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Part-time Vegan: Odd Diet for Dropping Bodyfat

7210-eat4The headline in the ’13 Prevention was catchy: “Eat Like This, Never Diet Again.” Hmm. An all-vegetable meal plan? Not quite.

Best-selling author, food journalist and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman’s new book, VB6—Eat Vegan Before 6:00, is the result of something his doctor told him to do six years ago: to go on a vegan diet to lose weight and drop his high cholesterol. Bittman decided to try it but only part-time, before 6 p.m.

“By day I’d adhere to a superstrict vegan diet…I’d also abstain from hyperprocessed white bread, rice, pasta and junk food. I cut alcohol too. Once the sun went down, however, I’d be a free man, eating whatever I wanted, usually (but not always) in moderation.”

The result? He lost 35 pounds, had more energy, and his health improved. And he says the change has been easy to sustain.

So, instead of having one free eating day a week, as most “dieters” do, Bittman has free eating nights—every night. Although he says most nights he still eats fairly healthfully, pasta Bolognese is one of his favorite dinners, and he does eat meat after six.

“The beauty of this diet is the variety it encourages and its emphasis on real, natural foods. Finally, it’s about making smart choices and sticking to them—at least before 6 p.m.”

Bodybuilders would no doubt want to supplement protein throughout the day, but it may not take as much as many think. New research is showing that muscle protein synthesis is set in motion with a lot less protein than we once thought. —Steve Holman


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