In our previous posts, we talked about simple eating habits in a weight loss program such as breaking your foods into 5 or 6 meals everyday, minimizing carbohydrate intake and to avoid carbohydrate after exercise etc. However, there is another essential knowledge about your food intake for efficient weight loss that you MUST grasp: food combination.
All of us must have experienced bloated stomach and uncomfortable feeling after eating sumptuous and scrumptious foods. Would you believe that it is due to the combination of different foods that turns our body into toxic condition and hence give you the sick stomach feeling? I tell you, it is true because certain combination of foods in our stomach could actually slow or shut down the digestion as soon as they are in the stomach, and causing them to retain extra calories in your body. In another words, taking certain combination of foods at the same time could actually impede your weight loss plan.
The science of this theory is called Trophology. It is actually the study of the correct food-combining, that is, the art of knowing which foods go best with which others. Understanding and application of this knowledge is of utmost importance in a weight loss diet program.
In this theory, all foods are categorized into one of the five groups below:
1. Proteins (Meat, eggs, nuts, beans, dairy products)
2. Carbohydrate (Rice, sugars, starches)
3. Fruits (Acidic fruits such as oranges and sweet fruits)
4. Fats (Animal- and vegetable-derived fats)
5. Vegetables (Non-starchy and mildly starchy)
So how could Trophology help in weight loss?
There are several rules in Trophology that you should adapt in an efficient weight loss diet plan.
1. Avoid combining Proteins and Carbohydrates!
This is the first and most important rule to follow. Protein digestion requires an acidic environment while carbohydrate digestion is most efficiently performed in an alkali atmosphere. If an acid and an alkali are combined in the stomach, digestion would be tremendously affected and hence the foods would be retained in the stomach for a longer period of time.
However, there is an exception for this rule. You may eat WHITE MEATS (eg. chicken, turkey, pork and fish) with carbohydrate. In another word, you should strongly avoid RED MEATS (eg. Beef, buffalo, deer, lamb) with carbohydrate.
2. Avoid eating fruits with other food groups!
Fruits move through the digestive track very quickly and they they possess digestive enzymes that aid to remove any food residues left in your stomach. Hence, to maximize the benefits of fruits, they should always be eaten solely on an empty stomach. Bear in mind that NONE of the fruits mixes well with any other food because the chemical make-up of fruits does not interact well with any of the other food groups, therefore should be eaten alone as a snack or dessert or meal.
Another point to note down. Fruits are made up of 4 groups: Acidic fruits, Sub-Acidic Fruits and Melons. You should avoid combining any of the fruit with any other food group, and each fruit group should be consumed separately from one another.
High fiber contents and antioxidant properties. Approximate digestion time: 20 to 30 minutes.
Examples include blackberry, grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, pineapple, sour plum, pomegranate, raspberry, soup apple, strawberry, tomatoes and so on.
Approximate digestion time: 30 to 40 minutes
Examples include apple, apricot, sweet plum, mango, peach, pear, kiwi, cherry.
Require longer time for digestion: 40 to 60 minutes. They are not the best cleansers of the stomach, but provide essential minerals and sugars.
Examples include banana, currents, dates, figs, grapes, papaya, persimmon, prunes, raisins.
Made up of mainly water, which is very easy to digest (approximately 5 to 10 minutes).
Examples include watermelon, persian, honeydew, crenshaw, casaba, cantaloupe.
3. Avoid drinking milk with other foods!
This is probably the most controversial tip in Trophology as we are taught to drink milk for calcium acquisition. The reason you should avoid milk is because milk combines poorly with any other food except itself. Milk curdles soon upon reaching the stomach. The curds surround other food in the stomach and insulates the foods from digestive enzymes. This therefore delays the digestion process.
Besides, digestion of milk requires an enzyme called lactase. There is 75% of adults worldwide showing decreased lactase activity, making digestion of milk difficult for them. Most of the milk that we buy from store are actually processed and they are more indigestible compared to raw milk. This is because the natural enzymes (such as lactase and lipase enzymes) present in the raw milk have been destroyed during the pasteurization (milk preparation step to kill germs) which could otherwise digest itself in the stomach.
