Food combining is a newer topic I have discovered about 4 months ago when I borrowed a book from the library called Fit for life. The reason I go the book was the fact that I wanted to improve my digestion and make a change in my life because I was constantly having diarrhoea or constipation, basically a simpler type of IBS which I had in the past. So I started reading and found this book which is actually amazing if you are someone who wishes to LOSE WEIGH & who also wants to improve their health. But my wish wasn’t the first option, but the second so I read the book, took some important notes and started looking for more sources where I could correlate what I read in the first book. And so I found 3 more books( Improve your digestion, The Hay Diet Made Easy, The complete book of food combining) which were actually made for GUT HEALTH but they were actually all talking about THE SAME THING- FOOD COMBINING.
WHAT IS FOOD COMBINING?
The principles of food combining were revived in the early 1900s by the Hay diet. Since then, they’ve become a foundation for many modern diets. Food combining is a METHOD of eating, NOT A DIET because it can be combined with different types of diets and it does not require HARSH restrictions. It is a method which helps you understand food in a different way and it also helps you improve your relationship with food, it promotes weight loss, healthier gut and improves overall health.
WHAT DOES IT PROMOTE?
- IMPROVED GUT HEALTH
- WEIGHT LOSS
- IMPROVED OVERALL HEALTH
- INCREASED ENERGY LEVELS
By following food combining our digestion becomes more efficient and quicker because we choose food categories which use the same enzymes or environment to digest.
There are 2 main ideas behind food combining:
The first is that different foods are digested at different speeds, combining a fast-digesting food with slow-digesting food causes a “traffic jam” in your digestive tract, leading to negative digestive and health consequences.
The second is that different foods require different enzymes to be broken down and that these enzymes work at different pH levels — levels of acidity — in your gut. The idea is that if two foods require different pH levels, the body cannot properly digest both at the same time.
Per example, if you combine starch and protein (which is a NO-NO) once they get to your stomach they will be in a mixed environment -acidic and alkaline. Once that happens all of the juices in your stomach will become neutralised and then your body will have to spend more energy to actually produce more juices to fully digest the food. However, each time the juices combine in the stomach again they will NEUTRALISE so it will take hours of repeating the same thing to actually digest the food. you combining makes our digestion as quick and efficient as possible.
By following FC we save energy in the body by making the process of our digestion quicker, and by saving the energy we allow our body to use that energy somewhere else needed. That happens because we mindfully choose ONE MAIN FOOD CATEGORY and pair it with other quick digestion foods, which eases our digestion. So instead of combining a STARCH & PROTEIN (which would take about 5-8 hours to digest), we pick one of the 2 categories and pair it with other neutral foods like vegetables. This way the digestion will take only 3-4 hours and it will save our bodies energy to focus on something else to improve in our system: building new cells or getting rid of the bad cells, maybe building some collagen or simply repairing other parts in the body which need improvement.
While I discovered it’s not true that nuts specifically take 55 hours to digest, it is true that food, in general, can take that long to get from your pie-hole to the bottom of a toilet bowl.
And in some cases actually longer; In other cases shorter; Usually shorter.
So that is what we want to IMPOROVE!
FC= SAVED ENERGY DURING DIGESTION=HIGHER ENERGY LEVELS + HEALTHIER GUT
Rules of FC are simple: you choose ONE MAIN CATEGORY and combine it with other neutral foods. However, once you are actually not combining 2 DENSE FOODS anymore, your meal doesn’t have the same amount of calories as it would have if you combine 2 HIGHER CALORIE FOODS. However, this can be adjustable if your goal is to gain weight. All you have to do is to know how to correctly create a HIGHER CALORIE combined meal.
Studies have also shown that humans have a tendency to overeat when we are offered a wide variety of foods during a meal. (source) So, by simplifying our meals, we will naturally eat less, without counting calories or worrying about portion sizes.
Another benefit with FC is that if you are trying to lose weight, the rules it has actually push you to unintentionally create a low-calorie meal, so simply by following FC, you don’t need to worry about calories anymore. Just by following the rules, if you are trying to lose weight, you will be able to reach your goal without restrictions and without the worry or CALORIE COUNT.
When it comes to FC I know that it looks like a big mess or restrictions, but trust me when I say that it IS NOT! While following it you can still eat carbs & fats & protein, just in a different way. If you want a little chart to help you, you can download my own cheat sheet here.
The main rules you should always keep in mind are:
- Eat fruit on an EMPTY stomach (best in the morning or in big meal spacing)
- Starches and protein DON’T combine together
- Different proteins DON’T combine
- Different starches DO combine
- Neutrals can be paired with EVERYTHING
- Different fats DO combine
- Fats and starches DO combine
At first, I know how overwhelming all of this looks like, but it really isn’t. Once you actually make your own favourite combinations it becomes so easy to stick to them, all you need is time.
Another important thins is TIMING.
Food is digested differently and it requires different times to get digested, so because of that, you need to make sure that you give ENOUGH time between meals for the food to get digested.
- FRUITS– 30 minutes
- Starches– 2-3 hours
- PROTEIN – 4 hours
- Nuts – 3 hours
So make sure that you give that space for your food to digest.
HOW DO OTHER DIETS FITH WITH FC?
If you are following a paleo, keto, IFFYM or any other diet, you can still include it while using this method because FC doesn’t restrict you from that. If you have set certain macros in your day, GREAT, reach them in new combinations! If you are on a higher fat diet, AMAZING, make HIGH-fat combinations or treats while using FC.
Food combining truly helped me improve my gut health and it truly changed my understanding of food. I am not restricting myself of anything, I am eating LOTS and am so happy with how my digestion works right now. I read many reviews of other people who also said that this saved their life and to be honest I would truly recommend it. If nothing worked for you before, this definitely might be a new solution for you as it was for me.