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Fancy losing weight and NOT counting calories?

No calories counting while losing weight at the same time? This is the results of the recent BROAD study in New Zealand is suggesting. Too good to be true? Read on.

In this 12 months randomized control trial published in a clinical nutrition journal Nutrition & Diabetes, participants who are on a whole food plant based diet has a significant weight loss, cholesterol improvement and improvement in blood glucose levels compared to a control group (standard care at the GP clinic).

Now the whole food plant based diet is described in the paper as such:

- whole grains, legumes, vegetables

- potatoes, sweet potato, bread, cereals and pasta

- avoid refined oils (e.g. olive or coconut oil) and animal products (meat, fish, eggs and dairy products).

- to eat until satiation (full) and no restriction on total energy intake (no calories counting)

- avoid high-fat plant foods such as nuts and avocados.

- to minimise sugar, salt and caffeinated beverages.

- 50 μg daily vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) supplements

The size of this trial is small (study group is 33 participants at starting point, with 6 drop out at 12 months). Nevertheless, the results are encouraging as this study does not include exercise prescription. As a result, it may be useful for people who are unable to exercise. Although more research is required to see whether this approach is useful in specific populations.


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Shirley Chan

Consultant Dietitian 

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Shirley Chan Consultant Dietitian ABN 41 009 192 602