View Full Version : Weighty issues
07-25-2006, 05:14 AM
I saw a programme on tv last night and it was about people who have done diets for weight loss and it highlighted that many of them were unable to keep the weight off for life and usually in some cases gradually gained back all of the weight that they had lost and some of them gained even more weight.
So the question that i have for long term raw food eaters is whether you have regained any of the weight you have lost and do you have problems maintaining your ideal weight?
I have never done a diet in my whole life, I mean for weight loss, I didn't need it and didn't want to. However, I always have tried different ways of eating because a healthy lifestyle seemed important to me. I also have been a bit too heavy for my usual doing one period in my life due to stress, not excercising/sedentary life and very bad eating habits. Yes, I did have to change my eating habits then, and I also had to excercise, but I didn't do a diet. I do have ideas why diets don't work: in general people have bad eating habits. When they want to lose weight, they do some (crash) diet for a while, lose the weight, and then go back to their old eating habits. Of course it all comes back, or even more, because some diets can actually f* up your metabolism. Actually a diet originally means 'lifestyle' and not something you do for a short while. So if people change their lifestyle permanently to a healthier and more natural one, in this case raw & living foods, they don't have problems maintaining their weight. It just comes naturally. Browse through the internet and there are many examples of people who have been overweight and now flourish on the raw food diet and still do. A good example is Shazzie from the UK, and also Angela (I'm going to try to find some links). And many more! I also know of an overweight boy who started eating raw for a period, flourished and then started eating cooked SAD again and gained back al his weight. It's a lifestyle, not a quick fix.
07-25-2006, 05:33 AM
Yes, the likelihood of an overweight person gaining his/her weight back is VERY high. I have read that only 2% of dieters maintain their losses for longer than a year. Apparently there are physical reasons for this as well as psychological.
I am in my second year of defending a 60 lb weight loss. When I was still eating cooked vegetarian food, maintaining my weight was a constant struggle with measuring and weighing food and counting calories. Since going raw 4 months ago, I find maintenance much easier and have even lost a few more lbs.
Ok, the links. Shazzie's in the UK:
Especially check out her before and after page, with photos and inspirational stories from her and many others! That's:
Here's the website by Angela Stokes, who has been struggling with weight issues all of her life. Her transformation is truly amazing, I posted her before and after pictures below. Nowadays she helps other people change to a natural, healthy lifestyle and lose weight:
Also, the Boutenko family. Most of them have been overweight and struggling with severe health problems, like diabetics and asthma. They are all happy and healthy now, giving lectures around the world. They are well known as 'The Raw Family':
Jinjee's personal page with before and after pictures. She and her family are raw vegans:
And here's a page with many before and after links and personal stories:
07-25-2006, 05:50 AM
My experience / opinion:
-I took off about 65 lbs (35, male, 5'8", now 150).....by becoming more conscious of my diet......journaling.....doing reserach....setting very small personal and DAILY goals.....light exercise. None of this is a secret. But the real secret is changing your THOUGHTS....thinking positive thoughts......and seeing the SMALL things that you can do every day to be successful.
-You can brainstorm and write down EVERY idea that you've ever had that YOU think will be a succesful thing / attitude towards losing weight (or whatever your goal is). Try to do at least 1 thing on your list every day! You'll win!
-Even the smallest stream cuts through the mightiest rock.....if it never stops flowing! :)
On the practical side:
1) Eat a WIDE variety of fresh raw plant food.
2) Start from a level that you are very comfortable with NOW - and stretch from there (not pull or tear!)
3) Practice acceptance - which is often more important than being right....or even succeeding (although I LOVE succeeding!) If YOUR goals are small enough....you WILL succeed. Be honest.
