New study finds one simple diet change can help you lose weight twice as fast

When it comes to losing weight, we know diet and exercise play a role.

However, a new study shows it's what you cut out that makes the pounds melt away and boosts metabolism by reducing muscle fat.

That doesn't mean just sugar, but meat has got to go too!

We'd all lose more weight if we went vegetarian, according to new research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Making this change can help you lose weight twice as fast, compared to conventional low-calorie diets.

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Coconut

Both coconut milk and oil can turn a dish into a calorie bomb. One cup of canned coconut milk contains a whopping 445 calories and 48 grams of fat, which is 74 percent of your daily recommended amount of total fat. Add a few cups to your soup and you jack up the calories and fat. So what about coconut oil? According to the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, coconut oil is categorized as a solid fat with high amounts of saturated fat and should be eaten sparingly.

When using: Choose light coconut milk, and use coconut oil in very small amounts.

Nuts

Banana bread tastes so much better with walnuts, and who doesn’t like a nice mixture of nuts in trail mix? Think I’m nuts? Check out the calories. One ounce (or 14 halves) of walnuts contains 185 calories and 18 grams of fat. Add several ounces of crushed walnuts to your brownie batter — or grab a few handfuls to munch on — and you’re talking several hundred calories.

When using: Keep servings to 1/4 cup or less, depending on the recipe.

Dark Chocolate Chips

To make dishes healthier, many folks swap milk chocolate chips for dark chocolate chips. A heavy hand even of dark chocolate chips, however, can sabotage muffins, pancakes, waffles, and any other delicious treat, breakfast or snack you make with them.

When using: Use about 1/4 cup per batch for baking. If you want to up the chocolate, add unsweetened cocoa powder in addition to a small amount of dark chocolate chips.

Honey

This natural sugar contains a small amount of minerals, which makes it a better choice than other artificial sweeteners. Added sugar, however, is added sugar. The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 10 percent of calories come from added sugar, which is 200 calories in a 2,000-calorie diet. One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories and 74 grams of sugar. It doesn’t take more than several tablespoons of honey to reach that added-sugar maximum.

When using: Opt for 1 to 2 teaspoons per serving.

Granola

Traditional granola includes oats, oil, a sweetener, and flakes or crisps. Add-ins like dried fruit, coconut and nuts are now becoming more popular. On average, 1/4 cup of granola without nuts contains 100 calories, 2.5 grams of fat and 17 grams of carbohydrates. Pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of granola over your oatmeal or Greek yogurt and you can be downing 200 to 300 calories from only granola.

When using: Get a delicious crunch by using 2 to 4 tablespoons per serving. If you need more volume, supplement with whole-grain cereal, which tends to have fewer calories per serving.

Half-and-Half

Add 1/4 cup of half-and-half to your morning cup of joe for an extra 79 calories and 7 grams of fat. That may not seem like a lot, but if you like a few cups of coffee throughout the day, the few extra calories start to become hundreds in one day. Now think about how many hundreds (or even thousands) of extra calories that is during one entire week.

When using: Add low-fat or nonfat milk to coffee throughout the day. Save the half-and-half for that all-important morning cup.

Vinaigrette

A bed of greens topped with vegetables is super-healthy — you can’t argue with that. Toss it in 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette, though, and you add an additional 800 calories and 80 grams of fat! Even if the salad is made for four people, that’s still substantial: Each serving contains an additional 200 calories and 20 grams of fat.

When using: Vinaigrettes are made from healthy oils, but pour on a maximum of 2 tablespoons per person.

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Researchers studied 74 men and women with type 2 diabetes. They were randomly assigned either a vegetarian diet or conventional anti-diabetic diet that followed guidelines from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

The vegetarian diet was all about fruits and veggies, grains, nuts and a max of one low-fat yogurt a day.

Everyone restricted their diets by 500 calories a day, so that obviously helped cut weight a little bit.

Researchers found that vegetarian dieters lost an average of 13.7 pounds compared to 7.1 pounds for conventional dieters, nearly twice as much over the course of several weeks.

The vegetarian diet also reduced muscle fat. That's a big deal for people with type 2 diabetes because muscle fat can worsen insulin resistance, according to Men's Fitness.

So if you want to lose weight, I hope you like broccoli!

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1. Steer clear of coffee
First, if you're stressed, your body will react. Stress produces cortisol which hurts your body's ability to digest food, and if your fix to stress is coffee, we've got some bad news. Coffee can produce cortisol too, which means DOUBLE the hormone, and therefore, double the amount of body fat your body will store. Instead of coffee, try Detox teas.

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2. Sit down to eat
Don't eat all your meals on the go. Although it's great for time management, it's not great for your digestive system. So take a second to sit down and eat. This will help you digest your food.

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3. Drink lots of water
You have to hydrate! And this doesn't mean two glasses of water a day. Without water, your body will slow it's digestion down, and in turn store more fat around your belly. So make sure you're drinking around eight glasses of water each day.

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4. Eat nuts in moderation
There is a proper way to eat nuts, because they're so high in fat -- and that's in moderation. Also, if you soak them in warm water overnight it will help to neutralize the phytic acid, which can cause irritation to your digestive tract.

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5. Choose the right fat
And speaking of fat, some fats are your friend! Foods that are high in omega-3's help boost your metabolism and give you energy. They keep you fuller for longer, so you won't be reaching for those naughty snacks when that 4 p.m. slump hits.

Photo credit: Getty

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