Too Much Weight Loss on a Raw Food Diet?

Posted on May 21st, 2009 in diet,eating,raw diet,raw food,raw food weight loss,raw vegan diet,vegan diet,weight loss by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate
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Most of those interested in the raw food diet are looking to lose weight… to release extra weight. But some are concerned about maintaining their weight when transitioning to a raw food diet.

Here’s a question I received recently:

Mark…I started on a raw food diet and juicing fruits and vegetables since a month ago, before that I was a vegan for 25 years now. This is my concern. I’m 90 pounds, 5 ft. 2 in tall, small boned, I do 1hr of cardio exercising. I dont want to lose anymore weight. I am used to small portions of solid food at lunch and take 4 glasses of raw vegetable or fruit juice. How can I retain my weight?

This isn’t uncommon, feel that you’re already at your optimal weight and don’t want to lose more.

This is similar to what I encountered when I first went raw myself, I felt as though I was losing too much weight and was concerned.

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What I found happens is that your body first releases everything when you first transition to raw, then it builds up your body with the higher quality food and nutrients so you gain weight back until you reach your optimal weight.. for you. I originally lost more than I expected and felt I was too thin, but over the next year or so gained extra weight plus added muscle by continuing to work out.

I recommend adding resistance and body weight exercises to your routine to add more muscle as well. That will help maintain your overall physique and weight.

I would also recommend adding more whole foods into your raw food diet. That will not only help with fiber, but also with more calories. Add more whole fruits for the same reason, especially if you are concerned with weight loss. Overall whole foods are superior in nutrition to juices since they are in their natural state. Juicing is fine and has its benefits, I just don’t recommend it over whole fruits and vegetables.

To your best health!


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25 Responses to 'Too Much Weight Loss on a Raw Food Diet?'

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  1. Tessie said,

    on May 26th, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks Mark for answering my concern to the letter. I have taken a body wt. routine to develop some muscles as I am too skinny. My raw food diet is doing wonders for my stamina, my skin is glowing and tight…more so than when I was a vegan eating a combination of cooked and raw food.

  2. Christiane' said,

    on July 4th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Hi Mark,

    I have been on a 90% raw diet for a month and I have GAINED weight — not lost weight. I am 5’3 and weigh 165 lbs. I gained 5 lbs in one week. I would love to loose weight! I eat fruit for breakfast with 1 slice of sprouted bread for lunch I have a raw food bar and for supper I have a medium salad, slide of sprouted bread and 1 raw food bar. The salad does have sliced avacado What am I doing wrong? I thought that eating raw foods would make one loose weight NOT GAIN weight.

  3. on July 4th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Christiane, Nice to hear from you and congrats on getting to 90% raw. Regarding your question about gaining vs. losing weight. It’s hard to answer without knowing a little more, but based on what you mentioned it sounds like you’re too high on fat, too high on concentrated, processed foods. Raw food bars are normally high in fat, processed and very concentrated. Sprouted bread is great for transitioning, but not raw and I’d recommend phasing it out. Not sure how much avocado you’re eating but I don’t recommend more than 1/2 of an avocado a day as long as you’re getting enough fruits and veggies in every day. And most importantly, I’d recommend much more fruit. It’s not only cleansing and will help you release weight that’s currently hanging around keeping the toxins safe until you release them with upping the amount of fruit. Think 75% fruit, 20% veggies and 5% fat (nuts, seeds, avos). I address this issue specifically along with the emotional triggers, hunger, cravings and much more in my 10 in 14 Raw series that talks about how to lose weight with raw food. Let me know how I can help further and how it works out Christiane! Mark

  4. Ahava said,

    on July 6th, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Wow, I’m so happy I found this site! Thanks for answering questions for us newbies to the Raw lifestyle.

    I have been Raw for about six weeks now and I too have gained weight. 4 pounds to be exact. I eat a lot of premade raw foods such as from Rawvolution , Glazer farms, and packaged raw from goraw and Two moms in the raw. This includes many raw desserts and flax crackers as well as a lot of raw nuts however after reading several raw cookbooks and guide books, I was under the impression that I did not have to track calories on this type of diet/lifestyle. Many of these books stress “eat to your hearts content”.

    I certainly feel great on the raw…. wouldn’t change this new way of living for the world, however weight loss would be a much needed great benefit !

    Any ideas on what i”m doin’ wrong???

  5. on July 8th, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Hi Ahava, Great to hear from you and thanks for posting your experience. Congratulations on making the switch! Glad you’re feeling good, that will help you when you run into challenges on your path. Regarding your question about gaining vs. losing weight going raw, it looks like you’re in a similar situation like Christiane above – too much fat. It’s not uncommon when you first raw to eat lots of fat because that keeps you filled up and it’s what most in the raw food movement recommend. However, the raw premade foods are still processed foods and most are really high in fat. It’s ok to have these occassionally and when transitioning, but in the long term your body will stop wanting to eat them. And you’ll want to switch to more fruit and veggies as the bulk of your diet to release the weight… and yes these you can ‘eat to your hearts content’. As I mentioned above, think 75% fruit, 20% veggies and 5% fat (nuts, seeds, avos). Also add lots of greens initially – that will help as well. I address this issue specifically along with the emotional triggers, hunger, cravings, meal plans and much more in my 10 in 14 Raw series that talks about how to lose weight with raw food. Let me know how I can help further and how it works out for you Ahava! Mark

  6. Ahava said,

    on July 12th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Thank You! and I will keep you posted!

