Wondering what to eat to lose weight? Proper food combining – eating the right foods in the right order at the right time – is part of a healthy nutrition plan that helps your body improve digestion, absorb nutrients better and lose weight. There’s actually a science that studies food combining, called “trophology”. It examines how our bodies use enzymes to digest certain foods, and looks at what happens when improper food combining throws this delicate and complex chemistry off balance.
Even if you’re knowledgeable about healthy nutrition and eat a wholesome diet, the way you are combing your foods when you eat may be slowing down your inner systems. Because foods use different enzymes to digest food, and some digest slower than others, mixing several foods tends to leave improperly digested food in your intestines, leading to toxicity.
Results of poor food combining include feeling tired, heavy and bloated, and can also trigger or worsen food allergies. Just by combining the foods you eat for best digestion purposes, you’ll enjoy better sleep, more energy, and natural weight loss. This is why careful food combing is an integral part of a healthy nutrition plan.
The key to what to eat to lose weight? Know how quickly a particular food digests. Protein takes the longest and fruit is the fastest, followed by greens, non-starchy vegetables, and starches. When you eat foods in the correct order, nutrients will be optimally absorbed and waste properly eliminated, leaving your digestive tract toxin-free.
Best Rules of Food Combining for Healthy Nutrition and to Lose Weight
1. Eating starches and proteins together is a no-no. Two different types of digestive bases are required to digest these, with proteins requiring an acid base and starches requiring an alkaline base. This means that you shouldn’t combine bread, rice, or potatoes with meat, fish, or eggs. Instead, pair them with green, leafy vegetables and non-starchy vegetables, like asparagus and broccoli.
2. Don’t mix your proteins. Different proteins have different digestion processes—for example, milk and eggs take longer to digest than meat. That means you can have cheese with your eggs, but not with your fish, and don’t pair meat with milk or eggs. If you’re a meat lover, feel free to combine different types of meats.
3. Fruits are best eaten alone or with others fruits (except melons). If you want a bit of protein with your fruit, stick to nuts. A 5-to-1 ratio of fruit to nuts is the accepted amount that allows healthy digestion.
4. Melons should always be eaten alone, as they digest faster than any other food.
5. Don’t mix sweet fruits (bananas and raisins) with acid fruits (grapefruits and strawberries) or sub-acid fruits (apples and grapes). Mixing the two acidic fruit groups is fine.
6. Avoid mixing starch and acidic foods. The body is unable to digest starches if acidic foods like oranges, lemons, or vinegar are consumed at the same time. This means you should steer clear of cereal and orange juice in the morning.
7. Give your body time to digest between eating foods that don’t combine. Wait a couple of hours after eating fruit, three hours after starches, and four hours after you’ve eaten proteins.
8. Desserts, whether they’re sweet or starchy, basically stop digestion when eaten after a big meal. Wait a few hours after eating, and then enjoy.
You may not be able to follow these food combining rules religiously, but by keeping them in mind, making healthy nutrition choices overall and avoiding the worst combinations, you’ll improve your metabolism and get on track with your healthy nutrition plan. You’ll also likely notice that you have more energy and that you’re sleeping better.
Although food combining isn’t a weight loss plan, you’ll likely lose weight as a side effect of your increased metabolic rate, more efficient digestive system, and improved sleep patterns. And when you add in other healthy nutrition choices—like low-fat products and portion control—you’ll lose weight that much faster.