How A Plant-Based Diet Can Increase Your Metabolism

If you're looking to lose weight, a vegan diet might be a good choice since it can increase your metabolism. That's the conclusion of a 2020 study published in JAMA Network Open. Researchers studied a low fat plant-based diet with 222 people between the ages of 25 and 75 with a BMI ranging between 28 and 40. They wanted to learn if a vegan diet could help with weight loss, reduce visceral fat, and improve metabolism. 

The researchers are with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and they partnered with Dr. Gerald Shulman and Dr. Kitt Petersen from Yale University. They completed a four-month trial with 222 participants. One group of people in the study ate a low-fat vegan diet with portion sizes that were the same size as what they usually ate. The other group was the control group, which meant that they didn't change any of their eating habits. Neither group altered their exercise habits (via Medical News Today).

The researchers had all participants limit their alcohol intake. Men were allowed up to two drinks a day, while women were limited to one drink a day. They took measurements before and after the four-month study — with big results.

How a plant-based vegan diet could change your body

At the end of the study, the vegan group saw an average weight loss of 14 pounds, significant fat loss, averaged an 18.7% boost in their metabolism, had a decrease in insulin resistance, and a significant reduction in body fat, the type that gets stored around organs.

The control group, who did not change their diets, didn't have any significant weight loss, reduced insulin resistance, any change in metabolism, or reduced body fat. The study made it clear that a low-fat plant-based diet significantly impacted the intervention group's weight and overall health.

This study's results are groundbreaking for anyone looking to lose weight and experience all of the health benefits that could come with adopting a plant-based diet. It seems a low-fat plant-based diet can possibly help you lose weight, decrease your insulin resistance, shed fat, boost your metabolism, and get rid of some visceral fat. This diet had results in four months. Not just that — lead study author Dr. Hana Kahleova said the effects of boosting your metabolism could help out in the long-term: "Over the course of years and decades, burning more calories after every meal can make a significant difference in weight management," according to Medical News Today.