That is my question this weekend. I’ve just seen a “famous name” come to town looking worse than I ever did at my heaviest (okay, this person definitely needs a good stylist, or at least some serious advice as to how to dress when you are carrying that much extra poundage) I could not stay at the event because I am allergic to people who are telling me what to do when it looks to me like whatever they are doing would be very dangerous for me (I DO NOT WANT TO BE FAT AGAIN). Twenty dollars down the tubes, or maybe not!!!!! I have never read this person’s books, and now I am wondering about my resistance … Now, I do not think I ever want to, even though this person is a well-known top-selling author in the raw food field, on everyone’s “best books” list.

So, how can you be raw and be fat?

Natural hygiene should help with weight control, I would think.

Eating whole foods without any added sugars/sweeteners of any sort should help keep weight down.

Eating food in some sort of reasonable ratio of carbohydrates to protein and fat (40-30-30, or 50-25-25, or 55- 25-20) should help people stay slim.

To date, I have seen two “big name” raw food people whose weight is, in my view, out of control, if not obese (okay, obese in my book is 20 plus pounds over … as a former blimp, I panic at a 10 lb. gain — I knowhow easy it is to put on weight if you are not looking). If I am to believe these so-called gurus, and believe that they are, in fact, 100% raw, as we are led to believe, then I must begin to consider that they are eating too much of the “transition” foods… those which are hight in sweeteners and/or dried fruit.

Seeing these people sends me fleeing back to a high protein and fat- low carbohydrate diet. Such a diet allows me a lot of food, as long as I moderate my diet to include sufficient protein (30%) in relation to the amount of carbohydrate (40%), and the amount of fat (30%)

I can do this by the meal — and by meal, I mean “eating session”. I can imagine myself eating Lara bars non-stop, but I must stop and examine the amount of protein to the carbs and fats, otherwise, despite the goodness of raw food, I will get fat. Okay, that is work… looking at raw vegan protein sources, and figuring out how much protein/carb/fat is in each one)

I really do think, though, that managing “sweets” (additives to make food sweet), is probably the way to get fat on raw food. That is true in my life… If I up my consumption of banana ice cream, I will gain weight. If I require myself to balance all carb consumption with protein and fat, I will probably keep my weight in check



  1. It is really funny that you say that because I was at a Raw cooking demo and all of the women there were what I would consider overweight. They were also saying that they were 100% Raw and I didn’t really believe them.

    Our demo leader however had lost 50 lbs over 5 years – I think that is spectacular – she’s about 90% Raw.

    I just wonder how int he world it could happen with a balance – and wouldn’t the gurus know to balance?

    • I am thinking that the people who “maintain” their weight, i.e. are not as slim and trim as I think people at that height should be, may well be raw, but are just really enjoying all the sweets and treats that can be prepared with honey, agave, or maple syrup, and nuts and fruit. High carbohydrate counts are still high carbohydrate counts, and indulging in high carb food regularly can and will add to one’s girth (A year or so ago, I got into making raw fruit and nut bars, and making cakes with recipes which used sweeteners. I put on about 20 lbs that I did not want. I cut out the fun stuff, and started food combining, and finally got the weight off. Now, I just eat sweets sometimes, when I go out to restaurants – maybe once a month)
      Brenda Cobb says that a 75-80% raw diet is good enough… well, what are people doing for the other 20% and what are they doing on their 75-80% raw? Rich complicated recipes are fun, but they are a sure way to pack on the pounds.

  2. Honestly I think wrong food combining eating late at night before bed and lack of exercise causes weight gain on a raw food diet. Eating lots of fruit does not cause weight gain if you are and active person and expend enough of the calories you put in. I love to walk and last winter I lost 50 pounds in 3 months by eating raw mono meals at least twice a day. Nuts and avocado etc were consumed to a minimum but I did eat them. Also I ate alot of raw green leafy vegetables with apple cider vinegar as dressing. Some rawfoodists believe in using exotic salts and “natural” sweetners, however fruits and vegetables provide enough glycogen for our bodies. We don’t need to be making sweetners even if they are so called natural. The problem I have found is that alot of rawfoodists believe that they need to be able to recreate every cooked food known to man in the rawfood version. This may sound harsh but some people have had such an unhealthy relationship with food that they need to ween off of certain foods completely without finding a healthy alternative. People need to rediscover their healthy palates and enjoy the natural taste of food in it’s natural form and eat enough of it and truly enjoy it. Natural fruits and vegetables are delicious! By the way I have kept the weight off and lost an additional ten. I could have lost more but during this past spring and summer I was swayed off of my rawfood diet a touch and that was enough to stabalize my weight. I am now back for good, because I feel amazing eating and living this way. Thank you so much I appreciate this article and everyone’s feedback! Best of Luck to you all!

