It is generally reported that losing weight on a raw food diet is ridiculously easy. It will of course require some discipline but, to be honest, if you have tried other diets before, been counting calories, tried to exercise with not much energy, and prepared tasteless low-fat foods - raw food weight loss, by comparison, will be very easy and much more enjoyable.
The idea of the raw food diet is simple and powerful: once you stop clogging your body with man-made antinutrients, and start eating more fresh raw foods full of important vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, beneficial bacteria, fibre, live water and life force energy, your body in all its intelligence will magically heal itself. Just like a cut heals on your finger. But there is more to raw food weight loss than that: the natural, uncooked and unprocessed proteins, carbohydrates and fats are good for you, and help your body with healing and slimming down, as compared to their cooked counterparts.
Below are some more facts that explain why raw food diet is so successful for weight loss.
- Have you heard the saying: 'fat people are starving to death'?
What this means is that when you eat many processed, cooked foods, they have very few nutrients in them. As a result, your body keeps giving you the signal to eat more, because it still needs nutrients. On a raw food weight loss diet it will be easy to get huge amounts of minerals, vitamins, and all the other important nutrients from your food. This will reduce cravings, start feeding your body what it really needs, and kick-start your health.
- Apart from the cravings lack of minerals cause, being devoid of these important nutrients can also directly cause you to put on weight, because the minerals needed for the correct functioning of different organs are not there. As a result, many organs in the body will malfunction, which can cause uncontrollable weight gain. Raw food diet will start you on a mineral-rich lifestyle, allowing these organs to heal themselves.
- You will be able to eat cakes, pancakes, cheese, pizzas and crisps, as well as tasty salads with creamy dressings, delicious vanilla and berry smoothies, fresh fruit juices, breakfast cereal and fermented nut cheeses, home-made raw food champagne, and marinated mushrooms and onions. In fact you can recreate almost any cooked dish in a raw version. Healthy raw foods are more tasty than cooked ones in general and if you are willing to invest in a couple of raw food cookbooks and to learn to dehydrate, you will be amazed by what you've been missing! Raw foods generally are like cooked foods, just made from better, as fresh as possible, ingredients.
- Processed carbohydrates are responsible for much of the weight gain and bloatedness in people and when you leave out all white flower, pasta, white sugar, and other such foods that have no nutrients in them, but just clog your body, make your blood sugar go haywire and cause mood swings... once you leave out such foods you will easily and quickly drop weight.
Gluten, specifically, is very hard for your body to digest. The word itself is derived from the word 'glue', because it has been used as a starch-glue in the past. When you eat gluten, it gets warmed up in the intestines of your body and stick to the walls, where it then putrifies and becomes toxic, and interferes with the absorption of nutrients through the intestinal walls.
- Cooking damages some of the nutrients in the food. You will lose some of the vitamins, all of the enzymes and some of the proteins when you cook it. You will also create toxic byproducts which will cause your body to send white blood cells to the blood stream because it sees the food as an invader. It is worth asking yourself, if what you are eating now is really food? Is it what your body was designed to eat and thrive on? What would happen if you gave your body the fuel it needs and felt its true powers and wisdom, and experienced what it can do and how good it can feel?
- Drinking vegetable and fruit juices, which is a big part of the raw food diet, will start a detoxification process in the body, allowing it to become more efficient at healing itself each day. This will be a great help en route to raw food weight loss!
- Raw fats are much less fattening than cooked/ processed fats. In fact these good fats can actually help with quick weight loss, as they will start your body's fat-burning mechanism. Cooked (damaged) fats in foods will not be recognised the same way by the body and will not start this process.
With raw food weight loss, you will first start losing the bloatedness, as you give up alcohol and processed carbohydrates. The green juices and mineral-rich foods will improve your moods and nourish your body, beginning the cleansing and strengthening process. Because the bloatedness goes first, you will see the change in the mirror quicker than you will see it on the scales. But typically within one week, you can start seeing the change on the scales as well. You will lose weight until a point and then it will typically stop for a while - you will come to a plateau. This is because the body is adjusting to the new, cleaner system and doing some household cleaning and detoxing before continuing with the fat burning. It is important to persist through this phase as more raw food weight loss will be on its way!
Raw Food Weight Loss - How to Succeed
- Start each meal with a juice. Have a large green juice first thing every morning, and a juice of your choice (large glass) before each meal. These can be pasteurized fruit juices from the shop as long as they are real juices (and not "juice-drinks") and have no added sugar or chemicals and preservatives. Pasteurized juices are not raw but they are still very good for you, cleansing and filling, and a good substitute when you don't have time to make your own 'live' juice.
