As most of us sit trying to figure out what to cut from our diets in order to shed a few pounds before summer, two culprits typically come to mind: sugar and carbs. But a new study reveals that the most effective weight-loss plan might not have anything to do with ditching sweeteners or calories — it’s all about ditching meat.
New research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reveals that dieters not only lose weight more effectively when going on a vegetarian diet, but they also boost their metabolism. A group of 74 people — all with type 2 diabetes — followed a vegetarian diet of grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and researchers discovered that the diet was twice as more effective — yes, 2x! — than a conventional one. Dieters lost an average of 14 pounds versus 7 pounds.
What’s more, the vegetarian diet also reduced muscle fat, resulting in a higher metabolism. This finding is important for people who are trying to lose weight,” says Dr. Kahleová, who studied the fat tissue of the patients, “including those suffering from metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes. But it is also relevant to anyone who takes their weight management seriously and wants to stay lean and healthy.”
If you’re not ready to go totally meatless, we feel you. That’s why we asked Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, for easy ways to replace at least one meat meal per day. “I’d definitely recommend swapping meat for beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts and seeds as often as possible, and choosing lean, animal protein such as seafood, eggs, and dairy as a part of your daily meal plan,” London says. “Keep in mind: Increasing vegetable sources of protein from cauliflower, broccoli, leafy greens, mushrooms, and avocado ‘count’ too!”