The idea of eating raw food for weight loss is relatively new. But eating raw food to improve health is not new although it is popular with celebrities such as actor Woody Harrelson. Eating a diet of mostly raw food dates back at least to the time of Christ, when a monastic sect called the Essenes ate raw food, following what they believed was the command of Jesus. Although some people eat raw food for weight loss, most raw food fans are looking for improved health and for a more ethical way of living on the planet with our fellow creatures- animals. Weight loss as an incidental side-benefit of eating raw food.
The raw food diet is essentially a vegan diet except nothing is cooked. Raw food fans believe that heating food over 116 degrees F (47degrees C) destroys enzymes that assist digestion. They cite animal studies in which animals fed cooked food became diseased. Advocates say that living food with live enzymes leads to better health and stronger immune systems. They say that our modern diet filled with processed foods and additives and the stresses of contemporary life have made our bodies too acidic. We need alkaline forming raw food to balance out the acidity. These include vegetables, sprouts and grasses, herbs, seaweed and various superfoods. Eating akaline-forming foods can help raw food for weight loss.
There is not universal consensus about what constitutes high raw eating. For the strictest raw food followers, all food eaten must be 100% raw. Most followers of the raw food regime are less strict, eating between 50% and 80% of raw food. Some even include cooked meat from time to time, often for social reasons as eating a 100% raw food diet, so radically different from what most of us are used to, can be hard.
One concern with a raw food diet is food hygiene. Organic fruit and vegetables should be eaten to avoid contamination with pesticides. While you can get maximum amount of minerals and vitamins from most fruit and vegetables in a raw state, some such as broccoli, carrots and tomatoes increase when the food is cooked. Another concern is getting enough calories and nutrition from fruit and vegetables. This may be one reason why so many people are now interested in raw food for weight loss. But it is important not too eat too few calories or your body will not operate properly.
How to use raw food for weight loss
1. Reduce the acidity in your body and balance your diet by eating more organic, raw foods particularly vegetables as well as tonic herbs, seaweeds, sprouts, wheatgrass and superfoods. Vegetables and fruit can be eaten liberally. For weight loss, limit the amount of nuts.
2. Drink sufficient water. Most people are chronically dehydrated.
3. Work on detoxifying all aspects of your life- physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. This involves dealing with the stresses in your life and any toxic relationships as these can cause you to gain weight. You may need the help of a counselor, friends, spiritual healer, psychiatrist etc to release stuck emotions. Becoming free of toxic relationships is critical to the healing process.
4. As your health improves and with the approval of your doctor, gradually cut down or stop the intake of prescription drugs.
5. Avoid recreational drugs such as cigarettes and alcohol.
What equipment do I need for a raw food diet?
A juicer, blender and a food dehydrator
What food is in raw food diet?
Salads, and cold soup made in a blender. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices made in a juicer. Nuts and nut butters. Dried fruit. Cakes, crackers, fruit and vegetable leathers and similar food are created using a food dehydrator. Alfalfa, buckwheat, lentil, mung bean and other seeds are sprouted.
Should I use raw food for weight loss?
There is no doubt that eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is very good for everyone. Nutritionists have tried for decades to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables we eat. Most of us eat little fresh fruit and vegetables so wed gain huge health benefits from increasing to even 20% to 50% raw fruit and vegetables. There is a lot of fiber in this diet and it could take a long time to eat meals with plates piled high with salad so that you would feel quite full and be unlikely to overeat. Even if you are tempted to overeat, its better to binge on apples than chocolate mudcake!
Is the raw food diet something you could keep to over a long period of time? Its natural when you make the decision to lose weight, to choose a strict approach which promises many benefits. However it would be counterproductive to start on a disciplined regime of raw food for the sake of weight loss, give up because it is too hard and then overeat in compensation in the classic, damaging yo-yo dieting pattern. You know your body best. If you already love eating fruit and vegetables and are willing to take the time to learn how to eat in this new way, making sure that you eat adequate protein; if youre willing to shop and prepare food in the new special way, raw food may suit you for weight loss. Perhaps youre thinking of easing yourself into a newer, healthier lifestyle by a detox with raw foods without wanting to embark on a mainly raw food diet permanently. A change of diet as radical as this is likely to have side effects such as fatigue and headaches- all part of the healing process. If you like vegetables and fruit and are willing to give yourself a quiet period to let your body detox and heal, and are also willing to continue afterwards with a more healthy diet raw food could work for you.