Why Am I Getting Fat on the Raw Food Diet? : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Wednesday Aug 24, 2011 | BY |
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nut-pate-too-much-fat
While this nut pate looks delicious, eating just a little… not the whole tray might be better for you in the long run.

I know…

It’s a bummer.

You wanted to try the raw food diet because you thought you were going to lose weight – like everyone else seemingly does.

Unfortunately, for you, after you begin the raw food diet you start to gain even more weight. It’s disappointing, demoralizing and could make anyone go back to doughnuts and corn chips – why not, if the diet that everyone is losing weight on can’t help you, then you might as well enjoy your food, right?

Well, not exactly. Just because your entire diet is raw, doesn’t mean that it’s going to work. Today I answer a question from a reader about why you could gain weight on the raw food diet.

Here’s the question…

“What are some reasons why an overweight 52-year old woman would NOT lose weight on a 100% raw vegan diet?”

The bad news is that this is more common than you think – which also makes it the good news… because there are places to look.

A sizable portion of the people who get on a raw food diet lose weight, but there is another rather large number of people on the other side who don’t and end up stumped because they’ve been hearing the raw food diet is the best way to lose weight and it’s not working for them.

So where do you look…

First off, as a 52 year old woman, you need to look at your hormones closely. (Actually, any woman over 35 should be monitoring their hormones to catch imbalances before they become problems.)

I would go to a natural or functional medicine doctor and have them test your thyroid hormone levels, your adrenal function and your sex hormone levels. Chances are something is out of place that is slowing your metabolism or causing your body to store more fat. In most cases, it’s the thyroid that is under-functioning, but I’ll let your doctor figure out what the issue is.

For your thyroid, talk to your doctor about getting your TSH checked as well as the possibility of checking your T3 and T4 levels. For adrenals, you can test your pregnenolone and for your sex hormones, you definitely want to check your estrogen levels.

Second, I’d look at the types raw foods that you’re eating. While it’s a fun goal to eat all raw food, sometimes the varieties food that are eaten to achieve high percentages of raw food aren’t the right types of food for you.

Too much coconut (meat, oil), too many nuts and seeds, too little carbohydrates can cause you to start storing fat like a squirrel before winter.

We have one friend who was doing 90-100% raw food for a while and she kept getting fatter. Her face also broke out in terrible acne. She was devastated – how could this “amazing” diet cause her to gain weight and make her face look so awful.

It turned out, she was eating too much fat – in the form of coconut, nuts and oils. When she switched to a more moderate raw food diet with some cooked carbohydrates she lost all the weight and her acne is now almost completely gone – all of which started within days after she finally gave up on the ideal of a complete raw food diet.

I want to be clear here, I’m not saying everyone should give up on the raw food diet (in fact, I’d like more people to try it), but I’m asking you to be flexible in case it stops giving you the results that you desire.

A third reason could be excess raw processed sugar like agave and honey – which is usually accompanied with fat. I would assess your sugar consumption and play around with the amounts.

And finally, I have no idea if this applies to you, but many of the people I see when we travel want the raw food diet to save them (which in some cases it can!) The reality is that this diet just one of a handful of tools that you can use to get yourself in great health.

The tool that most people leave out is personal fitness. Exercise must be a part of the equation if you truly want to be healthy. The exercise also must challenge you. Walking and gardening is great and can be a large part of your exercise routine, but there also must be lifting (organized or around the home), strength building exercises and activities that raise your heart rate more than just climbing a set of stairs at the office or walking through the parking lot at the mall because you chose to park in the back.

That is normally it, but I want to say one more thing…

I don’t know if this is you or not, but I can’t tell you how many men and women tell me their on a raw vegan diet but they cheat by eating cheese. I know it sounds weird, but I’ve talked to enough people who eventually confess to their cheese addiction that it’s somewhat unsettling. Cheese will make you fat it you eat even moderate amounts of it. So if you happen to be one of those raw vegan cheese cheaters, see what happens when you take a break from it for a week or so. You might find you’re losing some of that added weight!

I want to know your thoughts: Have you had any experience with gaining or losing weight on the raw food diet?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

105 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Amber says:

    WOW! I had no idea that cheese was so pervasive! Thanks for your input. I eat two raw meals and one cooked a day. I have found that eating the cooked meal, which is usually really simple, in the middle of the day when digestion is strongest, works very well for me. Fruit in the morning for carbs and calories and greens in the evening. Sometimes I add greens in the am, like if I have an extra strenuous day ahead of me. I find it’s difficult to “overdo” greens!

    Thank you for all your work and insights. I really enjoy reading about your adventures!

    Amber

  2. This is a great article. I work at the Tree of Life in Arizona (holistic healing center) and Dr. Cousens emphasizes a diet specific to individuals’ bodily needs. Overdoing a food group can be really hard on the body, and I like that you mention the idea of including some lightly cooked foods in order to get effective levels of certain nutrients. It’s important for people not to get down on themselves if they’ve not figured out how to balance their diet–it’s a process that requires checking in with our bodies, not just following anyone else’s nutrition regimen blindly. Also, I also observe vegetarians becoming much healthier when they drop cheese. Thanks, Kevin! You rock -Sarah E.

  3. maca says:

    Glad to see you exploding some of the myths of the raw food diet. There are so many bogus claims that it’s nice to see a bit of honesty. Well done Kevin.

  4. Paul says:

    Fat storage is driven by insulin. Carbs drive insulin. Lower your carb intake. To much of the wrong raw foods can affect the thyroid so cook them instead.. Coconut fat will not make you fat carbs will ( insulin!). Try more fat, especially saturated fats from animal sources and you will loose weight. Raw cheeses from pasture fed cow will not make you fat. Again it is all about insulin and high raw foods and vegan diets contain A LOT OF CARBS!

  5. Missy says:

    I did lose weight even though I was only slightly overweight when I started, but fell off the wagon for a while and trying to lose weight again seems more difficult. I indulged in nuts and seeds a lot too, and I kinda knew that wasn’t too good, but I used to have no idea about how the generous amount of kale I was dumping into my smoothies and eating sourkraut by the pound can affect me. I inherited hypothyroidism, and I’m slowly learning about goitergens. My last reading was fine, although a bit low, but not in the danger zone yet. Since then, I’ve learned to cut back on kale and co, and use other fermented veggies instead of kraut for the most part. Renegeadehealth was the place where I first got the heads up, and I thank you for that, for the balanced information :)

  6. KC says:

    I had a blood test that indicated many food intolerances. The idea is that avoiding the foods that my body was fighting would help me lose weight, and it has. The test I had was called ALCAT. The list of foods I need to avoid is a long one, and this way of eating was extremely difficult at first. It’s funny, but true that if the menu item has more than two ingredients, I probably can’t eat it and stay on the plan. I have made peace with the eating plan because of its success in helping me lose weight, and I feel fantastic. BTW, about half of the often listed healthiest foods are on my do not eat list.

  7. Amy says:

    I agree with Sarah’s comment about diet being specific to an individual. I have found this to be the case after countless meals of eating what I thought was super simple, clean, and healthy, yet not feeling well. I don’t know if I have true food allergies or sensitivities, but I am in the process of discovering which foods consistently agree with me. I have recently discovered the work of Lyn-Genet Recitas and Keith Scott-Mumby, both of whom help people identify the foods that do and do not work for them. As daunting a process as it may seem (it doesn’t have to be, though), I think identifying our individual sensitivities carries profound implications not only for maintaining a healthy weight, but for our overall health and well-being.

    http://www.neighborhoodholistic.com/

    http://alternative-doctor.com/

    P.S. I am not affiliated with either of these people, I just came across their respective programs and found the information helpful.

  8. Satori says:

    Not raw food, but I lost quite a bit of weight on the Body Ecology Diet almost to the point where I will be invisible!!! Just kidding.

    Seriously though, after a month of being on the strict version of B.E.D., I have to stop because I lost too much weight. I couldn’t continue.

    Kevin, would you please write an article about losing weight on a healthy diet?? When I was struggling with my weight on BED, I searched the web, but there were not many articles on this subject (useful ones anyway).

    I know many people are overweight and that’s what America is concerned about now…but there are people who are underweight and want to be healthy too!

