Many people these days have made the switch to following a plant-based diet, but did you know that a plant-based diet speeds up your metabolism?
A plant-based diet boosts “after-meal burn,” leads to weight loss, and improves cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight individuals, according to a new randomized control trial published in JAMA Network Open by researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Researchers used indirect calorimetry to measure how many calories participants burned after a standardized meal at both the beginning and end of the study. The plant-based group increased after-meal calorie burn by 18.7%, on average, after 16 weeks. The control group’s after-meal burn did not change significantly.
“These findings are groundbreaking for the 160 million Americans struggling with overweight and obesity,” said study author Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee. “Over the course of years and decades, burning more calories after every meal can make a significant difference in weight management.”
The study randomly assigned participants—who were overweight and had no history of diabetes—to an intervention or control group in a 1:1 ratio. For 16 weeks, participants in the intervention group followed a low-fat, plant-based diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes with no calorie limit. The control group made no diet changes. Neither group changed exercise or medication routines, unless directed by their personal doctors.
Within just 16 weeks, participants in the plant-based group lowered their body weight by 6.4 kg (about 14 pounds), on average, compared to an insignificant change in the control group. The plant-based group also saw significant drops in fat mass and visceral fat volume—the dangerous fat found around the internal organs.
Find out how you can switch to a whole food, plant-based diet to lose weight and feel amazing.