Article Health

The HCLF Diet

(Please note that this post was written in Sept 2014. Please see my newest post for an update on my opinion on this lifestyle: Why I’m No Longer HCLF or Raw Till 4)

Tired of working out excessively and not seeing results? Upset from counting every calorie and restricting yourself from indulging in what you love? Well, what if I told you that there was a lifestyle where you could eat TONS of food a day in abundance and never have to restrict or worry about a single calorie ever again? Don’t believe me? Well it’s true folks; it’s called a High Carb Low Fat vegan diet.

2014-05-18 004 2014-05-18 001What is this you ask? Well basically it’s a diet or as I like to call it, a lifestyle, where one consumes mostly carbs such as fruits and veggies, and low amounts of fats (sugars, salts, oils, etc).

Now before you get to asking, “but I thought carbs are bad!?”, wait and hear me out first.

There is a difference between good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates.

Good Carbs/Complex Carbs = Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains (oats, rye, quinoa, rice, etc), Beacns, Legumes, Pasta, Potatoes.

Bad Carbs/Simple Carbs = Fructose and Glucose which are found in white flour/starch (white bread, white refined sugar) and are “empty calories”. One thing to stay away from is high fructose corn syrup found in sodas and processed foods.

Basically you can eat as much as your body truly needs, and the beauty of it is, you stay slim and fit. Thousands of people have thrived on this lifestyle and have only seen great results. Forget everything you know about weight loss and dieting. Forget that voice in your head that says “CARBS ARE BAD!! STAY AWAY!” No. Carbs will not make you fat. No more cutting back on calories and skipping meals. No more worrying about every single food you put into your body and how it will affect you. When you are eating wholesome and healthy foods, your body will only show you positive results, and you don’t have to worry about all those old dieting fads. Oh, and this diet will work as long as you are; so that means working your body and getting enough of your daily exercise. You can’t sit on the couch all day and eat tons of food and expect to see results.

You may see other people doing this diet differently, and that is because everybody is different! What works for one person may not work for another. So don’t get alarmed if someone else is eating 10 bananas in a smoothie and you can only eat 2!! That is perfectly okay. Never stuff yourself full to “get in more calories” just because people on the internet said so. Listen to your body and eat intuitively. Eat when you are hungry; stop when you are full. It is that simple.

“So what do I eat?”

FOOD FROM THE EARTH! Mother nature has blessed us with an abundance of food for us to grow and eat naturally without causing any harm to any other beings. Plant based foods contain ALL of the nutrients the human body needs to survive, and they do not contain cholesterol, fatty acids, and many other things that only animal by-products contain.

Fruit

Fruits are high in carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber and water content. They also contain little to no fat. And absolutely NO cholesterol. Specific examples of the highest carb fruits include apples, pears, raisins, dates, peaches, bananas, grapefruits, grapes, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, mangoes and pineapples.

Vegetables

Vegetables are similar to fruits in the fact they are low in fat and high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and water content. The place they differ is the carb content. Only a select few vegetables are high in carbs and they include acorn and winter squash, sweet potatoes, yams and regular potatoes.

Legumes

Legumes are seeds that are contained inside a pod. These are high in fiber, carbs and vitamins and they are low in fat. Examples include peas, lentils, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, soy beans, kidney beans and lima beans.

Rice, Potatoes, Pasta

Now a days, girls are so afraid to eat carbs. They think they will get fat. Well, no… you won’t. You can eat rice and potatoes and NOT get fat. DO NOT LISTEN TO REGINA GEORGE. CARBS ARE GOOD FOR YOUUUUUU.

An example of what 3 meals a day for someone following the HCLF diet looks like this:

Breakfast: a smoothie, nana ice-cream, or a monomeal (an abundance of one type of food such as 1 pineapple, half a watermelon, half a cantaloupe, 5 mangos, etc)

Lunch: A monomeal of fruits, a smoothie, a salad, etc.

Dinner: A huge salad with a bunch of veggies, OR if you’re doing Raw till 4, pasta, potatoes, stir-fry, rice, etc.

and snacks? FRUIT, DUH!!