    I’m 5’5 and 101bl. It’s been this way on all the junk food and SAD. While I’m comfortable with my weight, I have no idea how to eat healthier and do not lose my weight. I want to try BED again. The results I was getting from this diet was amazing!

    Thanks!

  9. Heather says:

    I was one of the lucky ones who responded great to the raw food diet. I was able to release over 130 lbs and also found relief from so many other health challenges, from migraines to painful cyst outbreaks. When I briefly went back to my SAD eating ways (I am a food addict, so it can be a stuggle to stay clean) the weight came back, as did the acne, eczema, back pain, foot pain, etc. Luckily, I did not gain it all back, but it was dramatic enough to convince me that artificial anything, sugar, flour, (especially gluten) meat, and dairy are things that I just need to omit altogether. I have come to peace with that.

    I am able to still lose weight while enjoying MODERATE amounts of nuts, seeds, and avocados. I try to keep it to no more than one avocado a day, and no more than a few tablespoons of nuts/seeds a day. I still use (raw) salad dressing on my greens and I eat fruit as much as I want and the natural sugar does not seem to bother me. I focus mostly on greens and raw veggies.

    I also exercise gently (walking my dog x2 day) and work out with weights 3 times a week. I am taking off between 3-5 lbs a week.
    Great topic!

  10. Janet Kent says:

    Heather that sounds a really balanced approach and I congratulate you. I am too old to really think too much about loosing too much weight too rapidly (I am 73) but I do try and watch what I eat. The trouble is that I like food !!!! I have a green smoothie at breakfast and another at lunch or a raw mushroom or tomatoe soup with nori sprinkle but have a lightly cooked meal in the evening.

  11. crow says:

    Have been on the 7 day challenge and have lost about 7 pounds and I am 59 years old.
    My arthristis and bone problems are much improved. It is nice not being stiff and in pain.

  12. Emily says:

    Thanks Kev for pointing out that one can actually gain wait on raw food. I have been eating a high raw diet for years and when I went completely raw last August I actually gained weight! I do power yoga almost everyday and I’m only in my early 20’s! I am petite and great metabolism, but my body needed calories. Often I looked to nuts, avocado and dates to keep me full. Plus I was feeling really flighty by this spring. I’m eating quinoa and millet with salads now at lunch or dinner and less nuts and avocado and feel like it not only keeps my weight in check, but grounds me too! Taking a step back and eating high raw instead of 100 percent is what my body needs to work so thanks for reminding people to LISTEN to your body! Small changes really do work!

  13. Carolyn Landry says:

    I am about 25 lbs overweight and have been trying to eat a “high raw diet” and not having as much success as I would like. You mention cheese and I almost fell off of my chair. Cheese is one of my biggest problem foods but I didn’t know that it would be until I stopped eating real junk food, i.e. chips, crackers, candy, bagels — stuff like that. Now I really have to work on the cheese.

    Its very easy to trick yourself into thinking you are eating healthier than you so I really appreciate that you brought up the cheese here.

    Carolyn

  14. Les says:

    I’m a novice with raw foods, but how can you be getting too little carbohydrates on a raw food diet ???

  15. I also think that people often ignore their hunger signals, and it slows down their metabolism in the process, therefore causing binging in the long run. This is why people who “diet” (i.e. eat less calories and smaller portions, and don’t eat between meals) they may lose weight, but then they gain it back when their body says, “EAT!”
    I am experimenting with this right now, eating whenever I am hungry, and seeing how it goes.

  16. diana says:

    I switched to 100% raw for two weeks after being on a whole foods lifestyle for 4 months and loosing 40 pounds i gained 5 pounds back 1. Because i stopped tracking my calories and 2 Because i was eating way too much sugar in the form of agave,dates and dried fruit. I went back to tracking my calories and trimmed myraw morning cereal down from a whopping 800 calorie of nuts and fruit to a more modest 300
    My advice is track and tweak

  17. nancy knutson says:

    ‘LOVE nuts and seeds–I’m part squirrel. But, they can be a heavy food and I gain weight when I eat too much of them. I lose weight when I keep things really clean and unprocessed, but I also indulge in a little bit of cooked grains and good salmon or some other fish when I crave it. This indulgence seems to keep me grounded, lean, and feeling strong.

  18. Amy says:

    Can I ask why you deleted my comment? I’d like to know for the future. Was it because I mentioned and linked to two individuals who are helping people discover their food sensitivities? I’m sorry if this is not allowed. It was really in the spirit of sharing and not promoting. I do not know them. I have not found that many people that are aware of this issue, let alone helping people work through it. Plus, I have reservations about paying $500+ for an ALCAT which has limited accuracy. I just know that I feel amazing when I happen to consume the right foods for me, but lousy and uncomfortable when I don’t. Unfortunately, the latter is much more common. I received some very helpful planning information from Lyn-Genet’s website and from her assistant via e-mail (all at no cost, as I have not purchased a consultation). I did buy Dr. Scott-Mumby’s Diet Wise book, but I’m sure one could borrow it from the library. Thanks for your time.

  19. Marian says:

    Busted! After succeeding at the RawFood Challenge for 2 weeks (1 week on – 1 week off) I snuck in some cheese. Even though I was vegan for many years, I started adding some animal products this year after I busted my elbow, had surgery and – just in case I was wrong – wanted to be sure I got my calcium and protein needs met beyond protein powders and B12. Hence the addition of…

    I am definitely a cheese addict. And there are some wonderfully delicious alternatives to dairy cheese – Dr. Cow’s for one but given it is a nut cheese, it means adding fat. I am coming to the conclusion that the way to be successful as a raw fooder and lose weight is to balance out fat by eating massive amounts of fruit to get my calorie/energy/hunger needs met – more then I would have ever thought possible – without raising blood sugar. From what I am reading out there, eating large quantities of fruit will not raise blood sugar – unless I am also eating large quantities of fat.

  20. Meg says:

    I really like that you are advocating for everyone to eat for their body. I have been adjusting and working on my dietary needs for a few years now it’s small steps and seeing what brings out my vitality.
    Honestly the realization this summer that I could take what works for me from many sources to make the perfect eating lifestyle relieved so much stress (also stress can make you retain or gain weight just saying) it was strangely eyeopening even though you’d think it would be obvious.
    For me about 50% Raw including snacks and lunch, veggie and sometimes vegan for most other meals. However I find particularly when adding extra exercise in I require meat about 3 maybe 4 meals per week. (please no going on about including soy or soy proteins I am SO allergic to soy it takes days of recovery. I know for many you are called to no meat I am called to organic and sustainability we are all different)
    But also to your article I think the hormone imbalance is very important. I have been fighting an imbalance throughout my late 20’s and now early 30’s and although I have changed a lot with food and supplements ( I work in the office of a Nutritional practitioner who has loving donated time and supplements to the cause) We are now looking at Bio-identicals. I have a serious imbalance which impairs my life sometimes and causes me to retain weight, and after going through the many options this is now another choice to make.
    We are all different, with different needs and causes, I thank you for respecting that and not making your path the only path, it seems as though you truly want to help people : )

  21. Teresa says:

    Great article, Kevin.
    I started about 4 months ago going raw because I’ve also heard stories about going raw could make you lose weight so I started with raw breakfast (about 3 cups strawberries) and 1 cup (not raw) coffee with a teaspoon sugar and a teaspoon vegan milk powder and found it to contain only 200-250 cals :( I was literally stuffed eating that. I can’t understand why I can only eat 200-250 cals and I’m full. I didn’t count cals for the rest of the day and may have eaten more cals than needed. So instead of losing weight I gained weight, so I kinda went back to partly raw and a big part cooked. Maybe I am not ready to go raw :(

  22. Amie says:

    Thanks for the article, Kevin! I have had the same experience with a raw food diet (weight gain, and raw cruciferous veggies exacerbating gut & thyroid issues). I think it’s important to figure out how much (or little) raw is right for you at any given point in time, and of course, to not ignore the other aspects of health & wellness, like exercise and stress management.

