Food Combining

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  fasting_me 6 years, 5 months ago.

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  • I’ve been avoiding mixing Carbs and proteins for some time now and was wondering if any other 5:2ers manage to do this successfully. The reason I ask is that even though I’m right at the very beginning of my 5:2 journey I’m quite surprised at how little I’m snacking and eating in general compared to how I used to and am wondering if food combining and 5:2 are going to be compatible because I might not get all I need in a day?

    For example, I’ve been Skipping breakfast (and feel better for it) and I was going to have a protein meal at 12ish and then a carb meal at 8ish (I’m having a go at 16:8 on non-fast days) but then I was thinking I should do it the other way around as we need carbs for energy etc.?

    For anyone unfamiliar with food combining the theory is that our bodies process carbs and proteins differently and so (for various reasons) they are best eaten at least 4 hours apart. So, as mentioned, I might have a protein with some veg in the afternoon, then some carbs and veg in the evening but what I used to do is have four smaller meals spread throughout the day alternating between protein and carbs (and, if I’m honest several sugary ‘snacks’!) so, again, was just wondering if any other food combiners were also doing 5:2 and if so how’s it going for you?


    Martie, there are so many different ideas on what and how and when to eat that it is overwhelming. I’ve never heard about separating out the food groups for fear they will be digested differently. I just make sure that I eat 600 quality calories on a Fast Day and my 1450 calories on Slow Days, no matter which food group they are in. Works for me. works for my husband. We have 2 meals on Fast Days, each of 300 or less calories.
    Ar you making this harder than it needs to be? Look at hunter-gatherer tribes: they eat whatever they can find, combining it at will. They are slim and fit and active and have very healthy digestive systems with highly diverse gut flora. They die younger than we do because of disease rather than of obesity or diabetes.

    @martie – Virtually all metabolic processes in our bodies are going on to some degree at anytime. Our bodies can easily process different food groups at the same time. However eating a meal that is mostly protein carries some risks.

    * While the body is very good at recycling proteins everyone does lose some of the amino acids everyday. In general a glut of protein will force some of the protein to just be converted to glucose and likely fat from that. In general it is better to eat 30g protein for 3 meals than 90g in one meal. Too much protein at one time also tens to activate metabolic pathways that are possibly beneficial for muscle development, however they may also promote cancer development. That is pretty controversial, but not as controversial as separating your food groups over meals.

    * You are eating mostly carbs at dinner? Typically the body is more adapt at processing sugars early in the day. Your dinner is probably okay if it is very high in fiber but if it is a lot of bread or pasta … well that a big part of the reason there is so much obesity in the first place.

    @martie. You might be over thinking it. Veg = (mostly) carbs. So you’re having protein + carbs for lunch and carbs + carbs for dinner. If the vast majority of your carbs are coming from (some) fruit and (lots of) veg then you really cant go wrong. If its processed grain based carbs then you’re probably not doing yourself any favours.

    Thanks for the comments. I remember reading a couple of food combining books that made a lot of sense at the time but it does indeed feel like I’m over-thinking it now and making this more difficult than it needs to be (which is exactly like me!) Thanks again 😊

    There are some pretty strong arguments for mixing foods particularly carbs. Eating carbs with fat and protein slows down digestion and evens out blood sugar spikes. Of course the type of carbs you are eating also makes a big difference on blood sugar spikes. If you are eating non starchy carbs with a lot of fiber blood sugar will rise more slowly too.

    Eating foods in isolation because the body can’t digest them otherwise is a bunch of hooey.

    Good luck, Martie, as you sort this out.

    There was a lot of ‘food science’ going on in the early 1900s around the time it takes to digest things. Due to those studies, cookbooks recommended cooking raw green beans for 4 hours to make them “digestible” to our tender stomachs. Ideas like that persisted for decades. Happily, we know better now.

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