Healthy Beginnings

5 ways a plant-based diet can help you lose weight in 2018

The capsaicin from cayenne peppers produces heat within our bodies, which in turn produces calorie- and fat-burning effects within 30 minutes of intake.

Alas, another year is about to begin! The new year brings an array of resolutions for everyone. A part of almost everybody’s list includes some form of self-improvement, with weight loss typically being a top priority.

According to, from 2000-2016, the trend of fitness center memberships in the United States has increased tremendously. In the wake of society-driven goals, there have emerged so many methods that claim to be the magic pill.

We see so many different exercise programs, dietary regimens, supplements and even prescription medicines, all of which can drain our budget and lead to serious adverse effects if used inappropriately.

Let me show you five ways how the power of a plant-based diet can speed you toward your weight loss goals.


  1. Vinegar

One of the cheapest ways of losing weight is through the use of vinegar, or acetic acid. It burns fat through the activation of the enzyme AMPK. This enzyme is responsible for an increased usage of fat for energy.

In one study, obese Japanese subjects were given apple cider vinegar for three months. They used 15 ml, or one tablespoon, on one group while another group used 30 ml daily (2 tablespoons), according to a 2009 study published in “Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry.”

The higher dose resulted in a loss of 5 pounds in 12 weeks, while those in the lower dose group lost a little less than that. In terms of the quality of weight loss, everybody in the study lost at least an inch in the waistline.

They also decreased their visceral fat (fat that increases our risk of strokes and heart attacks) by one square inch, which was visibly detected through CT scans. Obviously, this was weight loss for a few pennies’ worth of trouble.

From a general perspective it may seem to be a slow process, but if used in combination with other weight-loss modalities, apple cider vinegar may be the game changer.

According to the CDC, a gradual and steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week is an ideal pace to increase the chances of succeeding in maintaining continuous decline, compared to a drastic weight loss that usually leads to relapses of weight gain.


  1. Arginine

Arginine is an amino acid that promotes mitochondrial energy generation and stimulates brown fat development. This type of fat increases body heat by burning our fat cells, according to a 2010 study in the journal “Amino Acids.”

The No. 1 source of arginine is isolated soy protein (get organic!). Next on the list are seeds such as pumpkin, squash and watermelon. Nuts such as peanuts and almonds were also included


  1. Genestein

As mentioned above, soy has lots of arginine, but it also has genestein. This phytoestrogen has the capability of preventing fat from accumulating in our body, according to a 2009 study published in “The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.” They can be found usually in your veggie burgers and soy milk (again, get organic sources!).


  1. Nuts

In general, it has been noted that if nuts were added to your breakfast, this may lead to a lower intake of calorie consumption for lunch, thus as a whole, lowering the total daily caloric consumption for an individual.

Also, 30 grams of any nut per day (a handful) can lead to a two-centimeter slimmer waistline. Specifically, walnuts have been shown to increase feelings of satiety. Another would be pecans — 2.5 ounces a day has been shown to lead to weight loss, according to a 2009 study in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”


  1. Cayenne Pepper

The capsaicin from cayenne peppers is responsible for producing its “hot” effect. Deep inside our bodies, this “heat” produces calorie- and fat-burning effects within 30 minutes of intake.

This is through the activation of the brown adipose tissue similar to arginine. Sprinkling approximately 2.5 mg (a third of a teaspoon) of cayenne pepper powder on meals can initiate this, according to a 2013 study published in “The Journal of Clinical Investigation.”

Here in BIHCI, we can assist you in attaining your weight loss goals in a more natural and safer way. We are currently helping our patients through our new weight loss IV therapy, which is filled with vitamins, minerals and amino acids that all work hand in hand to support weight loss and regulation. This, in conjunction with a few dedicated changes to your day-to-day lifestyle, can get you ready for the new year and the transformation into the new you!

Melvin Ibarra Nario, M.D., H.M.D., is among the physicians who work at Bio Integrative Health Center International in Reno. Visit or call 775-827-6696 to learn more. *To view the unedited version of this article, please visit