My girlfriend credits her recent 37-pound weight loss to swapping in mushrooms for half the ground meat in her bolognese, lasagna and taco recipes. I’d love results like that! Could it work for me?
Absolutely! Mushrooms contain 3 grams of protein and a bevy of plant compounds shown to fire up metabolism and strengthen immunity—all for just 21 calories per cup. And since these vegetarian delights have a rich umami flavor and chewy mouthfeel reminiscent of ground beef, it’s easy to use them to satisfy cravings for hearty, meaty dishes for a fraction of the calories. The proof: In a study at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, subjects who ate 1 cup of mushrooms in place of meat daily consumed 123 fewer calories per day and lost an average of 7 pounds and 2.6 belly inches in six months without making any other diet changes. Even better, some women, like your friend, report this strategy helps them lose even faster—up to 3 pounds per week.
To get the benefits, sub in 11⁄2 lbs. of diced, sautéed mushrooms for each pound of ground beef called for in your favorite recipes.