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If that equation doesn't seem true for you there are a number of reasons it may not work but it still remains the way the human body works, any doctor or dietician will tell you that.
Different things affect it - exercise, fitness, meal frequency, stimulants, sleep patterns, medications (even herbal ones.)
two of the most common reasons people find it doesn't appear to be true for them are they over estimate how many calories they burn with exercise, or they overlook calories in things like coffee, spices, supplements etc - particularly if you're taking oils or capsules.
medications affect the efficiency with which your body uses fuel - so you may again, burn less than you thought.
Different types of food do affect how much energy you use - grains and high protein foods require more energy to metabolize, as do high fiber veges - a raw diet typically requires very little energy to process (one of the benefits for many people who want to give their digestive system a break.)
Eating 'clean' can help by giving your body the nutrients to metabolize efficiently and not poisoning it with toxins.
but none of this changes the equation.
The belly fat thing is pretty simple for most women - our bodies are designed for child bearing, we collect fat around our bellies hips and butt because thats the bodies best defense against bumping our baby. Your body will lose fat evenly, that is true, but there will always appear to be more around the stomach because there was more there to begin with. And just like some people have wider, childbearing hips, some people will have a body designed to carry more fat around the belly to protect your womb. There is no diet or food combination that will encourage weight loss in a specific area - the best you can do is work the muscles in that area more so you tone up!
if eliminating the oatmeal is making you feel better that's great - keep doing it! but if you dont reduce your total calorie intake regardless of which foods it's made up of, you still wont lose any weight.
(I don't mean to sound condescending at all really, i'm trying to be helpful - it just frustrates me a little that hardly anyone knows anything about basic nutrition (although in general vegans are way better) because that's how companies can take advantage of people (by telling them things like diet pills and fad diets work) as people have no understanding of how their bodies work.)
in my experience a diet in high sugar/carbs will lead to a disproportionate amount of belly fat - i dont have any academic evidence of this, just what i have observed with my own body. however, i feel comfortable and healthy so i just embrace my pregnant belly
ps - can you obtain truly raw oatmeal? i know it is sold as raw however i think this is unlikely, perhaps u think u r being raw when in fact u r not?
Clearly, doctors are and can be mistaken.
You talk good sense Jaimie, thanks for your comments.
Yes I think you are right too in a certain way, hum... nutrition might be complex sometimes...
Jaimie, I am not sure I agree with the belly fat explanation. In my opinion, belly fat is a typical side effect of modern life styles, which have little or no excercise, rather than with child bearing. An example of this is my husband's tummy, along with many other man that show similar shapes. In addition, I have observed that the age when woman put most of the fat in the belly area is at around menopause, and even later on in life, which is hardly a child bearing age. Furthermore, if you take a look at any active group of natives (take a look at the National Geographic, just skip the pages that talk about Africa, no food at all is not good either :)), you will se that woman (and man mind you) do not have much belly fat. Finally, I have two kids (preganacies were separate by 8 months) and I ended up with no belly fat at all, loose skin yes, but not belly fat, and they were perfectly protected by the amnio liquid. In all honesty, I have to say that I looked better then (even when I make healthier choices now) and the most important reason for that, is that I had a very active life, since I used to danced a lot.
I'm not talking about 'belly fat' so much as the natural distribution of the percentage of fat in your body.
i.e. say (simplistically speaking) my brother and i have 10lbs of fat on us - a higher percentage of mine will be stored around my belly, hips and bum, whereas his will be more evenly spread.
the issue of modern lifestyles changing where you carry extra fat is way more complex - with the amount of hormonal changes we inflict upon ourselves by living in such an unnatural environment...
Of course this is one of the reasons people eat raw! if you're eating raw then you're eliminating a lot of that caused by processed food, organic eating is the same principle but a step further backwards, to the soils etc the food is grown in.
women getting more belly fat later in life is another change - i wasnt talking so much about the changes within a woman's lifecycle as just the difference between men and women.
