, potatoes, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta or bread, and other whole-foods are a good addition to your meals. These foods are rich in fibre and can help keep you fuller for longer.
How can a health coach help you with your weight loss journey?
Let’s admit it, no matter how motivated we are to lose weight, sometimes, we still get lost on the way. That’s where a health coach comes into the picture. They help individuals attain their weight loss goals through developing sustainable eating habits. Diets are not a 'one-size-fits-all' solution. A health coach will help you find the diet that best fits your lifestyle and health requirements. They partner up with you to create a custom plan and provide a support system through motivation and accountability.
If you’re trying to achieve the body of your dreams, a plant-based diet weight loss program is something that you should give a try. Don’t know how or where to start your plant-based journey? A plant-based health coach can help you out today!