Welcome to my science-based guide on hot to do a raw food diet for weight loss.
Read my guide all the way through, and you'll understand the exact types of foods you need to be eating (and which to avoid), to skyrocket your weight loss results on a raw food diet.
The problem with raw food diets in general is that not all of them are created equal.
But if you know what you're doing, a raw food diet can actually do wonders for your weight loss progress.
Before we dive in, here's a brief overview of what I'll cover in this guide:
How does a raw food diet even look like?
At their core, all raw food diets only allow you to eat foods in their natural, unprocessed, and uncooked state.
The main reason behind this rule is that in nature (if we were stuck in a survival situation without any modern tools, for example) we wouldn't be able to eat cooked or processed foods either.
So basically, most raw food diets come down to eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Some diets will allow you to eat meat, but I can't imagine a lot of my readers being excited about the idea of eating raw meats (apart from sushi or smoked salmon, maybe).
In other words, you'll have to avoid anything that needs to be cooked before you can eat it. So no grains, legumes and any other vegetables that can't be eaten raw (potatoes, for example).
But can a diet like this really lead to awesome health, and more importantly, to rapid weight loss results?
The #1 reason why raw food diets work for weight loss
Yes, if you restrict your diet to raw foods alone, you CAN get rapid weight loss results (and enjoy some other health benefits as well).
But why do these diets work so well?
It's simply because raw fruits and vegetables are easily the lowest calorie foods on the planet.
I've already explained all about this in my article on eating watermelon for weight loss.
And it's true. Because fruits like watermelon are so ridiculously low in calories, you can literally stuff your face with them all day and still lose weight.
In fact, if you stick to raw fruits and vegetables 100%, it will be pretty hard for you to get in over 2000 calories a day (something that's laughably easy to do with junk like pizza or hamburgers).
3 more reasons why raw food diets work so extremely well
Raw fruits and vegetables are all very rich in fiber. Fiber has no calories, and is known to expand in your stomach.
Fiber not only helps your digestion, but it also makes you feel fuller and keeps you satisfied longer.
Naturally, this can be a huge benefit for anyone trying to get rid of some extra body fat.
Fruits and veggies are also rich in water. So even if you forget to drink enough fluids, they will keep your body nicely hydrated throughout the day.
This is important because water keeps your calorie burn rate high (through a process in your body called thermogenesis.)
Sticking to fruits and vegetables will also help keep your sodium intake low. Getting rid of any extra, sodium-bound water weight, will boost your final weight loss results too.
(You can read all about how many extra pounds a high sodium diet can make you put on, here.)
How to avoid gaining weight on a raw food diet?
Like I said, not all raw food diets are created equal. In other words, you will not automatically become lean if you randomly get on the first raw food plan you stumble upon.
In fact, many people who decide to go on a raw food diet for weight loss, end up gaining weight instead of losing it.
You see, the truth is, foods in their raw, natural state don't magically lose the fattening calories in them.
The first problem with raw foods is that they can be very high in sugar. Dates, honey, raw syrups or dried fruits are at the top of this list.
Raw foods can also contain quite a lot of fat. Among those would be oils, raw butters, nuts and seeds, etc.
Hell, even wine can be called a raw food (since it is uncooked). But we all know that drinking alcohol is almost as good for gaining body fat as eating fast foods.
Then there's high salt content in certain "gourmet" raw food recipes. As you know by now, a high sodium diet can easily make you put on few extra pounds.
How quickly can you expect to see weight loss results?
You now know that not all raw food diets work equally well for weight loss (and that some can actually make you gain weight).
Bot ok, let's say you pick a raw food diet that actually works for weight loss. How much weight can you expect to lose and how quickly will you see the results?
Well, raw food diet or not, the speed at which you'll melt away that ugly body fat off your body ultimately depends on how many calories you'll be getting in every day.
If you do a raw food diet that looks more like a cleanse, then you can expect some pretty fast results.
If, for example, you drink nothing but broccoli, celery, and cucumber juice all day, your weight will literally fall off the cliff.
But if you eat a lot of fatty and sugary foods (think fancy raw food recipes), then don't be surprised if your weight doesn't come off soon. Or ever.
Overall, if you actually stick to only fresh raw foods and vegetables, you can expect some pretty awesome results.
Do you have to be 100% strict for a raw food diet to work?
The short answer is no.
When it comes to weight loss, there really isn't any difference if you eat your broccoli, celery, or carrots cooked or raw.
Like I said, what matters at the end of the day, is how many calories you actually ate (and not nearly as much whether they were cooked or raw).
In fact, if you find it just a little bit too hard to stick with uncooked foods, I do encourage you to eat something cooked.
It's better to eat some cooked broccoli, than to fall off the raw food diet bandwagon and start stuffing your face with the most fattening junk you can get your hands on.
The absolute hardest part of any raw food diet
I don't care how motivated you feel to reach your weight loss goals.
But doing a 100% raw food diet for weight loss can be pretty tough to handle.
While you may enjoy them in the beginning, not being able to eat anything besides raw fruits and vegetables can get to you over time.
(Even the fact that you can literally stuff your face with food all day might not do the trick on its own.)
But if you can handle it, a raw food diet can be one of the fastest working weight loss diets on the planet.
Summary (actionable takeaways)
Yes, if you want to do a raw food diet for weight loss, then by all means, go ahead.
Unless you pick some high-fat, high-sugar, or high-salt diet (that is much more likely to help you gain weight than lose it), you can count on some pretty awesome weight loss results.
As long as you stick to (mostly, not necessarily 100%) fresh fruits and vegetables, you'll do just fine.
Just keep in mind that raw foods still contain calories, and that for weight loss, calories eaten versus calories burned, are ultimately the only thing that matters.
The only real difference between a stadard diet and a raw food diet is:
While it's nearly impossible to eat over 2000 calories of watermelon, the same thing's easily doable with pizza.