Getting Fat on Raw Foods?

by Courtney on April 22, 2008

Back into foods again… I’m always amazed at how just a few days of Juice Feasting can bring me back more in touch with intuitive eating… every time, just a little more.

Anthony posted a recent blog where he made the straightforward, simple, and true point that we can’t all just eat anything we want, as long as its raw. I was actually going to write about that exact thing in my last post, so I’m glad its being brought up.

We’re definitely all different, and many people, especially if they are very overweight, may be able to eat anything and everything, so long as it is raw, and see weight melt off of them.

I was one of the people who came to raw foods believing that I can have complete abandon about quantity, types of foods, time of day to eat, and activity level, and I could lose weight. As long as it had that magical, panacea word ‘RAW’ attached to it, I was golden… right?

Wrong. I was a size 14 when I went 100% raw. At this point, I’d already been mostly organic and vegan for over a year. Rather than losing weight, I gained about 7 lbs immediately. My weight stayed that high for a good 5 months of being 100% raw. It wasn’t until I started to make some changes that my weight budged at all. I cut down a little on the raw fats, ate a bit less altogether and exercised a little more (which isn’t saying much) and dropped to a size 10. Then, I went on the Juice Feast and dropped to a size 6/8, which is about where I am now.

However, I could easily, and very quickly, gain back the 30 lbs I’ve lost if I wanted to – and I could do it on 100% raw foods. Furthermore, I’m actually still aiming to lose some more weight to get to where I feel most comfortable, and I can tell you its not going to happen until I make some further refinements to my diet and I increase my activity level even more (right now I exercise about 3.5 hours per week).

In the time I’ve been at the Tree of Life, where we serve gourmet raw food buffet style, I have seen far more women (and some men) come here and gain weight than lose weight. Why? The same old thing we’ve heard – You increase your calorie intake, including dense and fatty foods, without upping your activity level, you gain weight.

I think it’s important to be able to relax into some freedom when one is first transitioning into a raw foods diet and trying to lose their cooked food cravings. The ability to allow ourselves to eat whatever we want, whenever and in any quantity, as long as it is raw, can be the key for people to be able to get off cooked foods, and so I see at as a completely valid phase. But that’s the key – it’s a phase, and I have witnessed that it’s not the most healthful mindset in the long run. Additionally, it seems unlikely that one will continue to get healthier on an imbalanced raw diet and neglect of physical exertion.

For those of us whom can’t just eat anything as long as it’s raw, I think this fact is really important to accept. We’re still responsible for feeding ourselves in a balanced way, seeing that we’re getting ample exercise in to create the body we want (which, of course, is also different for everyone). Just because we eat 100% raw or close to it, I believe, does not necessarily mean we will settle at the weight that is really right for us. The weight one settles at may not necessarily be the healthiest weight for them if they’re eating lessthan optimally in type of food, quantity, and time of day, as and the activity level is less than optimal.Furthermore, its important to address cleansingthe colon, ridding the liver, kidney and gallbladder of any stones, addressing candida issues, and whatever other bodily imbalances that may or may not be addressed by simply eating 100% raw food.So, with that, let us all (including me!!) find the right balance in our diets and exercise level for OUR bodies specifically, and enjoy the massive benefits that a high vibration, plant based diet can bring us!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa, aka Pixywinks April 25, 2008 at 3:52 am

So true!! A raw diet can be tremendously high in fat. I’m still working towards getting my exercise levels up to where they need to be. One step at a time…
Pixy Lisa


mimi May 2, 2008 at 2:24 am

I LOVE your post. i too went raw for a week and gained 3 pounds. i was lost and confused! i find it hard to get all the right nutrients on 100% raw, but 70-80% raw i find perfect and very beneficial. i love your blog — thank you!


fabulousJEN* May 3, 2008 at 5:52 pm

I really appreciated this post. I love your writing and your clear energy. Thank you for sharing your experiences…I find your blog so encouraging!


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