A diet that includes mostly or only foods that are originated from plants, is known as a plant based diet. Plant based diet can be a vegan diet which does not include any animal product like dairy products, eggs, honey or can be a diet that includes majority of plant based foods such as fruits, whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, but might occasionally include animal foods like milk, eggs, meat and so on. It must be right to say that plant based diet is very healthy and offers a lot of health benefits to mankind. Let us read on to know if a plant based diet help in weight loss.
Does A Plant Based Diet Help In Weight Loss?
A plant-based diet that primarily concentrates on healthful whole food plant products and not the processed foods could actually help you in your weight loss mission. You can have a better weight management when you follow a whole food plant based diet. The fiber content in plant based diets are primarily responsible for weight loss.
There are research that suggests that individuals eating mostly plant based diets tend to have a lower BMI or Body mass index and also lower rates of suffering from obesity, diseases like diabetes and heart disease than those who consume meat most of the days.(1)
Plant based diets are rich in fiber, water content and complex carbohydrates, all of which might help you keep feeling quite fuller for a longer time period and increase the energy use while resting.
One study conducted in the year 2018 has found that a plant based diet was pretty effective at treating obesity. In this study, 75 people who were overweight or suffered from obesity were assigned to either a vegan diet or a continuation of their regular diet which included meat in it. After 4 months of this, it was found that the vegan group showed a significant reduction in their weight i.e. 14.33 pounds or 6.5 kgs. The plant based vegan group even lost more of fat mass and saw improvements in their insulin sensitivity, while those consuming meat in their daily diet did not show any weight loss.
Moreover, it was also found from a study of the year 2009 that involved more than 60, 000 individuals that those who followed a vegan diet or the vegans had lowest average BMI, which was followed by people those who included plant foods along with dairy products and eggs or the lacto-ovo vegetarians and those who included fish but no meat in their plant based diet or the Pescatarians. People in the non-vegetarian food group had higher average BMI.
So, there are several studies which show that plant based diet help in weight loss and this is to be expected, since the fiber content present in most of the plant foods like fruits, whole grains, and vegetables help in losing weight.
Weight loss is actually a matter of consuming fewer calories than you actually need for your daily energy requirements. However, following a diet that restricts calorie could be frustrating most of the times, as it might make you feel hungry. However, a plant-based diet could actually help you in this regards and one of the best weight loss benefit that you get from a plant-based diet is the satiety. Whole Foods from plants, such as fruits and vegetables are packed with a higher content of water. Say for example, the green vegetables contain 90% or more of water, potatoes and various other root vegetables have 70% or more water, fresh fruits are known to have more than 80% of water, cooked grains contain 70% or more of water.
However, there are also plant-based diets, mostly the processed foods which have lesser water content. Just for example, potato chips have only 2% of water, bagel contain 37% of water, corn flakes have 3% of water, saltine crackers have 2% of water, and vegetable oils and cooking fats contain 0% of water in them. These foods might not be filling you up.
So, we can say that whole food plant based diets could be more filling and the fruits, vegetables, and cooked grains are also naturally lower in calorie than processed foods.
So, you not only feel more satisfied with a plant based diet of whole foods but you also end up consuming fewer calories that help you in weight loss. In addition, there are also several nutritional benefits that you get from these whole food plant based diets, such as vitamins A, vitamin C, and folate, along with minerals like magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants and fiber too.
So, from the above explanations we can conclude that a plant-based diet, especially the vegan diet could help you in weight loss. However, you must keep a note that including more of animal products in your diet or having more of processed foods or sugary drinks could increase your weight and result in various diseases.
NOTE: You must ensure to balance plant-based foods with good sources of plant-protein along with the complex carbohydrates and fat so as to prevent over-eating later.