An increasing number of people are turning to plant-based diets in hopes of shedding excess weight. While there’s no guarantee that a vegan diet will lead to weight loss, there may be some good reasons to give it a try.
Many observational studies suggest that vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than nonvegans.
In addition, several randomized controlled studies, the gold standard in scientific research, report that vegan diets are more effective for weight loss than the diets they are compared with (Trusted Sources).
A small study found that people eating a low fat, high fibre vegan diet lost more weight than those eating a conventional low fat diet.
Participants following a vegan diet lost an average of 13 lbs (6 kg) over 16 weeks, while those following the Mediterranean diet did not see any weight loss.
Vegan eaters also lost more weight in a study than people who included meat or fish in their diets. Vegetarians lost just as much weight as vegans in this study.
When comparing a low fat, whole food vegan diet to a standard omnivorous diet over 16 weeks, the vegan diet resulted in an average of 6 kg of weight loss. People eating their regular diets did not experience significant weight loss.).
What’s more, a small study comparing the weight loss effects of five different diets concluded that vegetarian and vegan diets were just as well-accepted as semi-vegetarian and standard Western diets.
Even when study participants weren’t following the diets perfectly, the people in the vegetarian and vegan groups still lost more weight than those on a standard Western diet. Overall, more studies are needed to understand which aspects of a vegan diet make the biggest difference when it comes to weight loss. Whether a diet is vegan or not, many factors can affect how well a weight loss diet works, including:
eating whole foods versus processed foods