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Thursday, January 19, 2012

31 Days of Weight Loss Tips: Day 19 Do Combine Food Properly

Photo by woodleywonderworks on Flickr
Eating heavy and improperly combined foods can cause bloating, delay absorption of nutrients and prolong digestion which can cause food byproducts to stay in our intestines longer than necessary -- contributing to excess weight.

In the book "The Beauty Detox Solution," nutritionist Kimberly Snyder notes that many people are not aware of the principle of proper food combining. In fact, most mainstream health professionals would argue that it's unnecessary. However, much research has been done to support the practice and you should at least consider it as you plan your meals to help with weight loss and better health.

The idea behind proper food combining is to promote efficient digestion and assimilation of nutrients into the body. For example, let's take a look at this dinner option: baked chicken, vegetables and potatoes. In this meal the easiest food for the body to digest is the vegetables, second is the potatoes and chicken is the most difficult. When eaten together, the chicken takes hours to break down and by the time it's done, the vegetables have all but rotten -- leading to gas and bloating and other digestive issues.

Here are some guidelines of proper food combining. For more information, I encourage you to read the listed source books.

Concentrated foods:
Any non-water based foods. Examples: fish, chicken, pork, seafood, beef, protein powders, beans, eggs, cheese, grains, pasta, crackers, cereal and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams and white potatoes.

Non-concentrated foods:
Any water based foods. Examples: all fruit and all non-starchy vegetables.

Do:

  • Aim to eat only one concentrated food at each meal (though two starches together are OK)
  • Eat vegetables first at any meal
  • Only eat fruit on an empty stomach (though fruit and leafy vegetables are OK together)
Don't:

  • Eat more than one meat in a meal
  • Eat meat and a starch together

Examples of properly paired meals:
  • Baked chicken, asparagus and salad
  • Salmon and broccoli 
  • Vegetable stir-fry with brown rice
  • Fruit plate for breakfast
  • Pasta with tomato sauce
  • Toasted bread with butter

Once you start making changes, knowing which foods pair well, will become easy. For me, when I first started pairing foods properly, I thought it seemed ridiculous that having a turkey sandwich was an improper food pairing. It made me reluctant to go through with it. But once I did, I saw a huge improvement in my energy and I didn't have an unsettled or sour stomach -- but most importantly, I dropped the weight I was having a hard time getting rid of. 

I understand being a little hesitant to get on board with this, I know I was. But I encourage you to try it for at least a week and see if you notice any changes -- I know you will. 

Resources:
The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder
Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond

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