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Tuesday
Oct202009

Raw Mistake # 4: Not getting enough calories.

Today we're going to look at the fourth of The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes.

Raw Mistake # 4: 
Not getting enough calories.

No matter what type of diet you're on, it’s important to make sure you're eating enough calories to fuel your body. If you don't, you'll always feel hungry and your diet will fail.  One of the common frustrations of inexperienced raw-vegans is not getting enough calories.   They start out eating fruits and vegetables, but they always feel hungry.  This leads to cheating with cooked foods.  Eventually, they end up eating lots of dried fruit, nuts and avocados because they’re the only raw things that seem to keep them feeling full.  As we saw in Raw Mistake # 2, a diet high in fats and heavy foods is hard to digest.  If you eat this way, you'll experience digestive problems and feel tired after every meal.

This inability to escape heavy foods is due to a simple misunderstanding...  If you’re getting most of your calories from nuts, fats, grains, or meat and you stop eating them, of course you’ll feel hungry.  That's basic math.  The thing is, you shouldn’t have been relying on those dense foods in the first place.  Remember, we want a vast majority of our calories to be coming from simple carbohydrates — in other words, fresh fruit.  What you need to keep in mind is that fruits and vegetables have a high water content, which is why they’re less dense than dried foods.  Because of this you need to eat a larger volume of fruits and vegetables than you would eat of denser foods in order to get the same amount of calories.

It will likely surprise you just how much fruit you actually need to eat in a day to supply your body.  It may even take your stomach a while to get used to the volume, since it may have shrunken a bit after years of a concentrated, cooked-food diet.  But don’t despair — you’ll get used to it fairly quickly.  I've found that it can be really helpful if you figure out your personal daily calorie quota.  It differs from person to person, but a ballpark number for an average-sized person with an average activity level is around 2000 calories.

To give you a general idea of how much fruit that is, you could get 2000 calories from the following combination:

  • 10 bananas
  • 3 apples
  • 3 pears
  • 1 cup berries
  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado

This may sound like a lot; especially if you aren’t used to eating a raw-vegan diet.  It's really not though.  I actually eat about 50% more than this on most days.  Keep in mind that your size and activity level will determine how many calories you personally need to consume.  You’ll be able to fine-tune this for yourself later, but for now we’ll keep with the 2000 calories figure as a good starting point for the average person.  I’ll show you how easy it can be to eat this much fruit in Raw Mistake # 5

What I want you to get from this article is that you'll need to get used to eating a larger volume of food than what you've eaten in the past.  This is simply because of the water content in fruits and vegetables.  Keep in mind also that some fruit like bananas have more calories than really watery fruit, like citrus fruit and melons.  Bananas are the main ingredient in my smoothies, which comprise the bulk of my diet.  What it comes down to is, if you don’t eat enough calories, you’ll always feel hungry.  That’s basic logic.  It’s simply a matter of making sure you eat enough fruit to satisfy yourself.  Eat plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables and you'll always feel satisfied and full of energy.

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Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

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