    I wanted to comment on this statement you made: “Cheese will make you fat it you eat even moderate amounts of it.” I’m guessing you meant that having a food addiction to cheese can almost inevitably lead to weight gain, for this otherwise is quite a broad generalization to make. I think it’s important to note that several raw food advocates include raw milk goat cheese in their daily intake and do well on it (Natalia Rose and Paul Nison come to mind). I myself noticed weight *loss* when I added some goat dairy back into my diet. If one’s body can tolerate dairy well, then I think having a healthy relationship with the dairy foods you eat is more important in the overall picture of weight management than whether or not you are breaking the “100% raw” or other “healthy diet” ideal to eat it.

  23. Kim says:

    I am 52 and was on raw for 3 months, lost 30 lbs. I felt amazing and tons of energy! But, felt my body needed something else. Started incorporating a few cooked veggies and a few sprouted grains for cereal. Now, I feel satisfied being part vegan and part raw. The weight has stayed off. I do cardio and strength training 5 times a week – this is a must! And to all – ditch the cheese! I used to be a cheese queen, it was the hardest thing for me to give up. There are plenty of replacements that are much healthier :)

  24. Debra says:

    The weight gain on a raw food diet may have to do with the combining of fats with sugars – avocado or oil in carrot or fruit-based juices; food bars made with agave or honey and nuts, etc.

  25. Jennifer says:

    I also gained weight on a raw foods diet. My digestion was so disordered and dysfunctional that when I switched to cooked vegetables the weight started to come off. I think the raw foods were simply too difficult for my body to make use of. I have been following the GAPS diet – Gut and Psychology Syndrome for nearly two months and am finally able to eat – and enjoy – raw foods once again.

  26. Nic says:

    Even if you are on a raw food vegan diet, one thing remains: quantity still matters! The only exception would be… veggies :)

  27. Carol says:

    I, too, was nearly 100% raw for about 6 months. I lost 12 pounds, the last 12 pounds I needed to lose to reach my goal at that time. I will say this…..for me it came off excrutiatingly SLOW! But as long as it was coming off, I was more than satisfied.

    I had been forever trying to lose the proverbial five pounds and instead gained – 5 pounds here, 5 pounds there until I had a very much UNWANTED 25 pounds on me.

    The first ten pounds I lose was eating everything, but strictly watching my portions (funnily enough I had never tried that before), only HALF of everything I ate.

    This is what I learned:
    1. Even though RAW, I still had to watch my portions. You can, indeed, gain weight on RAW if your portions are too large.

    2. That while I was intent on losing weight, I had to stay pretty much away from avocados and nuts, in particular. If I had them at all, it was portion-controlled.

    3. I love love love bananas, but would never eat them because I was afraid they would put weight on me. While eating RAW, I could eat two or three a day with no adverse effects. Yea!

    My website: http://www.veganrecipesforhealth.com talks about healthy eating for those interested. I will also be posting soon weight loss tips.

    Satori, I would say that if you eat the healthy foods (as I mention on my website), you could eat all you want and either gain as you perhaps wish, but I really don’t think you would lose.

    You are probably the envy of many. There are not many people like you who DON’T WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT. Good for you! You can remain thin without dieting.

  28. Carol says:

    P. S. Third paragraph down from beginning of my above post, the word should be “lost” not “lose”.

    I also want to add that I have KEPT MY WEIGHT OFF for 8 years by eating vegan and about 60 – 70% RAW.

    Further, I eat FAR HEALTHIER now than I ever did when I was eating the SAD. Because as I mentioned above, I didn’t want to gain weight, so I kept away from many of the foods I love. Now, I eat anything vegan (plant-based mostly), fairly portion-controlled and can still maintain my weight.

  29. Kim says:

    You need to keep the glycaemic load down to lose weight . I would recommend chia seed and sprouted buckwheat porridge made with home made almond milk with a spoon full of goji or other berries very filling comfort food but not fattening. Just soak chia seeds in almond milk for an hour and then add sprouted buckwheat etc.

  30. Isabelle says:

    Hi just one comment….if you are gaining weight or simply not losing weight on a raw food diet, take your temperature several times a days for a few days to see if you have a low body temp:
    under the arm normal is 97.8 and
    under the tongue is 98.6 – check out http://www.wilsonssyndrome.com re low temperature being at the crux of the issue….
    All the best!
    Isabelle

  31. rick says:

    seems to us that 80% raw or 100% raw is not the real question..the % of fat to carbs & protein is the question. As 80/10/10 explained (and other sources) if the fat encapsulates the sugar its all going to end up stored as fat, and the insulin gets wasted-too much of that leads to diabetes. For awhile we found the only solution that worked for us was to track how much fat we were consuming- and like wow- that can be surprising. Lots of raw vegans that have done so have found that their fat intake was more like 60% when they thought it was 20%.. 60% fat and you might as well eat at the Golden Arches!! Seriously- one good sized avocado along with a few nuts on a daily basis may well put you in fattyland. We found it interesting that ‘nature’ puts about 8-9% fat into the vegetable world and 4-5% in most fruits- so maybe we do ‘need’ to try to eat around the 10% mark or we’ll know about it. We found that we did need to keep it as low as possible.

  32. watery says:

    I also get Mark Sisson newsletter nad today i think Denise Minger is haveing a guest article. It got mixed up.You wrote why are people getting fat on a raw food diet. and mark sisson wrote,”does a high fat diet cause type 2 diabetes?”.

    It would be ownderful if denise minger could have a talk with you in one episode or so. she is a very smart funny young woman. Probably open for a lot ideas. actually there is a lot inteligetn open for veganism people in the paleo low carb section. just go to paleohacks and you see there is the stiffmindend and openminded and other groups and charecters of people.

    Also Melissa from Hunter Gatherer Love. She is also very smart and try to have a balanced opinion also tried raw foodism. both spoke on the ancestral health symposium.

    If you look the slides or the videos of the ancestral health symposium. You see there is osmething realy nice inside this guys and woman and rrriot grrrls.

  33. nils says:

    Hi Jennifer, this sounds lovely in my ears. i experienced similiar things. I feel i have to stick to the raw food diet. this give my some relief to give more relaxation in my food programm. and my thought on diet. thank you! thank you kevin too:!

    @”Jennifer
    3:26 pm on August 24th, 2011
    I also gained weight on a raw foods diet. My digestion was so disordered and dysfunctional that when I switched to cooked vegetables the weight started to come off. I think the raw foods were simply too difficult for my body to make use of. I have been following the GAPS diet – Gut and Psychology Syndrome for nearly two months and am finally able to eat – and enjoy – raw foods once again.”

  34. Rocio says:

    I love this post! yes, eating raw+gaining weight=frustration! I have come to the conclusion I can’t be a 100% raw, I have thyroid problems and eating raw broccoli, cabbage etc, it is not healthy for this loving lady!
    I can see how the transformation takes time and adjustment..I like when people talk about it. I love kale in my “greenies” I would like to ask KC what are you eating? because it sounds I have the same problems.
    I would like to know portions..yes, I know it is according to the individual but where can we go to get some help with meal plans for someone who needs to loose some weight and it is having a hard time. thank you.

  35. Thea says:

    What IS it about cheese? Maybe you can enlighten us, Kevin; is it in the curing/fermenting, or what? (Someone mentioned sauerkraut, which is also fermented. I find I need fermented foods; I culture my own organic-milk kefir, and it has improved my health in many ways.) I’m a cheese addict too although it doesn’t make me gain weight; I’m one of those who don’t gain easily as long as I eat fairly sensibly.

    So I’m obviously not on a raw diet, but I enjoy your site and the information so much I keep reading here. One of my many food problems is accessing healthy raw foods (at a reasonable cost) regularly and keeping enough in my small fridge. I do what I can, and I think my body respects that.

    Thank you for all the work you do to bring us your well-thought-out and open-minded information and views. It is all much appreciated.

  36. Rocio says:

    Heather what is moderate amounts of nuts, avocados..etc?
    Please anybody answer.

  37. Paul Palmer says:

    Right on Kevin! Over a year ago I lost weight on low fat raw high unrefined carb (fruit)and vegetable diet. It came off too fast in fact but that was because i was on about 600 calories a day. Far too little! But that wasn’t by design, i was dealing depression and fear issues due an injury and lost my appetite. As I healed i started bingeing on SAD instead of just increasing the raw calories. Going back to raw vegan I thought i could eat as many calories as i wanted, in fact forced myself to eat more. It didn’t take off the regained weight even though it was low fat/high fiber. I realized that I need to listen to my body when it tells me it’s had enough. I realize there is a middle ground between too many calories and not enough. I am training myself to become more sensitive to my body’s messages.