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“Isn’t all that sugar bad for me?”

NO! Disregard everything you’ve heard about the sugar in fruit being bad and making you fat. I can’t guarantee anything, but seeing how many thousands of people live this lifestyle and are SLIM AND FIT, I can tell you there’s a pretty good chance you can be too. As long as you are listening to your body, not over eating, and getting minimal daily requirements in for exercise.

“How do I get started?”

Simple; eat. All you have to do is eat a BUNCH of fruits, veggies, and other whole foods and you’re set. People living this lifestyle tend to eat in abundance, and also eat mono meals, which are meals that consist of one thing. An example of this would be having a 5 banana smoothie for breakfast, or eating 1 whole pineapple for lunch. Yes you may think it’s crazy and extreme, but wait till you try it. I too once thought eating that much was scary, but that was until I tried eating all these healthy foods in abundance and realized how amazing my body felt. You feel youthful, revitalized, light, and happy. For lunch I now have either half of a watermelon, or a bunch of fruit. Yes, I feel full, and yes, I do get a ‘food baby’ afterwards, but I’ve never lighter and happier after meal times. I feel way better than I did when I used to eat meat dairy and eggs. And “bloating” is normal after eating a bunch of fruit because hey are high in fibre and contain a lot of water. You will just pee it all out and then your belly will be down again 🙂

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For more information, follow the links below:

Freelee the Banana Girl – https://www.youtube.com/user/Freelea

Steph Yu: https://www.youtube.com/user/happyandhealthy96

Laura Wolf: https://www.youtube.com/user/lolacookss

or go to Instagram and search the hashtag: HCLF

 UPDATE: Read my new article: Misconceptions About the HCLF Diet.

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    ZUCCHINI LASAGNA WITH VEGAN FETA | The Vegan Architect
    March 28, 2015 at 5:04 am

    […] + olive oil if you are not a hclf lover […]

  • Reply
    Renee
    May 6, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I am soo tempted to try out this diet but yes I am scared because of the carb and sugar thing. But so many people have great results!!
    But I have a question, how much do you have to workout on a diet like this? I don’t want the pressure of HAVING to workout systematically in order to stay thin/lean. Anyone got any advice?

    • Reply
      Katrina
      May 6, 2015 at 10:01 am

      I barely workout and stay slim. Same with most people on this lifestyle. Maybe a few at-home workouts per week for 30 minutes, then a bike ride every now and then 🙂 These foods are what your body thrives on and will keep you feeling lean.

    • Reply
      kat
      January 13, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      in reality, carbs are our fuel source. when coupled with fats, it can cause a problem, but eating your fats at night before bed is what i recommend. I was paleo for a long time (heavy meat, mod fat, low carb), always had brain fogs, bloated, couldn’t lose fat even no matter how hard i work out (cardio, olympic weight lifting etc.) NOW i’ve lost 3 lbs on vegan and i’ve been vegan 4 weeks. TBH the first 9 days i was bloated with water weight from adjusting to high carb. I’m happy, no mind fogs, stable mood, no pms….. I feel amazing! there is an adjustment to all the fiber as well. give yourself a month to not feel so gassy. make suyre you take a vegan beano (available at health stores) 10 mins BEFORE you eat high fiber food like beans and legumes. <3 best of luck! JUST EAT A LOT! trust me .,..if you don't you will feel deprived. this is the type of eating our ancesters ate. you're meant to eat a variety of fruits and veggies. get creative, look up high carb low fat vegan recipes. so much fun stuff. treat yourself once every 9 days or so to something highj carb high fat, like pad thai!

  • Reply
    Cassie
    May 30, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    So far while trying a plant-based diet I find that working out two or even three times a day helps me keep my digestion and energy levels active. How can some people have such fast metabolisms to burn all the sugars off????

