Monday, April 21, 2008


One thing I hear about Raw Food that always makes me cringe is this statement:

You can eat whatever you want and not gain weight! Its RAW!!!


If you follow that rule, all your late-night raw ice cream sundaes
and superfood fudges will have you wondering what the hell happened.

I thought this was true for a while, so I would still eat heavy things late at night
and let me assure you, despite still be 100% raw, I put on weight.

It still breaks down to simple math as far as Im concerned.
You have to burn more than you eat if you want to LOSE weight.

The beauty of most raw food is that there is so much bulk, and not
so many calories. You can drink a monster green smoothie that will
totally fill you up and it might only be 300-400 calories.

But if you are eating lots of dates and nuts and other dried fruits,
you are going to be sadly surprised.

I made the progress I did because I did lots of greens and non-sweet fruits
like cucumbers and tomatoes and kept it light at night.
AND I exercised. Most raw vegans still dont seem to do much of this.

Otherwise I would stay even or possibly even gain weight again,
despite being 100%. So dont fall into this trap.
You cant just eat whatever you want because its raw.

There are still dense calories in nuts and dried fruits
that will bite you in the butt if you arent careful.
Of course enjoy these items, but just be conscious.

Keep the heavier meals for lunch, so you can burn off those calories
throughout the remainder of the day, and then ride it light at night.

Have your raw sweets, but dont go overboard and try to have them
a few hours before bed. These little things can really add up over time.

Raw is wonderful, trust me I know...
but we still cant escape the simple math of calories.

Argue with me about it if you must, but Ive gone
through it and it really rang true for me.

Durian in Central Park...for LUNCH. :)



Lorra said...

You are sooo good looking :)

I agree it's still about calories! :)

Anonymous said...

when I became raw I felt my body was okay with going without food for long periods of time instead of eating every four hours. I noticed that while I was raw, I ate late. Then I followed your advice and stopped eating 3, 4 and sometimes 6 hours before bed. I noticed my weight falling off immediately. I think my metabolism has sped up because I adhere to that rule and it works.

I've discoved that raw foods are nutrient dense. Your body eats a little and it's full. I haven't had an experience where I've gorged myself on raw food. But I did have experiences before I was raw when I gorged myself on sweets. This is because the food I ate had little to no nutrients. The body is dynamic and it knows what it needs. Hunger has so much to do with the amount of nutrients the body is getting.



Anonymous said...

Hi Anthony,
I was thinking about doing a one week, or 3 day fruit diet. What are your thoughts on this? I really want to rid myself of my cravings and ween myself off my addiction to dairy and fat. I really don't see myself doing green smoothies now, but maybe once I have gotten over my food addictions.
Would this diet cause me to gain weight?


Michelle J said...

Dude, first..your adorable! :O)
Ok, serious know i'm working hard to lose weight right? It's a little slower than i'd like but since Nov 2007 i have lost 26 lbs. I run like a lunatic pretty much every day and i have been eating much less lately. I definitely have a sweet tooth and love me some raw cheesecake and gnosis chocolate, BUT...i do not eat after about 6pm and do smoothies in the AM. Salads too, i love my massaged kale so much (thanks to you)! Anyway, my point is i totally agree with you about this! You cannot eat all kinds of fatty things expecting to maintain or lose weight. Not gonna happen! Gotta keep moving your butt!!

When? Get together? Let me know?

Anonymous said...

It's so wonderful to see a healthy model. I find it insane that so many don't eat just to stay thin when theres no need for it.
I'm working on being raw and i've found that what you are saying is so true. I can have a 32 once green juice for breakfast and not get hungry until 4 in the afternoon or even later if i'm busy and not paying attention. Its such a free feeling that i'm full but its not heavy. It was pretty hard to not eat late at night but now if I do it feels like a brick is in my stomach.

S. said...

This is a great post. I think that this is something that everyone should hear because even though Raw is a mover and a groover it doesn't defy physics.

Thank you immensely for this!

Raw Faith said...

First things first.... lookin good! :-) :-)

Secondly, I completely agree with you and am really glad to see you mention this. I get so tired of hearing people say that "as long as it's raw, you can eat as much as you want!" maybe that's true if you have a really fast metabolism, but most of us aren't that lucky.

However, the only thing I would disagree on is that it's not so much about the CALORIES as it is the amount of DENSE foods you are eating. For instance, if someone is eating a high raw diet, mainly consisting of veggies, and low-sugar fruits, I do not think they would have trouble losing weight if they ate 2 young coconuts, or 2 avocado's... or some raw nut butter. As long as you omit the dense foods, such as most of the raw deserts, dried fruits and nuts that are mixed with the dried fruits, I'm not sure it would be as much of a problem.

I believe that not all calories are created equal. An avocado may be high in calories, but because of the way the body digests it and assumming that you are eating it without spiking your blood sugar or without too many other high fats, you aren't going to have a problem. However, if you have a container of dates (high sugar, dense) it's going to be much easier to pack on the pounds, even though the amount of dates you eat may be the same as the avocado.

Does that make any sense? I guess it just depends on how you look at it. I just happen to find that it's not really the calories as much as it is the combination of the foods you are eating and the water content of them.


Zoe said...

When I transitioned to raw I stuffed myself silly with raw pizza, pies, cakes everything I wanted plus loads of avocados and still lost two dress sizes in weight.
As I went along my need for these foods decreased and as I stopped eating so much my weight stabilised.
I think that many people eat nuts which aren't really raw without realising it, like shelled pecans, brazils, cashews, almonds etc and this makes them gain weight. If I mix raw food with cooked food then I do gain weight, but if I eat all raw, really raw, the weight is steady and I stay thin.
Just my obervations about my own body...I'm no scientist ;)

Anthony said...

Thats a REALLY good point about the nuts not really being raw. When you think about it...many of them are steamed, and this likely kills the enzymes off. Has anyone tried to sprout a steam-pasteurized almond?

They said its just a quick flash, so maybe its still raw?

Oh by the way...putting a lighter to the prickly pear spines does NOT cook the fruit. Trust me...I want to stay 100% more than most people. Im not cooking anything. You could put that flame on your skin for the same amount of time and not burn yourself. Its like burning hairs instead of prickly spines..

ANYWAYS...good point about the nuts.

And Raw Faith...good point about density too. I never did avocado binges, so I dont know how it would have affected me. My problem was always dried fruit, superfoods, and nuts late at night.


Ankit said...

hey anthony,

what do you think about having water dense greens late at night? what if i were to snack on romaine lettuce, celery, and other light veggies within 3-4 hours of bed? do you think that would really impact my progress, or no? i never really know when i intend on going to bed, so i don't usually plan the time of my last meal, but it'd be easier if there were certain foods i could eat late without concerning myself with what time i was going to bed.

lastly, what if you do a heavy cardio workout after a somewhat-dense + sweet dinner? i had flax bread and guacamole and some vanilla ice cream last night around 8, but i did my day's cardio after that. does it matter if you're having heavy meals at night if you're working out after heavier meals?

thanks a ton,

cesare Civetta said...

Thanks for that. I disagree about the exercise burning in order to lose weight.

I am 6 feet tall and have lost about 12-13 pounds since eating raw most of the time. I do not move my body very much at all. The weight came right off just from the raw diet alone. And I include an average around 10 dates a day, and maybe 2 handfuls of cashews per day, eaten at night!!
Of course I desire the discipline to exercise, and actually have been lifting weights for 40 min. every other day (just in my upper body) since January. The results look great, similar to your photo, but I still haven't incorporated any aerobic nor cardio, and I am at 152 lbs now.


Bell Chung said...

Great post, Anthony! Agreed with you on many points. Personally, I function at my best when I intuitively follow the circadian rhythm (eating my main meal between noon to 8pm-ish). If I eat outside of this time-frame (and depending on what food I choose), I gain weight and feel like trash. Also, like you mentioned: exercise is sooooo important - toxins and acid cannot be removed well without moving your body!



Anthony said...

Hey Ankit...If I ate a heavy meal, I would try to stay up later and get activity in. Remember though...that I was trying to maintain a pretty high level of physique..I wanted to see total definition. If I slacked off a bit, it would smooth out a bit and I could see the definition as much.

A big salad would be a much better choice...if you snack on low sugar fruits as well...its a good way.

Experiment with it...see how you feel the next morning. I have found that if I do green juice at night instead of food, I wake up MUCH more energetic.

We are all bio-chemically different, so you have to experiment. I was really pushing the limit..trying to look my absolute best, so maybe I seemed a bit psycho.

Try it though...youll never know if you dont.


kate said...

this is all really cheering for me, i'm raw to heal myself from chronic illness... i'm underweight but determined to gain weight as i heal & remain raw throughout.. so hearing people say they gain weight while raw is actually quite consoling for someone in my position !
thank you !

Courtney Pool said...

I'm glad you brought this up - I sort of wrote something similar in my last post. I'm definitely one of those that gained weight (that I DIDN'T need) on raw and could easily do it now... Everyone's different, but the 'you can eat anything as long as its raw', most definitely doesn't apply to everyone.

Lisa, aka Pixywinks said...

Dang you're pretty.

:)Pixy Lisa

rawtexasgirl said...

Another thing that will stop you from losing weight is a lack of iodine. The thyroid depends on iodine to produce its hormone and keep our metabolism functioning properly.

As raw vegans, we're (hopefully) not eating iodized table salt, which means we've lost a major source of iodine in our diet. There are natural sources--dulse, kelp, bee pollen, strawberries, beets, radishes, parsley, etc.--but if we're not consuming them in quantity, we can become iodine deficient.

So if you're eating how Anthony suggests and getting good exercise, but still can't lose weight, check your iodine levels.

Timmizzy said...

what are superfood fudges, and how do you make them?

wyldegirl said...

Right on Anthony (and others who commented). . . so glad you brought this up. . . I've noticed a change in weight over the winter months when i exercise less, consume heavier foods (nuts and dried fruits) and eat a bit later in the evening due to socializing indoors (usually centered around meal) and no matter that i'm completely raw. . . it's still about the calories and exercise. . .
and frame of mind- let's not forget that. . . when we hold onto emotional things, we also tend to hold onto extra weight. . .

loosen up, move around and eat lighter- sounds easy but it's all in the mind and not using food as a cover for emotional soothing or needs.

This coming from the girl who has been spending WAY too much time at the wonderful and tempting Cafe Gratitude. . . after a hard yoga class, it's sheer bliss. . . but the nuts and sweets and complex dishes are not going to be fantastic in the long run for my energy and weight!

Cheers Anthony and we'll chat soon!
xx Jenny

Rachel said...

The King of Central park with the king of the fruits!

Did the dogs run away at the smell? ;)
You look so happy and vibrant as always.
LOVE the I've eliminated dairy/sugar/grains to my now vegan diet and with Green vegetable juice in the fridge....I'm on my way...slowly but surely.

~Rachel ;)

Anonymous said...

hey hey hey! I too, totally agree with you..calories in vs. calories out..but the reason i am really messaging you is because i am wondering what kind of skin care products you face wash/lotion/ and i read some where that you use dr. bronners to wash your hair and trying that right now, and i dilute it with water in a different bottle and im having trouble with it you know what i mean?? i feel like it just slips right off? i dunno..any suggestions? lol thanks!

Yaseen Ali said...

Thank you for this, Anthony.

I came to this realization a couple of weeks ago, having to face the fact that I had actually gained ten pounds over the last three months after going about 90% raw. So I definitely prove the "eat as much raw food as you want and never gain a pound" theory wrong. After starting out dedicated, I got lazy with preparing smoothies and salads, snacking instead on cashews and almonds. Especially dealing with a heavy university course load, it was just plain easier (you can't bring a blender to the library everyday!). I get sick just thinking about how many bagfuls I've gone through.

And when I *did* make smoothies or dishes, I thought simply using good raw ingredients justified liberal use of them. So they ended up just as calorie-laden as a protein shake. Definitely not good for weight maintenance/loss.

Today I made a green smoothie just from mixed greens and lots of fresh spinach. I was surprised at how amazing it tasted in its simplicity, without the need to add almond milk, agave nectar, cacao powder, etc, etc. I'm slowly getting back on track and understanding why I decided to go raw in the first place.

However, I do have a small quibble with your post here. When you say that you "exercise" unlike other vegans, I have to point out that your regimen is not realistic for/typical of someone with a 9-5 job, or a student. In a post back in May of last year, you wrote about spending an hour on the treadmill in the morning, doing an hour weight-training in the evening, and then *another* hour of running afterward. I'm not arguing this is excessive or unrealistic per se, but I think sometimes it's easy for some people to forget that you're a model. I often have to keep myself in check when I see your pictures here. ;) So I just thought I`d throw that out there.

Anyways... thank you so much for your advice over the last few months. I've been reading for a while now, but this is my first time commenting.

Anthony said...

Hi Yaseen...glad to hear about your experience..thanks for sharing. Im happy to hear that youre going back to lighter items.


Im going to do a post about this, but in the meantime, let me assure you that I work the MOST, one hour a day. And usually its every other day.

That crazy routine I talked about was when I was working to get into shape. Now that I am at the level Im happy with, I just do maintenance work. Some crunches, some chest and arms...thats it. I do live in NYC so I walk everywhere, but still.

AND...if you REALLY wanted well as everyone else out there, and you could multi-task (TV WITH Exercise or Audiobook WITH Exercise) then you could do my routine as well. That routine is for getting into shape quick.

Once you reach your level of satisfaction, you can cut the hours in half, maybe even more.

Thanks for contributing...I really appreciate it.

Penni said...

Totally superficial comment, but you've got the most amazing cut abs ever. Way to rock that raw bod!


Aaron said...

Just to shed a little light on the subject about eating before bed or at night. When we are sleeping with an empty stomach, our bodies release HGH (human growth hormone). It occurs more on an empty stomach. When we are sleeping is the only time that our digestive system has a chance to rest which is also a prime time for us to be releasing HGH. HGH helps our bodie's metabalism speed up which, in essence, allows us to burn more calories on a regular basis...even during the day time. If you eat before you go to bed, whether it be greens or fat rich foods, your stomach and digestive system can not rest appropriatly. Obviously, eating greens before bed or at night is far better then fatty foods and our bodies will digest those foods faster. Give your body a chance to rest as you rest at night. Also, try not to eat right away in the morning. Wait until closer to lunch hour to eat more heavy foods. Drink 32oz's of water in the morning mixed with some fresh fruit if you need some food. BTW...Cant wait to see ya T-Boz! See ya in a few days. MN is getting beautiful. I cant wait to go foraging!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Rawist are dying at the same rate as people who eat the SAD diet. They die in good health, but they die the same. The oldest women to date died at 122. She smoked until 5 years before she died. She was however, not fat, had a good attitute about life, ate in MODERATION whole unprocessed food....grown local and super fresh, walked and used a bike until 100. The only proven way to extend life is systematic undereating of foods that bring you pleasure!!!!! My raw diet is one of pure joy and it has to taste beyond, beyond... and it does. So, I eat less because it is so satisfying. I wear a size that by Hollywood standards is achieved through starving(NOT) and I have a waist that is smaller than most. By the way, I am 52 and my body looks 25. I have to turn down 25 year old men. Life is really good. Get the glow!!

paulraw said...


there's going to be a series of raw competitions in hawaii this November 21-24.

probably going to be a lot of fun.