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Most people tend to associate a vegan diet with being lean. And science backs that notion. In a study of 40,000 adults, Oxford University researchers found that meat-eaters had the highest BMIs; vegans had the lowest; and vegetarians and semi-vegetarians landed somewhere in-between. But throughout my years in private practice, I've worked with plenty of clients who did not lose weight after cutting out animal products. And some even gained weight. Here are five common reasons this happens, plus how to avoid them—so you can reap both the health and weight-loss benefits of going vegan.
Gabel, K., Hoddy, K. K., Haggerty, N., Song, J., Kroeger, C. M., Trepanowski, J. F., … Varady, K. A. (2018, June 15). Effects of 8-hour time restricted feeding on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in obese adults: A pilot study. Nutrition and Healthy Aging, 4(4), 345–353. Retrieved from https://content.iospress.com/articles/nutrition-and-healthy-aging/nha170036
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.
Kava Kava quells worrying thoughts. In one study, 120 mg of kava-kava was administered daily over 6 weeks to patients who had stress-induced insomnia. The results suggested a statistically significant improvement in sleep latency, duration and waking mood. When you’re anxious, your body feels like it’s under a tremendous amount of stress all the time. This is why anxiety is a powerful trigger for weight gain. A recent study in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders placed anxiety as “one of the most important factors significantly associated with weight gain.” In fact, two-thirds of people with eating disorders also suffer from anxiety, and the anxiety usually existed first. But sip with caution—at very high levels, kava kava can cause liver toxicity. Kava Kava should only be one part of an overall, balanced tea cleanse. Click here to find ways to cope with Emotions That Lead to Overeating and Weight Gain.
Appetite suppressants work by tricking your brain into believing that you are not hungry and that your stomach is full. One way that they do this is by increasing the levels of the ‘feel-good’ hormone serotonin, which is responsible for regulating your mood, appetite and sleep patterns, amongst other things. If your brain thinks you are full, you won’t feel hungry, and therefore you are likely to eat less.
This South American tea comes from the yerba mate plant. Its leaves and twigs are dried, usually over a fire, and steeped in hot water to make an herbal tea. This caffeine-containing tea, often called mate, may help promote weight loss. Some consider it an ideal substitute for coffee, minus the bitterness. The Mayo Clinic advises, however, to enjoy this tea in moderation. Some studies have found that people who drink large amounts of mate over prolonged periods may be at increased risk for certain types of cancer such as cancer of the mouth, lungs and esophagus (smoking in combination with drinking mate increases the cancer risk).
As a final word of caution: Select only the best brands of organic and natural detox teas. Many teas contain chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides which will negate your detox efforts. I would also like to take the opportunity to suggest that you keep changing and/or rotating your brands of detox teas as this will make your cleanse even more powerful.
With a caffeine count higher than coffee, these teas kick your metabolism into gear. In a study published in the journal *Physiology & Behavior*, a 3-4 percent increase in metabolic rate was measured in both lean and obese subjects after a single 100 mg dose of caffeine. Look for teas made from this caffeine-containing fruit; if you want to skip comparative shopping, just grab a box of Celestial Seasonings' Fast Lane, which clocks in 20 mg above your daily cup of coffee at 110 mg caffeine.
If you're not a coffee drinker and get sick of water easily, try sipping on a cup of hot green tea. Green tea can help you to stop mindlessly snacking, and nutritionists say that the catechins in green tea help to inhibit the movement of glucose into fat cells, which slows the rise of blood sugar and prevents high insulin and subsequent fat storage. And when your blood sugar is more stable so is your hunger!