Do you want to lose weight and eat healthier without having to even cook or exercise? Then you might find yourself interested in the Raw Food Diet, which is a popular trend that has taken over the health industry. It might not be the easiest to follow, but people that have turned to this program have found themselves losing weight quickly. While people have been eating raw foods for their entire diet for many years, it has become more popular recently.
The idea is to avoid foods and drinks that have been cooked (yes, drinks can be cooked), focusing only on foods that have been dehydrated, blended, or not touched at all. Many of these types of foods don’t have many calories, which is why so many have been able to lose weight. There are also plenty of benefits to eating raw foods. So how are you able to shed weight and get healthy on this plan? Let’s take a look inside the Raw Food Diet to see how you can benefit from this plan.
Behind the Raw Food Diet
If you’re a fan of processed foods, drive thru windows or sugar, you might want to strap in for the Raw Food Diet as you have to give all of that up. The idea behind the Raw Food Diet is that foods are at their healthiest when they haven’t been touched. This means that foods that have been exposed to chemicals at farms aren’t allowed, but you’ll still be eating plenty of organic fruits and vegetables.
So why raw instead of cooked? When food is cooked, fans of the Raw Food Diet say that many of the vitamins and nutrients are eliminated, meaning that you don’t get benefits out of seemingly healthy foods. One thing that you will have to get used to right away is preparing food in a different way. Blenders, food processors and dehydrators are going to be used quite a bit, so some are turned away from the price alone at the start.
You can warm up some of the raw foods that you are eating, as long as it never gets above 118 degrees, as that is the temperature in which nutrients are cooked away. These are nutrients that are said to help your immune system, making you healthier overall. About 80 percent of the calories that you consume on a daily basis during the diet will be made up from raw foods. Mostly a vegetarian diet, you can still eat meat while on this program. Unfortunately, there isn’t much raw meat that you can consume outside of sushi, but dairy is still allowed.
Like most vegetarian diets, the basis of this plan is to focus instead on fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods. Other large components of the Raw Food Diet include nuts, grains and seeds. If you are already eating a mostly vegetarian diet, you will find it much easier than those that are used to eating mostly meat. If you think that you are ready to give up meat for the most part, it’s still going to be a good idea to take a daily multivitamin or supplement.
What’s on the Menu?
When operating at a calorie deficit, you are going to lose weight. Most diets will ask you to eat a certain number of calories per day, though there is no calorie counting with the Raw Food Diet. While the other diets will be asking you to make sure you’re eating a low amount of calories, you should be making sure you’re actually eating enough calories to get through the day, as many of the foods on the list are very low in calories.
So if you want to lose one pound of fat per week, you should be operating at a 500 calorie deficit on a daily basis. This typically means that you should be eating 1,200 to 1,800 calories per day depending on your size. Let’s take a look at a sample menu from the Raw Food Diet so that you can get an idea of what you’ll be eating. There aren’t many foods to pick from, so this can be pretty hard to follow.
Breakfast – Green smoothie comprising of bananas, oranges, apple, spinach, water and lemon juice
Lunch – Salad with mock chicken
Dinner – Raw chili
Snacks – Raw granola bar and fruit parfait
Breakfast – Raw Granola
Lunch – Veggie Burgers
Dinner – Raw spaghetti
Snacks – Raw oatmeal and banana
Breakfast – Bowl of varied fruits
Lunch – Japanese rolls
Dinner – Raw crackers and cheese with side salad
Snacks – Raw fudge and fruit plate
That’s not a lot of calories on a daily basis, with most of the popular raw recipes only making up meals that are around 200 calories. Also, the recipes can be a bit difficult to follow since you will need to dehydrate or process much of your food. You can add more simple foods that you don’t need to prepare like raw fruit, but it’s still going to be a good idea to blend foods together to make the diet more bearable.
What to Know About the Raw Food Diet
So now that you know which foods you should be aiming for while on the Raw Food Diet? What all do you have to avoid? Literally anything that has been cooked, anything that contains sugar or flour, any caffeine and anything pasteurized. Immediately, that cuts out a lot of foods that you can choose from, making this a hard plan to follow. Even though you won’t be cooking any foods, there is still a lot of preparation time that you will have to use on the plan.
You can still create your own versions of foods like potato chips and spaghetti, but it can take hours to prepare. There are plenty of delicious options that will be nutritious, though it’s the cost of kitchen utilities and amount of time that turns people off. However, there are a lot of benefits if you can manage to get your way through the Raw Food Diet.
For starters, people have been able to lose weight on this plan, Studies have shown that the average body mass index and body fat percentage were much lower for those that followed the Raw Food Diet. Another study showed that people that hadn’t already been on the Raw Food Diet lost around 10 percent of their body weight after just three months when eating raw foods 80 percent of the time.
For those that were able to follow the diet for several years, the weight loss actually turned out to be a little much. A quarter of all women in one study showed that they were actually underweight due to the lack of calories from the Raw Food Diet. For that reason, doctors have said that while eating raw foods was beneficial, sticking to a diet of nothing but raw foods was going to be damaging due to the lack of calories.
Still, there are plenty of good benefits to increasing the amount of raw foods that you eat. With the increase of vitamins and nutrients from raw foods, you will see an increase in your immune system health and digestive system. Raw foods have been shown to benefit people that suffer from ailments such as joint pain, cancer, heart disease, hormonal imbalances and much more. What makes the Raw Food Diet slightly easier to follow is the fact that your options are more varied than on the Vegan version, but it can still be difficult.
Summing it Up
How much money is it going to cost you just to get started on the Raw Food Diet? There are cheap food processors that you can find out there, even if some of the highest rated ones for the plan cost hundreds of dollars. The highest rated ones on the internet cost less than $100, but top of the line processors that also act as blenders can cost upwards of $600. Add in a food dehydrator, and that can be an extra $150 or so.
Many swear by the Raw Food Diet and have seen some tremendous benefits, and the diet itself has gotten some high reviews for weight loss. However, many will find it hard to stick to the plan, giving it very low marks in that regard. Those that have spent big money on the plan in hopes of losing weight have found themselves tired of repeating the same meals on a near daily basis. After giving up on the plan, you end up with some expensive paperweights in the kitchen and probably a rebound in your weight.
If you can stick with it, this is a good plan for weight loss and overall health. Just make sure that you aren’t eating 100 percent of your foods raw. There still has to be a little wiggle room, so 70 to 80 percent is the suggested amount. You might be desperate to lose weight, but you have to be extremely dedicated to stick on the Raw Food Diet for an extended time.