Looking to boost your metabolism so you can lose weight more easily and lower your cholesterol naturally? You absolutely can. New research shows that you may be able to significantly boost your metabolism, by as much as 18.7%, and lower total and LDL cholesterol by 19.3 mg/dL and 15.5 mg/dL, respectively, in just 16 weeks.
But this won’t happen by going “low-carb,” eating more protein, or adding “secret metabolism boosting spices” to your diet.
Achieving a significant increase in metabolism so you can lose weight and achieve other important health improvements requires an equally significant and specific change in diet. But it’s doable. And totally worth it.
A low-fat, whole food plant-based diet.
Low-Fat WFPB Diet Boosts Metabolism
In this new study, published in JAMA Network Open, 244 overweight individuals were divided into 2 equal groups, an intervention group and a control group. The intervention group was instructed to eat a low-fat plant-based diet of vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruit with no animal products or added fats for 16 weeks. There was no calorie restriction. They could eat until they were satisfied.
The intervention group was not provided any meals. To help them understand and implement this new way of eating, they received handouts and attended weekly classes with detailed instruction and cooking demos.
The control group was asked to maintain their normal diet. Both groups were asked to limit alcohol, 1 beverage per day for women and 2 per day for men. All participants were also asked to maintain their normal activity level.
After about 4 months, how did they fare?
There was no significant change in the control group, but the intervention group saw the following health improvements, on average:
- Increased postprandial (after-meal) metabolism by 18.7%
- Lost an average of 14 pounds, despite eating to satisfaction. (A low-fat plant-based diet is naturally low in calories, so they ended up eating only 1200 calories a day without trying.)
- Significant loss of fat, including the loss of the dangerous visceral fat that accumulates around the internal organs
- Reduced the fat inside liver cells by 34% and lost 10% of the fat inside muscle cells (This kind of fat is linked with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, because it makes it hard for insulin to move glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells.)
- Decreased their fasting plasma insulin concentration by 21.6 pmol/L
- Decreased their insulin resistance and increased insulin sensitivity (The key to reversing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes is not limiting carbs from whole foods. The secret is a low-fat, plant-based diet.)
- Lowered their total cholesterol by 19.3 mg/dL
- Lowered their LDL cholesterol by 15.5 mg/dL
“This randomized clinical trial found that a low-fat plant-based dietary intervention reduces body weight by reducing energy intake and increasing postprandial metabolism, apparently owing to increased insulin sensitivity resulting from reduced hepatocellular [liver cell] and intramyocellular [muscle cell] fat. This intervention may be an effective treatment for overweight adults.” – Study Authors
High-Carb, Low-Fat Diet
This way of eating is naturally high in carbohydrates from whole plant foods. The intervention group’s macros were about 75% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 10% fat from whole food sources.
This is just one of many studies showing that a low-fat, whole-food plant-based diet is best for overall health, and the only way of eating proven to prevent and reverse heart disease. It has also been proven to be easier to adhere to than typical diets. My coaching clients are always amazed that they feel satisfied and actually enjoy the food.
Losing weight, lowering your cholesterol and reversing insulin resistance can be delicious and fun. If you are interested in getting my support, I can help you transition to a plant-based diet that works for your unique preferences and needs, in just 6 short weeks.
Learn more about the 6-week Juicy Plant-Based KickStart Program.