  38. Tara Burner says:

    I don’t like cheese but I have gained weight on raw diet…culprits were the exact ones you mentioned (other than the cheese)…don’t ask why but I intentionally gained 80+ lbs (looong story) and did it eating LOTS of avocado, coconut, nuts and more nuts and more….
    now that my ‘mission’ has succeeded, I’ve lost 60+ lbs and am on way back to my normal weight :)

    but yep, it’s totally possible to gain weight on raw diet

  39. Heather says:

    I defined it in my comment as no more than 1 avocado a day, plus no more than 2-3 tablespoons of nuts/seeds per day. I think if you asked 10 different people, you would get 10 different answers! What works for me may not work for someone else. Know your body and watch the scale, your blood tests, how you feel, etc.

  40. Suzy says:

    Five years ago I started eating raw, progressing to 100% raw and never lost any weight. I was about 50 pounds overweight and diabetic. I eventually went on a 92-day juice feast and lost ~ 40 pounds and maintained the loss staying on raw food, but again, once I was off the fast, I never lost any more weight. I had thought that because I was diabetic that my increased insulin levels were causing my body to hang on to the fat, but after my juice cure I still had a problem. I have had hypothyroidism for 20 years and had my thyroid medication adjusted up and still no weight loss. This is a tricky problem and still frustrates me.

    BTW, There is a stigma, of sorts, to being raw and overweight as well. I actually had someone accuse me of lying about what I ate because I said I did not lose weight on raw…this person said it is “impossible” to eat raw and not lose weight.

    Currently, I have no health insurance, or I would get the lab work you suggest. Any other path you would suggest that doesn’t involve the expense of the medical world?

    • Cara says:

      That person does not know what they are talking about, I am a healthy eater and I decided to go 100% raw due to major health issues and I gained 20 pounds!!! I was soooo upset by this. Apparently though I was eating to many nuts, avacado’s, banana’s and raw “date” bars that I just packed on the pounds. Its hard for me to get satiated without the fat, but it somehow has to be done! lol

  41. Rae says:

    I’ve had trouble losing weight as a result of eating too many nuts and flax seed crackers, but I’m pretty sure I’m hypothyroid anyway, so that is probably my biggest problem in this regard. I see that you mentioned coconuts and coconut oil as being fattening, basically, but what about the contention that extra virgin coconut oil supports thyroid function, as in the so-called “coconut diet”? Also, what about palm fruit oil, as opposed to just palm oil? Also, are these tropical oils totally incapable of becoming rancid at room temperature or should they ever be refrigerated? What is their shelf life? I presume the new products such as coconut (rather than soy) vegan ice cream have been pasteurized and that once medium-chain fatty acids are heated they lose any thyroid-stimulating benefits. What about dried coconut flakes? Are they raw? Ditto hemp products. Since several months ago Annmarie showed a tendency to hypothyroidism, according to her blood test, I presume both of you have looked into these oil issues extensively.

  42. Pam Dix says:

    Thank you Kevin! I agree whole heartedly and lecture on this topic, which is the focus of my book, “Raw Done Right: food combining and low sugar for health & healing”. We’re all looking to strike that balance! Love what you and Annemarie are up to-)

  43. Cheryl Berry says:

    I lost 20 lbs the first two months of being raw vegan. The third and fourth month I haven’t lost any weight. I was thinking it might be from eating avocados every day. could this be the problem?

  44. michael westrick says:

    I am a livefood egg eater…..Just adding 6 to 8 eggs a weeks has transformed my rawfood diet after 8 years being strictly raw…..

  45. marie-andree says:

    The first year I was on raw food, I lost 25 pounds. I was very happy and stay at that perfect weight for 3 years. Last november I started gaining weight and I gained back those 25 pounds. I don’t understand, I mostly eat raw food, rarely I eat nuts, oil. I never eat cheese, eggs or bread. A month ago I bought a treadmill and I hope it will help because I am very frustrated.

  46. hyesun says:

    hm….my experience with cheese (mostly raw) hasn’t been weight gain. i eat cheese almost everyday, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, and i’ve maintained my weight (around 105 lbs) for the past few years. of course, i’m pretty active too.

  47. Eden says:

    Thank you for bringing this topic to the light as it is causing me alot of frustration, and anger, and shame as I don’t feel good at this weight. I am a 50 yr young female,I eat I’d say 50-60% very clean high quality raw foods daily for the past 2 years including lots of greens, veggies,nuts, seeds [ground flax and chis-high fiber], and seaweeds, drink wheatgrass, take enzymes and unless i work out alot, which I’m not doing right now I am watching the scale creep up to an unhealthy weight which makes me self conscious, is costing me loss of work and self confidence. I feel good about and would like to stay raw but I am going to have to change something as I cant keep gaining. i had increased my cocnut oil usage this summer as its liquid enough to pour, and as an MCT i had learned that it helps rid the body of fat. If i buy cheese its once or twice a month of raw goat cheese- high fat again! I am pretty well studied and have stuck to lots of greens, and very little fruit. i see what you are saying about the fat encapsaiulating the sugar and storing it. Makes sense. Has anyone had success or not or the long term with the 80-10-10 Diet or the Hippocrates Diet? I also have issue with the stigma of being raw and overweight!

  48. hyesun says:

    oh, btw, are you going to run the skincare sample special again sometime? i’d love to take advantage of it now but am hesitant to order them now in the heat, since the oils are probably pretty perishable and may go rancid in a very hot delivery truck? it’s still pretty hot, in the 90s, where i live.

    thanks.

  49. Ellen says:

    I started to gain weight on high raw diet, had my thyroid checked and it was burned out. Went back to eating a 50/50 diet and it has taken 6 months for my thyroid to go back to normal. I noticed when I started eating steamed veggies, grains, less nuts and green smoothies(too many greens for thyroid) I got much better. Everybody is different, diets need to be changed up from time to time.

  50. Heidi says:

    Parasites in the body can also be another reason. I went onto the Gerson therapy. It is almost entirely raw and vegan. I went through heavy detox and after four months parasites started to leave my body. I also have another friend having the same experience on the same nutritional detoxification therapy. The healing reactions… pain, acne, body odor, rashes, nausea etc.. are all symptoms of toxicity. Keep up the protocol and reap the good results. The junk and parasites will be evicted leaving a cleaner body which can get to work repairing itself. It takes time, but is very effective. Our bodies have more complex systems than we can ever design! But, do not underestimate the fact that MANY people have unwanted parasites living in their bodies causing disturbance. When the parasites die off there is a lot of toxicity released into the body which will seem unpleasant, but any detox will have some temporary unpleasant effect until the poisons are out!

  51. Edith says:

    I’m vegan, but not raw. I had no trouble giving up most dairy (I was not raised vegan), but fish and cheese were difficult. when I learned that fish was full of mercury and cheese full of aluminum (this is added to make it easier to slice), then it was easier to give up.

    But as a vegan, I fight my weight all the time. It’s tough. If you live in an area where fluoride is in the water, then that will effect your thyroid if you aren’t getting adequate iodine.

  52. Sandi Neal says:

    Heather is about right with her 1 avocado a day and limited nuts & seeds. I was on Hallelujah Diet a few years ago 85% raw 15% cooked. I ate an avocado every day and handful of nuts/seeds. Lost 27lbs in 6 weeks and 50 in 6 months. Kept it up for 3 years and maintained. Sorry to say I gradually went back to regular Vegan and gained back 27lbs in the past 3 years… frustrating. There are many high fat unhealthy vegan products on the market now. Need to get back my common sense. Thanks Kevin & Anne Marie for all you do. You are a blessing!

  53. Sandi Neal says:

    I make a non dairy cheese out of Almond butter once in awhile.. it is delicious and easy to make. If anyone would like the recipe I would be glad to submit it. Goes really well with the raw flax crackers! Yum!

