View Full Version : Can you eat less food after a while on raw?
09-01-2006, 09:08 AM
Hi, all :)
I have been all-raw for about 8 months. At the beginning of my raw journey, I ate only when I was hungry, but lost a ton of weight that I REALLY didn't want to lose. About three months ago, I majorly increased my food intake and quickly gained most of my weight back (though I'm still holding out for a bit more gain). Though I gained weight, my digestive system always felt tired, and I was never hungry when I ate. It just didn't seem right to eat when my body was telling me no!
I'm wondering now if I can go back to eating less, but not lose the weight. I know it is very normal to experience weight loss at the beginning of raw, and I know my digestion/assimilation has improved.
What have been your experiences? Do you find you need less food the longer you're on raw? For those who lost too much weight at first, how long did it take you to fill back out? Were you able to do so without increasing your food intake?
Having to eat so much has made my Raw experience go from AMAZING to downright inconvenient! However, being way too thin was HORRIBLE. When I read menus and meal suggestions from other people, I'm always like, "if only it were that easy. Wish I didn't have to eat so much to keep the weight on".
I look forward to hearing your experiences.
09-01-2006, 09:39 AM
I've found that I need to eat quite a bit of food "volumewise" compared to when I ate cooked vegan.
The reason for this I believe is two-fold:
1. Fruits and vegetables (especially vegetables) are not nearly as calorically dense as typical SAD fare such as veggie burgers, bread, pasta, etc
2. SAD fare tends to stay in the stomach longer -- slower to digest.
After a year of RAW, I still need the same amount of calories basically as before going RAW. I accomplish this goal by consuming sweet fruit (lots of bananas, orange juice, etc). Suppose a head of lettuce is 50 calories. You'd have to eat 40 heads of lettuce just to get 2000 calories. No way can I physically (or mentally) devour that much lettuce. On the other hand, it is much easier for me to eat 25 bananas a day and then eat some lettuce and other vegetables to get the valuable minerals/nutrients. (Note, I don't count calories or plan my meals. I did this initially just to teach myself food values. Its like we have to relearn how to eat)
One thing I noticed during my first months of RAW is that I often didn't get enough calories which caused me to lose a lot of weight (or binge on nuts). What I thought was muscle was really FAT. Most of us are overfat and undermuscle :) To combat this dilemma, I lift and do other types of cardio.
There are several schools of thought on this topic. Most of what I said above was learned from the courtesy of Doug Graham. That's what seems to be working for me right now.
Hope this helps.
09-01-2006, 09:58 AM
What kind of weight do you want gain? Water? Fat? Muscle? I would think that you would want to gain muscle (no one wants more fat and water). No food is going to make you build muscle. If it did, bodybuilders would be in the kitchen and restaurants and not the gym. If you want to gain weight in the form of muscle then you need to eat only when hungry until satisfied. But you must add strength training to your fitness activities. You will gain weight healthfully by doing this. Good luck.
09-01-2006, 10:27 AM
eat less but higher fat foods like nuts and you will gain what you need quickly.
Sharon in Colorado
09-01-2006, 10:33 AM
If you are expending a lot of energy you would need to eat more carbohydrates to refuel.
I know a 15 year veteran in my area who says on days he doesn't do any physical acitvity, he could get by on 1 date.
However when he's working, he needs to bring a lot of fruit with him to work.
He mostly eats fruits and vegetables and not much recipes, nuts or heavy foods.
He has a wife and 4 children, and they are all raw as well.
Also if you are underweight, you might be at that stage where your body is shedding everything before rebuilding healthy weight. Raw Nora has discussed this. This is her site. www.rawschool.com
09-01-2006, 12:40 PM
Thanks so much, all of you.
Actually, I do want to gain some weight in the form of water/fat. I'm not so skinny so as to look emaciated, but I definitely want to look "softer" - not bony or angular. Even when I put muscle on, I still have so little body fat that it doesn't look feminine.
Sharon, that's interesting about that 15-year veteran you know. Would it be possible for me to get in touch with him? Also, thank you for the link to Nora's site. However, I didn't find the info there about shedding your old body. Do you remember where it was?
09-01-2006, 12:50 PM
Doug Graham says that you should reduce your fat intake because it is preventing absorbsion.
