“These findings are groundbreaking for the 160 million Americans struggling with overweight and obesity,” study author Dr. Hana Kahleova, Ph.D., director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee said in a statement. “Over the course of years and decades, burning more calories after every meal can make a significant difference in weight management.”
Also of note was that the study’s diet was 75% carbs, 15% protein, and 10% fat, Business Insider reported. Participants consumed plant-based foods that contain lots of complex carbs. These can increase the thermic effect, which requires the body to use more energy to digest them. They can also boost the number of calories you burn as the meal digests.
The thermic effect, in part, aided participants’ weight loss. Also of help was the naturally low-calorie, nutrient-dense unprocessed plant carbs.
“Plant-based foods are known to be more satiating and less energy-dense,” Kahleova said. “This clearly shows that a vegan diet can help people lose weight even without an intent to reduce calories.”