Your metabolism controls how quickly your body burns the calories you use up. Of course, if you’ve tried losing weight but haven’t been very lucky, then you are naturally wondering whether the root of the problem is due to a slow metabolism. Indeed, you may be on to something (here are 15 warning signs that your metabolism is “sluggish”). But don’t worry, new research suggests that there is an easy way to get your metabolism going again.
You can now reverse this problemsays a new one Study published in the Journal of the American Medical Associationwho found this A low-fat, vegan diet enabled obese adults to increase their calorie consumption by nearly 19% in just 16 weeks. (Connected: 15 underrated weight loss tips that actually work.)
A team of scientists led by Dr. Hana Kahleova, director of clinical research at the Medical Committee for Responsible MedicineI already knew that plant-based diets can help people lose weight. So they went a step further and investigated why this is the case. Together, they recruited over 3,000 adults who wanted to lose weight and selected 244 (211 of them women with an average age of 54) who were overweight but otherwise healthy and had no history of diabetes. For the next 16 weeks, half followed a low-fat, vegan diet no calorie limit that consisted of 75% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 10% fat. The other half did not change their diet.
At the beginning of the study, Dr. Kahleova measured and recorded the weight, body composition, and cholesterol levels of all individuals, as well as a number of indicators of metabolic function, including “afterburn,” which is how many calories were burned after consuming a standardized meal. After 16 weeks, when the measurements were taken again, those who ate plant-based diets averaged lost 14 pounds and increased her afterburn by almost 19%.
“It was exciting to see such profound health improvements in such a short time,” said Dr. Khaleova on Eat This, Not That! In addition to weight loss and increased afterburn, the herbal group saw:
The story goes on
significant fat loss, including dangerous belly fat
a significant decrease in insulin resistance associated with diabetes and prediabetes
dramatically lower LDL cholesterol levels or the kind harmful to heart health
The control group saw no such changes, although both groups reported (on average) that they ate fewer calories and exercised slightly less than usual during the study period. The team of Dr. Kahleova concluded that a low-fat, vegan diet leads to weight loss by both reducing total caloric intake and speeding up metabolism.
“A plant-based diet is an affordable and accessible option for anyone looking to improve their health,” says Dr. Kahleova. At the same time, she expects future studies to investigate the extent to which this nutritional strategy can help people with diabetes.
If you are planning on following a low fat and vegan diet, it may be worth noting that the people who are in Dr. Kahleova’s study on eating vegan, received additional vitamin B12 that may be missing in strictly plant-based diets. Before you start adding any supplements, here are 6 things to consider.
Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest news on weight loss and get it delivered to your inbox every day.