07-25-2006, 06:21 AM
The reason why people gain the weight back after a diet is because they stop doing it. If you do it forever, sure, it may work, but then again, notice that most of these diets or magic fat cures are unhealthy in one way or another so it wouldn't even be a good idea to keep it up forever. That is the beauty of raw foodism. It isn't a diet. It should be a lifestyle. If a person continues living a raw lifestyle, they should be able to maintain their weight and health just fine. However, if they don't ever try 100% or just do it temporarily, of course they can expect to gain back all the weight and become unhealthy again. It is simple logic. So, if you want to stay trim and healthy, stay raw! :D
07-25-2006, 06:39 AM
I saw this programme too and it kind of upset me a little to see how all their hard work was just undone after a while of maintenance . it worried me that the presenter was trying to prove that its not just about changing your diet that we also have to address the brain conditioning too and change the phsychological reasons for gaining weight too! It was interesting to see that all the diets were SAD based and perhaps the addictive nature of these foods forces you to eventually return to evereating on them where as in RAW your body needs smaller portions of food to feel satiated because they are packed with the elements that the body needs! so I think the programme only stood for diets of a SAD nature and how they were doomed to fail!
all in all an interesting programme but had quite a negative slant and a "doomed to fail" underlying theme. it made me panic a little inside. all the more reason to stay on the Raw path!
07-25-2006, 06:51 AM
Good point, fallen angel. Raw is so completely different from SAD/cooked in every way (go figure, something so archaic, simple and meant to be is such a hard thing for people to grasp). SAD/cooked food has such a hold on people because the chemicals and toxins in it are addictive and they comfort people, so food almost always becomes an emotional/psychological attachment in one way or another. This is the main reason why people can't stop eating things they know are bad for them. Diets don't help this, because even though they are diets, they are still cooked diets, so no one is ever separated from the crutch of cooked food because the same chemicals and toxins are there, just in a lesser or slightly different form. With all raw, you eliminate all of these things and you're forced to come face to face with your emotional food connections, stop 'feeding them' and let go of them, so as long as you keep it up, the temptation slowly lessens and it becomes easier to stay committed.
There are huge differences in cooked diets. You can be healthy on a cooked diet, based on your choices and your mindset. Just because SAD is standard in America, it doesn't mean it's healthy, or normal. Or is the same as any other cooked diet. I, as a European, can certainly see that, because I don't live in America and can observe it from a distance. Most people here in The Netherlands would think that SAD as a 'normal' way of life is insane. INSANE! However, we are slowly adopting the same eating habits as Americans, so nowadays a lot of people and children are getting overweight here too, developing the illnesses that come with a bad diet. I don't agree that all cooked food is the same. I have done perfectly well on it for the past 29 years and know others who do too. You can certainly make healthy choices within a cooked food diet.
07-25-2006, 07:22 AM
The first paragraph of Munchkin's post applies to me.
I have been up and down weight-wise for over 20 years. The diets DO work when you stick to them, but then as soon as you return to previous poor eating habits, the weight piles back on.
Raw is a lifestyle choice and should be easier to maintain - I'm losing weight on raw but don't feel deprived of food as I would on a 'diet' so fingers crossed that I will reach my goal weight and stay there!
By the way, I have met Angela Stokes who is in the photos posted by Judy, and she is amazing in the flesh! Her skin glows, her eyes are bright and she looks 20 years younger than in her pre-raw days and she's now about 28 yrs old.
That's all the proof I need.
07-25-2006, 08:27 AM
The reason why people gain the weight back after a diet is because they stop doing it.
Yes! I agree completely. But I guess I have the same concern about raw. If you look through the journals here for instance, you will see more people abandon raw than stick with it. I would say that 100% raw has an even LOWER consistency rate than most standard "diets". For some reason, it is just VERY hard to stick to for most. I don't know if it is the addictive nature of cooked food (it is for ME!), or societal pressures like cooking for a family, or something else.
I love raw and am so grateful to have found it. It has freed me from many of my difficulties with food. It makes me pretty and calm. I can list a hundred other benefits. And yet, I still struggle staying raw too! I look at it as a learning process and I am patient, but I see far more people just throw in the towel when the going gets too tough.
