A common concern for people trying out a fruit-based raw food diet is the frantic fear that eating fruit will make them fat.
Are you scared too?
We all want to be slim and fit and so it makes perfect sense that we SHOULD be concerned about what we’re putting in our mouths.
But is all this fear founded?
One of the two healthiest foods on the planet – Fruit (the other being veggies) – has been targeted by the diet industry as fat-forming, leading countless dieters to severely limit their fruit intake to a mere one or two pieces of fruit a day.
This is really worrying, especially in the light of new research which says that we should be consuming A MINIMUM of 8 serves of fruits and veggies per day.
The problem is that there’s so much conflicting information out there that it can make your brain explode and lead to eating disorders.
One of my FREE RAW TIPS readers, Lauren, wrote to me this week expressing her pain around this fear of eating fruit and gaining weight…
After stumbling across many discouraging posts about how high fruit vegan diets will make me fat, I have at last found a few encouraging blogs like yours! I am only 19 years old but have been dealing with eating problems for 2 years now.
I can’t go on anymore like this and am trying to commit to a high raw diet. However, I am so scared of gaining weight… like so scared that everyday after my healthy fruit breakfast I look up online the reasons too much fruit and carbs will make me fat! and I see youtube videos and posts of how people gain so much weight on 80/10/10 and such. Then I crash and binge on bad foods.
I really want to lose a few pounds and any weight I would gain would make me very upset!! So I am planning to stick to two mono meals a day (fruit breakfast and lunch) then a salad and cooked vegetable stirfry for dinner (or something like that).
I love fruit and healthy eating but am scared I am not going in the right direction! I think my biggest fear is from watching Freelee the Banana Girl and others put down 2500 calories per day and I could never do that nor do I want to! I am comfortable eating 1500 calories a day to try and lose weight. Any advice would be great advice from you! I am newly vegan and am really trying to lead a healthy life early on! I hope you can help! Thanks
I’ll certainly try to address your fears in this article, Lauren. But first, there are a few issues at play here that I want to tease out and address one by one.
Here they are:
1. The power of Choice
2. The power of Fruit
1. The Power of Choice
If you’re looking for proof that you can get fat on fruit then you will undoubtedly find it. There’s plenty of ‘evidence’ out there. BUT there’s also just as much evidence out there for weight-loss occurring on fruit-based diets.
Why torture yourself by watching all the videos of unsuccessful people?
If you want to be successful on this diet then you need to surround yourself with people who have been successful. There are plenty of success stories out there.
Make a RULE for yourself that you don’t go searching for ‘evidence’ of weight gain anymore.
After your morning fruit smoothie go check out some positive messages – Try watching a few Fully Raw Kristina videos, Megan Elizabeth, Yulia Tarbath or John Kohler. Or listen to the recordings of the RAWmazing Life Summit 2014 for loads of inspiration. These are all long-term raw foodies who have successful maintained or lost weight eating fruit.
2. The Power of Fruit
Let’s talk about fruit for a minute. Compared to other kinds of foods, like animal foods, refined carbohydrates, fried foods, and many processed fat-laden sugary foods, (the kinds that you binge on after watching those fear mongering videos) fruit is extremely LOW in calories.
It is also very high in fibre and full of nutrients that our body requires in order to feel satiated (glucose, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients). This combination makes it very difficult to overeat on. You are a hundred times more likely to feel satiated by a meal of fruit than a packet of crisps.
Because fruit is loaded with simple sugars in the form of glucose, which is very easily used by the body to fuel our trillions of cells, and is also very easily digestible, it will also make you want to move your body – a huge plus for weight loss.
Can you get fat on fruit? The truth is yes – BUT you would have to be trying extra hard to binge-eat on copious quantities of fruit.
Nevertheless, you should forget about what anyone else, like Freelee, says about optimal calories. You need to find YOUR OWN ‘sweet spot’ for yourself. Your sweet spot being the number of calories that you need to feel satisfied, but not gain weight.
Your ‘sweet spot’ may well be 2500 calories, but it also might be 1800 or 2800.
If you’re happy eating 1500 calories (and you’re not bingeing on refined cooked carbs at the end of the day) then you’re probably eating the right amount.
BUT if you’re looking around for fatty carbs at the end of the day then you might find that you’re simply NOT eating enough fruit. You may find that simply by upping your fruit intake by 300 or 400 calories that you find your sweet-spot.
My HOT tip for feeling satiated and slim on fruit.
Making sure you get in at least 1000 calories of fruit by midday can really help you in achieving your goal of staying raw.
Often people undereat on fruit calories early in the day and at lunch, and then wonder why they are RAVENOUS by the afternoon or dinner. Then they end up bingeing on all the wrong things later in the day and, of course, stacking on the weight.
Have a BIG fruit smoothie for breakfast and add some greens or Barley Grass Juice Powder to it, so that you are taking care of your vitamin and mineral needs early in the day. That will greatly assist with any salt cravings you may experience in the afternoon.
My blender is my biggest weapon in helping to get enough fruit calories in. I use it way more than any other raw-food ‘gadget’ that I own. (That is AT LEAST 2 or 3 times a day)
If you’re on the look-out for a great high-powered blender, but don’t have the money for the other leading brand, then you should definitely check out Froothie’s Optimum 9400. This is the blender I use and love, and that’s why I recommend it. It can do everything that a Vitamix can do for a lot less money.
Check it out HERE and get yourself or a loved one an extra special Christmas prezzie.
I hope these tips help, Lauren! Expect that, in the early days, things are going to be a bit up-and-down.
It’s normal to question what you’re doing and whether you’re doing the right thing. Give it time, and the right positive messages, and things will get easier.
Positive messages are so important on this lifestyle and not to be underestimated. That’s the main reason I created the RAWmazing Life Summit 2014. The RAWmazing Life Summit 2014 recordings package is still available to purchase if you’d like a great resource to help you through your days. There are 23 super-inspiring raw food voices there that you can listen to over and over to support you in your journey.
In the early days you need all the support you can get and this is one very affordable resource that will help you no end.
Anthea Frances is an author, raw food health coach and host of the Raw Life Summit series. Grab a copy of her free Balanced Raw Vegan Nutrition Checklist and start improving your health today!