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Lose Weight on a Bean Diet

Updated on February 6, 2014

Beans - the slow burning carbs Diet

This approach to weight loss is one of the most simple ones I have seen in a long time, so if you love beans, then this diet may be for you.

It's actually quite easy, all you need to do is replace sugars and starches with beans, and you'll see the immediate effect of consuming slow burning carbs.

However beans are not just for weight loss, they are super nutritious, and are great to include in your everyday meals, so here is how to get you started with beans.



Why Beans?

  • Beans belong to the complex carbohydrate or "Good carbs" group which its also often referred as. Due to their chemical structure complex carbohydrates take longer to break down and hence provide a longer lasting energy, as opposed to simple carbohydrates where the energy gets used up quickly.
  • Beans are a good source of protein and B vitamins, and they also bring good supplies of magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.
  • Being a complex carbohydrate they make you feel full for longer, and you'll avoid cravings.
  • They are quick and easy to prepare (especially canned beans) which is important when dieting.
  • As a bit of a bonus - they are the cheapest form of protein :-)


Bean Diet Plan

The basic bean diet menu is pretty simple, as you'll be cooking with the same ingredients over and over again. Every meal should include:

  • Beans and Vegetables (preferably greens such as spinach, broccoli, bok choy etc)
  • Add lentils and tofu as desired
  • Consume plenty of fish and add eggs, beef or chicken if you usually include animal protein in your diet.
  • Drink plenty of water and exercise minimum 3 times a week

Some of the many varieties of Beans to choose from:

Lima Beans | Green Beans | Navy Beans | Chickpeas

Kidney Beans | White Beans | Black-eyed Peas | Broad Beans

Black Beans | Adzuki Beans | Soy Beans | Pinto Beans

Things to avoid when on a Bean diet

1) Avoid refined foods (simple carbohydrates) such as white bread, sugar and pasta and even stay away from brown rice, bread & brown pasta and cereals.

2) Avoid sugary drinks, dairy products and alcohol.

3) Minimize your intake of fruits

So, will I lose weight?

Yes you will!

If you follow the guidelines and just have normal sized portions you will automatically lose weight. What I really like about this approach to weigh loss it that it's super easy to prepare, and adjust to individual needs.

If you want to lose a lot of weight you simply just make the portions smaller, or if you have already gotten rid of the kilos that you were after, and just want to manage your weight, you just adjust the size and combine it with other healthy ingredients. It's as easy as that.

Mixed Bean dish

bean diet
bean diet

My partner is still going strong on a bean diet, so here's what he has just prepared for lunch. It's a mix of:

  • Red kidney beans (Chili beans)
  • White beans (Cannellini beans)
  • Black eyes peas
  • Tofu
  • Bok choy & lentils
  • ...
  • although it may not look that inspiring, it tastes Great :-)

More Healthy Recipes

Here I share my favorite healthy recipes - come visit

the four hour body Bean Diet

the basics

Interestingly enough Timothy Ferriss book "the four hour body" also includes a Bean diet, although it's a slightly different approach. In essence the four bean diet revolves around the following:

  • Eating the same meals over and over again (combination of beans, legumes, vegetables, animal protein). Pick 3 or four and repeat them.
  • Avoid eating fruit with the exception of tomatoes and avocados (small amount) due to the high sugar content.
  • Consume large amounts of water and avoid sugary drinks as well as alcohol (with the exception of red wine)
  • Avoid eating anything white as well as brown rice, bread, pasta and cereals.
  • Take one day off per week and eat what ever you like, so it's basically a 6 day bean diet followed by one day of indulgence, and then back to beans!

Dried Beans or Canned Beans?

Dried beans are probably better, but the nutritional value and taste of canned beans is actually pretty good, so for the convenience I would recommend the canned ones, as it's just easier (just look out for BPA in the cans). When on a diet, quick and easy meals are the key, so you don't get sidetracked.

Just rise them well in water before use to remove as much sodium as possible, and only once you have gotten used to including beans in your standard diet you can switch to the dried ones.

Are you a bean fan? Hope you enjoyed this lens, please say hello. I appreciate your comments.

