In 2013, Benji Kurtz weighed 258 pounds. For a number of years he’d been trying to lose weight, following low-carb diets, only to find himself cyclically losing and gaining the same 30 to 40 pounds. Jump to July 2014 and Kurtz has lost over 100 pounds, weighing in at just 138 pounds. What’s his secret, you ask? A low-fat vegan diet.
Over Memorial Weekend 2013, Kurtz watched the documentary “Forks Over Knives,” which explores the benefits of, and the science behind, plant-based eating. It was at that point, he says, that it was like a light bulb went on and he realized that following vegan diet made sense. After plenty of research, he decided to take the plunge, and the rest is history! Not only has he lost weight, his cholesterol levels have also gone down 33 points, and health insurance premiums are three times cheaper than they were previously.
As hordes of happy, cake-loving vegans will attest, a plant-based diet isn’t inherently low in fat (many people go vegan simply for the animals or the planet, not for their health). It’s worth noting that Kurtz follows a whole foods plant-based diet, which has seen him cut out oils, sugar and salt, as well as ready-made foods.
That’s not to say that Kurtz feels deprived. On the subject of his new diet he told CNN.com, “You are tasting food the way food was supposed to taste in the first place. Like a film has been lifted off your taste buds.” Instead, he enjoys eating some of his new favorite meals, such as split pea soup, vegan mac and cheese, and red lentil chili. Kurtz insists, “I don’t crave foods I no longer eat. I’m not going to bed hungry. Everything about life is better.”
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