Believe it or not, there are certain food combinations for weight loss that can take your progress from stagnant to stellar in just a few tweaks. Many people approach fitness and weight loss with a textbook strategy, which is exercising every day and eating healthy foods like whole grains, veggies, lean protein, healthy fats, fruit, etc. While this is not necessarily bad for weight loss, it doesn't address an important piece to the whole puzzle. The way you combine certain foods can affect the way the nutrients are absorbed, as well as your blood sugar, which controls your hormones that influence weight loss or gain. Food combining also greatly affects digestion, which is key for losing weight. If something isn't properly broken down in the body, especially in people with digestive issues, it can lead to weight gain quickly, and uncomfortable symptoms like gas, constipation, etc. That can all be fixed with just one simple change to how you eat- food combining. Check out the following food combinations for weight loss and learn why they work. You don’t need to stress about each of these every time you eat, but do keep them in mind. They’re simpler than you think, and can help turn that scale around fast!
Eating lean protein and greens together is one of the best food combinations for weight loss of all. Why? First, know that greens are not only an excellent source of fiber that steadies your blood sugar, but they also promote good digestion and contain vitamins like A, C and E, and minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. This gives you a perfect baseline of nutrition, while lean protein, whether plant-based or from animal sources, helps to fill you up and starts your metabolism. Greens take hardly any energy to digest, so your body can focus on using those proteins to digest slowly, building muscle and burning fat. Since no starchy carbs are part of this combination, the body directly goes to fat burning zone, and the greens’ nutrients are absorbed better by the iron in the protein, along with helping to provide an alkaline state for the body. Alkalinity counteracts acidity, which naturally occurs from protein-based foods. Keeping your pH alkaline is important for weight loss. This combination is also excellent for your blood sugar. Eating carbs with protein not only affects your digestion, but also takes lots of energy from the body. Eat your carbs alone, as in the ways described below.
Carbs like sweet potatoes, quinoa, oats, brown rice, etc. are all great sources of energy for the body, and the ones I’ve described are also full of beneficial nutrients. The key, however, is to eat them with greens, not protein. Why? Because as I mentioned above, eating carbs and protein together will actually cause weight gain, not weight loss. It also takes up greater digestive energy, which leaves you with that sleepy feeling after a meal. By eating greens and carbs together, such as a sweet potato and a salad, or quinoa over steamed greens, your body can immediately start to burn the carbs for fuel and eventually fat. The greens help provide a baseline of alkalizing nutrients, which also help with digestion and regulate your blood sugar.
Yes, the best way to eat fresh fruit is all by itself. Fresh fruit digests faster than anything else in the body, so eating it alone, or at least 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after a meal, is optimal. Dried fruit is digested similarly but is fine to eat with other foods, as I’ll describe below. You don’t have to adhere to this rule if you don’t want to, but it will change the way you lose weight, and how fast. Because fresh fruit is digested before anything else, it prompts the body to burn the carbohydrates for quick energy. A great example of how to do this is to eat a banana or three dates before a run or workout. Your body will use those carbs to propel you for a workout and those carbs will be used for energy, not stored as fat. When you add in protein and fat to the mix, they are digested first, which leaves the carbs to be stored as excess fat.
Eating fat with protein is a great way to stabilize your blood sugar and fill you up. My favorite way to do this is to have some nuts or seeds with some Greek yogurt, Greek yogurt with a square of dark chocolate or have a green protein drink with some healthy fats included. This could also mean eating something like a protein bar or a chicken salad with some avocado. This is the perfect way to steady your blood sugar, keep you from being ravenous, start your metabolism and give your body the nutrition it needs. Greens are fine to include in the mix, as they can be eaten with anything.
Dried fruit and nuts like a Larabar make a great snack since dried fruits and nuts are actually digested perfectly together. Think about it- trail mix was created for a reason! Dried fruit lacks water like fresh fruit, and is easily digested and assimilated better than fresh fruit and nuts. It may sound strange, but try an experiment. Eat fresh fruit with nuts, and you’ll see you may have a little gas or digestion problems. Then eat dried fruit and nuts, and most likely, you won’t have any. It’s all in how the body digests each of these foods differently. A Larabar, a homemade version of one or trail mix is one of my favorite snacks to eat, and a great workout snack to eat to provide quick energy.
Coffee and fruit are a great thing to have first thing in the morning before a workout, and can be a great key to weight loss. Since coffee provides quick energy and fruit is digested fast and easy, the body has two immediate sources of energy to use to work out and burn fat fast. Afterward, be sure to refuel with lean protein, like Greek yogurt with some flaxseeds or a green smoothie made with hemp protein powder.
Another fabulous combination is to eat greens with some healthy fats. An easy example is an avocado over a large green salad, having some greens sauteed in coconut oil or perhaps celery dipped in hummus or guacamole. These are great examples of a food combination that aids in weight loss. Why? The vital nutrients from fats that increase your metabolism, such as omega 3 fats, monounsaturated fats and MCT fats, are better absorbed when you add some vitamin-rich greens. Plus, the vitamins from the greens are actually absorbed better from the fats, so its a win-win combo. When your body receives a vital supply of nutrients, it tells you it's full sooner, and it calms the brain, leading to satiety. This is key for weight loss so you’re not always hungry, or so nutritionally empty that you think you’re hungry, even if you just ate.
If this sounds confusing, it’s actually not when you start to eat. Just use one of the above combinations and see for yourself. Don’t make it too complicated, but just go by the general guidelines. Before long, it becomes habit, and your digestion and weight loss will move along much faster. Have you ever heard of combining certain foods for weight loss?
Sources: bodyecology.com, doctoroz.com
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