Sunday, January 1, 2012

Make This New Year's Weight Loss Resolution Your Last One

It’s that time of year again. The holiday cookies, decadent pies, and elaborate Christmas feast are sadly over and those extra pounds around the waistline are now on everyone’s mind. With 2012 now upon us it’s time to make good on that New Year’s resolution of losing those added 10 or 20 pounds (or more) that you may have gained over the year(s).

Instead of just jumping on the weight loss bandwagon for a couple of weeks again this January why not decide to do things differently this year. Why not make this year’s weight loss resolution the last year you make this resolution. Skip the fad diets, gimmicks, and diet pills and commit to a lifestyle change that not only permanently keeps the weight off but also improves your overall health at the same time. This is what a plant-based diet can do for you.

Conventional diets rely on unproven tactics of calorie counting, portion control, or some other magical formula but don’t address the cause of permanent weight gain which is the high fat western diet. This type of diet, consisting almost entirely of animal-based and processed foods, may cut calories but will typically leave you constantly hungry which is why most people give up after a few weeks.

By adopting a plant-based diet rich in whole foods there is no need to count calories, serving sizes, or anything for that matter. This style of eating is comprised of four main food groups including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. It’s chalked full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals essential for overall health and derives less than 15% (and sometimes as low as 8-10%) of it’s calories from fats which makes the pounds melt away while also improving cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose stability. Conventional diets derive anywhere from 20-35% of their calories from fat making it almost impossible to succeed on them long term. This has been shown in several studies including a study comparing the National Cholesterol Education Program’s (NCEP) diet to a 100% plant-based diet.

Fruits & Vegetables are low in fat and high in antioxidants
Participants following the NCEP diet were not restricted in the types of food they ate but rather prohibited from exceeding 30% of their total calories from fat and no more than 200 mg/day of cholesterol. In addition, their meals contained approximately 15% of calories from protein. The plant-based group had no restrictions in terms of specific fat and protein content and were asked to only eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes while minimizing their consumption of nuts, seeds, and avocados.

At the end of 1 year the plant-based group had lost over two and a half times more weight than the NCEP group. The results were even more significant at the 2 year mark. The plant-based group had been able to keep nearly 4 times the amount of weight off compared to the NCEP group after 2 years. All of this was accomplished in the plant-based group in spite of the fact that they were able to eat as much as they want until their hunger was satisfied.

Understanding that this is a lifestyle change is important. The human body requires nutrient-rich whole foods as nature intended us to eat. When we try and circumvent this by eating processed foods loaded with fat, sugar, and salt or animal-based foods high in fat and cholesterol those unwanted pounds will always find a way to creep back on or refuse to come off in the first place‒whatever the case may be. For more information on how you can make this change check out the resources I've made available on my webpage below and get started on a brand new healthy and slimmer YOU!


Photo credit (women) : Wikimedia Commons-The-villages-onli...
Photo credit (fruit&vegetables): Wikimedia Commons-Danny Robinson 

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by Dustin Rudolph, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist

Check out Dustin Rudolph's book The Empty Medicine Cabinet to start your journey towards better health. This step-by-step guide leads you through many of today's common chronic diseases (heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and more), giving you the facts on foods versus medications in treating these medical conditions. The book also contains an easy-to-follow guide on how to adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet as a part of an overall lifestyle change, producing the best possible health outcomes for you and your family. Hurry and get your copy today!

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