  54. Kim says:

    Wow, Kev, think about the “factual” sounding statement you just made: “Cheese makes you fat even in small amounts”. Really? How can you make that kind of blanket statement?? People have been making & eating cheese (raw & organic of course) for milenia. If it is a part of a natural, whole food diet, & especially if it is right for your body type, then it is NOT a problem. I am a vegetarian who eats a ton of raw foods every day, but you have to acknowledge (& I think you’ve done it before) that not everyone flourishes on this diet. There are people who need more protein than a vegan diet can provide, & people who actually thrive on animal fats (again organic, pastured, grass fed, etc.). I actually have a much easier time controlling my weight when adding moderate amounts of (local, organic) animal fats & protein. HORMONES are what control our weight gain, not fat. Honestly, sugar is the one thing that will control your hormones. Many raw vegan diets are high in fructose (from fruit) which can wreak havoc w/ your insulin & the rest of your system. Fat nor animal foods are the problem in weight gain. People who are gaining weight (or not losing it) on a raw vegan diet are simply not eating the food that is right for their body type. Yes a raw vegan diet can be cleansing & can save many people’s lives… but it cannot always be sustained by all people (or even most people). If you look at the indigenous diets around the world (who suffer none of our diseases), they ARE high in raw fruits & veggies, but also include healthy animal protein & fat.

  55. Kim says:

    Let’s think about this: If your are a “closet” cheese eater, your body is trying to tell you something. Why would you crave something high in fat & protein & other nutrients that only cheese can provide if you were eating the ideal diet? If you are truly healthy, LISTEN to your body! If you are eating raw, organic cheese to satisfy your body’s requirements, there is NOTHING wrong with you.

  56. april r. says:

    I came to my goal weight after reading Cinch by Cynthia Sass and following her fast forward plan and more.. I was never too far over weight, just needed to lose 10lbs or so I gained from eating too much addicting junk food. Now I eat mostly raw and have maintained my weight. I eat some nuts, but prefer seeds and still eat my healthy fats in moderation. I am always mindful to put together a balanced meal, not eat too much fruit or fat, not eat too much food in one sitting and I never skip meals now. I eat 4 meals a day.

  57. Laura says:

    I find it almost impossible to keep from losing weight on a raw diet. I don’t eat nuts or coconut, or oils. I do eat a ton of greens and avocados, and dulse. I eat fresh and dried fruits. I drink lots of water, green tea, herbal teas and one cup of black coffee per day. I take a lot of chlorella tabs, B-12, use nutritional yeast and sea salt and apple cider vinegar as condiments. I weigh 100 pounds and am 5’4″ tall and 43 years old.

  58. marla says:

    Sandi Neal – I would love to see the almond butter cheese recipe. I work at a family dropin program. We serve snack every day including raw organic fruits and veggies (that we are blessed to have donated) and usually a cooked portion too. We have one 1.5 year old that has been raw his whole life (& breastfed) I am always interested in new recipes to add to his and all of our lives :))

  59. Ira Edwards says:

    I know very few people with a weight problem whose problem is not explained in Gary Taubes book WHY WE GET FAT. However, many of the posts here are contrary to his data. We still have much to learn.

  60. Christine says:

    Hi Kevin, you are mentioning that you should check out your hormones if you fail to loose weight on raw foods.
    Well, I did. And my problem is that I went into premature menopause at the age of 36 a few years ago. My body stopped producing estrogens and progesterone almost completely. And my thyroid hormone production seems to get afflicted, too, over time.
    I tried to reverse this condition with the help of TCM, acupuncture, homeopathy and of course raw foods but I am still dependend on my natural hormone creams.
    It’s very hard to find a doctor here (Germany) who is practising holistic medicine and having experience with a condition like mine.
    Right now I am treating myself – using my own experience as a vet – what else are we but another kind of creature? (LOL)
    Regarding your experience with self-healing on raw foods and herbs: do you have any suggestions on what foods or herbs I could try and put some emphasis on to stimulate my natural hormone production or what I could try to omit from my diet?
    Maybe someone knows a good doctor here?
    Last but not least: I truly appreciate your work and your knowledge that you are sharing here. And the way you are doing it. Comparing different view points
    After all: what would

  61. Christine says:

    (2nd part: sorry, I hadn’t finished yet when I hit the button)

    Comparing different view points, not judging, just providing information so that everybody will be able to have a more rounded up picture for himself and could use that for an own decision.
    Thank you for the last months since I am receiving your posts!

  62. shine says:

    glad you are talking about this kev
    my parnter and i were both all raw for 2 years – we both lost a lot of weight epecialy my partner then without changing anything she startd to put it back on – now we eat mostly raw some cooked and have both explored different ways of eating and her weight doenst shift..ive put on some since i was raw then lost some doing the daylight hours way of eating but then put some back on..its a maze for sure!

  63. Jackie says:

    Kevin, I do agree with you regarding getting hormones level checked – esp for a 52 year old woman and weight gain. Just a thought, what about the protein intake? There seems to be a lot of focus on plant fats, sugars and cheese but none on protein itself. A raw foodie/vegan can unintentionally be under their nutritional needs. As a nutritional therapist and also through personal experience, it needs to be remembered that we are all individuals with different biochemical needs and some people need animal protein to thrive… I do believe in a whole food/unprocessed diet and 50-60% raw.

  64. Lisa says:

    Great you are talking about these gritty issues! I lost a lot of weight on a 100% raw food diet and for the first time in my life felt in control of my weight. Then, due to social pressure, I decided to put some weight on. I then decided I wanted to lose it again and it was much harder, but I didn’t have my organised raw kitchen to grow endless sprouts and sunnies and I wasn’t making so much raw chocolate – which really helped me in the beginning. So, it is a journey … I will wait and see what my answer is!

    Thanks Kevin and Annmarie. You’re solid!

  65. Treeplanter says:

    Kevin, you missed a key point here.

    Eating too much fructose, in any form, will lead to weight gain. Sweet fruit is about half fructose and half glucose. The gluocse is burned for energy, and the fructose is turned into fat. Look it up at Dr. Mercola’s website, he has some great articles about the dangers of excess fructose.

    There is a huge difference between eating several bananas and eating a bowl of oatmeal. Half of the banana calories will turn into fat, whereas the carbs in the oatmeal will break down into glucose and will be burned for energy, as long as you don’t eat too much at one time.

    When I was mostly all raw vegan for about six months, I got skinny arms and legs and started gaining belly fat, which is a sign of excess fructose consumption.

    Dr. Mercola says we should eat no more than 25 grams of fructose per day, which is approximately three pieces of sweet fruit. People like Doug Graham can get away with eating more than that, I believe because they exercise so much. If you run 10 miles a day, you will burn the fat that comes from the extra fructose. But if you are not an athlete, you will likely gain weight.

    Please make this distinction, Kevin. Not all carbs are metabolized in the same way. Potatoes and grains are broken down into glucose and are burned for energy, unlese excess is consumed, in which case they are partly turned into fat.

    Our bodies have a very limited capacity to store carbs. We can store small amounts as glycogen in the liver and muscles. Once these stores are full, any extra carbs will be turned into fat. And this synthesized fat tends to be stored in the belly.

    Fructose is always turned into fat. Our bodies do not burn fructose directly. This is a strong argument against eating a lot of sweet fruit — our bodies are not made to burn fructose. It has to be metabolized in the liver, which produces toxic uric acid as a by-product, and we end up with fat stored in the belly.

    We enjoy sweet fruit, but only in moderation. Keep in mind that when you eat sweet fruit, half of those calories become fat in the body. If you don’t believe me, look it up on mercola.com.

    Also, please don’t pick on cheese. Eating small amounts is harmless, especially if it is made from a grass-fed animal. Sprinkling some feta cheese on your salad is delicious and nutritious, and will not make you fat. Bingeing on a half pound at once would be a problem, of course.

    Also, coconut oil has been shown to increase metabolism and is a kind of fat that the body burns. It won’t make you fat, as long as your total calories are not excessive. And eating a little fat near the beginning of a meal helps to turn off the body’s hunger signal, so you stop eating sooner.

    Could you imagine eating a big salad without any oil on it? If you just chewed up a pound of greens with no oil, the energy you spent chewing and digesting the greens would be more than the greens provided in calories. You could eat all day and still be hungry.

    So, we crave fat and we need fat with our meals. Not a lot, just a moderate amount for our pleasure and good health.

    For common sense,

    Michael T.

