“I have read a lot about raw food eating and want to start it but am afraid to lose weight which happens every time I eat less bread, grains, etc. Do you know of a person who had this problem and started eating 100% raw and did not lose weight?”
ANSWER: I can only give you a generic response, keeping in mind that each situation is unique and must be dealt-with on a case-to-case basis. It is easier to gain weight on bread, grains and other cooked carbohydrates because they are more concentrated in calories.
For example, a few slices of bread will give you 500 calories, which would take 5 bananas or 10 peaches with raw foods. So the total volume that must be consumed each day on a raw food diet is much greater than on a standard cooked diet.
The problem is that when people first go on a raw food diet, they start eating large quantities of fat (nuts, seeds, avocados, oil, etc.) to compensate. This leads to several health problems and possibly, for some people, the inability to gain weight, due to impaired digestion.
I've known several people who couldn't gain sufficient weight on a typical high-fat raw diet until they switched to a high-fruit, low-fat raw diet.
I personally found it really easy to maintain my weight eating only fruits and vegetables. At 5'10'', I weigh about 145 pounds with a body fat level of about 8-9%.
What I suggest you to do is to figure out how many calories you actually need to maintain your weight. You do this using a simple calculation.
- You take your ideal weight (the weight you'd like to achieve) and multiply by 10.
- That will give you your “basic caloric requirements.”
- Then you add the calories you need for daily activities and for fitness activities.
For example, take me:
- If my ideal weight is 145 pounds, then 1450 calories is the amount I need just to maintain my weight doing nothing.
- Then I need to add 300-400 calories for my daily activities such as walking around the office, lifting up a few boxes of stuff, and so on. If someone is a postal office worker or something like that, then you'll need to add a lot more for “daily activities.” But I work most of the time on the computer.
- And then you add calories spent in fitness activities. For me, that's 500 to 1000 calories, depending on the day. So my total caloric intake should be about 2300 to 2800.
Of course, all of this is very generic and depends on other factors such as your total muscle mass, your age, etc., but this gives you an idea.
Then you need to figure out how much food it actually takes to meet your caloric needs without getting more than 10-15% of your total caloric intake from fat. To give you an idea, a banana generally yields 100 calories and if it's very big up to 140 calories. So we're talking about a lot of fruit.
For me, that means a breakfast of fruit, a lunch of fruit, and a dinner of fruit followed by a giant salad or other vegetables. For a less active person, you could skip the fruit before the evening meal.
For more information, it is imperative that you read my book, “The Raw Secrets
”, to at least get started on the right path, and then check out my course, “How to End Confusion About Nutrition
”, to expand your understanding of specific nutrients in relation to your own body.
With a foundation of knowledge you'll be better equipped to make good dietary choices.