Why You Shouldn’t Overeat On A Raw Diet

Over the last few years, talk in the raw vegan community has swung away from a science-based understanding of caloric requirements toward a model which insists that even small, sedentary people should be eating an amount of calories which can potentially cause weight gain.

The matter is made even more confusing because some people can be quite thin while eating many more calories than they seem to require using basal metabolic rate estimates, while others quickly start putting on weight.

I know from experimentation that my own caloric requirements are several hundred calories lower than BMR calculators like cronometer.com suggest, and I can gain fat by eating more calories than my body requires.

So when someone tells you that you need to be eating at least 3,000 calories a day when you’re 5’1, and sedentary, should you listen?

In this video I discuss some of the factors that can influence how many calories you require.

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6 Responses to “Why You Shouldn’t Overeat On A Raw Diet”

  1. Annalise says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!! Exactly my thoughts.

    Although I do recognize they are told to “eat up” because that will make the diet easier to stay on. If you eat a caloric deficit, you will get cravings for cooked food. So YES its a good strategy to stay raw. But its NOT a good strategy to lose weight. I have an eBook called The Fruit Predominant Diet which allows you to have the best of both worlds. You can eat fruit most of the day, then eat a lower-calorie cooked dinner. This allows a vast majority of the raw food benefits without having the detox and wild swings of a 100% raw diet.

  2. Marina says:

    Thanks Andrew! I agree… I do not understand why would anyone want to overeat! However, I believe that the advice has been generally misinterpreted. I believe that the advice was “eat protions that seem larg in comaprison to the SAD portions”.

  3. Carol says:

    So glad you brought this up. I am only 5ft tall and I know I do not need over 2,000 calories a day and yet I kept seeing other fruitarians and raw foodists trying to push people into eating ridiculously high calories and I did gain weight when I started going raw fruitarian because I overate on bananas and dates and gained weight. Now that I learned my very painful lesson, I am now only eating whats right for my size and thankfully the weight is slowly coming off. I have a super slow metabolism and cannot lose much fat at a time like some people. Dr Joel Furhman actually prefers people eat less calories. He recommends eating 1200 calories if you’re eating a high nutrient diet.

  4. andrea says:

    So stoked for this video. I’ve been eating high carb, low fat, raw vegan since january. I knew that it would take a while before my stomach adjusted to the bigger, more hydrated foods I was taking in. I heard that not eating enough calories was one of the biggest reasons why people can’t stick with. I love eating this way, and I stopped my drugs and stopped binging and fasting, but in trying to achieve the minimum caloric intake some people are promoting (2000 for ladies minimum) I usually feel way overstuffed, to the point of being sick, and often don’t want to be around other people or do anything. I’ve also gained 15lbs. Ya some people say that it takes time for your body to heal, and my body has a lot of healing to do, but it’s hard to understand why gaining weight is part of the process of healing. I’m feeling great and want to do everything and run everywhere but i also wanna hide cause i’m even more overweight now than I was before. I’m only 5’2′ and it’s hard to hide the excess weight. It’s nice to hear a contrary opinion to the ones being toted!

    • Hey Andrea.

      Yes, it sounds like you’ve been taking in too many calories.

      Waiting for some mythical tipping point at which point the weight will start to come off despite eating too many calories sounds like a dubious plan to me.

      So the key is not to do something dramatic like dramatically cut your calories.

      Instead, plan to run a small caloric deficit, knowing that if you go too low you’ll likely have significant cravings and start binging.

      Slow and steady :)

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