As most of us who have struggled with our weight know, the majority of the time diets don’t work. No matter how hard we try or how much willpower we have, when we follow the latest dietary advice, our long-term results often fall short of our hopeful expectations. Many times this leads to frustration, anger, and a feeling of failure, leaving us resigned to the possibility of anything different.
Although I’ve never been a strong advocate of any particular way of eating, as I believe that we are all individuals who have different dietary needs, I have found myself more excited than ever about the results people are achieving with raw veganism.
For those who aren’t familiar, the raw-live food vegan diet consists of fresh unprocessed and uncooked whole plant foods such as vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, dried fruit, and sea vegetables. What makes this way of eating unique is that none of the foods are cooked above 118°F (48°C), as it has been found that heat alters the molecular structure of the food and also destroys many of the enzymes, vitamins and phytonutrients found in raw, living food.
The benefits described by those who eat a primarily raw-live food diet (80% or more) are increased energy, better skin, improved digestion, weight loss and a reduced rate of heart disease. Overall, many say that they look and feel younger and that their long-term health problems begin to lessen.
Although I have been lucky enough to maintain a life long weight that only fluctuates within a 20lb range, I began 2010 at the upper end of that range and decided to give the raw vegan diet a try. The first thing I noticed was that I wasn’t as hungry and that I only needed about 50% of the calories I was used to consuming with cooked foods. Time and time again, I prepared a standard meal size for myself and ended up feeling stuffed for hours afterwards. Even so, my weight dropped substantially and by the end of the third week, I had lost all of my excess weight and stabilized at my ideal weight, which I had frequently struggled to maintain in the past. In addition to the weight loss, I also felt energetic, emotionally balanced and a new sense of motivation and inspiration as the weeks went on.
Other than avoiding the majority of cooked foods and animal products (80% raw is sufficient to produce results), there are no rules to this way of eating. You can choose to eat as much organic, raw, vegan and nutrient-rich foods that you want. As you begin to see what works and doesn’t work for your particular body type and constitution, you’ll naturally discover the perfect combination of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. The weight loss and relief from health problems will follow suit.
Given how much I love the taste and residual energy I’m getting from raw foods, as a health professional who just completed a week long intensive study on this dietary lifestyle, I decided to do some research on this way of eating specifically related to obesity. What I found was truly amazing and I wanted to share it here with all of you.
Not only are there many stories of weight loss success from those who had previously been obese (check out Angela Stokes story on CNN), research has shown that obesity results from leptin resistance (the signal to stop eating), which Harvard studies have found is caused by inflammation. Experts are finding that this leptin resistance, similar to insulin resistance in diabetics, can quickly be repaired by a raw-live vegan diet, which begins to reduce inflammation immediately.
Chronic inflammation is quite common in our society today and is the result of years of consuming a diet high in processed foods, sugar, carbohydrates, saturated fats, trans-fatty acids and minimal fiber. This pattern of eating has also been associated with metabolic disorders, insulin resistance, hypertension, high blood pressure and an overall inability to lose weight.
A study published in the Southern Medical Journal documented positive effects of a raw food diet on hypertension and obesity and new research is being conducted every day. Dr. Gabriel Cousens has been working with those who have diabetes and documenting astounding 3+ week results for those with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes once they began a raw vegan diet. Significant weight loss was also a residual outcome in almost all of these cases.
Raw-live food isn’t just about salads. There are thousands of recipes that include healthy versions of pizza, wraps, burgers, crackers, pasta, and even deserts that many times taste better than their cooked counterpart. Although it takes a little practice and learning to get started on a raw live food diet, many quickly find that it is easier than eating cooked foods and that meals can be prepared in just a few minutes with a little pre-planning.
Eating a diet that consists primarily of raw-live vegan foods has been said to help break the obsession with food and the weight loss roller coaster. However, if viewed as a short-term diet, it will only produce the same results as other diets have in the past. As with any change, transforming your eating habits requires a lifetime commitment to your physical and emotional health. Although this particular dietary lifestyle may not be right for you or call to you personally, for those who are ready to try something new, I would highly suggest doing some further reading and research in this area. Let your results provide the answer.
-“Why Fat” by Dr. Gabriel Cousens, www.treeoflife.nu
-“Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days” documentary, www.rawfor30days.com
-“Effects of a raw food diet on hypertension and obesity” published in the Southern Medical Journal in 1985 -www.fatresistancediet.com
Published On: May 19, 2010