Have you gained weight while eating a high fruit diet? Does this mean fruit is to blame? Or could your weight gain be caused by something else?
Several vegans on social media have abandoned the 80/10/10 lifestyle because they claim it caused them to gain weight. This doesn’t make sense. You will not find a single strict fruitarian who’s overweight. None. I guarantee you those 80/10/10 naysayers were not following 80/10/10 to the letter. (And if you have a look at their feeds, you’ll notice things like processed foods, peanut butter in excess, or other overt fats in every meal.)
Following the high carb low fat 80/10/10 lifestyle means you eat at least 80% of your daily calories from carbohydrates, 10% from protein, and at most 10% from fat. If you follow this strictly, meaning you keep your fat intake to a minimum, gaining weight is nearly impossible. This is because fruits and veggies are high in fibre. You simply can’t overeat on whole produce.
So how much fat do you eat daily?
If you’ve gained weight recently after following 80/10/10, are you certain of your daily fat intake? You must track everything you eat and drink in order to answer this question definitively. You can say you eat a low fat diet, but unless you track everything you eat and drink in Cronometer, you can’t be sure.
It’s very easy to underestimate how much fat you consume. You must track your calories in Cronometer and measure everything out. Use an actual Tablespoon or teaspoon to portion out things like oil and tahini so you can be absolutely certain of the portion size.
Overt fats like nuts, seeds, tahini, and avocado are very high in calories:
- 1 Tablespoon tahini = 89
- 15 almonds = 105
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil = 120
- 1 avocado = 322
- 1 cup of cashews = 713
If you don’t measure these out, you will most likely overeat them. Not only will overeating fats make you gain weight (because they are high in calories), this will cause you to under eat carbohydrates, so you’ll never be satisfied. You’ll be hungry 24/7!
Even if you avoid all overt fats and eat only low fat fruits and veggies, you’ll still average around 5% of your daily calories from fat. That means you should only eat up to 5% more which isn’t much at all. This equates to a third of an avocado, 15 almonds, 20 olives, or less than 1 Tablespoon of oil. That’s it!
Do you follow 80/10/10 to the letter?
Besides being aware of your daily fat intake, what are you actually eating day-to-day? Are you breaking from 80/10/10 at any point? Do you eat out at all? If you do fall off the wagon, what sorts of foods are you eating?
Falling off the wagon and reaching for fatty/salty foods most likely means that you aren’t eating enough calories. Eat more fruit when you have cravings. Tracking your calories in Cronometer will help you avoid these situations. Check out this post for more tips.
You cannot blame fruit for your weight gain if you are eating overt fats, fatty cooked meals, and processed foods. These are not part of the 80/10/10 lifestyle because they are too high in fat (and salt).
If you still believe fruit is to blame for your weight gain, try this experiment: eat only fruit for an entire month. No overt fats at all. No avocado, nuts, seeds, tahini, oil, none. If you gain weight after a month of eating only fruit, I want to know about it.
In order to gain weight while eating a strict fruitarian lifestyle, you’d have to be eating more calories than your body needs. This means you’d literally be stuffing yourself with fruit day in and day out. You wouldn’t have time for anything else because you’d be eating all day. I seriously doubt this is the case. It’s a challenge for me to even eat 1700 calories most days just because fruit is so full of fibre!
In sum, if you gain weight while following 80/10/10, you must re-examine your diet and eating habits. I guarantee that you are overeating fats. Try avoiding all overt fats for a month, load up on fruit, and track your weight.