  • Reply
    Kkkkkkkat
    June 7, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Hi Katrina, I am a vegan starter, and I want to try the HCLF lifestyle, but will it help me to lose weight? I am 163 cm (5’3″-5’4″-ish) and 56kg(123lbs – ish) , I’m in the right range but I believe this is not the original form of my body. I think I can be healthier and slimmer, so should I just start my vegan journey with HCLF? And can I eat bread and rice for this lifestyle? Thank you:))

    • Reply
      Katrina
      June 7, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      I think this lifestyle is amazing for anyone! Just remember to eat until YOU are satisfied, don’t stuff yourself, but don’t starve yourself. Eat until your body is full, and always listen to your body if you are hungry. Eat lots of fruits and veggies, and also cooked carbs like rice, potatoes, pasta, etc.
      It depends what kind of bread, but I wouldn’t recommend it often. Maybe twice a week? 🙂
      Hope this helps xo

      • Reply
        Kkkkkkat
        June 7, 2015 at 11:43 pm

        Thank you! That helped a lot;) btw will I lose weight on this diet if I only do exercise not so often? I’m in high school so I’m sitting most of the time, but I’ll do some walking and jogging during weekend.

  • Reply
    Lsjrbf
    June 9, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Katrina, I’m wondering if I can also have high carb fruits and dates in the afternoon or dinner time? I watch some videos about HCLF vegan diet, but they seem to eat rice/pasta and salad for dinner, no one eat fruit at dinner just as what they did in the morning or noon…why? It seems like they are following the raw until 4 rule…And can I have fruits or dates after 4? And if I don’t work out much during the week, (1-2times a week) by following this HCLF lifestyle, will I gain weight? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Katrina
      July 1, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Just listen to your body and eat whatever you think YOUR body wants, not what other people eat. If you crave a fruit dinner, then have that 🙂 Usually I eat a fruity lunch, but one day I was just really craving rice for lunch – so I had that. Never deprive your body, it’s very smart and will tell you what it wants and doesn’t want. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes each day because it’s good for the body, and if you’re eating a lot of carbs, it’s good to workout 🙂 Eat until you are satisfied, but never over eat just to get in more calories or anything. Every body is different. x

  • Reply
    Tawny
    August 13, 2015 at 9:26 am

    I disagree with this diet on MANY levels. Muscle cannot be maintained without adequate protein, and this diet would cause muscle loss and a slowed metabolic rate over time….not to mention slowed thyroid function. Also, excess sugar in any form is harmful to the immune system and is not good for the gut. Most peoples guts are over run with bad bacteria, and sugar will cause them to proliferate. Good gut bacteria is vital for good digestion and weight loss.

    • Reply
      Angela
      September 2, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Vegetables have a lot of protein in them. A HCLF Vegan diet will definitely not make you protein deficient. Eating meat on the other hand is known to be unhealthy, causing many illnesses, there are many studies you can look up. You should watch Forks Over Knives on Netflix or youtube as one example. There are no studies to my knowledge about how harmful fruits and vegetables are for human health. As for gut health, natural sugars are bad but if they do bother someone, they can limit their fruit intake.

  • Reply
    Cascara
    September 15, 2015 at 9:25 am

    “(…)and low amounts of fats (sugars, salts, oils, etc).” o.O??

    Oil is a fat, sugar is a carb, salts are chemical compunds that are necessary for living cells, and not only sodium salts but also potassium, magnesium etc..

    Humans can thrive on many kinds of diets, both high-fat and high-carb, even high-protein. There’s not a single right answer to what is the most natural diet for us – maybe freeganism, eating whatever you can find? 😉 I notice you are Canadian so consider all the different Native traditional lifestyles throughout the Americas: they are all healthy, natural and balanced with the environment. Imported fruits are yummy but so is locally grown caribou.

  • Reply
    irem
    September 23, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Hey Katrina.
    This post was really helpful to me, thank you! But I still have a question. I’ve been doing raw till 4 since a month ago and it made me feel amazing during the day but I don’t want to do rt4 anymore, I just want to follow a normal hclf vegan lifestyle/diet. I have 10 kilograms to lose so I am not really comfy with eating a tons amount of food and not stay super active. I really want to lose weight, what’s is your reccomendation? Thank you.

