The best diet for weight loss is a whole food, plant-based diet.
In a randomized, controlled, community-based trial, participants were instructed to eat a whole food, plant-based diet without any calorie counting or portion control. They could eat as much as they wanted from the comforts of their own homes and in their own communities. It wasn’t an institutional study where people were kept on-site and fed. In fact, no meals were provided. The aim was to improve the quality of the food rather than restrict the quantity of food. What’s more, the researchers had people focus only on diet rather than increasing exercise to isolate out the effects of eating more healthfully.
The participants started out, on average, obese at nearly 210 pounds. Three months on an unrestricted whole food, plant-based diet, they were down about 18 pounds, and after six months, they had lost closer to 26 pounds. Amazing, but you know how these weight-loss trials go, though, especially “free-living” studies. There may be an initial drop, but then the weight often comes back—and often with a vengeance. How did these participants do? Without calorie counting or controlling portion sizes, they were able to maintain that weight loss all year. That’s the power of a whole food, plant-based diet.
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