Food Pairing: The Secret to Weight Loss

THE KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS MAY NOT BE WHAT YOU EAT BUT WHAT YOU EAT IT WITH

Think you’re eating healthy? Odds are you’re not. That grilled halibut and sweet potato is the equivalent of margarita pie according to some nutritionists, raw foodies, and Ayurveda fans. Enter food combining, the of-the-moment diet based on the idea that mixing certain foods leads to bloating, low energy, and extra pounds, while pairing others revs the metabolism. “One client lost 10 pounds in three weeks by eating whole foods combined properly,” says Mara Feil, a nutritionist in Manhattan.

When it comes to dropping pounds, food combining may be the new trend du jour.

DON’T MIX PROTEINS WITH FATS
Fat inhibits the enzymes needed for protein digestion, so keep the two apart. However, fats (like avocados and oils) and carbs mix well, and the former also play nicely with leafy greens. Treat foods with both protein and fat—e.g., cheeses, seeds, nuts—as proteins.

NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES ARE GOLDEN
They can be paired with nearly everything—proteins, carbs, or fats—because produce like leafy greens, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy digests well in any environment (alkaline or acidic). Enthusiasts of the diet suggest planning meals around a base (meat or carbs), then loading up on non-starchy vegetables.

CARBS ARE NOT EVIL
We often avoid all grains as if they were doughnuts (or we don’t and then feel guilty), but whole-grain pasta, brown rice, and even potatoes won’t stick around your midsection if paired with non-starchy vegetables (see No. 2). Also, most beans (kidney, pinto, navy) are considered carbs on this plan.

SEPARATE MEAT AND POTATOES
Proteins (whether from animals or plants like soybeans, olives, and nuts) are best digested in an acidic environment, while carbohydrates require an alkaline one. Combining the two neutralizes the stomach, stalling digestion.

NO DRINKING
Sipping beverages during meals dilutes the enzymes in the gut and slows digestion. Stop consuming liquids 15 minutes before eating.

THE FRUIT STANDS ALONE
Fruit has the fastest digestion rate of all foods (because of its high sugar and water content) but gets backlogged in the stomach when consumed with other ingredients, resulting in gas and bloating.

REST BETWEEN SETS
Give your body time to finish the digestion process before consuming something else in a no-go group. For example, eat fruit either 30 minutes before a meal or three hours after one. Wait at least three hours to eat again after starches and four or more post-proteins.

WHAT THE SKEPTICS SAY
A large swath of the medical community doesn’t buy it. “Followers are simply paying attention to their food and eating less,” says Lisa Cimperman, R.D. But it’s pitched as more than just a weight-loss plan: Acolytes say it helps regularity, reduces inflammation, and relieves headaches. source: MSN.COM

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