  66. Teresa says:

    I’m not surprised about the issue with cheese. As a matter of fact, I would guess it’s dairy in general that causes health and weight issues.

    When you think about it… humans are the ONLY animal on the planet to consume the milk of another animal. In fact, we’re the ONLY animal on the planet to consume milk as an adult. Period. As much as we all want to eat ice-cream and cheese pizza, it really just isn’t natural. All other animals nurse from their mother’s milk when young, and then switch to water as adults.

    Not sure why the human animal decided long ago to consume milk from another animal… but it seems to me that the only milk appropriate for humans is ‘human’ milk (and even then only for babies and toddlers). Cow’s milk seems best suited for, you guessed it, ‘cows’, and goats milk for, no surprise here, ‘goats’. Just my opinion.

  67. Jay W. says:

    I’m sitting here reading everyone’s comments, and I want to pull my hair out. There are so many conflicting opinions. How is anyone supposed to get healthy??? For instance, all fructose turns to fat? If that is so, how come people like Durianrider and Freelee manage to be thin? I recently dropped 42 lbs. in 3 months on a high raw vegan diet. I ate a lot of fruit and a good amount of avocados and nuts. I also ate coconuts and coconut oil. All of a sudden I got massive cravings for junk food. I caved and have been eating the same cr@p that made me fat. I haven’t been brave enough to get back on the scale to see how much I’ve gained back. Reading everyone’s comments on here makes me want to say WTF, why bother, just eat whatever because it doesn’t matter. :-(

  68. violet says:

    i work with an ayurvedic nutritionist and it’s true that what’s good for one person is bad for another. but once you know, you know. for me some cooked food is necessary, but dairy, meat, and wheat pack on the pounds and make my skin horrible. coffee and chocolate too, but those aren’t really even foods… :)

  69. Mike says:

    I saw a comment here that carbs are the enemy and raw food has tons of carbs and they will make you fat. This is not true. There is a big difference between “good” and “bad” carbs. The carbs you get from eating an apple or banana come with the perfect fiber to counteract it. This is a big difference from pastas, breads, cereal etc. Search the web enough and you will find this truth to float to the top.

  70. Mike says:

    Also, on the topic of cows milk. Think about how perverted this is for grown adults to drink milk at all. Milk is for babies. But then to drink the pussy milk of another speceis is really unnatural. (sarcas here) Fortunately mans large brain has allowed scientists to one-up mother nature and we now have cows that are 20% human which produce human like milk. Search “Human Cow Milk” and you will see they have done it in China and I believe Argentena.

  71. I’ve been raw for over a year now and I initally lost almost 40 pounds without even trying (started off at 155 and dropped to 116, quite alarmingly!). A lot was due to no longer eating fried food, gluten or processed foods, which are packed with a lot of calories (mostly empty) and bad fat. I remember I would eat as many nuts/seeds/avos as I wanted and I would still keep losing weight. However, I found that when I ate raw corn, or sprouted grains/buckwheat, that the weight loss would stop or I would gain back a pound or two. I believe that these foods must alter the way my body processes fats/calories in general. The same could be happening to other people. Just another thing to consider, along with that cheese…

  72. liz says:

    cheese?? vegan?>??? huh?
    vegan and cheese in the same sentence is wrong. if you eat cheese you aint a vegan, dont know how people can confuse being vegan with eating cheese and of course it will make you keep or gain weight!! but you’re not a vegan or raw vegan, you’re a cooked food vegetarian!

    i’ve been vegan for 18 years now , half my life (lacto ovo vego from 6 – 18) and raw for 2 and my weight has been stable the whole time. the only time i gain weight, a couple of kilos is if i eat crap,, ie cooked food,, or don’t exercise. it’s a simple cause / effect equation when you observe over the years and experiment on yourself, over and over.

    raw vegans can maintain or lose by upping the vegies – after all that should be the bulk of your meal. (other than fruit of course) not nuts or fats! think like primitive man. keep it simple. would you have squeezed stuff to get the oil????? would you have sat on your arse all day on the computer? common sense, vegans.

  73. liz says:

    Michael, why would you be eating all day and still be hungry??? from my experience, you eat greens until you are sated, where do you get that you eat all day and still hungry?? this is ridiculous. these things fill you up, not give you empty calories. you CAN’T eat more than a bucket of the stuff – it fills you up!
    sounds like a typical meat eater’s theory “you can’t fill up on greens” which is debunked when you actually try eating 2 plates of it…lol.

    and cheese is still a weight gainer. coming from a 100% pureblood Greek who loved fetta when i was a child! are you selling something from mercola? is he god or something? why dont you go a bit longer than 6 months to test on yourself than go by some other guy’s word. personal experience will tell you a lot. and not just a week or two, try years. and more than just cheese, that’s irrelevant and vegetarian, not vegan

  74. liz says:

    oh and Michael, i disagree with your fruit theories. over my 18 years of rigorous fruit eating regime, i have never noticed any belly fat from eating fruit! sorry guy, you have it wrong. and i eat LOTS of fruit every morning for breakfast. i am talking 10 persimmon in autiumn. 3-4 oranges or mandarins and 5-6 large grapefruit and lemon juice in winter. even more in summer and spring, of course in season fruit. i must say i pig out on fruit all the time. so please tell me your theory again about fruit, fructose and how the body wasn’t meant to burn fructose how you think…? my body didn’t quite get your theory. hasn’t for over 18 years and more, including my vegetarian years. get it right mate

  75. Bazz says:

    I hate to completely disagree with you, but since starting raw I eat tons of good fats and am dropping weight like crazy. I think it is because I eat according to my Dr. Mercola nutritional type (except I modified it for raw). If I were eating as much fruit as most raw foodies seem to I feel fairly certain I would be gaining weight. Also I know for a fact I would feel sick. I stick to a couple servings of fruit a day. (See Dr. Mercola’s nutritional types… some people do better with more fruit.) Also I eat raw milk cheese almost every day and it definitely does not make you fat.

  76. Sandi Neal says:

    Maria.. here is the non-dairy cheese recipe:
    BETTER THAN CHEDDAR
    1/2 Cup cold distilled water
    4 Tblsp. Arrowroot powder (this makes a cheese spread .. if you want it firm use
    4 TBSP Agar Agar flakes instead.)
    1/2 C almond butter
    1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
    1/4 Cup nutritional yeast flakes
    1/2 Cup red bell pepper, cut in pieces
    1 tsp. onion flakes
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp celtic sea salt
    Place all ingredients including Arrowroot in Blender. If you are using Agar, then put all in EXCEPT water & agar in Vita Mix or blender. If using agar instead of arrowroot, place water & agar in saucepan & bring to boil, stirring to disolve. Remove from heat and add to blender. Process till creamy & smooth. Pour into dish or mold, refrigerate till set. Slices & melts well. With the Agar you can freeze it and grate it over casseroles. Usually I double this recipe. I usually use it as a cheese spread because of the high cost of agar agar. So easy, make it a few times and you never have to look at the recipe again. Enjoy! If recipe is confusing to you, I am on facebook.

  77. Nichole says:

    Totally agree with Kev here…all of it. Chocolate, honey, agave, nuts, and oil will put weight on anyone if consumed in excess. When I focus on fiber from veggies, low fruit, and minimal usage of sweetners/nuts/oil I have more stable energy. Lightly steaming some of the veggies in the raw recipes has also helped me digest more effectively and maintain a healthy body fat. Your blood will not lie to you. Test and adjust as needed!

  78. Aime says:

    What a great posting! Not that I feel I have the answer now after reading Kevin & everyone’s posts. I had lost 100lbs juice fasting, have eaten vegetarian, & raw etc. & some of the weight (30lbs) has crept back on. I also feel very frustrated about it. I feel it’s thyroid, hormornal, pH (acidic) as well as emotional & spiritual issues that are trapped in my body keeping it on. Like food cravings. I had none for a long time of any junk food but lately can only think of cookies or sweets to eat.

  79. Ahhhhhhhh, Kim you are absolutely right about the cheese thing! I don’t know why, Kevin, are you saying everybody gets fat from eating cheese, when I was making raw almond cheese my hand were all swollen, and know that I adjusted my diet to high raw, almost no grains (only in special ocasions, yes I’m Mexican, I eat tres leches cake) some wild caught fish, goat’s milk kefir, eggs and not so many nuts and seeds my body has regained the balance I lost when I became vegan, I’m mostly vegetarian, but animal proteins work wonders for me, sorry, I wanted so bad to remain vegan, but my weight was low, my skin looked bad, my eyelashes were scarce, I now recognize is not for everyone.