In fact, calcium could be easily obtained from foods such as cheese, yogurt, broccoli, sardines, soybeans, cabbage, salmon, tofu, almonds, beans, and so on.
4. Avoid desserts straight after your meal!
Being slim and thin does not mean you must give up your lovely desserts altogether. You just have to learn the right time to consume it. Desserts should only be taken at least one or two hours after your last meal. This is simply because sweet foods do not combine well with other food groups. If you eat your dessert straight after your meal, the mixture will putrefy in your body. This can cause bloating, nauseous, uncomfortable gassy feeling in the stomach, constipated and inevitably put extra weight on you. Therefore, let me repeat, eat your dessert only after your last meal has moved out from your stomach which usually takes one or two hours. If possible, try to look for those with low saturated fats and trans fats. However, if you want to lose weight fast, this unnecessary calorie should be totally avoided!
5. Avoid alcohol!
As mentioned in this post, 1 gram of alcohol gives you 7 calories which is higher than carbohydrate and protein which only gives 4 calorie per gram. If you need a drink after a meal, plain water, lemon water and green tea are the best alternatives for you. Plain water contains zero calorie while green tea and lemon water help boost metabolism rate and detoxification.
Learn more about how plain water, lemon water and green tea help in weight loss:
Eat these for fast weight loss!
1. Eat Yogurt!
Yogurt is one of the best foods for weight loss and rapid fat shedding, along with many other benefits. Research from the University of Tennessee has found that people that eat approximately two cups of yogurt everyday lost 22% more weight and 81% more belly fat than dieters who did not eat yogurt. Besides helping in weight loss, yogurt contains probiotics which are bacterial cultures that promote healthy digestive system and lower the risks of colon cancer. Besides, probiotics in the yogurt also boost immune system to fight illnesses.
2. Eat fat to lose fat!
Fats and oils, though, could slow down digestion efficiency, you have to eat fat to lose fat. Fats give you energy and the structure to certain body hormones essential for normal daily activity. But, you have to be careful of the types of fat you eat. Basically they can be broadly categorized into good and bad fats.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are GOOD fats because they are good for your heart, cholesterol, and your overall health. They are normally in liquid but not solid form.
Sources of these fats include olive oil, canola oil, nuts (almonds, peanuts, macademia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews), sesame oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil (unprocessed, extra virgin coconut oil), soybean oil, corn oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil, walnuts, fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines), soymilk, tofu and so on.
On the other hand, saturated and trans-fats are BAD fats. They are the main contributor to heart disease, obesity, increased Triglyceride levels, high cholesterol, liver disorders, lymphatic congestion and acne. Unlike the good fats, these fats are usually in soil forms.
Bad fats could easily be obtained from high-fat cuts of meat (beef, lamb, pork), chicken skin, whole-fat dairy products, butter, cheese, ice cream, palm, lard, stick margerine, commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, candy bars, fried foods etc.
3. Drink plenty of water!
Water is the most vital element in life. It flushes our bodies, keeps us hydrated and removes toxins from our body. Refer to above on ''Avoid alcohol'' for more useful information on how water helps in losing weight.
4. Eat vegetables everyday!
Vegetable is a MUST when it comes to diet plan. They are low in calorie but high in antioxidants. As they are complex carbohydrate, our bodies have to burn more energy to breakdown fibrous foods compared to normal carbohydrate foods. The more you include fiber in your diet, the faster you lose weight! There are two types of vegetables, namely the starchy and the non-starchy types. Both provides wonderful weight loss and healthy benefits, but the non-starchy are more effective.
Examples of non-starchy vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, celery, beet greens, garlic, green beans, kale, parsley, spinach, sprouts and so on.
Examples of mildly-starchy vegetables are artichokes, beets, carrots, cauliflower, corn, peas.
5. Opt for fresh and raw foods over processed foods!
Canned and packaged foods are usually loaded with preservatives, saturated fats and artificial colourings and flavourings which are unfavourable for digestion process in the body, which could lead to fermentation and putrefaction.
Food combining is a controversial practice for weight loss. It works for some, but not all. There is no problem for the body at all in this type of eating habit. Whether or not it is effective for you to lose weight, you just have to find out yourself.