People get on board with the raw food diet for the many health benefits it offers, which can include successful, long term weight loss.
Many followers also experience renewed vitality, boosted energy levels and improvement to chronic diseases. Plus enhanced mental well being often connected to the reduced impact on the environment.
At its core, a raw food diet is very high in fresh fruits and vegetables, meaning it’s naturally high in nutrients and fibre. It also limits the intake of foods known to contribute to poor health such as junk foods.
This regime is particularly excellent for weight loss because it’s low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. With various studies showing that the raw food diet is associated with having less body fat.
If you’re ready to take on this fat reducing eating plan but are worried about the physical consequences of significant weight loss down the track. Remember that there are solutions to issues such as excessive skin around the tummy area. The mini tummy tuck is a simple and effective procedure, and we’ve linked a video here in case you’d like to know more.
In the meantime, it’s essential to know that dramatically changing your diet can initially be challenging for both the body and mind. So here are our top 3 tips for going raw triumphantly.
Raw food diets tend to go hand in hand with plant-based or vegan eating. So your first decision is whether or not you want to cut animal products from your diet. If you have, or plan to, then you’re going to be consuming lots of raw fruits and vegetables anyway, so you’ve already leapt a major dietary hurdle.
But don’t panic if you love your meat, eating raw isn’t only for vegans and vegetarians. While it’s true that most raw food diets are entirely plant-based, some followers do consume uncooked eggs and dairy and even raw fish and meat.
However, if you really don’t feel comfortable giving up those lean cuts of meat and fish, you could opt for a hybrid version of the raw food diet.
For instance, try combining elements of a paleo and raw food diet.
Like raw food diets, paleo includes lots of vegetables, fruits and nuts based. But advocates also eat cooked, grass-fed meats and fish as well as dairy.
So while combining the two diets still means a focus on raw foods, vegetables, nuts and seeds, you can also add some meat. Though meat consumption should be strictly monitored and only include grass-fed and sustainably raised meat.
Most importantly, in your hybrid diet, the meat becomes the side dish and vegetables the main.
As a side note, if you don’t want to forgo dairy, goat and sheep’s milk are more comfortable to digest than cow’s milk.
But however you tailor your meals to suit you, remember to include lots of healthy fats found in things like:
- coconut oil
- saturated fat from organic meat products
A balanced diet needs protein, healthy fats, fibre and nutrients. So include lots of unprocessed seeds, nuts and grains too. And vegetables need to be high in vitamins, minerals and protein, so add heaps of things like leafy greens.
Don’t dive straight into the raw food diet if you’ve never tried it before either, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, remove processed and high sugar foods slowly from your life. And don’t restrict yourself too much, you may still want the occasional glass of wine, for instance, and that’s totally fine also. An easy way to transition is by adding things like smoothies you your everyday life.
Also if you’re worried about getting the right amount of nutrition from your new diet, try these fantastic, powerful foods:
- Leafy greens like kale and spinach pack a protein punch and are rich in vitamins E and C. They also contain heaps of the dominant antioxidant chlorophyll. Leafy greens are a great way to include more raw vegetables into your diet.
- Nuts and seeds (raw and sprouted) provide a high dose of vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre. And they are great for lowering blood cholesterol.
- Fermented vegetables ( think pickled radish, sauerkraut and kimchi) will support digestion. Plus are a simple way to supplement immunity-boosting probiotics to your diet.
- Unprocessed and sugar-free, uncooked cacao retains the nutrients and good fats lost through heating. So you can still enjoy a healthy, chocolate treat.
Raw doesn’t have to mean eating uncooked produce only. Technically, your raw food diet can include some cooked ingredients. It’s thought that certain useful enzymes break down in higher temps. With somewhere between 40-47 degrees considered the sweet spot. The theory is that those higher temps could hinder digestion and render foods less nutritional, though dehydrating is acceptable. ‘Sprouted’ and ‘activated’ foods and beverages can also be added to your diet. But the fact is that some foods are more beneficial to your body when cooked:
- Beta-carotene is absorbed and converted to vitamin A more efficiently through cooked carrots
- We digest tomatoes much better after cooking. The cooking process releases higher levels of the antioxidant lycopene
- Wilted spinach provides much more iron and calcium than in its raw state
- Starchy and bitter, uncooked potatoes should be avoided
If you’ve been considering your options for losing a few kilos, you’ve likely come across the raw food regime before. It’s the type of diet that traditionally appeals to those seeking a more ethical lifestyle choice. Yet not only does it claim to better care for our planet, it could also well be the answer to those weight loss goals you’ve been searching for.
We hope we’ve answered some of the questions about this type of regime and how you can make it work for you.
Though it may seem like a very modern concept, the origins of the raw food diet are much earlier than you might imagine. And it really gained momentum, particularly amongst nutritionist, from the late 1800s. So rather than the new kid on the block, it’s a century old, tried and tested formula.
Early advocates may have focused on foods that holistically impacted the body and aided healing. Still, they also nailed a successful eating plan that guaranteed weight loss when done right.
Until recently, this type of nutrition was seen as an extreme lifestyle choice and something to aspire to. But these days it’s considered more attainable and mainstream with restaurants, recipes and raw food advice popping up everywhere.