HCLF = High-Carb, Low-Fat
Raw Till 4 = raw fruits and vegetables only until 4pm
1. Cravings for any kind of junk food have completely gone
Quite simply, eating nothing but fruit (and veg, but mostly fruit) until 4pm every day gives the body the essential sugars it requires in order to function. If you are someone who thinks that the reason they are craving something sweet after dinner – and more often than not reaches for the chocolate – is because you are weak-willed, you’re not; you’re only human. It’s a strange phenomenon, but merely the idea of sweet or savory junk food totally goes out of the window once you fuel yourself properly and naturally. Give your body what it desires – sugar!
2. Caffeine-dependency is virtually non-existent
I haven’t had a single cup of coffee in about a month. Not because of the fact that it isn’t good for you – although it isn’t – but because I simply don’t feel that I need it. I still like the idea of coffee, but I simply haven’t felt like I’ve needed to stimulate myself unnaturally. Drink a litre of water before each meal and you’ll have more energy than anything coffee could do for you.
3. I don’t give a sh*t about my weight
This is the biggest surprise to me as someone who for a long time has kept a close eye on their weight, weighing myself in every other day. Now? I’ve done away with the scales happy in the knowledge that whatever I eat will never do my body any harm and, so long as I keep up with regular exercise, I will never ‘get fat’, which is a virtual impossibility with this diet anyway. Hell, I may have even put on a bit of weight since going high-carb, low-fat vegan, but I just don’t care. And neither should you; be more worried about what you are eating, not how much (or rather, how little) you are eating. That’s the best thing about this lifestyle – it’s pig out time every day! Eat more, exercise more, do more. Forget the scales as they just lead to anxiety and calorie restriction – the reason why people get into a mess in the first place!
4. My weight goals have changed to fitness goals
As I mentioned, I no longer care about my weight (although I do like to stay lean) but I am now more concerned with whether I am eating enough to have the energy to do the things I want to do, i.e. run, cycle and complete a degree in journalism! As I have mentioned before, at least 3,000 net calories a day is enough for me to function, even if I’m not exercising daily (currently I haven’t done anything for 3 days, but still hit 3,000 cals a day. Do I care? Nope). If I am doing heavy amounts of cycling or running it will sometimes be 4,000+ calories a day.
5. I don’t give a f**ck what people think
I’ve had many comments from various people since going Raw Till 4 vegan: “get a girlfriend,” “I’m going to block you from my timeline if this ball-baggery continues” (my own brother, love you man). But I’ve also had genuine interest from other active people and, in one case, gratitude from someone who had been vegan for years, went back to being omnivorous, but is now considering returning to being vegan because of this blog. To me that makes it worthwhile and inspiring. I try not to preach – that is part of the reason why I started this site, so people had a choice to expand their minds – but if you want to do something then just do it. Be who you want to be without feeling persecuted, and if you want to go vegan then don’t be afraid; at the end of it all you’ll only live longer than the people who doubt you!
That’s about it, short and sweet. Just to end on one note: This, as they say, is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle, and it starts with being kinder to the planet and kinder to animals who have done nothing to us and yet we slaughter them in literal droves. The thing you have to remember is that this lifestyle is for the long-term; for long-term health, long-term fitness, and long-term lean muscle mass. It’s not going to happen overnight! So relax, have fun, carb-up, hydrate-up, and get out and see some of the world!