If you increase your fruit and seriously reduce your fat you will absorb more and gain weight.
Does anyone wish to comment on this.
09-01-2006, 01:12 PM
Do you think it's a matter of calories or of absorption?
Sharon in Colorado
09-01-2006, 01:16 PM
I know I've posted this before, but it's good info and this topic comes up a lot. Too bad Lunar Fey isn't reading here, however she may have read this before anway.
I'm So Skinny
By Dr. Douglas Graham
Published in JEAA, Vol. 2, #1
IS RAW REALLY THAT DIFFERENT?
Americans generally have two features in common: they are overfat and under muscled. There are reasons for both of these unhealthy conditions. Going raw can help, but in both cases, going raw is simply a start. Here, we'll look at effective next steps.
People are overfat (different than overweight) because they consume more calories than they burn. It is that simple.
Overfat people usually tell me that they, dont eat that much, really. They are probably telling the truth, when it comes to the volume of food they consume. The Standard American Diet has three main features that make it easily recognizable: low water, low fiber and high fat. Each of these three features reduces the total volume of food while increasing the number of calories per bite. It therefore takes very little food volume on the SAD to provide more than enough calories for the day. Hence people gain, on average, a few pounds every year.
The SAD, vegetarian, vegan and most raw diets tend to have these same three features in common: low water, low fiber and high fat. As raw-foodists we find a meal of fruit unsatisfactory because we are hungry soon after consuming it. This is no fault of the fruit. Any meal where insufficient calories are consumed will leave the eater hungry soon thereafter. We have shrunk our stomachs to the point of deformity through the continual consumption of concentrated foodstuffs. By removing the fiber (juicing), by removing the water (cooking or dehydrating), and by increasing the fat levels above 10% of total calories consumed (cooked or raw, plant or animal, fat is fat), we mimic the SAD with many of our raw food dishes. This is surely an unhealthy practice. Both water and fiber are essential nutrients. Therefore removing them from our food must be to our detriment. And health experts worldwide agree that we must make dramatic decreases in our fat consumption if we ever hope to achieve health.
The solution to the shrunken stomach problem is to eat more volume of fruit. This takes practice and determination. Essentially, it requires that you go on a flexibility training program for your stomach, allowing it to enlarge to the point of comfortably accommodating the food volume required for a proper meal of fruit. Most folks find that within a few months they can easily double and often triple the total amount of fruit they can consume at a meal, without consuming anywhere near as many calories as they used to consume from more calorically concentrated sources.
We go on the raw food diet and lose weight like champions. This is a mixed blessing. Most of us have weight to lose and are pleased at the initial weight loss. However, if we are losing weight consistently and dramatically we must be drastically under-consuming calories. At some point we must learn to eat enough volume of raw foods to satisfy our caloric demands, else we fail as raw-foodists. Unfortunately, this form of failure on raw foods happens all too frequently. Usually, we blame the addictiveness of cooked food or our own weaknesses rather than acknowledging that we were eating a nutritionally imbalanced and unsustainable raw food diet. Along the way, we develop various unhealthy habits, such as overeating fatty foods, occasional bingeing on cooked foods, relying on refined and concentrated food sources, and the sedentary lifestyle that often accompanies the malnourished state.
The inertia of the sedentary lifestyle must be overcome if we hope to enjoy better health through raw living. Losing excess fat certainly is a step in the right direction. Eating foods that use less digestive energy frees up more fuel to use for activity. Still, I am asked all the time, What do I eat to gain weight?
After determining that the desired weight gain is not to be in the form of fat or water, the question is refined to, what do I eat to gain muscle?. The answer is, "There is no food that will cause one to gain muscle. This can only be achieved by performing the appropriate strength-demanding activities". Unless demands are placed upon the muscles, the brain will perceive no reason to direct growth of the muscles and the muscles will likewise acquire no reason to hypertrophy. Strength-demanding activities are of two kinds: work and play. Work consists of all the routine activities of survival; play consists of exercise, sport, recreation (non-mechanized). Americans do little of both.
