One of the more frequently asked questions we get here on Young and Raw is whether or not someone can go raw or do a raw cleanse without losing weight. It’s totally understandable to be concerned about this especially if you are already at a low weight. The first thing to consider is that there are many reasons one would take on a raw food diet or cleanse that do not involve weight loss.
Why Do A Raw Food Cleanse?
Some people do it to gain more energy, to feel more deeply nourished, to heal ailments and dis-eases, or just to experiment. Another thing to keep in mind is that a raw food diet or cleanse is not synonymous with weight loss. While it is true that many people commonly shed unwanted pounds when they begin their raw journeys, not all do. Our bodies are very wise, and they know exactly what they are doing. Fueling your body with tons of raw foods may just lead to increased health and no weight loss at all, if that is what the body needs. Remember that a strict raw cleanse may not be what your body needs either, so pay close attention to yourself. Sometimes it’s a safe and more gentle route to simply introduce more fresh and whole foods into your diet while leaving whole, cooked items in as well.
What I generally say is that it is possible that you will lose weight on a raw foods diet or on a raw food cleanse, even if you are already at a low weight, because your body will still be ridding itself of built up toxins. This weight you release will most likely be weight your body needed to release.
Then, once you have completed your cleanse or once your body has finished cleansing, presuming you are eating adequate calories to support your ideal body weight, you should put all necessary weight back on. The body is very wise and it will generally not continue to do something that is detrimental to its health and survival. It will be your job to make sure you are in fact eating enough to support a healthy weight. Then as you put needed weight back on, you will know that it’s healthy, necessary weight gain.
What If I Start To Lose Too Much Weight?
You may release some weight during a cleanse that you feel is too much, however, if you continue to eat in a way that supports your overall health, and your overall healthy weight, your body will do the best thing for you and your health by regaining what is needed. If you feel like you’re losing too much weight, or you have trouble putting weight back on after a cleanse, it may be time to slow things down and seek guidance.
There are ways of gently encouraging the body to detox without going on a full-blown raw foods cleanse if you feel the weight loss factor is something that hinders you. Here are some tips for detoxing that should be gentle on your system and help you to retain needed weight.
10 Ways To Detox Gently Without Going 100% Raw
1. Start your morning with fresh lemon juice in room temperature water: This little drink taken before food will cause the gallbladder to contract, which will stimulate the liver and cause an emptying of the colon. This means you will be cleansing your body of built up waste in your digestive system as you stimulate the function of your liver. All you need to do is juice 1/2-1 lemon into 1 liter of water, stir and drink! Again this is best done on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. This will also re-hydrate your body after your long nights sleep which will help flush your body of toxins and help your organs to function optimally.
2. Dry skin brush: The skin is the bodies largest detox organ. When you skin brush you are not only stimulating the release of toxins through your skin, you are also helping to move the lymph fluid that runs through your body. Your lymph system is also known as the bodies “garbage dump system” meaning that toxins and impurities tend to build up in the lymph fluid to be filtered out of the body. By stimulating the lymphatic system with a dry skin brush you will be helping to move toxins through your lymph and out of your body. You will also be encouraging the release of toxins through your skin. You can learn more about skin brushing here.
3. Add raw juice and smoothies to your diet: You can reap the healing and cleansing benefits of raw juices and raw smoothies without having to commit to a full-blown raw juice feast or raw cleanse. Simply add a juice or two to your regular diet, and/or add a raw smoothie to your breakfast or lunch. You can even have a juice or a smoothie as a healthy snack option between your regular meals. These drinks will help to gently cleanse the system as well as boosting your nutritional intake which will help your body function optimally.
4. Up the fiber: Adding a little extra fiber to your diet through the inclusion of chia seeds, extra fruits, extra greens or extra veggies will help to keep your digestive system moving along which will work to keep your whole body clean and clear. Fiber helps to pull toxins along the digestive tract so that they can be effectively eliminated. If you do not consume enough fiber it is possible for toxins to be reabsorbed in the colon rather than being eliminated. Again, you do not have to eat all of the above mentioned foods raw, nor do you have to eliminate cooked foods. Some wonderful cooked fiber sources include: lentils, steamed sweet potatoes, beans, peas and quinoa.
5. Eat adequate protein: Eating adequate protein is important in order to support the general function of your liver. Getting between 0.8 – 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight is a great range to shoot for. Adding foods like hemp seeds, extra greens, spirulina and avocado to your diet will help you reach your target. You do not want to go over board with protein, especially in supplemental form. Both too little and too much protein will be harmful for the system so it is best to stay in the recommended range.
6. Eat foods containing sulphur: Sulphur rich foods support the liver and its detoxification work. Instead of focusing on eating all raw foods, add some food like cabbage, brussels sprouts, garlic, onions and cauliflower to your daily routine to reap the gentle cleansing benefits. You do not need to consume these foods raw to get the benefits either! Some steamed brussels sprouts or broccoli added to your lunch or dinner will still give you the sulphur you need to support your body.
7. Add sea veggies to your diet: Sea veggies are also known as seaweeds. Think dulse, kelp, kombu, bladderwrack and wakame. These sea vegetables help to reduce swelling, clear excess buildup in the colon, clear mucus from the body, and help to nourish the thyroid gland. Chlorella is especially cleansing as it helps to pull heavy metals from the system. Sea veggies can be added to soups, stews, salads, salad dressings and more!
8. Go raw until dinner: Eating your breakfast, lunch and snacks raw followed by a whole foods cooked dinner may be just the balanced approach your body needs to gently begin the process of detoxing without running the risk of losing too much weight. Having a nice big raw smoothie for breakfast, snacking on fruits, veggies nuts and seeds throughout the day, making a large raw salad for lunch then eating a warm meal for dinner is a perfect way to nourish your body and support your detox organs while still providing your body with concentrated calories.
9. Sit in a steam room: Like I mentioned in the tip about skin brushing, your skin is your bodies largest detox organ. By sitting in a steam room or sauna you will be encouraging the release of several toxins from your body though your sweat. You can also do this through exercise!
10. Breath deeply: Did you know that your lungs are one of your main detox organs? It is so easy to go days on end never taking a full, deep inhale and a full deep exhale. Your lungs filter 150 to 180 litres of blood a day. Your lungs will help to remove toxic gases like carbon dioxide from your blood, replacing it with fresh oxygen to be delivered to your cells. The more deeply you breath the more effective this exchange will be. Try sitting comfortably with your eyes closed for 5 to ten minutes a day while focusing on breathing as deeply and fully as you can. You may be surprised by how amazing it makes you feel.
Lastly, if you would like to try a full cleanse program that is a little less intense than a fully raw cleanse, check out our 30 Day R.E.A.L Food Meal Plans.
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