  7. Christin said,

    on September 16th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Hi Mark!!
    I’ve been reading the comments above and find myself in a very similar situation. I finished a 20 day Master Cleanse ten days ago and lost a total of 15 lbs. I have been about 85-95% Raw Vegan ever since but I have not lost a single pound of weight. I have a green smoothie (60% organic fruit, 40% organic greens) I make a different kind every morning for veriety in my diet. the smoothies yield anywhere from 1 to 2 quarts. Then I will have a vegan lunch maybe about 3 medium forks full of organic vegan spinach noodles, a medium to large organic mixed green salad with raw low fat vegan dressing (very little dressing) and packed full of other veggies. Then for a snack I will have some dehydrated fruit or dehydrated veggie chips (maybe a 1/2 of cup) then 4 hours before bed I will finish off whats left of my green smoothie from the morning. Like everyone else…….What am I doing wrong???
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I would love it if you could be any help at all!! I have traveled this path of transition alone so far and done really well but I feel stuck and It’s time I reach out for help!
    Christin, TN

  8. on September 16th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Cristin, Welcome and congrats on your transition! Way to go! Regarding your question, every body is different in how it reacts and from what you’ve noted about your current diet, I would make the following suggestions. Most importantly, I’d recommend much more fresh whole fruit (melons, mangoes, bananas, berries, peaches, nectarines, apples, etc). They’re cleansing and will help you release extra weight by increasing the amount of whole fruit you consume. Think (in terms of calories) 75% fruit, 20% veggies and 5% fat (nuts, seeds, avos). Also since you’re goal is weight loss, I would also recommend eliminating the starches… noodles, and replacing them with more fruit or veggies. Let me know how I can help further and how it works out Christin! Mark P.S. I go over this issue along with the emotional triggers, hunger, cravings, recipes and much more in my 10 in 14 Raw series that talks about raw food weight loss, exactly what I did to shed my extra pounds :)

  9. DLee said,

    on December 2nd, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I am 5’3″ and have lost 10 1/2 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks. I eat virtually no processed foods, fruit until lunchtime, salads, nuts and some raw macaroons if I am really needing something ‘solid.’ My concern is that if I continue to lose, I will be too thin. I am taking the resistance/weights advice and will keep going. I feel way too good to stop. Sante!

  10. Jerard said,

    on February 10th, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Dear Friends.
    I have lost 9 KGs in exactly 35 days .It was an miracle of my life. I was on absolutely raw vegetables & fruits ! No cooked food. It is difficult for first 10 days … Then one see the miracle of weight loss ! Then ladies & gentlemen the satisfaction one get is tremendous. I used to exercise daily for 0 minutes. Some push up, some stomach exercise & so on. I also used to do little of breathing exercise…Yoga Inhale to the count of 3 hold breath exhale to the count of 9 hold breath 7 repeat it to your heart fill. ..the count is given for one to multiply by 3 eg 6 inhale 18 exhale & so on,,,, But remember no cooked Food. !!!! It worked with me then why not you….!! Fruits to eat …any.( never tried avocado ) lot of green salads for lunch & dinner …No sugar ! any food from Plants ….raw ! Nothing processed from Plant of Factories…!!! Never ever went to any dietician for the diet….It all started by my friend Haneef who lost from 110 Kg to 94 Kg from an yoga school …Sidha Samadhi yoga ( SSY).. I tried his advice … and lost 9 kgs …..I am now 75 kg…My target is 65 !!! Let us wait & watch… My only worry is if I will intake fertilisers alngwith Green Vegetables…!!!!! Though I do clean it in hot water !!!!

    Regards & all the best …Friends !


  11. Liz said,

    on August 17th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I have been eating raw for 4 1/2 years. I am 5’6 1/2 and I weigh 115lbs. I am doing a healing diet. I am concern that I am losing weight again. This healing diet is basically fresh orange juice’ fruit of smoothie ‘ large green salad with lemon and avovado, ALMOND MILK, fresh green juice. No salt or seasoning. Apples for snack.

  12. Amber said,

    on January 24th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I have just fully emerged into my raw foods lifestyle and in 2 days have lost 5 pounds. It concerned me, but now I am confident after the earlier responses. I will incorporate more fruits into my diet now, because I had no need to lose any extra weight. I am happy that I found this site as I go forward with ease! Thanks Mark!

  13. on January 24th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Sure thing Amber! Thanks for sharing. It’s quite normal to lose even though you don’t need to. I went through the same experience and re-gained weight to my optimal weight after some time. Keep us updated on your progress or if we can help. All the best!

