It seems to me that people are trying to lose weight in more ways than ever. Whether it’s with strict dieting, subscription meal plans, surgery, or even checking out a sexy butt on instagram to stay motivated – there are a lot of ways to make even the healthiest person want to “look a little better”. It is not a surprise to me that people rather cut meat out of the diet for the sake of their dress size than Mother Nature. Many celebrities vouch for a vegan or vegetarian diet as a guaranteed way to lose weight, but does it work? Do vegetarians and vegans lose weight faster?
My first instinct like most of you is that vegans must be the skinniest. I think vegans get a strange reputation because vegetarians mistakenly imagine them being super hungry and yearning for cheese all the time. Meat eaters tend to think anyone who doesn’t eat meat is missing something major in their diet and going against their own physiology. As a vegetarian myself, I have actually experienced this many times. On behalf of vegans and vegetarians everywhere, think again.
A study done by a group of researchers affiliated with Harvard’s T.H. Chan School sought to find out if vegan and vegetarian diets cause weight loss. The participants in the study ranged in age from 18-82 years old as well as health conditions and weight. Their diets were compared with non-vegetarian eaters and had a follow up period of up to two years.The participants had support and meal plans and were tracked meticulously by doctors. But as you can imagine, results can only be as perfect as the study permits.
Overall the results showed “that those on vegetarian diets lost around 4.4 pounds more than the control group (who had no change in diet), while those on a vegan diet dropped 5.5 pounds more.” This shows us blatant proof that if done properly, a plant-based diet can cause healthy and gradual weight loss.
Again from experience, my carnivore friends would say the weight loss comes from starving because a lack of protein… Even though this always true, it reminds me of a good point. Any diet, with meat or not, can be harmful if not done properly.
An article in The Indian Express reminds us all that “simply following a vegetarian diet,… does not automatically make it low calorie or healthy and therefore, does not ensure weight loss“. Basically if you’re going to be getting rid of meat you should be replacing it with healthy things like beans, nuts, low-fat dairy or plant protein. If you think cutting out meat makes up for indulging in fried foods, you thought wrong.
If you do decide to switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet, do it because you want to not because you think you have to in order to lose weight. The point is if you like ribs, enjoy, but not everyday.
When I decided to leave meat behind, I unknowingly became more conscious of what ingredients I was eating in general and from where I was buying them. Let’s just put it this way, my switch to vegetarianism put me down a path toward healthier living without me fully even realizing and I think that’s best way it could happen for anyone.