  80. LynnCS says:

    Well, I tried to read all the comments, but there are just too many for one reading. My first thought was, “Now I really AM confused.”
    Now I have settled down a little and was reminded to have my fruit separately from fats. I am starting to believe that fruits and vegis may have enough fats for me, at least for now while I am losing weight. I saw another site tonight which gave a good argument saying that Olive Oil is junk food. My digestion is seriously messed up too. I copied down the site given by Isabelle. Thanks. I have been looked at and tested every way possible so I have resorted to any possible diet to find some answers. Mostly felt pretty well, but today was a bad day and all I want to do is find a way to keep things normal. I still am not getting normal activity and am getting a little frustrated. Thanks,Kevin for the article and the balanced view. Lynn

  81. LynnCS says:

    Isabelle. I looked at the site you mentioned and I always have a low temp. A while ago I was put on high doses of Armor Thyroid for a couple of years. I was getting heart palpitations and we came down further and further on the dosage till I was off them and now I test normal. Still have some paplitations. Have no idea what does it. Have added some magnesium to my dietary sups and got off some meds, but will read more abt this thanks. The question of Hashimotos has come up because of the eratic nature of the episodes over the years.
    Jennifer. I am going to look up the GUT diet and see if I can gleen anything from it that may help. I am pretty miserable sometimes and others? Thanks. Every idea helps.

  82. Nikki says:

    Can you please do an article on calories.

  83. Niki says:

    I’ve been very frustrated with this for a long time. I read your entire post and most of the things don’t really relate to my situation. I don’t eat that many fats. I recently got blood work done and my health fats were dangerously low. My doctor said if I didn’t get them up then I have a high risk for a heart attack. Also, I eat small meals throughout the day. A typical day is B: Spinach smoothie with greens & protein; S: Fruit, Lara Bar, Kind Bar, or dried edamame beans; L: Tempeh with vegetables and lentils; S: Hummus & Carrots; D: Varies a lot but is generally very small with some type of protein and vegetable. I drink lots of water throughout the day and exercise on a regular basis. I drink coffee once a month if that. Maybe I’m eating too little and my body is storing fat? I eat throughout the day so I’m never hungry and I eat until I’m 80% satisfied. Please help me! This is so frusturating and I don’t know what else I can do.

  84. Elizabeth says:

    Wow this was an interesting article, I searched for it because I did a 10 day raw cleanse at a healing retreat center, my fat intake was regulated and I ate no sugar/avo/coconuts/fruit. Just veggies, some nuts and seeds, and a little seaweed and miso paste. It was horrible, I gained nearly 20 lbs in 10 days. I normally way around 140, but with the insane amount of bloating I went up to 160, and I was doing yoga/sauna/enema and aerobics too! I have no idea really what could have been the problem, I’m 22 years old, and don’t think I have a hormone issue… so I’m still baffled and a bit scared about raw food :( I eat tons of cooked kale, brown rice, a little meat… seems much easier on my body sadly.

    • Kayla says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. I am 25 years old, and I am feeling the same sort of bloat. I want to continue trying raw foods, but I am worried about what’s going on that I am gaining weight. It’s very frustrating.

  85. Betty says:

    Wow! I am so glad I found this article. My sentaments exactly. I am new to raw food and am very excited about “eating clean” and losing weight (which is why I went raw) But while researching recipes and seeing the quantity of nuts used in recipes, pates and such, I knew the calorie in these recipes would really put the weight on me. So I felt somewhat conflicted hearing “raw” would help me lose weight, but knowing in my heart I could definitely eat too many calories If I did not watch it. So I will continue to count calories, watch carbs and fats along with eating as raw as possible.

  86. Lisa says:

    I did the raw diet for 18 days and gained 15 pounds. I only juiced and ate veggies and a little fruit.. I got so extremely bloated and gassy, I had to stop. I do not eat dairy or breads/ grains, but I do have a hormonal imbalance (PCOS) and am diabetic. I did this to help with sugars and it did to that…amazingly! I now have trouble with being regular and am sensitive to random oils and food I never reacted to before. I take food enzymes and fiber to try and correct. I am 44 and have never been this uncomfortabe. HELP!

  87. Slavi says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I find your site very useful. Thank you for that!

    I read, raw food diet/lifestyle can slow down tremendously the aging process?
    Therefore I /32/ want to follow this diet, yet I would not like to lose weight at all.
    It scares me a bit, if I lose weight this will actually damage my skin instead of making it look younger.
    How can I prevent that happening?

    Thank you!

  88. Karline says:

    I have just started the raw food diet. Now into my second week I am noticing that I am definitely gaining weight. However in my case, I know that my thyroid hormones are mostly likely to blame in addition to my intake of nut milk and nuts. Also, I have missed a whole week at the gym although I did some weight lifiting, and rebounding at home. I am 59 and five feet tall. Finding just the right balance for my body and special needs (I had a complete thyroidectomy so I take replacement meds daily) is a learning process. Also, I am a jamaican with a very distinct palate for hot spicy food and a heavy breakfast so I am having a problem adjusting to a simpler start to the day. But, ultimately I think it will be worth the effort to work through until I find just what works for me.

  89. Roberta Portella says:

    Hi Kevin And friends
    While trying to get proteins in our no-meat diet we use the cheese as a source of it….
    I vê been trying to go raw And made a pumpkin pie,raw…And the nuts also are full of. Calorias!!!!
    I think that first we must lose the weight moderating quantity being raw or not…And then keep it with raw food..always moderating the among of food…theres no miracle!!

  90. val says:

    I went completley raw.and when i say raw i mean raw,i only lived on veg,and fruit smoothies,i lost loads of weight,i can only put this down to not eating nuts and oils as i dont like them,so for the people that gained weight it must have something to do with their intake of nuts etc,i used to be a big lover of cheese but haven’t touched it for about 6 months now after reading what goes into it,im about to start back on the raw food diet,but will only do 80% until it gets a bit warmer ,i do find it alot harder in the winter to go 100% raw

  91. Nancy says:

    Another fact that most people fail to recognize is that vegans/vegetarians have larger waist lines as they must eat a lot more food to get the same amount of calories.

    I’ve been a vegan + dairy for 25 years. At 44 my weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides are are normal to low. I eat raw onions/garlic etc… everyday and rarely get heart burn or any other digestive issues. My siblings are all carnivores who all have weight issues and high blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides. They all have digestive issues. Yet I’m still considered the freak who is killing herself by not eating properly.

    My brother was very excited to see Lyn-Geret Recitas HHP on Dr. Oz today as he feels that this is an “expert” telling him that healthy food is bad and its ok to continue to eat crap and be on multiple meds every day for type 2 diabetes and all his other problems. Really aggravating!

    • There is no vegan + dairy … you are not a vegan if you consume dairy so you cannot put yourself into this category. Being vegan is a lifestyle and means NO animal products what so ever!!!

  92. I have been a vegan for over 5 years and a pescatarian for 5 years before that, so it has been over 10 years of my journey toward becoming a raw vegan, which I became on 01/01/2013. Only 9 days into my journey and I have already lost 4.5 lbs. and kept it off! I’m a size 6; however, my goal is to lose 15.5 more lbs. and fit back into my size 2’s! I love being raw vegan! I recommend starting the day with a raw vegan green smoothie made with 1 cup organic kale, 1 organic banana, 1 organic apple, 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed organic lemon juice and 1/2 cup cocunut water! Also, drinking organic green tea and organic raw Kombucha (I love G.T.’s Synergy Trilogy) to keep the metabolism going as well as limiting the amount of fats should help with weight-loss! I find that, with weight-loss, the body hits a plateau each time about 5 lbs. is lost and then perhaps it means it is time to incorporate some gentle exercise like yoga, walking and light weight-lifting! Remember, we eat to nourish our bodies and keep our bodies alkaline!!! Health first always!!!

