I started incorporating raw foods a lot more into my lifestyle this past April. About two weeks ago, I began eating 95-100% raw. I drink green smoothies almost every morning, eat a lot of fresh, watery fruits, and try to incorporate as much greens as possible. The one non-raw thing I have been consistently eating is steamed broccoli because it feels right to my body. In addition, I exercise about 5-6 days/week and have a fairly active lifestyle and job (lots of walking as I don't drive) .... yet, still, I haven't lost any weight at all! As much as I'd rather not admit it, it's pretty discouraging. Since I'm new-ish to the raw food lifestyle, I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or if that's just how it's going to be for me...
any feedback, information, support, etc. would be totally appreciated! thanks !
What kind of exercising do you do? Do you really need to lose weight? What all are you putting in your smoothies (protein supp, oils, etc.)?
I'm not sure if this applies to you, but I find it unfortunate that people use BMI so often to determine whether or not their weight is in the "normal" range. BMI does not take into account muscle density, etc. What is normal is also skewed quite a bit. There is also the possibility that too few calories are being consumed and your body is hanging on to anything it can get.
I struggled with my weight for a long time and fell ill a few years back. Then I had the opposite problem - I couldn't absorb my food and rake in any calories. Switching to raw actually helped me gain enough weight that I need to exercise now to eat everything I would like (coconut ice cream on occasion or maybe a slice of raw "cheese"cake every couple of weeks). I do eat some cooked but have had to watch my simple carbohydrates. I still eat whole fruits, but try to stick mainly to leafy greens and other vegetables. I eat psuedograins once every few days and a few legumes (mostly sprouted) and try to limit nut and fat intake (minus the aforementioned occasional treat). I also have been exercising daily (with a day off every couple weeks) - I've been working up to running (alternate run/walk for 30 min), do Zumba (it's fun!), and some strength training. I was one of those out of shape skinny people though - didn't feel I had to exercise because I was rail thin and eating healthy. That was the wrong approach but hindsight is 20/20 :) I'm not rail thin anymore but am having very slow progress!
I guess what I'm trying to say is your body is recognizing what you're feeding it as real food now and getting more out of it. I really recommend reading Brendan Brazier's Thrive Diet for optimal sport performance. The theory is good and can be applied to a raw diet. He emphasizes raw, with a base of leafy greens and variety of other plant-based foods.
I have a couple of questions for you also.
How much weight do you need to lose and how long have you been overweight?
Did you begin your active lifestyle/excersie routine before or at the same time as the dietary changes?
What is the driving force behind your decision to go high raw?
Besides the dietary changes you have recently made, what other changes are happening in your life?
Do you have any medical problems?
How old are you?
I feel like we need more information in order to offer any sound advice. Absent that I can only tell you my experience and try to offer encouragement. I began this journey a year ago last June and I've lost 72 pounds. I still have 31 pounds to reach my weight goal. Losing weight played a part in my decision but my primary goal was to become healthy and not face a future with diabetes, depression, aches, heart disease and Lupus. I had been on the SAD diet my entire life but I always knew that getting back to the basics of good, clean food in it's natural state made sense for good health. I also never yo-yo dieted. I have watched all of the women in my family yo-yo so much that most of them are morbidly obese. My twin sister is 435 lbs and hasn't been able to lay down in a bed for years because she is afraid she won't be able to get back up again.
Anyway... when I first started the weight was just melting off. I lost 20 pounds in the first 2 weeks. By the begining of August I had lost 40 pounds. After that things started moving much more slowly. From the start I recorded my body measurements and weight on a weekly basis. I took pictures too. I began to see a pattern of my weight loss. I noticed that I would from day to day move in a three pound range. I would just hang around say the 161 to 164 range for a few weeks with my recorded weight being usually 162 and then all of a sudden I would dip down to 159 and then pop back to 161 for a week or so. Then I would end up in a new range between 158 and 161. It's sort of a two steps forward, one step back sort of thing. It works though. I am slowly and steadily losing the fat.
