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What Is the Raw Till 4 Diet?

Updated on August 9, 2015

The Raw Till 4 Diet was created by Freelee the Banana Girl - an Australian YouTube sensation within the high raw plant-based community. After many years on a raw vegan diet, Freelee and her partner Durianrider (another Australian YouTube sensation) developed the Raw Till 4 Diet. It is similar to the raw vegan diet with the inclusion of cooked starches, grains and vegetables after 4 pm.

The diet came about gradually as a result Freelee's exploration with the inclusion of cooked starches to supplement her raw diet. While she had originally spoken out against the consumption of cooked foods, her practises gradually changed to include them during the evening, and this is now her diet of choice. She has shared her confidence in the sustainability of this diet on her YouTube channel - 'Freelee the Banana Girl', and on her website thebananagirl.com.

Start every day with raw fruit
Start every day with raw fruit
High carbohydrate, low fat and low protein foods are the staple of raw till 4 dinners
High carbohydrate, low fat and low protein foods are the staple of raw till 4 dinners

Raw Till 4 Guidelines

  • Obtain a minimum of 80% of your calories from carbohydrates
  • Get a maximum of 10% of your daily calories from fat
  • Get a maximum of 10% of your daily calories from protein
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables until 4pm per day
  • After 4pm eat cooked starches and vegetables in addition to any raw food as desired
  • All meals are completely free of animal products

Within the diet an emphasis is placed on high carbohydrate fruits such as bananas and dates. They contain the sugars needed to provide the energy to be active - this being particularly important due to the low amount of fats and proteins recommended.

Some might suggest that the high amount of carbohydrates in the diet would mean that there would be a natural deficiency of protein. However, the amount of fruit, particularly of bananas that are recommended on this lifestyle mean that protein needs are always met or exceeded - if the diet is followed correctly. When eaten in large amounts, bananas are a good source of protein - having 1.3 grams of protein per medium banana. The inclusion of cooked starches and grains in the evening also contributes to the protein intake as well. In this regard it is much easier to meet protein needs on the Raw Till 4 Diet than on a fully raw diet - which relies on large amounts of raw greens to ensure adequate protein intake.

Overt fats ( foods comprised mainly of fats e.g avocado, oils) are avoided as much as possible, although fat needs are met through the consumption of the large volumes of fruit.

Calorie restriction is shunned on this lifestyle, and instead eating an abundance of the recommended foods is encouraged. Low sodium foods are advised and a high water intake is also important for digestion and overall hydration.

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Raw Till 4 Sustainable Weight Loss

The Raw Till 4 Diet is touted by followers as being a solution for sustainable weight loss. The emphasis on low fat whole foods without calorie restriction, coupled with a high amount of nutritious raw food is said to heal the body and re stabilize the metabolism - put out of balance by any past dieting issues.

The founder of the Raw Till 4 diet is the first to say that without consistency and long-term dedication to the diet, weight-loss is not assured; in fact weight gain can be an initial result of adopting this abundant lifestyle. However, this is said to be a result of the body bouncing back from a history of calorie restriction or other eating and lifestyle habits.

Dried fruit can be a handy snack on the Raw Till 4 Diet
Dried fruit can be a handy snack on the Raw Till 4 Diet

More Guidelines for Raw Till 4

  • Aim for 2500 - 3000 calories per day at least
  • Drink lots of water
  • Keep sodium intake low
  • Avoid oil where possible
  • Try to have one day a week where you only eat raw food

Succeeding on Raw Till 4

Succeeding on the Raw Till 4 Diet is very similar to succeeding on an all raw diet. Preparation is key, as you must always have a constant supply of raw fruit and vegetables.

Transitioning to this diet should be done gradually, as with a completely raw diet. Begin by incorporating a single raw fruit meal into your day with a cooked low fat starch-based meal in the evening. Once you become accustomed to this, include a second raw fruit meal.

Eating enough is also important. As fruit meals digest much quicker than standard meals, it is essential that you increase the size of your portions.

