The following information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. It is valuable to seek the advice of an alternative health care professional before making any changes.
Do you happen to carry extra weight even though you have been eating 100% Raw or high raw for many years?
I have noticed a common pattern with people who experience being overweight as raw foodists: in the past, most of these people were overweight to at least some extent. When someone first becomes overweight on a Standard American Diet, the body can't handle all the excess fat and waste. Therefore, the body duplicates fat cells in order to be able to accommodate all the waste. This is how a human being can reach way over 300lbs; they just keep duplicating fat cells and filling them up.
Once fat cells are created, it is said that they never leave the body again (no matter what kind of diet/lifestyle you have). When an overweight person begins a 100% Raw Food Lifestyle, their fat cells drain, they tend to lose LOTS of weight in the beginning and they look GREAT. However, as the years go by, many tend to gain weight back... even with a 100% Raw Food Lifestyle.
Why would this happen?
When you choose a healthier diet and eat less obstructive (less damaging) foods, your body detoxifies. Detoxification involves gases and toxins leaving your cells and tissues. When an overweight/obese person chooses this type of lifestyle, for many years they will cleanse out and eliminate MASSES of toxins from their cells and tissues, while they simultaneously lose weight.
Once toxins are released out of cells and tissues, our bodies do not want them back. What the cells and tissues then do is to CONTRACT as hard as they can, so that only small amounts of toxins can now enter.
After a number of years of eating better and cleansing out, our cells reach a point of contraction to where the majority of the old SAD (Standard American Diet) toxins have been eliminated. At this point your body has caught up with your new Raw Food Lifestyle and your body RAPIDLY becomes more efficient. The body is always striving for ultimate health; now it will try to surpass your current Raw Food Diet and 'ask' you to eat less.
Suddenly... eating high carbs such as dried fruit and large amounts of fat puts excess weight back onto your body, even though these were the same raw foods that initially helped you to lose the 40 - 150 pounds.
Why??? What changed?
Since your body's cells and tissues have contracted and do not want to take in any extra toxins, they will try their HARDEST to resist allowing more waste back in. Therefore, any extra toxins, carbs, fat and so on within the bloodstream will go to the easiest, most accessible place in your body: your EXTRA fat cells, which don't ever disappear, without surgery. Therefore, to keep excess weight off, a person in this situation now needs to eat smaller amounts, otherwise those fat cells will simply re-expand to accommodate the extra waste.
When cells contract, this is actually a really good thing overall, as your body becomes more efficient, requiring less food for fuel. However, a lot of people are not emotionally ready to handle eating smaller amounts of food like this. When you embark on a (100%) Raw Food Lifestyle, it can be useful to have in mind the 'end goal' of eating smaller amounts, over time. In the long run, it is key to eat small amounts of food to take your health to unparalleled states. If you are the type of person with excess fat cells from being overweight or obese, then you will have a smaller margin for error in terms of keeping extra weight off.
Here is some more of the science behind it all: when you improve your diet by eating less obstructive foods, less fermentation and waste is produced in the body, freeing up space for the cells and tissues to freely dump waste into the bloodstream to be released through our eliminative organs. This means the cells can contract. The more kinds and quantities of foods that you leave out of your diet, the more your cells are able to contract because less food creates less waste and gas within the body, allowing more and more old, stored toxins to release from the cells.
If you then do something like going on a LONG-TERM Juice Feast, there is even LESS fermentation and waste being produced in the body from the juice intake and your tissues and cells can dump even MORE gases and waste into the bloodstream, while your cells contract even more... And... your body becomes even more efficient, which means it needs even less food to maintain high energy levels. This is why many people find they (re-)gain weight after a Juice Feast. Their bodies have become more efficient and need less food, so any extra intake is stored away as body fat.
This is one reason why it is good to take things slowly with raw food transitions, so that it is easier to stay emotionally balanced over time, as you eliminate certain foods from your intake. There is no need to jump into a 100% Raw Food Lifestyle right away. The key to great health is CONSISTENTLY eating fewer obstructive foods as the years go by.
Remember, this pattern of contraction of the cells is a really good thing overall...
This indicates the body is becoming a cleaner, more efficient 'machine', needing less fuel to maintain high energy levels. This is also one point at which you may sense that you become more 'in-tune' and receptive to the UNIVERSAL COSMIC spiritual energy. The main challenge for people seems to be staying on track emotionally with these shifts around food intake - there are many ways we can support ourselves through these transitions though (Angela's book Raw Emotions is a wonderful resource on this topic).
If you throw yourself into a (100%) Raw Food Lifestyle and stay with it for many years, there is a GREAT chance that you will be 'FORCED' to emotionally evolve along with the process of eating smaller amounts or you will experience ill effects (such as fatigue, weight gain, sluggishness, etc). I personally felt 'forced' in this way to evolve along with the process of consuming less ;-) I do not have excess fat cells in my body though from my past - if you do have a collection of excess fat cells, bear in mind that you may find it more challenging to keep excess weight off, as those cells will always be present, to re-fill with extra waste. Aim overall for consistency, balance and moderation in your intake and you'll be more likely to keep those tricky little fat cells vacant over time ;-)