‘Best’ diet for weight loss named – ‘lose 16lbs more’ than other diets, study suggests

Bill Turnbull discusses his weight loss after switch to vegan diet

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Overweight but wanting to change that? According to new research, following a vegan diet can help those carrying a few extra pounds lose a significant amount of weight in just three months. 

The European Congress on Obesity conducted 11 randomised trials.

796 people who were overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 25 were included. 

The trials compared vegan diets with either a control group (who followed their typical eating habits) or another diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, for at least 12 weeks, and 19 weeks on average. 

When comparing a vegan diet to other diets such as the Mediterranean diet, participants lost around nine pounds on average. 

The researchers found even greater weight loss when they compared the vegan diet participants to a normal diet, around 16lbs.

When comparing other diets – such as the Mediterranean diet – to a normal diet, only six pounds was lost on average. 

The results suggest a vegan diet could be the most useful diet for losing and then managing weight. 

Anne-Ditte Termannsen, of the Steno Diabetes Centre in Copenhagen, led the research. 

She commented on the results: “This rigorous assessment of the best available evidence to date indicates with reasonable certainty that adhering to a vegan diet for at least 12 weeks may result in clinically meaningful weight loss and improve blood sugar levels, and therefore can be used in the management of overweight and type 2 diabetes.

“Vegan diets likely lead to weight loss because they are associated with a reduced-calorie intake due to a lower content of fat and higher content of dietary fibre.”

What is a vegan diet? 

The definition of veganism is: “The practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.” 

It is similar to a “plant-based diet” but vegans eliminate all animal products, while plant-based diets do not necessarily eliminate animal products, but focus on eating mostly plants, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts. 

As for why a vegan diet might help someone lose weight, a lot of the foods consumed are low in calories, thus instantly putting someone into a calorie deficit if not managed correctly. 

Vegan foods are also high in fibre; vegetables and legumes. 

Fibre slows down digestion, thus impacting the feeling of hunger. 

It also plays an important part in preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes, therefore balancing out energy levels and reducing the urge to snack. 

As for when weight loss begins, some see weight loss after their first week of eating vegan.

But there are some concerns about the amount of protein consumed on a vegan diet. 

For anyone worried about muscle mass, one way to preserve muscle mass during weight loss is through exercise. 

including resistance training, even just a few times a week can help prevent more than 90% of the loss of lean body mass (muscles) during caloric restriction.

For those looking to add additional protein to their diet, there is a range of plant-based and vegan protein powders on the market. 

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