Having a few handy kitchen gadgets can make eating this way easier. Smoothies are a common choice on this diet as they enable an endless number of interesting raw combinations. In the occasional absence of fruit, smoothies can be made up purely of dates blended with water into a drink known as 'datorade'. As such, it is advisable to have a blender - with high speed blenders being the most recommended for people following any high raw diet.

Raw smoothies are a popular option on this diet
Raw smoothies are a popular option on this diet

Some Raw Till 4 Daily Meal Plans

 
Breakfast
Lunch
Snacks
Dinner
Plan 1
1000 calorie smoothie of dates and coconut water
Smoothie of 8 ripe bananas and 7 medjool dates with coconut water
100g of dried figs
500g of corn pasta and a large green salad
Plan 2
7 large mangoes
10 ripe bananas
1 litre of freshly squeezed orange juice with pulp
500g of steamed rice with hearty vegetable soup
Plan 3
800 calorie strawberry and date smoothie
12 large ripe peaches
100g of dried bananas
700g of steamed potatoes with a low sodium tomato sauce and half a head of lettuce
These plans are suggested guides only and followers are encouraged to eat more if they feel like it

The Creator of the Raw Till 4 Diet Explains How She Eats

Benefits of the Raw Till 4 Diet

  • The bulk of the diet is made up of highly nutritious raw fruits and vegetables
  • Some followers have experienced control over, or reversal of serious health conditions
  • The diet encourages followers to stick to low fat and low sodium options - which is widely understood to assist in good heart health
  • The high dietary fibre in this diet assists in bowel health
  • The ability to eat cooked food in the evenings makes it a lot easier to be social on this diet (in comparison to a raw diet)
  • The inclusion of some cooked food also reduces the cost of this diet (in comparison to a raw diet)
  • Cravings for cooked food are more manageable for those transitioning to the diet
  • The diet is high in energy-giving foods
  • This is a very sustainable eating plan that is easy to follow indefinitely
  • There is no calorie restriction required

Lots of fruit and vegetables is always a good idea for your health.
Lots of fruit and vegetables is always a good idea for your health.

Does It Work?

With the lack of studies done on the Raw Till 4 diet specifically, some might consider the diet too new to follow with any confidence. However, many of the individual precepts of the lifestyle are supported by science, including the health-giving and curative benefits of raw fruits and vegetables, as well as the benefit to heart health in having a low fat, low sodium diet.

At the end of the day, you can only find out for yourself if this lifestyle works for you. At the very least, unlike some other eating plans, this plan allows unrestricted fruits and vegetables - which no one doubts have powerful health-giving properties. However, many Raw Till 4 followers have seen weight loss but it is equally common for followers to gain weight initially before losing weight.

However, it is clear that the focus of the diet is not weight loss - this is merely a happy by-product of the highly nutritious diet. Starting the Raw Till 4 Diet is an important step for regaining and maintaining overall health and many followers have found it has allowed them to easily and enjoyably do just that.

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    • Rota profile image
      Author

      Rota 2 years ago

      poetryman6969 I totally agree with you. Many people are joining and sharing their love of the raw till 4 diet on youtube where there is a thriving community. It allow you to eat lots of raw fruit and veggies and still enjoy cooked food too. very clean and nutritious way to eat.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Raw til 4 seems like something that will capture imaginations and make people want to try it.

    • Rota profile image
      Author

      Rota 2 years ago

      Thanks for the comment! Yes, regardless of your diet eating more fruits and vegies is highly beneficial - they are the most nutrient dense foods available to us.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Interesting article. Although I'm not a vegan, I can see the benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables. If it helped with weight-loss, so much the better! :-) Voted up.

    • Rota profile image
      Author

      Rota 2 years ago

      Thankyou so much for your positive response! Yes, I have a lot of faith in this way of eating and know others who have found it a very sustainable diet.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This diet program looks promising! Sounds like a smart plan. Very helpful and informative hub and I liked your chart very much.

      Thanks for sharing and voted up!