Guestbook - thank you for stopping by

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    • profile image

      Rachel 20 months ago

      I lost 25 kilos in just months last year (after putting this weight on over a couple of years and failing diet after diet). The diet is so incredibly easy! I am now back on the diet after gaining a little winter weight, and I know that I will drop the kilos that I want within a few weeks. Extremely easy to cook for a family, even if young ones don't like the beans and pulses - you exchange their part for pasta/rice etc. I never feel hungry, stuffed in fact after a small portion, and don't suffer any cravings after a week of cutting out all sugar from my diet. I rave constantly to my family and friends who do yo yo diets, as this method of losing weight just cannot be simpler in my book! Whether you are a great cook, or cannot cook at all, if you have the time to prepare a meal, or just 5 minutes, the bean diet really does cater for all in my book. I always have a huge selection of tinned beans in the cupboard as well as dried, that way, if I get caught out, a quick bean salad or homemade falafel can be rustled up pretty quickly. I am also a hugs lover of curries, so when I did this diet over winter last time. I lived off bean and veg soups, tomato based curries with meat and chickpeas or dhal, and didn't eat rice with it - Filling, tasty, and you really don't feel like your on a diet after eating a bowl of hot curry that is my comfort food anyway. Amazing diet, and amazing health benefits too! Yay for beans!!!!!

    • profile image

      Adam 2 years ago

      I've started a vegan diet this week (on day 3) and I am feeling great. I made a soup (very thick) with 5 different bean (1/4lb each), 2 cups of frozen spinach and 1/2 cup of barley. I used a stick blender to blend slightly and when it was almost done, I added half a bag of broccoli slaw. I have it in the fridge now and I have been eating it for the past 3 days and I'm feeling great. I'm not craving meat or sugar. After I heat up a cup and a half of soup, I add a handful of mix greens salad (kale, brussel sprout, cabbage, etc). I started adding hot sauce to it and I'm liking it even more (I liked it the first time too). I've lost 3lbs already and I'm not sure it's water weight because I'm drinking 1 gallon of water a day.

    • profile image

      eveve 3 years ago


      I ll disagree that's unhealthy. Yes we need to have a goal but that goal shouldn't be some thin person of internet our healthy weight is different and main part is to be healthy. Food choices should be healthy not towards a thin goal. Obsessing about wverything wr put in our body is not good.

      I know what I am talking about I am very slim always have been thin. But this type of attitude made me ill with an eating disorder now I need to see specialist every week I need to learn not to think about everything I eat. Its so dangerous what you describe I wouldn't advice to start the journy to be thin that way to anyone!!!!

    • profile image

      juliarosa 3 years ago

      Losing weight and wanting to is not enough.

      Many people don't realize, the success comes a lot from your mind. Where your mind is, is where your body is going to follow.

      You have to eat, breathe, sleep your goal(s) in life.

      Do you have a picture of what you want to look like? Grab a picture from the internet of a body that you want to strive for and paste your head on it. Put this picture in at least 3 places in your home that you see every day. Make sure it's in front of you always.

      Become more conscious of your decisions. What you put in your mouth, what you put in your head.

      I am doing a program just for women that I found at Excellent support as well from other women who have done this lifestyle program.

    • victoriahaneveer profile image

      victoriahaneveer 4 years ago

      I love beans, this would be a great diet for me!

    • profile image

      KaliaT 4 years ago

      Quick question, does anyone know if I literally just eat beans straight off the plant and small portions of meat will that have the same effect?

    • profile image

      alice-cussler-7 4 years ago

      I love beans! I always knew that bean diet will help me to lose weight, but my problem is that I hate cooking! Fast food was a favorite menu of mine, but the time is to think about how healthy is this food. We eat out a lot, but it became very expensive. I was thinking about it and finally Iâve found just perfect solution for lazy woman like me. Iâve subscribed for the customized diet meal plan at It is a lot less expensive than eat in restaurants and a lot more healthy than fast food and the main thing is that I donât have to cook! You can see the result. I've lost 20 pounds in one year and what is more important I keep them out.

    • profile image

      cmeverything 4 years ago

      I've been doing a version of this for about 3 months. Dropped 2 dress sizes so can't complain, even though it's slower than a lot of people!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Thanks for sharing this great plan. I love beans so it's perfect.

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 4 years ago

      I never knew beans could be used in a healthy diet regime. Great info. Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)

    • geosum profile image

      geosum 4 years ago

      I haven't had beans in quite a while. It's probably time to try some again.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago


      Yes I am a big bean fan.