    • Reply
      Katrina
      October 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Hi there! Visit my post ‘Why I’m no Longer HCLF or ‘rawtill4’. I explain there how I was eating too much for my body. Remember to always listen to YOUR body, not someone else’s. If you don’t want to eat raw til 4, then don’t! No one is forcing you to. Just eat the foods that your body needs, and the proper amounts for your body. I hope this helps xx

  • Reply
    Josh
    September 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    So, I was just wondering, since I would love to go vegan as I am pseudo-vegan(No eggs or dairy, and only meat I eat is turkey or chicken) if this lifestyle is good for a body builder. I would love feedback on this and I really like your blog post, peace!

    • Reply
      Katrina
      October 4, 2015 at 10:17 am

      Yes it’s amazing for body building! I know quite a few people who are vegan body builders! 🙂 Search VEGAN GAINS on Youtube, he’s a bit crazy and controversial, but you cannot deny his muscles are outstanding. Also Naturally Stefanie on Instagram and Youtube. Just Google vegan body builders, tons will come up 🙂 Hope this helps

  • Reply
    Abbi
    October 3, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Hi! so you still eating HCLF? and I was wondering what kind of pasta and rice do you recommend?

    • Reply
      Katrina
      October 4, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Yes, I guess I would consider myself HCLF because I eat mostly carbs (fruit, veg, rice, pasta, potatoes) just not in large excessive amounts anymore 🙂 And I like Brown Rice Pasta, and Jasmine Rice x

  • Reply
    Madara
    October 17, 2015 at 11:38 am

    what about nuts?

  • Reply
    Kate
    November 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Any science to back this up?

  • Reply
    steveo314
    February 16, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    If you are saying Fructose and Glucose are bad then you shattered your whole belief that HCLF is a good diet. Fructose is sugar that is found in fruit and glucose IS sugar, There is no such thing as a bad carb on the HCLF diet or lifestyle. What you can say is stay away from gluten.

  • Reply
    Lia
    March 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Hello, I really want to have this lifestyle! the only problem is that I dont like fruit. I can barely eat 1 fruit a day, and it takes me like 30 min to eat an apple( no kidding) because I cant stand the mushy texture and sweetness. What can I do? Is there anyway to be a high carb low fat vegan without eating so much fruit?
    thank you,

    Lia

  • Reply
    Fighting the freshman 15 – kennesawstatement
    March 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    […] the opposite side of the spectrum is the high carb, low fat (HCLF) diet. A HCLF diet calls for the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables and healthy starches such as potatoes, […]

  • Reply
    Trinity Song
    April 6, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Hi, Katrina
    This article is very helpful. Thank you.
    I think I can follow this meal plan for weekdays except just one thing
    Is it ok to drink soy latte after eating fruit for breakfast?
    I still can’t live without coffee 🙁

  • Reply
    Gina Thompson
    April 17, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Hi Katrina! I was just wondering what dairy substitute you would recommend. I actually get migraines if I don’t have at least 1 cup of coffee per day. I’ve eliminated sugar and use minimal amounts of vanilla cream, but cream counts as dairy and idk what else I can use that will taste good. I absolutely hate almond milk and soy milk. Any suggestions? I’d love to try this lifestyle.

  • Reply
    Juliana Santos
    April 23, 2016 at 11:43 am

    I’m thinking of starting this “diet” or lifestyle, but i have some questions, like is it ok to have as many snacks as i want (even if it’s fruit and veggies) or should i eat like 4 meals a day? Also, can i use peanut butter, honey and coffee in my meals?
    Thanks a lot

  • Reply
    Sleeping forest
    April 27, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Is regular white rice good or is it a starch? (Bad )

  • Reply
    A
    May 31, 2016 at 5:08 am

    This may be a stupid question; but soon I will be working 12 hour days, every single day for a month, but I really want to do the raw til 4. They feed us, so I have access to an abundance of fruits and veggies whenever I want, but since they cater lunch, would trading the rice/pasta/potato meal for lunch instead of dinner make a big difference?

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