Labor saving devices have become the standard in America. Shopping carts, rolling luggage, moving stairways, vacuum cleaners, automatic doors, and household conveniences such as automatic hot water; we use these things without giving them a second thought. Even our labor saving devices often have labor saving devices: Cars have power windows, steering and brakes; sit down lawn mowers, battery powered toothbrushes and screwdrivers; television even has remote control. Using them has had disastrous effects upon our fitness. Never before in history have we, as a people, been so unfit, overfat, or unhealthy. In both test case and real life scenarios we have found that a significant percentage of our population is too unfit to make it down a few dozen flights of stairs, even if it means saving their own life.
I went raw but I got so skinny that I went back to eating cooked. I hear this again and again. I can only reply that most people are skinny, but they hide that fact under a layer of fat. We have become used to seeing fat people; they are the norm. We are so used to it, in fact, that people who are not fat look abnormal to us. They look too skinny. Though, for my height, I am a normal weight (510", 150 pounds), I have been told that I am: "thin, skinny, too trim and even, emaciated (This last from a 510" man of 300 pounds).
We know the shape that we think humans should be, what appear to us as normal. The undiscerning eye usually does not differentiate between a person with a low degree of musculature whose body fat levels are double or triple- normal from one with adequate muscular development whose body fat level is healthy. When inactive, they look similar, and even more so in street clothing. The telltale indicators of low fat with muscular development well-defined vascularity and the ripped look to the musculature are simply not noticed or even visible until bodies go naked into action.
Muscular development takes time. It is rare for a body builder to gain more than one pound of muscle in a month. By the same token, barring a total cessation of physical activity, loss of muscular size is also a slow process. Of the three caloronutrients carbohydrate, fat and protein the body will always use carbohydrate and fat before consuming protein for fuel. Hence, when we switch our diet to raw, the likelihood that the body will consume its own muscle tissue for fuel is practically zero. At least, that is, until starvation is initiated, which is not until all available carbohydrate and fat sources have been utilized. When people say to me that they got so skinny on the raw food diet, I can only smile and say, "You have probably always been skinny, you just couldnt tell because you were fat, too. Congratulations on losing the fat, for it was only then that you noticed how under muscled you are."
If you do what everyone else does, you will get what everyone else gets. For uncommonly healthy results, one must be willing to live an uncommonly healthy life. Anyone who puts in the effort involved in building muscle will see the muscular development and will reap the concomitant rewards. This can be done in various ways and will be a focus of my next article: Four methods of increasing strength related performance.
In health abundance naturally,
Dr. Douglas N. Mono-Man Graham
09-01-2006, 01:28 PM
I think the issue is absorption. Completely and totally.
Stuffing oneself does not seem natural to me...
Also choosing mineral rich foods
09-01-2006, 01:44 PM
You have a typo in your Graham memo. The second section "Overmuscled" should read "Undermuscled". Just wanted you to know in case you redistribute again.
Thanks for posting the article. That article answers so many questions, doesn't it?
Sharon in Colorado
09-01-2006, 01:46 PM
Thanks Fiddler. I actually copied it exactly as I read it, so the error is not mine, but I will correct it.
09-01-2006, 02:05 PM
I eat more >>>>I think<<<<, but its different. Before eating 100% I would eat 2 or 3 big meals and a snack sometimes. Now I just graze all day and rarely eat a big meal in one sitting. ....sooooo.......really I don't think I'm eating more, but less. I notice when I don't have some sort of fat in my diet by mid afternoon I tend to overeat in the evenings. So now I am making a point to have a little avocado, oil, nuts, or seeds at around noon or 1pm.
09-01-2006, 06:41 PM
I'm beginning to think, more and more, that it's absorption, too. Seems like if my body needed more calories, it would ask for more food. Also, I know my absorption is getting better than it was, because my stools are no longer green like they were in the beginning (sorry if that was TMI). My digestive system used to be in poor condition.
That would also explain why long-term rawers seem to need less food - because the mucous is out of their bodies and their digestive systems are in great condition.
Does anyone know how to improve absorption? I imagine that persevering in raw will help it more and more :)
09-02-2006, 05:32 AM
I am a bit concerned about absorbsion as well and have just started taking probiotics in the hope that it helps.
Sharon in Colorado
09-02-2006, 11:56 AM
I recall that Victoria wrote in her book that if you are 100% pure raw, then all the mucus in your body is eliminated (which I don't believe because we need mucus, maybe just reduced considerably), and that absorption is many times better.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.4 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.