      Right now, I just had a Lentil Soup with Carrots, Leek, Celery, Pumpkin together with a Cucumber and Mushroom salad. Dinner will be Yellow Split Pea Soup with Cabbage, Tomatoes, Onion, Leek with Tofu sauteed with Bok Choy using 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

      I hope I lose weight being on a beans diet. I also eat fish twice a week.

    • profile image

      JohnVolk 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Angie,

      Thanks for sharing that. How are you feeling now?


    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It has been three weeks, and lost stubborn nine pounds. I started this as healthy diet. I drink a fruit smoothee in the mornings (little wheat germ and cinnamon too). but start with black beens soaked in vinegar. (one spoon full.) lunch and dinner same. sauté red onions, garlic and slices of carrots, mushrooms in little olive oil, than add olives, spinach, peppers, bunch of parsley, and light beef broth, finally any kind of beans. after few minutes I add small slices of wild salmon and take it down. my afternoon snack is walnuts soaked in water or handful of almonds.

      it is so successful I wanted to share.I feel great with this diet. and pounds were side effect of medications and they were not going away.

      I am stage three cancer survivors and had a mild heart attack last may.

    • LifeSculptor profile image

      LifeSculptor 5 years ago

      I;m keen to try this, thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Bean Soup Recipe: Take a bag of beans to soak overnight. ( i use the 15 bean mix) Just follow the directions on the bag. Don't be intimated by this process. Its easier than you think. Rinse the beans, add 3 inches above bean level of water in your pot. ( directions will be on bag) Add a bag of baby carrots, 6-7 stalks of celery, 2 onions, Kosher Salt, Pepper 3 tsp. of onion powder, garlic powder, and basil. I add about 8tbls of parsley. Bring to a roaring bowl. Simmer for 3 hours. Wala! No added fat, just healthy deliciousness!

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing about the bean diet.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i definitely love beans and is going to follow the four hour bean diet :)))

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beans Beans good for the heart,

      The more you eat the more you fart

    • profile image

      mstcourtjester 5 years ago

      My kind of lens, good job. I practically live on beans and rice, very little animal products and as little sugar as possible. Simply because I like to and it keeps me healthy. Great job, keep up the good work :)

    • AstroGremlin profile image

      AstroGremlin 5 years ago

      Beans really are a great food for feeling full without eating a lot of calories. I just featured this lens on my lens on bargain dieting (beans = bargain).

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 5 years ago from Washington State

      @anonymous: oh yeah. Wonderful! We get tired of taking beanos and gasx products! Ginger is soo good for us anyway!

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 5 years ago from Washington State

      We eat a lot of beans. Thanks for letting us know to drink more water and let go of the pasta and breads. Waa, they taste so good with it! Great recipes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am also on the Bean Diet. My doctor precribed it for me because of my Post chemotherphy Rheumatism. I have lost 10 pounds in 4 weeks.

    • bjj james profile image

      bjj james 5 years ago

      beans are a huge part of my diet now!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was told to make the bean a protein, you had to add brown rice. I don't kow the ratio, but I tried 50/50 (I am trying go to vegan) but I gained weight. Now I know why. I would like the ratio..but for now, thank you for this diet. I will go for it. I'll have tiny peas and carrots, and try brussel sprouts. Or just beans?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      When cooking dried beans, I slice some fresh ginger in at the beginning and there is NO gas from the beans! Tastes good too!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I just started eating beans daily for their soluble fiber (lowers cholesterol... aheh!). Dried beans are so cheap and easy to make! I thought it would be a lot of trouble preparing them, but it's really not at all.

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Love beans. I'm going to try this diet!

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 5 years ago

      @CCGAL: thank you ccgal. Great ideas, I will update it as soon as I get a chance.

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 5 years ago

      I love beans, and the only way I've ever lost any significant amount of weight has been when I ate a strict vegetarian diet with lots of leafy greens and water rich veggies. Beans are a staple at our house, but I also like canned fruits packed without sugar. I was pointing out to my son the other day that I could eat 4 cans of my no-sugar-added fruit for the same amount of calories as he would get in one single candy bar, and I would be a LOT fuller and satisfied. I'm not sure it really sank in, but at least I'm trying to teach him. Nice job here - good content. Would like to see this page grow with the addition of some recipes and maybe some discussion of the various kinds of beans and how to prepare them.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I love beans and will try this die. Sound good to me.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      Love beans of all types. Eliminating the carbs, sugars and alcohol goes a long way toward pushing off calories and pounds.