  14. Victoria said,

    on January 26th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I am 5’9 and i weigh 150 pounds. I am completely vegetarian, but would really love to transition to a completely raw diet. My main concern is my allergies. I have anaphylaxis to peanuts,cashews,avocados,soy,shellfish,preservatives, and like a billion other things lol. I would like to lose quite a bit of weight and would really love if you could tell me the best way to. Thank you so so much! xo

  15. hooman said,

    on April 3rd, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Hi friends
    I decided to have raw diet, so I staryed with fruits as breakfast first about 4 months ago, but I lost about 10Kg weight up to now,however I wasn’t fat at all, 180cm and 74Kg, and my profession is sport! just 4 days ago I decided to have 100% raw diet and lost about 1 kg again. before fruit eating I hadn’t any extra fat but seems I lost muscles. I tried to eat more nuts and seeds but I felt warm and afraid of push on my liver so I modrate it. so, how can I get back to the previous weight again with raw diet? thanks :)

  16. on April 3rd, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Hi Victoria,
    Sure thing, one of the benefits of a raw diet is that you won’t be eating most of the foods you mentioned and over time, your allergic reactions to most foods may go away. That’s been my experience and that of many others after you transition to a raw food diet. The best way to start is to eliminate processed foods and replace them with lots of fruits. Then add more greens and veggies and you’ll slowly lose taste for processed foods and start enjoying primarily fresh fruits and greens and will lose your cravings so staying raw becomes much easier. Feel free to check out my raw food diet weight loss program if you need more help. Take care, Mark

  17. on April 3rd, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Nice to hear from you! Sure thing, I had a similar experience where I lost more weight than I was comfortable with and it took about a year to a year and half to regain the weight naturally. Your system seems to clean out what it needs to and then resets back to your optimal weight after it’s done cleaning out. You’re right, more nuts and seeds doesn’t help, I would recommend keeping it low fat and stay on the same course and with time you’ll get to your optimal weight. You can increase your fruit intake and that may speed up the process. Experiment and let me know how it works out for you. Mark

  18. Michelle said,

    on May 20th, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Dear forum, I’m just about to embark on a raw food diet. I’m 28 pounds overweight but although I want to lose weight, I’m concerned that as a lady e.g. bust and pear shaped – my face and bust won’t look great with rapid weight loss (as my weight is all from the neck down). I want to look healthy! What are your views please. Thank you in advance. Michelle

  19. daisy said,

    on January 16th, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Hey i have been vegetarian for 6 years since i was 15 and gained 15kgs and ate junk food, been vegan for 6 months and have recently turned 80%raw, i have lost about 10 kgs and am hopeing to lose 5kgs, im sure i will . My cravings have gone and i feel so healthy and am getting stronger. Thanx for your info. I eat about 10% fat, 40% fruit, 50% veg. I am trying to up my fruit as i find it expensive

  20. on January 16th, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Hey Daisy, sure thing, great to hear your experience. Very inspirational! Like you, I found the more fruit I ate, the better I felt. Come back anytime and let us know how you’re doing or if we can help! Mark

  21. Clair said,

    on February 28th, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Hi I’m on a High tower fruit and low fat and raw veg diet but I
    Do scared I feel like I have lost to much weight I have never been over weight I just want to have better health I don’t know what I’m doing wrong?

  22. Joy said,

    on March 16th, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I decided to try the whole raw food lifestyle out because I have a lot of weight to lose. I have been on it for 8 days now and have lost 11 pounds, but what amazes me most about it is how I feel. I suffer from bipolar, anxiety depression and Agoraphobia, and I am pretty much a shut in (I leave the house, but never to public places unless I am feeling really strong, which isn’t often) So back to me switching my diet to raw foods… I’m not depressed! what in the world! I have lived most of my life with this horrible grey cloud over my head and now it’s gone! I don’t even know how to react to it and I’m so afraid this feeling will go away. I wake up with a smile on my face ooo and energy, I have energy, which is really un heard of for me lol. I really hope it will help with my agoraphobia, I actually have the desire to go out and my husband said maybe I should try going to this raw food store we have close by to see how I do in public. I think I might just do it. Anyways my whole point was has anyone else had this happen to them and if so does this feeling stay? I wasn’t expecting it to make me happy.

  23. yetta said,

    on May 23rd, 2012 at 5:28 am

    I have over 150 pounds to lose and lost 15 in 7 days had swollen feet and have lost 6 inches from my waist more inches all
    over my body and I feel amazing. What a great lifestyle

  24. on May 23rd, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience and great to hear of your progress! Stay in touch and all the best on your journey.

  25. Morgan said,

    on July 11th, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Hi Mark, I just started my raw food diet a couple of days ago, and I feel great! I’ve been a vegetarian before, but like the raw food diet better. A raw food diet is going to be a great lifestyle for me. I’m doing this life change not only to get healthy, but to lose weight too. I was wondering how long it would take me to lose 99 pounds on this diet while exercising 6 days a week? I really want to become a very fit and healthy person, and I know by making this change I can achieve that.