Do Plant-Based Burgers Help You Lose Weight?
One of the most difficult hurdles faced by anyone who’s trying to lose weight is the temptation of fast food. It’s hard to beat the combination of great taste and not having to cook it yourself.
But if you’re trying to lose weight, you know that the majority of fast-food options are not a good idea. By itself, a Burger King Whopper packs almost one-third of the recommended daily calorie intake for adults, and when you have it in a combo meal (with regular fries and a pop), you get over 50% of the recommended daily calories.
So the recent surge in popularity and media coverage for meatless meats, including plant-based burger patties from companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, has more than a few of us hoping that we can enjoy a fast-food burger and stick to our weight-loss plan too.
The Weight-Loss Truth About Meatless Burgers
Like with just about anything that seems like an easy fix for a weight-loss problem, all is not as it appears to be with plant-based burgers.
Here’s a comparison of a Beyond Meat Burger patty and a Whopper burger patty.
- Calories – Beyond Meat patty: 240 cal. Whopper patty 240 cal.
- Fat – Beyond Meat patty: 18g. Whopper patty 18g.
- Saturated Fat – Beyond Meat patty: 6g. Whopper patty 8g.
- Sodium (salt) – Beyond Meat patty: 390g. Whopper patty 230g.
While there are few studies directly comparing the weight-loss benefits of a veggie burger versus a beef burger, a look at these numbers shows that the hope of a weight-loss-friendly burger, real meat or not, is still just a dream.
One of the reasons for our dashed hopes is that most plant-based burgers and meat alternative products weren’t developed with losing weight in mind. Instead, manufacturers hope to cash-in on the demand for what seems like a healthier choice.
At best, the main benefit of opting for faux-meat burgers is that they are way better for the environment. One study, commissioned by Beyond Meat, but conducted (hopefully independently) by the University of Michigan, found that, compared to its real meat equivalent, a quarter-pound meat-less burger patty used/created:
- 90% fewer greenhouse gases
- 46% less energy
- 99% less water
- 93% less land
So, at best, while you can’t enjoy a meatless burger any more often than a beef burger if you choose the veggie option the next time you cheat on your Herbal One diet plan (caught ya!), you might help save the planet!
To get more tips on weight loss, check out our article “How to Lose Weight by Not Focusing on Weight Loss”.