Staying successfully raw isn’t just about finding a daily routine or gathering an entire collection of recipes that work for you. Throughout the years, I have learned that in order to successfully maintain a diet high in raw plant-based foods, it is absolutely necessary to take in enough calories and nutrients to keep your body functioning properly. Therefore, I was highly intrigued when the following question of one of my lovely subscribers popped up in my mailbox several days ago:
“Since becoming 80/10/10 raw vegan I've lost and continue to lose weight in spite of eating all day. I've tried increasing fats but only became bloated and had severe loose stool. I use Cron-o-meter for my calorie count and do take that into consideration on the days that I exercise. I feel great, sleep well, have loads of energy but am slowly turning into ‘Flat Stanley’. Any suggestions?”
Before I answer this intriguing question, let me give you a quick overview of what the low fat raw vegan diet – also called 80/10/10 – is all about. Lifetime athlete and doctor Douglas Graham first created the 80/10/10 method about 30 years. According to Dr. Graham, the ideal ratio of nutrients to support health is:
- 80% carbohydrates
- 10% protein
- 10% fat
“By meeting our needs for carbohydrates, we tend to feel great energy and mental clarity”, he states.
Low Fat Raw Vegans usually start their day with several glasses of green smoothie or huge portions of fresh fruit in order to obtain the calories they need to thrive. Their lunch often consists of several extra glasses of green smoothie, a big bowl of low fat soup with some added avocado for extra creaminess, or just more sweet fruits. For dinner, the 80/10/10 diet suggests having a large salad with mixed leafy greens, savory fruits such as celery, tomato and bell pepper, and sweet fruits for flavor & extra calories. Graham advises to consume at least one pound of leafy greens a day to supply protein and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.
A low fat raw vegan dinner might also consist of a huge plate of cucumber or zucchini pasta with a sweet or savory sauce. Foods high in fat such as avocado, nuts and seeds make up about 10% of the overall diet, so they are generally limited to one small serving a day. I have never tried out a strict 80/10/10 diet, but I do feel best when I limit my intake of fats – even the healthy ones. I have learned to listen to my body, and I call my ‘customized’ diet the 70/15/15 lifestyle: 70% carbohydrates, 15% fats and 15% protein.
Many raw food enthusiasts fail to stay successfully raw just because they try to get all their calories from fats instead of carbohydrates and protein. Therefore, it is very important to find a healthy balance that makes you feel at your best.
Are you curious to find out more about the 80/10/10 lifestyle and how you can maintain a healthy weight on a low fat raw vegan diet? Check out my first 3 tips right here.