Peanut Butter & Weight Loss


Successful weight loss comes from eating a healthy balanced diet along with regular exercise. If you are on a diet that makes you feel deprived or hungry, you ultimately will "fall off the wagon." The result may be binge eating or making poor food choices. Incorporating peanut butter into your diet allows you to feel satisfied as well as eating a food that we usually associate with comfort and childhood.

Healthy Fat

Peanut butter contains high amounts of monounsaturated fat (MUFAs), which is known as a "healthy fat." A diet high in monounsaturated fats can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 16 to 25 percent without lowering the good (HDL) levels of cholesterol. As far as weight loss is concerned, a study from Harvard University showed that people on a diet that included 35 percent of calories from MUFAs lost an average of 11 pounds over the course of six months. Additionally, the study found that people on a diet high in MUFAs were more apt to stay with their program than people on a traditional low-fat, high-carbohydrate weight loss plan.

Prevents Hunger

Peanuts and peanut butter provide a feeling of fullness and satisfaction that can keep a dieter from out-of-control eating. When exercising, peanut butter as a meal or snack helps to replenish your body with protein and provides the energy needed for working out. Additionally, eating peanut butter has been shown to slightly raise your resting metabolic rate, which results in calorie burn and weight loss.

Types of Peanut Butter

Natural or organic peanut butter is the best choice for a weight-loss program. Natural peanut butter typically does not contain trans fats or added sugar, salt or oils. However, regular brands of peanut butter from a grocery store will work as a weight loss aid just as well if used in small amounts. The usual portion size for peanut butter is 2 tablespoons per serving.

The Peanut Butter Diet

According to Holly McCord, author of the book "The Peanut Butter Diet," this diet is a specific weight loss plan that permits females approximately 1,500 calories per day including 4 tablespoons of peanut butter. The diet permits males approximately 2,200 calories per day including 6 tablespoons of peanut butter. Exercise is highly recommended; McCord suggests working out at least 45 minutes per day. Daily meals include peanut butter with both breakfast and lunch but not with dinner. A recommended dinner on this plan is a skinless chicken breast, chopped nuts and avocado which are high in MUFAs and a green salad.


Using peanut butter to lose weight can be effective, though moderation is necessary. Following a sensible, balanced diet that includes peanut butter can prove to be beneficial as long as your portions are controlled and you follow a regular exercise plan. The versatility of peanut butter as a meal or snack, whether it's used to spread on a rice cake or to enhance a piece of celery, can also contribute to your weight loss.

Keywords: peanut butter and weight loss, peanut butter diet, monounsaturated fats

About this Author

Debbie Lamedman is a published playwright and author/editor of eight books for Smith & Kraus Publishers. Her play "Phat Girls," included in "New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2003," has been produced across the country. Lamedman holds an M.F.A. from Brandeis University and is a proud member of The Dramatist Guild. The majority of her articles for Demand Studios can be found on eHow.

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