Vegetarians lose weight twice as fast as meat-eaters, according to a study.
It found that the fastest way for dieters to fight the flab was to give up meat products. They constitute more than a third of the average meat-eater's daily calorie intake.
In the first month of a diet, they lose on average 2lb, while vegetarians' weight loss is double that at 4lb (about 1.8kg).
The difference is even more noticeable for slimmers who quit meat at the start of a diet - with the first month's weight loss averaging 5lb.
Vegetarians are said to typically be better dieters because the switch away from meat also leads to people embracing a healthier lifestyle.
The study found that vegetarians were twice as likely to be gym members as meat eaters and exercise twice as much.
They are also much more likely to pick low-fat options at the supermarket and tend to shun fast food restaurants - just 12 per cent are users, compared to 39 per cent of meat-eaters.
The study, involving 1,000 people, was carried out by weight loss firm Forza Supplements.
Managing director Lee Smith said: "All our research shows that becoming a veggie is a great way to lose weight.
"It's not that good lean meat it is particularly calorific but we find that meat-eaters consistently have a higher calorie intake because the meat they eat is often cooked in an unhealthy way."
A grilled chicken thigh is just 135 calories but that shoots up to 290 calories when it is fried by one of the fast food outlets, with another 300 calories if you add fries. That is where all the damage is done."