How does a plant-based diet help in weight loss?
Why A High Protein Plant-Based Diet Is Good For Weight Loss
There are numerous reasons why a high-protein diet is known to help in weight loss. Here are the top 4 reasons why shift to a plant-based diet for weight loss:
1. Longer hours of keeping you full
Protein is one of the key macronutrients that are responsible to keep you satiated for longer hours of time. This leads to an automatic reduction in calorie eventually.
2. Fewer cravings
A high-protein diet has been associated with reduced cravings and having a lower desire to snack at night.
3. Increased calorie burn
Increased protein intake has been shown to have a higher thermic effect. This means it can boost the number of calories burned by up to 80 to 100 per day.
4. Alters weight hormones
Ghrelin is one of the hunger causing hormones in the body and Protein has been shown to reduce levels of the ghrelin and boost the appetite-reducing hormones GLP-1 and PYY. Thus a high protein plant-based diet is ideal for weight loss.
High protein sources cause weight loss
Regular intake of high-protein rich foods has been linked to weight loss.
Frequent eating of nuts, beans and legumes has been linked to lower body weight, improved satiety and greater weight loss.
Studies show that both plant and animal sources of protein can help overweight adults lose a significant amount of weight.
Diets high in plant-based protein is beneficial in weight loss, food intake and appetite control similar to those of diets high in animal-based proteins.
In general protein sources are divided into two parts – natural sources and supplemental form of protein, usually consumed in the form of protein shakes and smoothies.
Natural Sources of Plant-based protein
Most plant foods do contain some amount of protein in them, but certain foods are naturally known to contain more amounts of this essential macronutrient. Some of the plant-based protein sources are listed below:
- Quinoa (8g per serving)
- Spirulina (39g per serving)
- Oatmeal (14g per cup)
- Almond Butter (8g per serving)
- Amaranth (9g per cup)
- Pumpkin Seeds (12g per cup)
- Black Beans (15g per cup)
- Buckwheat (6 per cup)
- Chia Seeds (4.5g per ounce)
- Chickpeas (14.5g per cup)
- Green Peas (9g per serving)
- Hemp Seeds (9g per serving)
- Kale (2g per cup)
- Kidney Beans (8g per cup)
- Lentils (18g per cup)
- Nutritional Yeast (9g per serving)
Take a look at the list and you’ll know that it’s quite easy to incorporate daily servings of these in your diet. You can start making your own recipe as per your convenience. For example, you can cook a wholesome bowl of lentil and kidney beans stew for lunch.
Brown Rice Protein Can Improve Body Composition
Brown Rice protein is a plant-based protein that is high in amino acids like cysteine and methionine yet is considered to be an incomplete protein due to its low levels of the essential amino acid lysine.
Therefore, in order to create a more favourable amino acid profile, it is often mixed with pea protein. Pea proteins are usually high in rich is lysine and contains significant amounts of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Further studies are been conducted on trying to understand the efficacy of proteins derived from rice.
One study among young males found that 8 weeks of supplementing with whey or rice protein resulted in an increase in lean muscle mass and reduced fat levels.
Nevertheless, more research is needed to determine the role of rice protein in weight loss.
Pea protein linked to increased feelings of fullness
Pea protein offers a complete range of amino acids, but seems to have lower amounts of amino acid methionine. An easy way to make up for it is to include other plant-based foods like rice, soybeans, sunflower seeds, oats, and other nuts.
Combining pea and rice protein together is a good way to create full amino acid plant-based protein profiles.
A study among 32 adult men found that consuming 20 grams of pea protein 30 minutes before a meal increased satiety and resulted in reduced calorie intake later in the day (53Trusted Source).
However, noting the time of intake was important. When the same participants were observed to consume the pea protein immediately before the meal, it had little impact on food intake.
In addition to increased satiety, pea protein may have beneficial effects on body composition.
In another study, men observed to consume 50 grams of pea protein daily for 12 weeks experienced significant increases in lean muscle mass compared to those taking the same amount of whey protein.
So far, research on pea protein has been promising and further high-quality studies are needed to confirm any benefits of pea protein for weight loss.
Other Plant-Based Protein Sources for Weight Loss
There are several other protein sources believed to have benefits for weight loss, even though more evidence-based research is required on these topics
This is another plant-based protein that is high in polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids like healthy omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and fiber, which makes it great for the heart.
100 grams of hemp seeds can contain around 31.56 grams of protein.
However, it is low in the essential amino acids lysine and leucine, so it isn’t considered a complete protein source (55Trusted Source).
Soy protein is a plant-based source of protein as it is made from soybeans. Unlike other plant protein sources, this contains all essential amino acids.
One cup of soybeans can contain around 29 grams of protein. Soy protein is known to improve metabolic function. They also aid in proper growth and regrowth of cells.