To stay on good terms with the scale, it might be a good idea to trade T-bone for tempeh more often, according to a June 2017 analysis in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Study participants who followed a calorie-controlled vegetarian diet of legumes, grains, nuts, fruits, veggies and just a small amount of dairy shed almost twice as much body weight as those on a more conventional, calorie-equivalent diet that contained meat. The plant-heavy diet was also more effective at reducing muscle fat, which improved blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity.

Spanish researchers, meanwhile, compared people who diligently followed a vegetarian diet with those who ate a meat-heavy diet and found a 43% lower risk of obesity in the former group over an average of 10 years, Science Daily reported in May 2017. And Reuters gave more reason to load up on beans at the expense of beef: A report from the National Cancer Institute showed that among nearly 537,000 adults studied, those who consumed the most red meat were 26% more likely to succumb prematurely to eight common diseases than those who ate the least.