- Don't include any gluten, wheat or dairy into your diet, whether raw or cooked. You will also give up all processed foods and meats.
- Prepare plenty of raw food in advance: crackers, kale crisps, raw food pizza ingredients, frozen chocolate cake, almond milk and banana ice cream, etc. to always have something ready to munch on when you feel like it.
- Don't let yourself get hungry. Eat more than usual but include fruit salads, green salads, smoothies and juices into your diet everyday, don't live off raw snacks and gourmet foods, such as pizzas, all the time. But the comfort raw foods are very important as well, to keep your taste buds happy and your body not feeling hungry.
- Take food with you wherever you go. For example, bananas and bags of your favourite nuts and raisins are very satisfactory snacks and will make sure you don't get any cravings. But buy your nuts from a shop where you can make sure that they are raw and that they have no added sugar etc.
- Be prepared before you start. Research where you can buy your foods from (e.g. find websites to order raw nuts and superfoods from), check out local shops, markets, health food stores etc. Prepare lots of food before you start. Practice with some recipes and find out what you like. Read some books about raw food to educate and inspire yourself.
- Don't start 100% raw. Allow yourself to include some cooked quinoa or millet into the diet - e.g. a small amount of quinoa, cooked with garlic and onions for an evening meal with a raw sauce, such as raw marinated mushrooms, spinach and onion) with olive oil.
- Take it easy on the olive oil, however, because it is often not raw even it is extra virgin and cold pressed. Vegetable oils also go rancid in daylight so keep them in the dark as much as possible. Often shops sell denatured extra virgin olive oil but sometimes I just buy it anyway, keep it in my cupboard and use it in moderation.
- Use dates instead of sugar for your smoothies, cakes etc. You may have to soak them overnight in water if they don't mix well otherwise. Other sugar alternatives include stevia, sugary fruits and berries, raw maple syrup, and black molasses sugar. Black molasses sugar is not raw but it is nevertheless much better than white sugar since it includes minerals and vitamins in it and is less processed. I would keep it as a treat to have a little bit at the maximum every other day or so - but only if you can keep from eating too much.
- Make sure you drink plenty of liquids every day. Sometimes hunger and cravings are really your body being thirsty. This will also help to ease the detoxification process of the raw food weight loss and make you feel better, while supporting your liver and kidneys in their cleansing effort.
- If you experience detox symptoms, such as headaches, diarrhea, moodiness, bad skin, tiredness, flu symptoms, throat ache, aches and pains, trouble concentrating, etc. you can find relief by taking salt water enemas, drinking plenty of water, taking hot baths with detoxifying salts added, dry brushing your skin, etc.
Enemas especially can be a powerful help with this. Some detox is probably unavoidable but it should pass within a couple of days, otherwise you might be doing something wrong. If you're too uncomfortable and worried about strong detox symptoms, slow down the transition and include some more healthy cooked foods in your raw food weight loss diet, before slowly reducing them again.
- If you are quitting caffeine as a part of your transition to raw - which I highly recommend - be prepared to suffer for 2-3 days of headaches and tiredness because of the caffeine addiction. Again you could do this slowly, i.e. quit caffeine first and transition to raw later. But if you choose to quit caffeine cold-turkey, schedule a long weekend for yourself where you can just sleep a lot and get through the headache period. Read more here: Benefits of Quitting Caffeine.
- It is always possible that there are some underlying health conditions which are harder to get rid of, which are causing you to put on weight. It is also possible that your body for some reason does not agree with a certain food, even if the food is raw. Raw food weight loss is generally easy to achieve but if it doesn't feel right or you worry about anything, slow down or stop.
For best results, check yourself for food intolerances using the pulse test, get a hair mineral analysis done for mineral deficiencies, and get blood test and general check with a doctor done, discussing your plan for a life change via raw foods. Then make up your own mind what is right for you. Keep in mind that it is impossible for me to guarantee that it is safe for you to go on raw foods so be careful and don't hold me responsible! The raw food diet is a powerful tool for purification and weight loss and it should be respected as such.
Inspirational Examples of Raw Food Weight Loss
This is an image of Angela Stokes, author of the website Raw Reform and co-author of The Raw Food World, who lost all this weight by following the raw food diet, after reading Victoria Boutenko's book: "The Raw Family".
I think it's probably possible to contact Angela directly through her website to ask specific questions.
The above 'Raw Reform' website sells ebooks explaining her story and detailing the method she used. You can also get the books from the 'Raw Food World' (link above), where sells the same books but also products. If you go to Raw Food World and read the article 'About Angela' you can read her life story for free.
