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How to Supercharge the Mediterranean Diet to Lose More Weight

Dieters can shed can shed more pounds by reducing their meat intake.

The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are already widely known. By eating vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and beans with only a moderate amount of animal protein incorporated, followers can not only lower their cholesterol but also their chances of developing chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and certain types of cancer. Last but not least, the popular diet has also been touted for its weight loss benefits.

A new study published in the medical journal Heart showcased the weight-loss potential of the popular diet. It also found that followers can shed even more pounds by following a "green" Mediterranean diet which further reduces meat intake. (Related: 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.)

Researchers assigned moderately obese participants—mostly men in their 50s—to three different diet regiments. The first group adhered to basic guidelines for a healthy diet, while the second group was put on a calorie-restricted traditional Mediterranean diet. The third group followed the green Mediterranean diet and were guided to avoid red and processed meats altogether. The green Mediterranean diet was richer in plants and polyphenols, which are plant-based micronutrients.

The results showed that minimizing consumption of animal protein and maximizing intake of plant-based foods supercharged weight loss. The green Mediterranean diet group lost more weight than the other two groups—an average of 13.7 pounds. Those following the regular Mediterranean diet still lost a good amount of weight—an average of 11.9 pounds—while those following the general healthy diet only shed an average of 3.3 pounds.

Additionally, the green Mediterranean diet group lost more inches from their waist. The group shed 3.4 inches in comparison to the 2.7 inches lost by the traditional Mediterranean dieters and the 1.7 inches shed by the general dieters.

This is another piece of evidence that plant-based and vegan diets have tremendous weight-loss benefits for both men and women. Check out 7 Major Weight Loss Findings You Should Know to learn about new science-backed tips on weight loss.

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Mura Dominko
Mura is ETNT's Executive Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura