My husband Nick had concerns that everything would be “hanging” after his weight loss. He used to joke about this possible fate whenever the TV displayed some grotesque, flabby creature ready for cosmetic surgery. Skin can take on this hanging appearance after quick weight loss on crash diets because large amounts of supporting lean body mass are sacrificed.
No Flabby Skin
On raw foods your body will not just lose mass, but will gradually change its composition. You won’t need surgical procedures to maintain an attractive appearance. Remember that your skin is not a passive layer of tissue that will remain stretched out like an empty balloon after you lose weight. Rather, it is a living organ, actively adapting to the body’s internal and external environments.
People on extended water fasts have demonstrated that skin can lose 20 percent or more of its size. After you lose weight on raw foods, your body will naturally take care of that loose flesh. It doesn’t happen overnight. But given time and a regular exercise program, raw food will bring another miracle.
Losing Weight on Raw Foods
People who need to lose weight do exceptionally well on raw foods. However, each time you reach a plateau, you need to upgrade your diet. Take my husband, for instance. He’s stuck at 70 pounds loss. No more is coming off. And unless he gives up olive oil and nighttime eating, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
For people who want to lose weight it is very straightforward: Just reduce caloric intake and cut out eating at night, and the weight will continue to come off. Quantum eating is the easiest and surest way to lose those last and most stubborn pounds.
What About Those Who Need to Gain Weight?
But I’m concerned when I get emails saying, “I don’t gain weight, no matter how much I eat, and I look emaciated. You can see every bone in my spine.“ I belong to the first category of people: No drive-thru at McDonald’s for me—I can just slow down on my way by and I’ll gain weight. That’s why I don’t even look at those golden arches.
Losing too much weight was never my problem. Since I didn’t have first hand experience, I used to refer these would-be weight-gainers to other raw food books that say weight loss is normal and that weight will normalize in two or three years. But I was getting ever more uncomfortable with the consolation I was offering: “It’ll come back when cleansing is complete.” Nothing wrong with this statement—it’s true. I just felt it was not enough to alleviate the anxiety these people experience. People who visit my website are appearance-conscious. They do not want to hang around for years listening to disparaging remarks while they wait for nature to take its course. For over a year, I have been racking my brain for a way to help these folks.
A Counter-intuitive Approach to Gaining Weight
Now, I know Quantum Eating is also an ideal solution for them. But in this case I’ll need to explain myself. The famous sleuth Miss Marple so adeptly solves mysteries because her credo is: Things are not as they seem. Anti-aging is the biggest mystery of all! Our metabolism keeps us alive. Yet at the same time it is our metabolism which ages us. A mountain of anti-aging research proves: Calorie restriction with optimal nutrition slows the metabolism, leading the way to longevity and anti-aging benefits. A fast metabolism quickly ages the body. I am flooded with emails: What should I eat to gain weight? I say…Stop eating! If you are shocked, don’t be.
People who have difficulty gaining weight no matter how much they eat have a very fast metabolism. They are not getting good mileage from the fuel they put in their car. Pouring in more gas will not make the engine any more efficient and will not solve the problem. You have to make the engine work more efficiently. Tune it.
Have your Last Meal Earlier in the Day
My new book Quantum Eating [2013 update: this book is now in its second edition] shows how temporary, complete rest of the digestive system helps cure diseases, reverses aging, and permanently slows the metabolism. Fewer calories must follow the fewer meals. Low metabolism and low caloric intake are the keys to longevity and anti-aging. Every time you do not eat for more than 10 to 16 hours, it slows your metabolism and makes it easier to live on just 1200 to 1500 calories.
But we mustn’t forget that a low metabolism and 25,000 calories produces a Sumo Wrestler. Learning from their precepts can help us gain weight without sacrificing the health benefits of the raw food lifestyle.
One of the Sumo secrets for gaining weight is that after eating, they sleep for at least four hours. No, this is not what I am suggesting. When you sleep right after eating a big meal, you are going to bed with a full stomach, which means that your body must respond to this huge flood of nutrients with a rush of insulin, forcing the body to store some as fat instead of turning it into muscle or usable energy. Even though it will lead to weight gain, I do not recommend this practice. Ever. It is most unhealthy. And a healthy lean weight is our goal.
Daily Fasting is the Key
That is where Quantum Eating comes in. If you stop eating at 5 PM (and eventually bring it to 2 PM) your metabolism will stay low through the rest of the day and all night. And if you eat your larger meal in the morning—look for recipes in my books Beautiful On Raw and Quantum Eating—you will most likely gain weight.
Non-eating is the most effective way to clean your body. Non-eating makes your body more efficient in dealing with the food you will be eating when you do break your fast.
Benefits of Fasting
Fasting can be an effective way to help you gain weight. Remember—things are not always what they seem. Obviously no weight is gained while the fast is in progress, and instead the body will lose weight when it goes without food. But the changes produced by fasting affect the body’s ability to handle food that will come later. Fasting increases the ability of your cells to appropriate nutrient materials. Now fasting will help you gain more weight on less food.
Fasting rests the body, restoring vitality. It purifies tissues by cleansing away metabolic wastes. When you break your fast, your body is better able to use the food it’s given. If there is decrease in calories, the body maintains the weight loss. But if the calorie intake is increased from the pre-fast level, you will gain weight.
Let’s sum it up. Eating a lot is not good for anyone—fat or skinny. Feeding your fast metabolism will do little to help you gain weight, but it will surely age you. Fasting is the ideal way to reset your metabolism. This is the Golden Rule for achieving your ideal weight. If after fasting (from 16 to 36 hours) you eat fewer calories than you consumed before the fast, you will not gain the weight you lost during the fast. If you eat more calories than you did before the fast, you will gain weight surely.
On a Quantum Eating program with two simple meals per day, you fast for the rest of the day and all night every single day, and slow down your metabolism. Eating two meals is good for everyone, but people who want to gain weight need to simply eat more calories at breakfast till their ideal weight is reached.
Exercise speeds up the metabolism. Even so, we still need to exercise every day. No sacrifices here. However, reducing calories is a sure way to anti-aging benefits.
Refrain from eating until you really feel hungry. This will assure that the food you eat is properly metabolized. By eating only twice per day, you create a demand for food every time you eat. The body is ready to use it all. When you eat without being hungry, you are adding waste to the body and hastening your aging.
Moving from cooked to raw foods does a lot—all by itself. But the pattern you follow counts mightily. When you eat…how much you eat…how you eat…Your pattern is a set of choices you’ll make—that you already make—every day. Choosing the right pattern for you—weight loss, weight gain, weight maintenance—is the key to your success.