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Calories when 100% raw

ServeItUpRawServeItUpRaw Raw Newbie

Yesterday my daughter's coach (knowing we are 100% raw) asked me if we supplemented anything, and was I sure the kids were getting enough protein. I talked with her for a bit about protein in the raw diet. Then last night for fun I typed in everything my daughter ate that day to see just how much protein she'd taken in. Since she'd been at a volleyball tournament and we'd packed her food I knew fairly accurately how large the portions were.

The amount of protein was amazing. Prior to her coming home and making raw brownies and eating one : ) she'd taken in approx. 55 gm of protein. (She weighs 114 pounds.)

But what really got me was seeing the amount of calories she'd taken in. 2,593. (Again that's approx.)

Her raw brownie snack was 1700 calories with 54% of those from fat. That puts her total for the day at (approx.) 4200 calories and 94 gm of protein.

Isn't 4200 calories a day high? Don't worry, I'm not saying "high" as in, "I think she needs to cut back." She is healthy and thriving on raw (and pain free which is another story.) It's just everything we're taught is that if you take in more calories than you burn you gain weight. She is not gaining weight. And while she doesn't eat brownies every day, she does usually eat even more veggies and fruits during the day than she did on this one day I kept track. This particular day she was busy and had games throughout the day, so her eating was on the light side. So I'm just wondering if that rule about calories and weight gain pertains to cooked food and not a 100% raw diet. (Emphasis on 100% raw. Someone who is not eating any cooked food.)

What are your thoughts, or what articles/research can you point me to?

When we first went raw both my daughter and I lost weight quickly, but whereas she didn't have that much to lose, I had lots! So at that time I wondered if I'd have to encourage her to eat more fats eventually, but no, she hit 112 and the weight loss stopped. She doesn't weight herself often, but when she does she's always 112 or 114. And we ate even more calories back then, trying all sorts of raw desserts. I look back on the amount of dates and agave we were going through then and I shudder. ; )

Anywho... I'd love to hear other people's experiences with calories and raw.



  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    If she's highly active (e.g., volleyball) then she's probably burning calories like crazy. Kids' metabolisms are awesome.

    I don't count calories, carbs, points, fat grams, anything. Life is too short. Whatever you're doing seems to be working well - why wonder?

    I'd be mighty uncomfortable with that coach sniffing around my family's personal life, though. I suppose if it's genuine interest in health it's one thing, but those questions sound more like nosy nellyism. Really, enough protein? Eyeroll.

  • joannabananajoannabanana Raw Newbie

    i think if you're daughter seems to be healthy and active, then her calorie intake is just right. everybody has a setpoint weight where it is just natural (your body isn't trying to lose or gain).

    i used to eat a crazy amount of dates, too!!! now i know that they aren't going anywhere.

    i honestly have no idea how many calories i eat, but i'd say it's around 2500-3000. i stay really active though (besides now- i'm so damn sick!)

    i'm glad you and your daughter eat RAW together!!! you guys are so lucky to have each other.

  • I have a bodybugg, which tells me exactly how many calories I burn- which, on my most active days is 2500- I'm 140lbs aproximately (and a 26 year old female, not her age). I used to be a Bodybugg coach, too, so for 40 hours a week I did nothing bout consult with people about their calories in vs calories out. Being that she is an athlete, she probably burns quite a bit, but you are right- 4,200 sounds huge!

    Being that it was a tournament, and she probably played a lot, I would say its possible for her to burn that, but not very likely (depending on her body composition, height, etc). She probably doesn't burn that in a typical day, though. I very seriously think you are over-estimating her calories, as well as her protein. I would say that 80 percent of people are off on their calorie judgement, but the number of over-estimaters are the same as under-estimators (I, myself, am an over-estimater, too). And, every single client I have ever consulted with was way, way, way off on their judgement of portions and measurements until they bought a food scale and measuring cups, and used them religiously. This is why its SO hard for most people to lose weight!

    Again, as stressed before, as long as she isn't gaining weight, you are ok. And as long as she is as active as you say, any real weight gain would most likely be muscle and would help her in the long run.

  • Can i ask how she is eating that many calories with just raw food ?

    What does her daily diet look like

  • Are you sure you calculated the brownie's calories correctly? Even if she were to eat a bowl of nuts, it would be difficult to get 1700 calories...unless she ate half the pan, perhaps you miscalculated? Most fast food meals don't even add up to that much.

