A raw food diet could help you lose weight and feel great at the same time.
Your diet is going nowhere. You’ve religiously counted calories on that app on your phone. You’ve resisted temptation and denied yourself those treats you crave. But you still feel overweight. Tired. Sluggish. You’re not alone; many people find it difficult to lose weight and still feel good on an ordinary diet.
The problem is processed foods.
A raw food diet could be the difference. Replace your daily diet of processed food with raw food, which is rich in nutrients, and start a diet of healthy and long-lasting weight loss. Raw food can make you feel vibrant and healthy, with some great guilt free desserts too!
How does a raw food diet work? Nutritionist and health consultant Christine Bailey reveals the power of raw food.
What is ‘raw’ food?
Simply put, raw food is food that has not been heated to above 47.7c/ 118f. Typically, it is pure, nadulterated, whole food that is rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients (specific nutrients found in plants). The term “living foods” generally refers to foods that are still alive and growing, in addition to living greens such as wheatgrass and sunflower greens.
What do you eat on a raw food diet?
A raw food diet is based around plenty of vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables), fruit and nuts. It does not include any processed or refined foods. Liquids are also an essential component of the diet in the form of water, fresh juices, herbal infusions, nut milks and smoothies.
So how does eating more raw food encourage weight loss and renew energy?
Firstly, raw foods such as vegetables, herbs and fruits are incredibly nutrient-rich and energizing, possessing many healing and health-promoting properties. Partly, this is due to their phytochemical content. Phytochemicals are natural bioactive substances present in plant foods and they are found in their highest quantities in raw, freshly harvested plants.
When food is processed and/or heated to temperatures of 47.7c/118f and above, many of the natural enzymes, phytonutrients and essential nutrients are destroyed or are made less bio-available.
Cooking can also produce unnatural chemical substances, the processing of which places additional strain on the body’s detoxification organs, such as the liver, gut and kidneys.
Secondly, enzymes are required for numerous chemical and metabolic processes in our bodies, including energy production and detoxification. By simply incorporating more raw food in your diet you are providing your body with an abundance of essential enzymes, nutrients and fibre, all of which are needed for the body to process food, detoxify, create energy and perform at its optimum. They enable your body to break down foods more effectively and absorb optimum nutrients for every cell in your body, and they aid the elimination of waste and toxins.
Helping the body detoxify is essential for weight loss. When our liver is overworked and we can’t detoxify effectively, waste products and toxins will be stored in our fat cells – so the more toxins that are in our bodies, the more fat cells that are needed, and the harder it is to lose weight. It can also lead to inflammation, which can damage tissues and accelerate the signs of ageing. And if the body is not digesting and absorbing foods properly, you can end up starved of essential nutrients and feeling tired and fatigued.
A raw food diet, therefore, works in many ways to improve your health: on the one hand, you are providing your body with nutrients to help it function more effectively and clean itself, while on the other hand you are avoiding foods that diminish the efficiency of both nutrient absorption and detoxification.
By nourishing the liver with raw foods, you also enable it to carry out other important tasks more effectively, such as balancing blood sugar, reducing cravings, eliminating excess hormones and producing bile to break down fats and keep cholesterol levels healthy. As a bonus, raw foods are also hydrating and satiating, which means they enable you to feel fuller for longer while keeping energy levels high.
Fruit and vegetables, especially raw leafy greens, which are full of chlorophyll, have the added benefit of being incredibly alkalizing. If you eat cooked, processed foods and animal products, this increases the body’s acidity. Too many acid-forming foods can promote inflammation, lower immune function and reduce levels of alkaline minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. By nourishing the body with alkalizing foods each day, you help to restore your body’s pH balance, enabling it to heal and regenerate itself. In fact, just by eating raw foods you are literally supercharging your body with optimum nutrition to help rejuvenate it and promote vibrant health. As it rejuvenates you, you will find yourself losing excess weight more easily and so feeling lighter, leaner and energized.
You can fit the diet to your lifestyle
A raw food diet doesn’t have to mean exclusively 100% raw. For some people a raw food diet means eating raw food during the day and then having a cooked meal in the evening, so around 50% raw. For others it may mean 80% raw and 20% cooked in a day. The key is to find what works for you. Even if you think you have a healthy diet, you are probably eating only about 20–25% raw food. By including more raw food into your diet, you are likely to experience a significant difference to your health and achieve your weight loss.
Looking for a raw food diet plan? Christine Bailey’s The Raw Food Diet shows you how to plan a weekend-long raw food blitz, and week long booster diet, and how to get the benefits of a raw food diet forever in her diet plan for life.
Just as importantly, The Raw Food Diet tells you what to eat, why and when, with a selection of delicious and satisfying recipes.