The new study comes from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which assessed the calories people burn when eating a plant-based diet versus a common omnivorous diet. The participants were all overweight but had no history of diabetes.
In the plant-based diet group, participants ate vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains for 15 weeks. The control group continued to eat normally. There were no changes in medication or exercise habits in either group.
The results were surprising. According to the study, the plant-based diet group burned an average of 18.7 percent more calories after meals, while the normal diet group didn’t see much change in metabolism. Likewise, the plant-based group lost (on average) about 14 pounds, while the regular-diet-based group remained largely unchanged.
Other changes in the plant-based diet group were related to the nature of the low-fat diet, which included lower cholesterol levels – which in turn lowered their odds of heart disease, diabetes and similar diseases.
Hana Kahleova, MD, author of the study, said:
“These findings are groundbreaking for the 160 million people who struggle with overweight and obesity. Burning more calories after each meal can have a significant impact on weight management over a period of years or even decades.”