Just about a month ago I went for my annual physical and absolutely aced it. I'm healthier than I have been in at least 20 years! For me... that's my reward. That's what I'm looking for. I need to say that during all this time I never incorporated any sort of activity or exercise program into my life. I lead a very seditary lifestyle and I've never been inclince to sports or other physical activities. I have been telling myself to start an exercies routine but I've put it off.
About a month ago a freind of mine invited (pulled, pushed, cohersed) me to join her in a belly dancing class. I have had an absolute blast with it! It's one of the funnest things I've ever done. I'm currently visiting my husband in San Diego and the atmosphere here is so active and alive that it's contagious. So, while I'm here I have free acess to a gym with personal training sessions. I began working out a week ago. I am sooo sore right now but it feels great. With just over 30 pounds to lose, I want to be sure I'm losing fat and not muscle.
All this to say to you that we all lose weight differently. I don't know much about your physical condition or your goals so the best I can do is try to encourage you. Don't give up. Don't compare your progress to anyone else. Figure out your goals and what your body specifically needs. If your goals are different than your bodies needs then don't be afraid to change your goals. Throughout my dietary journey, flexibilty has been my best friend. I've only have one solid, unbreakable rule and that is to stay away from any processed food. I've been 100% raw vegan to 50% raw foodist and everywhere in between. I don't count calories and I don't worry about getting too much fat in my diet. I just eat what I feel like my body needs at that time. Many blessings to you. I hope this helps.
In response to your questions, I do cardio exercise, usually a switch between elliptical and treadmill, and some strength training thrown in there too. I tend to go for 30 - 60 mins, and try to switch it up as much as possible. As for the smoothies, I do not add any supplements, sweeteners, or oils. I usually add a lot of fresh and frozen alkalizing fruits and dark greens, like spinach, collard, or kale.
A question I appreciate both of you posing to me is if I actually need to lose weight. I am not overweight, I am 5' 6" and about 138 lbs. I think I know that I don't really care as much about losing weight as I do about being more fit, but it's hard to totally convince myself of that when I still feel like there is fat on my body that I'd like to lose. I guess I just feel like my body should be releasing more than it is, so to speak, since I am eating so well and exercising. I know that it takes time and adjustments and lots of constant attention.
I'm just trying to listen to my body and figure things out. It's true that my relationship with food has been ten times more positive and healthy since switching to a high raw foods diet, as well as my mentality surrounding eating, and even my body image to some extent! I appreciate the support and encouragement both of you have offered, it certainly helps to hear there are others out there on a similar journey. :)
I am not sure. 138 seems like an ok weight for 5'6". But if you want to lose weight, probably try eating less fat and more carbs (fruit). Don't calorie restrict or else you'll end up binging on junk. Just get the carbs before you even get to that point. You'll do great!
Funny - I'm at the same height/weight right now and am currently facing the same struggle. I don't feel the weight is at all unreasonable or bad - I'd just rather look more toned. I've been vegan for a couple years now and my body went from too thin pre-vegan to being able to absorb all my food - which is great! I was too ill to exercise for a long time, and now that I can again, I had to start at 5 intervals of run 30 seconds, walk 5:30. Now I'm at run 1:30 minutes, walk 4:30 soon to bump up again. It's painful to start so slow, but am hoping I'll be jogging along for further distances in what will feel like no time. That's every other day. On other days I do Zumba for 30 minutes and combine with 20 rep jack knife, 40 reps lunges and squats, arm weights, etc. I'm hoping to work with a personal trainer soon - we get a great deal at my job ($15 a month to a charity to join the gym). It is frustrating though. My husband is a competitive runner, so on days I struggle to jog and he comes to cheer me on, it's hard watching him dart into the distance with our little dog after a squirrel as I'm panting and near colapse at an embarrassing 8-10 minute pace (that's not including the walking time which bumps me up to 15 minute miles). Arg.