And while raw foods are, on the whole, an exceptional way to lose weight, for some of us who are sensitive to starches, fats or sugars it is not always such a blissfully easy path.
Let me share with you some of the things I’ve learned both personally and professionally through my coaching practice about dealing with stubborn flab..
Trouble-shooting your raw food diet for weightloss
Here are some of the things to consider when overhauling your raw or high-raw diet for weightloss:
- You may be eating too much fat – in the way of oils (a little goes a LOOOONG way) or even chugging back cups of nuts or avocados. It takes a lot of energy to convert carbohydrates to fat, but fat itself, goes straight to your fat-storing problem areas. And if you are combining fruit with a lot of fat then you probably spiking your blood sugar and causing unnecessary insulin resistance. Keeping your fats below 10-15% is really key here, and making sure that your fats are consuming after all your fruit meals for the day.
- You may be sensitive to starches (cooked potatoes, corn, white rice etc). Some people are simply more sensitive than others and need to restrict or even omit these completely in favour of lower calorie fruit carbohydrates.
- You may not be eating nearly enough green vegetables in your diet.
Today I want to reflect on point number three, because I have found both personally, and in my coaching practice, that if you take care of number 3 that the other two are automatically dealt with.
Let me underline this point just to make sure you heard it loud and clear…
** Eating greens and low-calorie fruits and vegetables is a HUGE boon to those wanting to shed extra pounds of flab. **
In his excellent book “Eat to Live”, Dr Joel Fuhrman M.D. recommends focusing on increasing the amount of low-calorie but high nutrient density foods in your diet. What he’s talking about here is fruits, vegetables and legumes, the lowest calorie foods on the planet.
On a fruit-based raw food diet we are automatically consuming loads of fruit, but often people forget about the incredible health benefits of greens in your diet.
At least when you first start eating them, green veggies are not that yummy, right? We’re not used to the bitter taste, preferring fruit’s sweetness.
But this article is a reminder about why we all need to preference greens-eating as highly as fruit, if we want to lose weight.
It’s also a homage to the amazing nutritional power of the humble green vegetable.
“Green vegetables are so incredibly low in calories and rich in nutrients and fiber that the more you eat of them, the more weight you will lose, ” says Dr Fuhrman.
The reason for this weight loss is partly to do with achieving volume satiety and partly to do with nutrients. Greens are simply the lowest calorie but highest nutrient food on the planet, bar none.
When you eat a high volume of greens your satiety switch for volume will be triggered, allowing you to eat less of other higher calorie foods, including fruit. Your body will also thank you for all the additional nutrients you are consuming through your increased greens intake.
He goes on to explain his secret weapon for nutritional excellence and weight-loss: his “One pound – one pound” rule. Basically he recommends trying to eat at least one pound of raw green vegetables a day and one pound of cooked/steamed or frozen green vegetables a day as well. “Keep this goal in mind as you design and eat every meal,” he says.
My personal experience synchronises very nicely with Dr Fuhrman’s model. The more green vegies I include in my diet the more weight I lose, the clearer my skin becomes, and the more I feel completely satisfied with every single meal I eat.
If you are struggling to eat two pounds of green veggies per day in raw meals, then I strongly recommend you get them into your diet steamed. What matters most is getting them into your body – whether that is cooked or raw. As you increase the green component of your diet you’ll begin to crave them more and more, and can up the ratio of raw to cooked veggies.
A tip for enjoying your greens even more…
Lettuce and baby spinach can be used as a substitute for toast with any low-fat raw or cooked soups or stews. You can also make a mound of shredded lettuce or baby spinach and pour your soup or stew over the top. Lately I’ve been enjoying a cooked low-fat veggie chili recipe ladled over the top of chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce. This is a super delicious way of enjoying greens.
As Dr Fuhrman says, “The more greens you eat, the more weight you will lose. The high volume of greens not only will be your secret to a thin waistline but will simultaneous protect you against life-threatening illnesses.”
Now how about you? Have you found that increasing greens in your diet has helped with weightloss, or cravings, or both?
What are your favorite ways of eating greens? Please share your experiences in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you…