    I have heard that raw fat metabolizes differently than cooked fat, and knowing what I know from my training in nutrition (counseling FDA based and Holistic Nutrition degree), cooked fat can cause the immune system to react and cause leukocytosis, just as cooked meat can...so I know the body does treat them differently, but I don't know about the metabolism of raw vs. cooked fats. I chalked that up to pseudo-science, BUT I will admit that 60% of my calories were fat at one point, and I was eating much more calories than I ever ate and I lost weight on raw. But only at 100% raw. I know people who tried to do 50% raw and ended up gaining weight from all the nuts and whatnot.

    So yes, I have heard of it, but I don't know of any research to back that up with.

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    I know that I am tired on too much fat and too many nuts. You could always think of first replacing them with sunflower seeds. Brownies are so good with sunflower seeds.

    Your daughter being so young might always feel good. I know I did at her age even eating McDonalds. But if YOU ever feel tired or foggy, it might be the fat. And then you will know that you both should cut down.

    I think it will way out after a while. I did the same thing at first, even like you said. At the beginning I was using loads of dates. Now I rarely buy them. I am satisfied with a small dessert of almond butter or a couple teaspoons of coconut oil and carob.

  • ServeItUpRawServeItUpRaw Raw Newbie

    Somehow the emphasis of my post got lost. I'm not concerned about my daughter's caloric intake. I used it as an example of what I'd been wondering about, that being the whole "calories out must be greater than calories in to lose weight" and "if calories in are greater than calories out one will gain weight," since we haven't seen that in our time being 100% raw. I'm not in anyway disagreeing with those rules for cooked food, just wondering if people had found it to be so black and white with 100% raw diets.

    "Whatever you're doing seems to be working well - why wonder?"

    Raw is working for us and we love it, but that's doesn't mean my ever present curiosity has gone out the window. : )

    Yep, it's definitely possible that the calorie count was too high. I used software where you input what you ate and it gives you the total. So I put in "2 bananas" and not their weight, they were however large bananas. Likewise the avocado was "1/2 avocado" and not by weight, but it was a small avocado. So I was aware that the calorie and fat totals were approximate.

    "Are you sure you calculated the brownie's calories correctly?"

    No, I didn't! I just checked and I entered the # of servings in the wrong spot, so 1700 was for the whole recipe.

    Someone asked what she ate in a day. She normally has more veggies and not as much fruit, but this was what she was comfortable taking:

    1/2 avocado

    1/2 cup almonds

    1/8 cup lentils (the software didn't have sprouted lentils so I guesstimated on how many dry lentils the sprouts represented)

    2 oranges

    2 bananas

    4 strawberries

    2 carrots

    1 apple

    1 apricot

    1/4 cup cranberries

    When she got home she ate 1/4 of the garden burger which came to:

    1/3 cup walnuts

    1/2 carrot

    1/4 cup flax seed meal

    1/3 cucumber

    1/3 avocado

    1/4 bell pepper

    (a few leaves of lettuce)

    1 banana

    and then the brownie which was made with 1 cup walnuts, 1 cup dates, 1/4 cup raw cocoa and 6 T flax seed meal. She ate about 1/4 of it.

    edamame3, Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge and for asking if I'd calculate the brownies correctly! : )

    Thanks everyone!


  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    Rhea -

    I have entered my calories in nutridiary on occasion. It is hard to know if i estimate correctly, but I get a general idea. I probably eat 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day, perhaps more on some days. I eat plenty of greens, fruit, some flax/nuts/avo/oil, and veggies. I haven't gained any weight in the past year, when i've been consistently eating 97% raw every day. Sometimes i'm more active, sometimes less. In any case, I would have expected to GAIN weight especially in winter with a sedentary desk job - but i haven't. Thanks to raw food, and perhaps because i have muscles from running that burn more while sedentary.

  • PamPam

    By my rough calculation, your daughter ate less than 2400 calories, which seems about right for an active young woman.

    Of course, I'm much older, but my experience at 50 has been that calories still DO count. I have to keep my calories to around 1,400 most days. If I workout regularly, I can go to around 1,800. But when I start climbing to 2,000, I WILL gain weight!.

