Brenda de Groot
Health & Food Vegan

What is Raw Till 4?

Raw Till 4 is a diet that exactly comprises what it says. Those who follow Raw Till 4 eat only raw food during the day, and allow themselves cooked food only after 4 pm. In real life this comes down to two raw meals – breakfast and lunch – and a cooked dinner.

Beware, because this also means no hot drinks or food that has been heated before. Coffee at breakfast? No way. Sandwich for lunch? Think again. Raw Till 4 is not that easy as you initially may think, but luckily I wrote you an article about it. Here I will explain who’s behind Raw Till 4, what a ‘true’ Raw Till 4-diet entails, and how a day’s worth of eating raw until 4 pm would look like.

Side-note: this article is only to provide information, and not to promote Raw Till 4. 

Raw Till 4 and Freelee the Banana Girl

Raw till 4 is the lifestyle plan developed by YouTuber Freelee the Banana Girl. For those of you who never have heard about her before, the name may sound like a joke. I mean, which self-respecting person wants to be associated with a banana? And to be honest, her logo isn’t helping her credible reputation in any way much. But Freelee herself is dead serious regarding her statement: eat like I do and become slim, healthy and save the planet and animals along the way. Fair enough, that sounds like a good plan to me. That Freelee looks like an Victoria’s Secrets model who escaped the runway is underlining her statement, and probably contributes to the vast amount of dedicated followers of the Raw Till 4 lifestyle.

How does Raw Till 4 work?

If you have a sweet tooth, then this diet is something for you. On Raw Till 4 you can eat an unrestricted amount of carbohydrates from unrefined, plant-based sources. The number of calories you get from carbohydrates in a day lays around 80%, leaving fat and protein both making up the remaining 10%. You do not have to track every bite you take though, because if you stick to the Raw Till 4 rules, this will pretty much go automatically.

Till 16:00 hr: raw

Illustration fruit: banana, pear, blueberries and apple - Vegan Monky. Illustration by Brenda de GrootPrepare to eat fruit. Loads of fruit. For breakfast and lunch, you eat a minimum of 1000 kcal of these sweet goodies. That translates itself in about 9 banana’s or mangoes, 20 nectarines, 12 pears or 35 dates. You are encouraged to eat monomeals – meals consisting of only 1 ingrediënt. So don’t eat a fruit salad of five different fruits, but pick one and eat a lot of it. Ok, you can pick two, but then these should fit together well according to the food combining rules. This would positively affect digestion and let you get rid of bloating. Mono meals consisting of mangoes and huge banana smoothies are popular among those on Raw Till 4.

After 16:00 hr: cooked

For dinner you eat a warm, carbohydrate rich and low-fat meal. Think kilo’s of potatoes and huge bowls of rice and pasta. Seasonings such as low-fat dressings and unrefined sugars are allowed – too much salt or oil is not. Along with your starches, you preferably eat a big green salad for dinner. Also, it is not necessary to exercise extensively on this lifestyle. Getting up and move is good, but sweating is not a must.

The video below shows what a Raw Till 4 lifestyle can look like:

Raw Till 4 Food Diary

Dit is een short summary of what is eaten in the video above. It shows you the potential meal plan of a day on Raw Till 4 (so this is just an example and you do not eat every day exactly the same):

Smoothie made from 8 ripe bananas, 1 liter of water and 50 grams of coconut sugar.
Kcal: 1300

2 kilo’s of fresh peaches and figs (which comes down to around 15 peaces and 10 figs).
Kcal: 1100

One and a half kilo of potatoes from the oven and half a head of lettuce.
Kcal: 1200

What I think of Raw Till 4

Honestly? First thing coming to my mind is: boring. Deliberately refraining yourself from stuff like tea, coffee, oatmeal, soy yogurt and hummus (and seriously reduce my excessive peanut butter consumption) for the largest part of the day, sounds like a very bad idea to me.

