Does Eating Protein and Carbs at Different Meals Help You Lose Weight?

Some people believe that eating protein and carbohydrates at separate meals can help you lose weight. This idea is known as food combining and has been circulating for quite some time. So how does food combining work? Does it really help you lose weight if you eat protein and carbohydrates at different times? In this short guide, we’ll look at how food combining works and if it really does what people claim.

Food Combining

The basis behind food combining is this: protein requires acid to digest while carbohydrates require alkaline to digest. When looking at it this way, it makes sense, right? Anyone who is familiar with basic chemistry knows that acids and alkaline neutralize each other. If the acid and alkaline needed to digest protein and carbohydrates neutralize each other, then nothing gets digested.

Theoretically, eating protein and carbohydrates at separate meals allows each time to digest using their own process. Start with some fruits for breakfast and a morning snack. Than have a lunch full of starchy potatoes. End the day with some protein, such as meat or cheese. Do all of this each day and watch the weight come off.

The Truth

Sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Well it’s like the old saying goes, “if something’s too good to be true, it probably is.” In this case, you’d be right. Food combining is a theory that is not grounded in any science. If it works at all, it’s due to an increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables—which contain fiber and vitamins for a healthy body.

The problem with food combining is this—foods are made up of protein, carbohydrates, fats and other vitamins and minerals. You can’t just separate the protein from the carbohydrates, and it really wouldn’t make a difference if you did. Research has proven time and time again that digestion happens no matter what you eat. You don’t need to worry about food sitting in your stomach not digesting—because it is digesting.

Digestion begins with your teeth, chewing your food and breaking it down. Then it’s further broken down by acids in your stomach. Finally as the food passes through your intestines, nutrients from the broken up food are absorbed and used by the body.

This happens every time—whether or not you ate a protein, a carbohydrate, a fat or any combination of the three.

The truth is that digestion in actually aided in some cases by the combination of certain foods. Vitamin C, for instance, helps the body better digest iron in grains. There’s a reason why we often have a glass of orange juice with our breakfast of cereal or toast.

There are no secret food combinations or magical potions that help you lose weight. The best weight loss tool is a balanced diet with plenty of exercise and activity.


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