Why raw food is not the (only) answer for weight loss
Raw food can absolutely help with losing weight but it’s not the only way at all and it’s not wise to look at it as such.
To lose weight successfully, we have to understand that there are other factors that are even more important than the diet itself.
First, let’s take a look at why raw food is so beneficial for weight loss?
Well, let’s just compare calories per bite of raw and cooked food. 1 cup of peaches, for example, has 87 calories and 1 cup of cooked rice has 205 calories.
That’s quite a difference, right?
You are basically eating way more food on a raw food diet than on cooked, and that’s what makes it super easy.
Besides that, it’s waaaay more nutritious.
But even when we know this OBVIOUS reason why raw food is such an easy way to lose weight, it can be extremely difficult to actually eat this way.
We are missing one big thing when it comes to weight loss.
It’s not all about the diet (even though it makes it much easier).
You could actually be losing weight on ANY kind of diet.
Yes, even extremely unhealthy ones. You could be eating cakes and STILL lose weight.
(But of course, I don’t recommend this.)
THE MISSING PIECE: EMOTIONS
Most people focus almost entirely on the physical aspects of losing weight – diet and exercise.
But for the majority of people, that’s simply not enough at all.
There is an emotional component to it that’s usually overlooked but it’s equally important. This can quickly sabotage all of their efforts.
The thing is, our bodies KNOW how much food is needed. They just know.
But we aren’t really connected with our bodies enough anymore and that’s what makes it hard. We stopped listening to our bodies because our emotions got in the way.
The emotions are the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to losing weight.
A recent national survey found that only 1 of 10 Americans thought psychological well-being was a factor when it comes to weight loss.
31 percent thought a lack of exercise was the problem, followed by those who said diet is the most important factor (26%) and the cost of a healthy lifestyle (17%). Another 12 percent said the biggest barrier to weight loss was the necessary time commitment.
Studies also show that nearly 2 out of 3 people will gain the weight back, and the more weight you lose, the less your chances of keeping it off.
So it is more important than ever to understand that in order to lose weight AND keep it off, we need to do more than just eat right and exercise enough.
We also need to understand the reasons WHY we are eating in the first place.
From a very young age, we are actually conditioned to emotionally attach to food. As children, we are given treats as a reward for being good.
Most celebrations are focused primarily on food – just think about it. Chocolates for Valentine’s day, turkey, and stuffing for Thanksgiving, candies for Halloween. And we mustn’t forget about the birthday cake, right?
We use food not only for nourishment but as a way to comfort ourselves as well.
Every time we experience something pleasurable, our brain releases a neurotransmitter known as dopamine, that makes us feel good.
So even something small – like your grandma’s freshly baked cookies can create an emotional connection for a lifetime.
When we are having a bad day, we like to comfort ourselves with food in the evening. This can happen all the time. Eating when stressed, bored, hurt. All of that is eating because we want to feel different.
Because the positive feelings from the past are stuck in that certain food and by eating that food, we want to bring back those feelings.
I recommend you start practicing mindful eating to connect with your body again.
Nowadays, there is so much stress and so much to do. We are constantly running around, having endless to-do lists, and we simply don’t take the time just for ourselves. So we eat when working or doing other things. Because of that, we tend to overeat a lot.
START TRACKING YOUR FOOD AND YOUR MOOD
I also recommend writing a food journal. It’s important to track not only your food but also your mood at the moment that you eat.
Try tracking all of these things: time of eating, what did you eat, how were you feeling prior to eating and how hungry you were on a scale from 1-10 (And by hunger, I mean physical hunger).
IDENTIFY UNHEALTHY PATTERNS
After tracking your food and mood for a while, you’ll soon notice patterns. When you feel lonely, you want chocolate. When you are having a bad day, you want mac and cheese and so on.
Then identify if those foods evoke a memory from the past. If they do, this is a craving for an exact feeling that made you feel good in the past. It’s time to break those positive connections with the food.
If they don’t evoke a memory from the past, then you are just stressed, or feeling down. You are eating emotionally. Any food will do in this case.
When this happens, we have to dive deep to find the root of the problem. It is usually caused by some traumatic events from the past that still hold a lot of emotional tension. Dealing with those problems in a right way will also help to minimize our emotional eating.
This was the case with Jennifer, a 31-year-old from Miami. Her job is very stressful and after she started doing all those things above, she could identify the emotional connection she had with food.
She noticed she ate every night as a way to relax and comfort herself. When she started clearing all those connections, she slowly started to lose weight (more than 50 pounds!). And she kept the weight off until this day.
Before that, she tried everything. Different diets and workout programs but nothing lasted. The important thing is to change ourselves and how we deal with stress, emotions, and anxiety.
Our goal is to take the emotions out of the food and start to see food as just food. Not as a reward or a coping mechanism, but as a nourishment and not much else.
And this is definitely NOT about the willpower. Not at all. We have to deal with our emotions first. Otherwise, we’ll be going in circles all the time.
We will repeat the same patterns over and over again.
So, in order to be successful, you have to start eating mindfully, plus tracking your food and your mood to identify unhealthy patterns that are causing you to self-sabotage.
Then it’s time to break all those positive connections to foods that trigger us.
I can help with all of that. As a matter of fact, I’m offering a free 30 minute “Get your body back” Coaching Session.