Below is an image of Jon Gabriel, who lost 225 lbs (102 kg) and who is the creator of the 'Gabriel Method', where he teaches people how to 'lose weight without dieting'. It is not a complete raw food diet but he emphasizes the importance of raw foods and combines these ideas with 'you can eat what you like' philosophy. In his book he discusses methods of working your mind using visualization an other techniques, to make your body 'want to be thinner.'
He also features in the documentary 'Hungry for Change' which is a brilliant one to watch. Check out the trailer in the "Best Raw Food Documentaries" page of this website.
This is his website featuring information on his method and a store, where he sells an ebook on his story as well as various videos, supplements and other products: www.thegabrielmethod.com.
Jon Gabriel emphasizes that it is important to provide the body with the nutrients it needs. As Everydiet.org explains:
"[Jon Gabriel] says that most overweight people are actually undernourished because the foods they are eating are not high in vitamins and minerals. Gabriel is a strong advocate of raw foods and he states that they contain a life force energy that is an important aspect of nourishing the body. He advises dieters to include raw food, protein, and omega 3 in every meal because these factors help to stabilize blood sugar levels and optimize nutritional balance."
This is a quote that was portrayed some time ago on the 'Hungry for Change' website:
"Man made foods, like bread and sugar trick your body into thinking you’re getting specific nutrients."
- Jon Gabriel
There are plenty of other testimonials on how quickly and efficiently one can lose weight following the raw food diet. Just search for: 'raw food before and afters'.
Recommended Raw Food Books:
Heal Thyself for Health and Longevity by Queen Afua (Follow above link for book summary.)
An inspiring raw food book, especially good for beginning raw foodists. 'Heal Thyself' focuses on a high-raw diet (not 100%), live juice fasting, and other methods of detoxification to heal yourself. With a very spiritual focus, Queen Afua offers eating and fasting plans, inspiring words, and practical advice for everyday life. This book is an effective raw food diet weight loss tool.
The Joy of Living Live: A Raw Food Journey by Zakhah (Click on above link for book summary.)
A raw food community, who call themselves 'African Hebrew Israelites', has achieved a peaceful, healthful existence in sharp contrast to most human communities today. An uplifting read, a brilliantly inspiring raw food book with dietary advice, testimonials from the people in the community, and recipes. Advocates a high-raw lifestyle, living close to nature and also emphasizes the importance of exercise.
Eat for Health: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, Look Younger, Live Longer; Never Diet Again! by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (Click on above link for the book summary.)
A highly recommended raw food book emphasizing a high-raw lifestyle (not 100% raw), as well as the importance of micronutrients, and how our calorie (macronutrient) needs can be reduced by eating plenty of micronutrients. The 'true hunger', Fuhrman explains, is not for calories but for micronutrients. A fascinating read.
Dr. Fuhrman: "Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition". This book has solid advice on how to eat a high-nutrient, 'nutritarian' diet and result in weight loss through high raw foods.
'Ani's Raw Food Detox - The Easy, Satisfying Plan to Get Lighter, Tighter, and Sexier... in 15 Days or Less' by Ani Phyo. Delicious recipes for raw food diet weight loss.
Raw Food Life Force Energy: Enter a Totally New Stratosphere of Weight Loss, Beauty, and Health by Natalia Rose
This book outlines a weekly raw food diet plan which includes drinking green smoothies. Solid advice, and a worthwhile raw food diet weight loss book.
The Sunfood Diet Success System (book summary) by David Wolfe
An all time classic raw food book and very inspiring reading, suitable for both beginners and more advanced raw foodists. It is a huge book, with amazing amounts of inspiring information on the benefits of the raw food diet, as well as practical advice. Highly recommended (although there is plenty of not-so-fantastic poetry included). If you're only going to read one raw food book, make it this one. I personally keep reading this book summary over and over again as I find it so inspiring.
'The Remedy: The Five-Week Power Plan to Detox Your System, Combat the Fat, and Rebuild Your Mind and Body' by Supa Nova Slom
A raw food book on being 'a chlorophyllian' and transforming your life. The emphasis is on drinking plenty of green juice and exercising. Daily raw food diet plans are provided for both eating and exercising. Supa Nova Slom is the son of Queen Afua, the famous raw food author and lecturer. This book will also help with raw food weight loss, good inspiration and straight-forward uncomplicated approach.
'Fully Raw Diet' by Kristina Carrillo Bucaram.
More books that can help with anti-aging, raw food diet, weight loss, overcoming mineral deficiencies and other imbalances, etc.: Life-changing books list.
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Best raw food diet articles on this website.
More tips on how to succeed on a raw food diet here.
If your problem is stomach fat, especially, see my other post (book review) here:
"How to Lose Stomach Fat".
Natural health remedy library: obesity, overweight.