  3. You wrote:
    “A lot of Raw Food people also eat raw dairy and raw nuts.”
    My blog is focused on raw vegan diet. Dairy does not come into the equation. I, personally, cannot consume dairy items, so I know that that is not an issue in weight gain for someone like me.

    Yes, I will agree with you about raw nuts. If people rely too intensively on “gourmet” recipes, which contain serious amounts of macadamia nuts, pine nuts, and “young Thai” coconut, i.e., high carb nuts, and do not consume a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, sprouted seeds, and raw nuts, th they are more likely to gain weight. Actually, when I wrote the comment, I already had my own ideas as to what is going on with the hefty raw food “gurus”. If you but read their books and watch their videos, you can easily understand how people like Viktoria Boutenko, the Graffs, and Alisa Cohen “keep their weight up”.
    Regardless of what someone’s focus is, if they are eating right, they will not get fat on raw food. If one’s goal is tremove chemicals and preservatives from the diet, there is no need to go to a raw vegan diet. A good vegan diet will do that. With care, even a carnivorous diet can be done. .
    In my practice, I deal with people who are all over the spectrum as far as what they want to eat, what they want to achieve, and what they are willing to do. I help them work out nutrition plans that will work for them, their goals, their desires, and their willingness.

    In my personal life, I prefer to follow a raw vegan diet. That is the focus of my blog. My blog is more hard-line than my nutrition practice, because my blog is about my personal interests and my personal life. The people who are normally attracted to my blog are those who fancy themselves interested in a raw food lifestyle, or those who are already involved in a raw food lifestyle.

    Many people I know observe a semi-raw lifestyle, i.e., they eat a lot of salads and like to go to raw restaurants from time to time. In my practice, I work with people who want to observe a 60-75% raw diet, and that’s fine. That’s just not me.

    On a raw vegan blog, I shouldn’t need to worry about people who choose to eat a lot of dairy cheese, milkshakes, and ice cream. I would not expect them to show up on my blog.

    The things I think cause weight gain, besides unconscious eating, are uncontrolled, constant snacking, poor food combining (which also brings about indigestion), and poor food choices.

    ” If your proportion of naturally fatty raw foods are higher than fruits and veggies, it’s pretty easy to pack on a few pounds.”
    Raw foods which are high in fat do not make you fat unless that is all you eat, and/or you overdo it. Even the AMA has started back-pedaling on their hard line about fat causing weight gain. The AMA now counsels the public to eat a diet containing at least 30% *good* fats (curious – that is pretty much what Atkins espoused). Fat is necessary for the body. It allows the body to construct cell walls, among other things. A fair amount of fat in a raw vegan diet will help stave off cravings for fatty cooked foods. Since foods high in good fats (like avocados, raw nuts, and raw seeds, as well as extra virgin oils) used responsibly, will normally go to create very filling foods, they are not likely to cause weight gain.
    What I have seen cause weight gain is irresponsible reliance on what are called “transitional” foods, which are often served in raw food restaurants because they are exciting, unusual, exotic, too much trouble to make at home, or any combination of the above. People who make a living selling cookbooks and videos which contain such recipes are susceptible to weight gain simply because they are working in a high carb field.

    Now, there are folks who think hefty is attractive, and they will work to maintain that. I don’t think that hefty is desirable, and I do think that excess weight is a health issue. That’s me. I reduced my body weight by 100 lbs. and I am happy where I am. When I work with weight-reduction clients, I work to what they want to achieve. It is often hard to imagine oneself thin if one is 100 to 200 lbs overweight. In my case, I went by sizes. I wanted to be a size 12. When I passed that, I wanted to be a size 6. When I passed that, I wanted to see what was possible. I did this under the supervision of two separate doctors – one whom I did not trust as far as I could throw her and the other whom I trusted implicitly. The first began to try to sabotage me when I passed a size 8. The other one told me she would tell me if I began to look anorexic, and cheered on each of my successes.
    If people wish to be heavy-set, that is, of course, their prerogative. I do not have to find them attractive or healthy-looking. If I do not believe that they are eating healthily, based on what I know about nutrition and diet, then that is my right. The only person I really need to worry about is me, but I do have the right to have opinions.

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