    Edit: By the way, I did read that digestion (cooked food calculation) adds about 400 calories. So I figure if you're eating raw, you can probably get by with less calories. On the other hand, there is that whole negative calorie thing that suggests that you use more calories digesting some foods than they contribute. So, it's probably a wash

  • If she is maintaining her weight on her diet and exercising, then I say don't change the calorie count at all. Your body tries to always maintain a constant weight, so if that's what it's doing, then something in your diet and life style must be right.

  • lol I know you aren't wondering about whether or not that is a healthy caloric intake for your daughter, but it seems everyone else doesn't realize that!

    I'm actually going to look into some grounded research on this whole raw fat vs. cooked fat issue, because at the raw restaurant I worked at they used to tell everyone that raw fat metabolized differently and was recognized by the body differently, and it made sense, but I never really understood the theory behind it. If and when I find the hard facts, I'll let you know! I do know from experience that I have eaten more fat in the past year than I have in my life, and I'm at a lower weight and feeling a lot less weighed down than I ever have!

  • StrongAndRawStrongAndRaw Raw Newbie

    Okay....I have to say something....AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA....or scream something, I guess...

  • hi Strong and Raw-- just out of curiosity... are you still eating 2200-2800 calories a day now? do you count count how much fat you're eating (like what's the % of fat you're eating a day)? I've been eating around 1500 calories a day too ( almost always 100% raw) for the past 2 or 3 weeks, and I've been reading articles saying that I need to eat more in order to lose weight. I haven't weigh myself yet, but I'm debating if I should up my daily calories, and how much fat should I be eating within that calorie range. Can you tell me more about what you were eating or any other information from your experience?

  • PamPam

    Edamame3, I think lots of people DID understand the question. But in order to address whether a calorie is a calorie, we thought it necessary to examine it within the context of Serveitupraw's daughter's daily intake!

    Strong_and_raw, that's interesting. I understand your point but I haven't found this to be the case for me. I CAN and DO gain weight on high fat/high calorie raw. On the other hand, I'm 50 and along with decreasing estrogen, I am hypothyroid and insulin resistant. So maybe that's why. BUT then. as you say, you had three metabolic disorders. I'm not sure I understand exactly what that means but I can say that I have at least three things working against my ability to lose weight: diminishing estrogen, thyroid condition, and ineffective insulin response. On still ANOTHER hand, I weigh 125 pounds so I am at a healthy weight where gaining is easier than losing.

    My daughter, who is always very slender lost weight on raw, though, and the daily intake she described to me would have had ME weighing 200 pounds! She couldn't eat enough avocados, dates, bananas, nuts and seeds to look healthy. She has always had to endure comments from others regarding how thin she is but when she went raw, the comments became unbearable.

    I can understand why your doctors were floored. (Of course, in my experience, they are easily baffled!)

    Interesting discussion, to be sure!

  • "I can understand why your doctors were floored. (Of course, in my experience, they are easily baffled!)" LOL. So true...

    I also don't believe the calories in, calories out or Fat is Fat. When I started eating whole foods 20 years ago, I took in more calories but never touching processed foods and I lost 40 pounds. No exercise. That was a young metabolism.

    No as an older person of 40, I started battling my weight again so I started really watching the fat grams and still struggled. After switching to raw my fat intake went to 50-60% fat daily!! Yikes. Yet I melted off that 10 pounds I was battling.

    But that may change. I read so much that h8igher fat in the beginning of raw seems to work but then you have to taper back.

  • ServeItUpRawServeItUpRaw Raw Newbie

    Thanks to everyone for adding their two cents and experience.

    When we first went raw I didn't exercise either - actually, I was in such poor cardiovascular health I couldn't do much besides walk. The weight just flew off. It was amazing. Then I had a period of no weight loss even though I was exercising. I wondered if I was taking in too few calories at that point as I was definitely eating less than when I first went raw. But I had read in a couple (raw) places that when weight loss stops the body is dealing with other health issues. So it made sense to just be patient. Sure enough the weight loss started back up. It's not as fast as it was, but I feel so good, so much better than before, that I'm not complaining.


  • StrongAndRawStrongAndRaw Raw Newbie

    I'm 44.

    I have these three metabolic disorders/syndromes/diseases: 1) Diabetes, 2) Hypothyroidism, 3) and just good old Metabolic Syndrome itself...

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