Illustration monkey on raw till 4 - Vegan Monky. Illustration by Brenda de GrootI also ask myself whether this diet plan isn’t a recipe for instant obesity. I thought that if you eat too many calories, your body stores it as fat? And how about the fructose in all the fruit? A diet high in fructose shows a strong relationship to visceral fat [1,2].

On the other side: any belly fat is a far cry in Freelee’s case. Is she the Eight World Wonder, does she exercise in a degree we are unaware of, or is there a truth in what she claims? Perhaps the fibre, water and vitamins in fruit protect us from the harmful effects that fructose can have when we take it in a refined form, such as soft drinks. The first scientific study that shows you gain fat from eating fruit still has to cross my path. (If you happen to know one, then please show me!)

Raw Till 4 your own way

Even though the way to do Raw Till 4 the way described above, you can also do Raw Till 4 your own way. Because to be fair: I don’t get excited about 2 kilo’s of peaches for lunch. At least not for an indefinite amount of time. I would make a big salad with vegetables, fruit and avocado in it. I also am not too happy about 3 big meals a day, but rather take smaller meals and snacks in between. On these snack moments, I could fit in the fruit. Also, because a low-fat lunch salad contains little energy and I would be hungry soon after. And yes, it is important to get enough calories, and eating exculsively raw and unrefined products can lead to malnutrition of you do not keep track and take care of your daily energy intake.

I followed Raw Till 4 for a week, and wrote two updates on this experience in Dutch. Since there are so many English articles on Raw Till 4 already, I thought perhaps it would be better to skip translating those for the sake of time. If however you are really curious about my experience on the diet, please let me know in the comments. If you really insist, I can still translate them 😉

Photo credits: Monique Harthoorn

This post is also available in NL

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  • Reply
    15 July 2019 at 08:32

    😉 if you eat animal products, the fructose become a problem. Our nanny cured herself from Diabetes within a few months, by eating like this So please do consider that you might have the cat by the balls 😉 I am a dietitian who realized that I knew nothing about nutrition, once I went on a raw food lifestyle. After 3 months on 100% raw, I knew for a fact that calories are not what makes us fat 😉 I am in great shape and eat a LOT of calories,. My mother of 76 who eats like this has not had any pill since 7 years ago, when she started to eat like this. She even recently stopped wearing her glasses, when her optometrist told her she doesn’t need it any more. My eyesight also improved after a few months on this diet. It is amazing and I am deeply grateful for living my life like this.

  • Reply
    9 October 2019 at 12:32

    Fantastic Zabka, thanks for your sharing ! 🙂
    I have chronic diseases (one of which is diabetes) as well and even if I’m not cured for now, I am free from my 15-20 pills a day since I began mostly raw plant-based lifestyle with tons of fruits (two years ago). Just go on PubMed and listen to expert naturopathic doctors, the evidence are already here. I sometimes eat yogourt and lentils/chickpeas too, drink tea and other stuffs, just not everyday because when your gut flora changes and your needs are met, your tastes change too 🙂

  • Reply
    4 May 2020 at 19:23

    Hallo hallo please please translate and share your experience
    I really love animals and the planet and need to lose weight too haha

    • Reply
      4 May 2020 at 19:55

      Hi Kat!
      Haha I need to translate my entire website – I’m lagging behind so bad. 😉
      But to summarise: I really liked the unlimited fruit meals in the morning as it made me feel energetic, and kept me full for hours (did not expect that with so many carbs!) without sweet cravings. What I didn’t enjoy was the lack of coffee and tea. If you’d like to shed some weight, then green tea and coffee will help you keep the sweet cravings down and up your metabolism a bit. Don’t overdo it though. Also, I wouldn’t recommend taking these insanely big banana shakes, keep away from the dried fruits (incl. dates) and eat protein-rich foods like tofu, tempeh and beans. They will keep you full for long and don’t spike your blood sugar. Potato-only meals are not the tastiest, but potatoes are healthy and full of fiber and vitamins. Also, if you let them cool down, some of the starch will become resistant starch, which means your body won’t process it. This will help with weight loss.
      Hope this helps!
      Best wishes,

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