So as to the original question about people staying raw long-term, losing weight and keeping it off, yeah, good question. I realize I did not answer it in my first response. The jury it still out for me, although I am hopeful.
07-25-2006, 09:15 AM
all great points guyz!!
for me I will for now for my own sanity take the RAW side over the cooked side because in doing so I am remaining POSITIVE and that in itself is a helpful tool. Im like most people and find it difficult to change/transition but I have to have faith in the fact that when I lose my false body through RAW that I wont return to overweight/cooked land. if I dont take this positive outlook then I would be doomed to fail before I even start. so stay positive guys.. in my opinion even the journey to turn RAW (even with a few slides) has to be (well for me anyway) much better than the 100% SAD/cooked diet I was on before hand. I mean I was actually surviving without even eating a piece of fruit all week.. surviving being the operative word here , just surviving in a typical fatigued/ irritable state but I feel that RAW is a thriving state.. you are medicating your body with foods :) that have special properties, its interesting to look up what certain things do for you! anyway beginning to rant a little. sorry bout that! find it hard to get my point accross.
lots of love
07-25-2006, 07:58 PM
Guppy, actually, 100% raw is easier than partial raw after a certain amount of time. It takes time though. It doesn't pay to go 100% for a little while and go back and forth, you have to stay 100% for a long time and allow all the toxins to leave your body and allow the good changes to be made. I've found that the longer I'm 100%, the more my cravings go away. I haven't failed once on raw since being 100%. It was when I was 50% or 80-95% that I failed all the time. This is what I've experienced and I've heard the same thing from other 100% raw foodists as well.
07-25-2006, 09:54 PM
lissom, I have heard others say that as well. Read it in Victoria Boutenko's book too. I believe you. I guess the question is HOW to get to 100% and stay there? I think the longest 100% raw stretch I have had is about 2 weeks. Then I eat something cooked. I have been working at this transition for a little over a year now. I won't give up (I'm stubborn like that!) but I look forward to the day when being 100% raw everyday is just the norm.
I would love to hear your story. How long you have been 100%, how you transitioned, stuff like that. I would like to pick your brain, if you don't mind! :) And anyone else reading this who has been at 100% for some time now...
07-26-2006, 02:09 AM
Of course I don't mind :) , After a ton of dangerous eating disorders, I found out about raw on a yahoo search and started reading. I was enchanted and convinced in less than a day! So I went 100% raw vegan, cold turkey (no pun intended :D ). A week later I failed because I had emotional food issues (what cooked person doesn't? lol) and I wasn't properly informed about some raw nuts and such that are, in fact cooked. This was obviously contributing to cravings and my anorexia mindset came back with full force. Anyway, I tried it again in a couple spurts and each time, the detox process scared me because even though it was in the reading, I didn't read up enough and I honestly didn't fully believe in the detox stuff but I soon found out how real it truly is. Anyway, the longest I could stay raw was for about a week and I always failed. This lasted a YEAR. It was hell. I kept reverting back to food behavior that was worse than cooked or SAD and even gained a couple pounds (never enough to become overweight, but enough to become depressed). Finally, I did some more, in depth reading and the little voice in my said it was time to go raw and stop messing around. So I simply did it. All or nothing. I went 100% again this time and it has been about 3 months and I haven't failed even once. Not a single tiny bite of anything cooked or un-vegan. I believe that my success lay in the fact that I was simply tired of failure. I had to just remind myself that food is fuel before it is pleasure and it simply wasn't worth destroying my raw progress for a few moments of taste. I realised that each and every little deviation put me two steps back and I don't have time for that. My way may be strict and harsh sounding but the discipline really worked for me. I just did whatever it took to stay raw. If it meant gorging on nuts till I was sickly full to keep me from eating a pizza, I did it and soon the cravings left and I could concentrate more on healthy ways to do raw. I also designated a special, pretty candle as my 'raw food commitment candle' and lit it whenever I was struggling and I mediated to stay focused. I kept reading and posting and looking at all the success stories/photos etc. So my advice is to JUST DO IT. There is no other way. Success usually can only come once you're worn out and sick of all the failure. I needed the perspective of seeing how badly each failure really set me back and effected me before I could learn from it. There is no amazing secret on how to get to 100%. It's pretty strait forward.