  93. Cheese Cheater says:

    Gahh, I have been discovered. I am weak! :(

  94. Niloofar says:

    Hi , My name is Niloofar and im 28 years old . Firstly im
    really happy to find this website and finally after months of
    looking for a solutions i c that other people are also facing the
    same problem ! i thought im the only one who is getting bigger
    everyday in this diet ! so disappointing … Ive been in this life
    style for 9 months now and i keep putting on weight ! i dont cheat
    at all and infact so addicted to this lifestyle and enjoying eating
    fruit lot , just hoping to find a solution to lose weight . I
    workout 3 times a week and walk for about 20 mins everyday . Ive
    never had thyroid or any other problem but this getting fat is
    making me think to get a test ! I really really hope u can help me
    as i need this help from the bottom of my heart . Thank u in
    advance , and for ur nice website ! Niloo

  95. Elle says:

    I was an 80/10/10 raw vegan for a year and gained 21 pounds of fat (my initial weight was 117 pounds) and a bunch of nasty deficiencies. I would probably have gained more if not for the terrible hair loss… I also felt tired all the time, and quit the diet soon after collapsing in the middle of the street.

    Raw veganism kinda makes sense when you think about it, but it’s not sustainable.

  96. Caitlin says:

    I did a detox (no meat, wheat, sugar, or dairy) for a couple weeks and after I found that certain foods just didn’t taste good (like meat) or make me feel good (like wheat anything) so i began to eliminate those from my diet. I continued this way but added fish for protien and omega 3s. I also keep track of my calories, and I lost 20lbs in about 2 mos. I tried doing a raw food diet (the earth diet) and I stopped losing weight more or less. plus I was hungry all the time. Doing 100% raw for sure didn’t work for me, not entirely sure why. however, my mostly-raw pescetarian diet works really well for me! pays to listen to your body!!

  97. Deb says:

    Ok, I thought coconut oil is like olive oil and good for you. I dont drink the stuff, but looks like the same rules apply…1 tbsp per day right? And avocado..YUM. also supposedly good for you. HIgh fat, but the good kind of fat, I eat those occasionally, SO filling!

    So is there a website that gives an illustration of what a moderate raw diet looks like? I like eggs with kale, and during the day I want all things healthy. As the sun sets, I am raching for crap…cuz my roommate eats nothing but carbs and all things processed. Salty crunchy, YUM.

    I weigh almost 300lbs, a female, 53 and 5’8″ and am really uncomfortable a lot of the time so even walking is highly UNfun. Still, I want to know the percentages if you know them for a moderate raw diet or can recommend a site. Thanks!

  98. trina says:

    if this is still active, I would love an email back from
    you!! I am a 36 year old runner, 10 year vegan and 1 year 95% raw
    vegan. I work out 5x a week, minimum. I am 5’2 and in the last 6
    months or so have gained about 7 pounds on a raw diet! Why, because
    no matter how much of anything I eat, I never feel satisfied, even
    when I feel physically full, I never feel satisfied. In the
    beginning I saw much bodily function improvement, now not so much.
    I want to do this, my body wants raw food, but I am gaining actual
    fat, I can see it on my thighs. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!! Trina

  99. Mike says:

    From this article it appears that people misunderstand the highest level reasons for gaining weight. In short if our energy in is greater than our energy out then we will gain weight, and vice versa we will lose weight. If our energy input is equal to our energy output then we will stay the same weight. Even Cambridge University Physics students can’t work that out (I can’t understand why as to me it is obvious but there you go!). The concept of energy in and energy out is the highest concept one needs to understand in regards to weight gain / loss.

    The next level of understanding might me to breakdown what ‘energy in’ and ‘energy out’ really mean. For example we burn calories even while we sleep (as we are giving off heat), this is part of the energy out. If we exercise we obviously burn off even more calories. If we have a poor digestive system then malabsorption is likely to occur, which means we aren’t efficiently absorbing foods, so our ‘energy in’ will be less. If we have parasites then they will be stealing what we eat, so our energy in will be reduced again. So you see it isn’t as easy as what you eat and how much you exercise. And as Kevin said hormones can effect things too. There are so many factors that can change the energy inputs and outputs. Cold or hot weather will effect us too. The further the temperature is from our ideal body temperature, the more our bodies will work hard to get us to the right temperature, thereby burning energy etc etc.

    The next level of understanding that is most important is being able to realise what any food consists of in regards to the major food groups. As Kevin said nuts are very high in fat, even though they are ‘natural’. Some ‘unnatural’ foods have far less fat than some natural foods. I saw a cheesecake with less than half the fat of nuts! Some people fail to see this. Kevin you also covered natural sugars versus processed ones. Some people have suggested that there is no difference between honey and processed sugar… there are very little nutrients in honey, even though people want to believe it is natural and therefore superior… it really isn’t that much better… and from a vegan perspective it is worse than processed sugar!

    As with anything it is necessary to see things as they really are and not be deluded by wishful thinking.

    Some psychiatrists are even classifying 100% raw food as a potential eating disorder. If it’s done right it probably isn’t, however I have seen a lot of people underweight and suffering from malnutrition based on this diet. It is the same as vegetarianism. Some vegetarians are very knowledgeable and get all their protein and nutrients… other vegetarians eat vegetarian pies and end up with far worse heart disease than a meat eater eating lean meat. Again don’t be fooled by labels.

    I knew one really staunch raw fooder who ate raw food for about a month and would then binge on whole cooked chickens… even though she made out she was an enormous expert with nutrition and had allegedly done courses on nutrition… well obviously not. These binges were because she wasn’t getting enough protein. She also put on lots of weight because she ate too much raw chocolate. Replacing a non-raw diet with the same type of food only raw is no healthier! Common sense does not prevail with this individual sadly! She was also saying how 100% raw food could cure any ailment including cancer… beware of the BS merchants. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables, cooked or raw, will reduce your chances of getting most cancers, but once you have it there is little chance that a raw food diet can get rid of tumours. I know of a Swami who lived in an Ashram and they had a very low stress life and ate vegan food with lots of raw. They eventually died of cancer. So there are no guarantees. Please don’t believe the propaganda out there.

    I won’t get on to the topic of raw fooders being very deficient in lycopene… that’s another topic entirely!

    Fantastic article Kevin. I wish everyone could learn this stuff.

  100. Louellen says:

    You make many great points here :) My diet is fairly balanced. (instead of sneaking cheese, I take cod liver oil!) I havn’t lost any weight though and im going crazy! LOL However I just had a baby a year ago… SO I really should go get my hormones checked out! I also plan on getting a new pair of runners so I can start running again, as well as a child trailer so I can trek my kiddo around.

    I do feel much better though! I am detoxing a little right now, but I feel more peaceful and connected to the earth!

    Cheers!!

  101. bubbl3 says:

    I am 5′ 4′ and after having my son 17 years ago have maintained a weight of between 51-54 kilos. Since going raw 18 months ago I have consistently been 51-52 kilos depending on whether I am juice fasting, which I do for 3 days every month.

    However, after about a year on raw food, for some reason I went on a nutfest. My weight went up to 57 kilos, I felt fat, bloated and lacking in energy. I generally eat 75% raw foods in the form of fruits and vegetables in smoothies, juices, salads, mono meals and home sprouts. I eat grains such as quinoa, couscous (very occasionally rice), I eat cooked pulses occasionally also. I now keep the oils to a minimum, though I perhaps eat too many avocados (!). About once per month I bake a loaf of spelt bread. I don’t eat anything with additives so all my food is fresh, local and organic when I can and I even make my own nut butters. I drink almond milk in roobioos tea (and chai tea as a treat). Having now learned from experience, too many nuts will make you fat and rob you of your energy. So, I keep nuts and seeds to a minimum and make sure I work out at the gym or at the least put on a fitness DVD!

    I would like to add that apart from 2 colds and a mild chest infection I have not had any illness or depression, the ailment that led me to raw food and have not been to the doctor since I started eating raw. The raw food diet like any diet is quite specific to the individual. One of the ways through is trail and error. Even so, as we age our bodies change and will naturally demand particular nutrients. What we need to eat also depends on the climate we live in, the quality of the food, many factors we might only consider by following the raw food path. Nonetheless, I would wholeheartedly recommend eating ‘the raw way in your own way’ over anything else for health, happiness and a great life.

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