Monday, November 13, 2006

Vegetarian Diet Better for Losing Weight

If you're trying to loose weight, or keep weight off, a vegetarian diet may be the best way to go. In a weight loss study by the University of Pittsburgh (reported by WebMD), participants on a meatless diet not only lost more weight, they stuck with the diet longer and had lower levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol.

Of course, people on the vegetarian diet consumed less calories. In my opinion, there are two possible reasons. One, a higher fiber diet makes you feel fuller, longer and control the insulin crashes that can make you hungry. Two, when you're cutting meat from your diet, you're forced to concentrate more closely on what you're eating.

An interesting footnote to the study is how most participants pretty abandoned their diets after the study ended. "People on a structured diet plan need regular follow-up with a nutritionist, nurse practitioner or other health care professional," one researcher told WebMD. If that's what it takes to keep people slim, then I think health insurance companies should cover it. The short term costs (of the counseling) could lead to big long term savings (from obesity-related health problems).

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.