Soy products can be the easiest and most convenient “go-to” items when transitioning to a vegan diet. Soy isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but it is imperative that attention be paid to the amount of processed products in a meal plan. For instance, a tofu scramble for breakfast, soy veggie burger for lunch, and pad Thai with tofu for dinner is excessive. Instead, choose vegan cheese made with nuts, a black bean burger, or a pad Thai with vegetables and tempeh for whole-food versions of your favorite foods.
This weight-loss tea may be mild tasting, but it sure doesn’t act that way when it comes to your fat. In a study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism in 2009, white tea extract was found to help break down fat cells and prevent accumulation of fatty tissue. The reason? Scientists say it’s the high antioxidant content of the tea, particularly one called ECGC. (Here’s what else you should know about using white tea as a weight-loss tea.)
The German and Finnish militaries issued amphetamines to soldiers commonly to enhance warfare during the Second World War. Following the war, amphetamines were redirected for use on the civilian market. Indeed, amphetamine itself was sold commercially as an appetite suppressant until it was outlawed in most parts of the world in the late 1950s because of safety issues. Many amphetamines produce side effects, including addiction, tachycardia and hypertension, making prolonged unsupervised use dangerous.
Not only does white tea prevent new fat cells from forming, but it also enhances the body’s ability to break down and utilize existing fat for energy, according to a study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism. As if that wasn’t enough, “Chemicals in the tea appear to protect your skin from sun-induced stress, which can cause the cells to break down and age prematurely,” says Elma Baron, MD, the study author. To put white tea to use, try rubbing on a lotion containing white tea extract before you apply your sunblock!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 65 percent of American adults age 20 and up are overweight or obese, but the prevalence of obesity among vegetarians and vegans is below 10 percent. On average, the body weights of both male and female vegetarians are three percent to 20 percent lower than omnivores. Research has also found that switching to a healthy vegan diet leads to weight loss, even without changes to exercise or limits on portion size, calories, or carbohydrates. And, studies have found an increase in calorie burn after vegan meals, meaning plant-based foods may be used more efficiently as fuel for the body, as opposed to being stored as fat—pretty powerful support for a plant-based diet. But in my years of private practice I’ve also seen people gain weight by going vegetarian, when they don’t get the right balance. Here are some veggie dos and don’t’s:
They should help keep you from feeling deprived and bingeing on higher-calorie foods. For instance: honey has just 64 fat-releasing calories in one tablespoon. Eggs have just 70 calories in one hard-boiled egg, loaded with fat-releasing protein. Part-skim ricotta cheese has just 39 calories in one ounce, packed with fat-releasing calcium. Dark chocolate has about 168 calories in a one-ounce square, but it’s packed with fat releasers. And a University of Tennessee study found that people who cut 500 calories a day and ate yogurt three times a day for 12 weeks lost more weight and body fat than a group that only cut the calories. The researchers concluded that the calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and boosts the breakdown of fat.
But all this was rather abstract. I wanted to see how real people living in the 21st century would do on the simple diet plan. I decided to recruit some volunteers at my gym to test the diet. All of the people I chose were healthy exercisers, in their early 20s to their 60s. While some had elevated cholesterol or were on medications, most just wanted to lose weight. About 40 stuck with the diet for six weeks, and some of those stayed on for another six-week study with 15 volunteers from another local gym.