This has been a really interesting topic! Jaimie, thanks for your detailed posts, they're my favorites:)
Fonky, I TOTALLY understand your fascination with oatmeal! that was the BIGGEST hurdle for me when I moved to South Korea (No oatmeal to be found, excepting a two-hour train ride) and when I went raw. It sure is a staple to a lot of vegans hey? What kind of greens do you have in your area? I have found kale/spinach/nappa cabbage to be a good mix...but, the nappa cabbage may be difficult to digest when mixed? I tend to just blend that up by itself so it doesn't anger my insides! ha...If I find that I'm putting on a few because of a lot of fruit or (GASP!) a slide back into cooked food (refried beans are my NEMESIS), I do a green smoothie (nothing special, just whizzed up greens) every day for nearly every meal for a month or so...I hope that doesn't sound strange, but it really feels GREAT. I mean, you can't just have cabbage for a month, you have to mix up your greens and make sure you blend them with various veggies that combine well...Mushrooms:) THey're great in smoothies! they just mush up to nothing...
Hmmm, mushrooms in a smoothie..... I'll have to try that one, normally I'm not a fan or raw mushrooms but big field mushies dont have that much flavour...
LOL, @the59sound, so true (re: brian clement)! I personally love fruit, but I do think excessive sugar from all the bananas may be hindering fonky's weight loss. Although I would LOVE to be able to get fresh papaya all the time =D
yeah I started to eat more, and less bananas.
Hey I had a question. I wanted to do a juice feasting but I dont have the champion juicer or some special stuff to do good juices. Is a "smoothie feasting" quite the same? How can I fix it only with a blender?
Fonky you can blend up your veg then strain it, then you have a juice.
are you putting the pulp to dehydrate to do some pizza crust for example? what are you doing with beet pulp?
I buy hulled oats -- aka: whole oat groats -- and then run them through a flaker (an attachment to my grain mill). Are you suggesting that they are somehow "cooked" before I get them as whole oats?
I find it so strange that whole oatmeal would be "cooked" or "non-raw", isnt it only pressed oatmeal in flakes????
have you heard of green smoothies? if you look up the Boutenkos you can read all about green smoothies and get some really nice recipes. I have been 100 % raw for almost 4 months now and I've lost 17 lbs. the hardest thing for me was thinking of breakfast options (i used to eat oatmeal about 3 times a week/granola and yogurt the rest) and I lived in Paris so, i admit, croissants were going to be missed. In the beginning, I just ate an apple or something for breakfast and I've always juiced. Then I heard about green smoothies. Delicious! and sooo nutritious! I make one (mix it up daily like spinach and mango/blueberry one day, with kale and banana another day) and that's my breakfast. I didn't think I'd stop eating oatmeal but I now think about the heavy feeling I used to have and I know my body is so much better without it. Oats have to be steamed although I've been reading that one can soak raw whole grain oats..hmmm.. I agree with Jamie on the importance of learning about nutrition. Raw Vegan = healthy when we focus on the nutrients. At first, I was like, "yes! I'm losing weight!" but now that i'm approaching the weight I should be, I know that I love this lifestyle and it's more than just weight. YAY for all the raw foodists out there! Healthy is Happy!
I agree with Biancabookworm, those green smoothies are key to weight loss...if that is in fact what you're going for, then they'll do the trick!
I find that when I add fruit to my green smoothies it makes it marvelously delicious, but for some reason it upsets my stomach a bit...I WISH I could blend mango or banana to make my spinach/kale/bok choy smoothies taste more friendly, but alas...ce n'est pas possible pour moi.
I've been drinking greens-only-smoothies now for two weeks straight (only greens only for lunch and dinner) and I've lost 2 pounds. Nothing extreme, but you don't want to go overboard because that leads to other problems (saggy skin, improper attitude towards foods, etc.). Try the green smoothies, they're not the most pleasant sometimes, but they do the trick:) Actually, I have to be honest: after going with green smoothies for two weeks, I tried a fruit smoothie yesterday...it tasted bland. Bland, and OVERLY sweet. I much prefer the green smoothie now...which makes me sound ridiculous, I know, but c'est vrai.
I didn't lose anything in my first month either. It's totally frustrating. So I tried to focus on the other positive things that were happening (like sleeping better, being in better mood, skin clearing up, good breath, and better overall health. As soon as I did that and stopped making it about the weight, the weight started to budge. Also, you might want to try mixing up your gym routine and add fun activities like basketball or kayaking. You'll still be getting a workout, but your body will see it as fun and play time.