07-26-2006, 02:58 AM
That was really inspirational!! your story sounds exactly like what is happening to me since I started to go Raw. I am great for a period of time and fall off the wagon with a bang and often eat things that I would have never eatin any way . almost like a punishment situation! I am still of the opinion that Raw is best at 100% and I think after reading your testimonial just now that its time to take the bull by the horns and go 100%.
I got some great ideas from your post, thanks for sharing with us all!!!
07-26-2006, 07:02 AM
Thank-you so much for taking the time to tell us your story! Was there any book or website in particular that you found very inspirational? Sometimes I get down reading the journals here b/c it seems like so many are struggling or have quit. I think those that go on to succeed no longer feel the need to keep a journal.
07-26-2006, 09:36 AM
Well I am keeping a Simple journal on here and plan to keep up with it, but it does make sense to stop journaling as much with success because you no longer need that crutch of explaning/justifying things to yourself in journal form. It's just there already in your mind. But I like journaling and even though I'm all raw with no failures, I'm only at 3 months and I've got lots of healing and stuff to do, yet.
The first website I ever came upon was the http://www.living-foods.com and it was a great place to start. Then I eventually made the rounds to all of the most frequently trafficked ones and I mainly started reading this forum (great forum) and the rawfood.com forum (which I never really liked). I actually don't have a single raw food book yet because books are a little expensive and if I can get info online for free, I do it. I've got more important things to spend money on right now but of course someday, I'd love to have raw books. X-mas is coming up and my hubby is already shopping for raw books for me (he thinks it's a surprise but I peak my head out of the bedroom doorway sometimes and he's looking at raw books for me online, such a sweetie!).
Anyway, I'm glad you guys found my 'story' inspirational. I'm just doing it, that's all. Failure is not part of my vocabulary anymore. I realized that it really doesn't have to be that hard. It's only food. Raw food is amazing yes, but in the end, it is fuel to keep us healthy and vital. This can be so easy.
07-27-2006, 12:25 AM
Sure that can happen when you are doing "dieting". I don't look at this as a diet, I look at it as a lifestyle. I came to lower my bloodpressure and I have do that and I'm so overjoyed.
I don't think I have lost that much weight, although I am not too overweight. I just want a full belly and normal BP. And I am so grateful each and every day.......
07-27-2006, 12:39 AM
I am not a veteran, just 8 months raw, but my weight stabilized at around 120 pounds(5'6) for probably at least 5 months now - I lost around 30 pounds on raw. I think that perfect weight is that weight that your body has eating all fresh foods(no dehydrated stuff) without salt, oils or any other processing. I am not there yet, so once I get there, who knows what my weight will be, but for now, I am happy where I am and just trying to maintain being raw.
I do not see, how the weight can come back, if I stay raw. Our bodies are build mostly from food we eat, although also a bit from air we breathe and the sun energy too.
07-27-2006, 12:44 AM
And I wanted to add, that even though I gained weight in the last couple years before raw, my thin cooked figure before was very different from my raw one, even if weight was around the same - my legs and thighs are much thinner now(I do exersize and walk a lot, so they are not flabby) and I thought it was genetic for me to have a big tush!
07-27-2006, 05:17 PM
my thin cooked figure before was very different from my raw one, even if weight was around the same - my legs and thighs are much thinner now
I am about 80% raw, maybe more (when I do eat cooked, it's usually vegetables anyway, I just don't like some of the raw, just got a dehydrator, will try that)...anyway, I have been doing this for about amonth now and I think my legs are getting thinner...and that's usually the LAST place I lose weight....
I would be happy if my weight shifted around a bit...
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