So let’s say your goal is to lose weight? For whatever reason: health concerns, vanity, comfort….I get asked this quite often. Your thinking that putting yourself on a “vegan diet” may help you reach your goal. You are right and wrong. Our world is so consumed with fad diets and quick fixes, and if you’re approaching veganism as a diet, you’re going to fall into the same trap as all the Weight Watchers fanatics of our world. I think we need to shift the way we think about weight and dieting. For lasting change, we need a lifestyle change, not a diet. You need to take the time to get in tune with your own body and discover what fruits and veggies you love and try new ones! Everyone wants the quick fix and for someone to tell you exactly what is right for you to eat. I think that takes the beauty out of the journey of learning to eat consciously, a journey that allows you to really get in tune with how your body responds to certain foods and also experimenting and expanding your food choices.
When I think about weight…I think WASTE. People find that the more that they eat fresh vegetables and fruits, the “weight” just falls off. Why? Because you are literally flushing your system out, and you are eating foods that are high in water content and fiber as well as lovely nutrients. Over time, if you are eating this way you may hit a plateau and then changing up your workout routine and challenging your body fitness-wise will help you break through that. What I tell people who are eating everything and anything from meat to processed foods, is to try taking the simple step of replacing big breakfasts with a green juice or smoothie and getting in a least one big salad a day. Want to up the ante a bit more, make that morning smoothie a power smoothie and add in some super food powers or a powder supplement that has a lot of nutrients. This gives your body time to process food from the day before in the morning, and jump starts your day!
Doing this will start to make you feel different. You will start to feel more energized and therefore make better food choices and have energy to spare to get back on a good exercise regimen. A good friend of mine in New York years back who was overweight took me up on this advice and when I saw him months later, I barely recognized him! For all the already mostly raw foodies, the only thing that can really add weight to your frame is eating a lot of nut heavy foods. Other than that, its pretty much a lifestyle that should naturally allow you to reach and maintain a healthy weight as long as you are getting enough variety of foods and nutrients.
At the end of the day, I think it’s always more important to focus on how you look and feel, rather than how much you weigh. My former trainer is a great example. This woman weighs more than me but is leaner and ten times stronger than I am by far. Working with her brought home the message that everyone, especially women need to embrace if they are looking to lose weight. Strength building and muscle-building are going to help you NOT hinder you. As you gain muscle you will be leaner, stronger, and burning more fat throughout the day. Now, I’m all about weight training at least 3-4 times a week, and my primary concern is what my body fat percentage is, not my weight.
The last point that is very important is a spiritual and psychological component. If you are overweight, you may have destructive eating habits that take the place of processing your emotions in a healthy way. This is nothing to ignore, because resolving these core emotional issues can be the catalyst to your transformation. Everything works from the inside out. Start within, don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself, and there’s no way you cannot reach your goal. –XoXo Raw Girl