Weight Loss Food Combinations: Do They Work?

Food combining – or pairing specific types of food together during meals – is a common practice believed to be associated with a variety of health benefits.

Some variations, including the Ayurvedic practice of combining foods, provide strict rules and regulations on which foods to eat together and which to avoid.

Conversely, other variations of food combinations are flexible, easy to follow, and may even be backed by science.

This article will take a closer look at the concept of combining foods, if it works for weight loss, and if it provides any health benefits.

Food combining is a concept based on the idea that eating certain foods together can provide certain health benefits, such as increased weight loss or better digestive health.

Proponents of food combining claim that specific nutrients found in different foods can complement and work together in the body. It is also believed to aid digestion and help prevent overeating, which could lead to weight loss in some people.

There are several variations of this dietary pattern, some of which include a complicated set of rules and are not supported by any real evidence.

For example, some types of food combining diets recommend never eating carbohydrates and protein in the same meal, consuming certain types of fruit only on an empty stomach, or completely avoiding drinking water with meal.

Others advise breaking foods into categories such as animal protein, starch, fresh fruit, and nuts or seeds, and sticking to one category per meal.

Although there is no research to back up these claims, certain other types of food combinations may actually be helpful in aiding weight loss and several other aspects of health.


Food combining is based on the idea that combining certain foods can promote weight loss and overall health. While some variations involve following complicated and arbitrary rules that aren’t based on research, some other food combinations can be beneficial.

While no studies are available to support certain methods of food combining — such as avoiding fruit on an empty stomach or sticking to one type of food per meal — other variations may be beneficial.

In particular, pairing foods high in protein and healthy fats with foods high in carbohydrates may help stabilize blood sugar to prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar after a meal (1, 2).

In addition to causing symptoms such as tremors and dizziness, low blood sugar can also increase hunger (3).

By regulating blood sugar and managing hunger levels, combining macronutrients — including protein, fat, and carbs — at meals can help you eat fewer calories overall, which could potentially aid control. weight.

Studies show that a high-protein diet can increase weight loss and alter levels of specific hormones involved in hunger and appetite to promote satiety (fullness) (4, 5).

In addition, fat slows stomach emptying, which can help you feel full between meals (6).

For this reason, consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods as part of a balanced, balanced diet is an excellent approach to promoting weight loss.

MyPlate – the nutrition guide published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – provides more detailed visual guidance on what a balanced meal looks like and is a good general example of effective foods that combine fat management weight and overall health (seven).


Pairing carbs with protein and healthy fats in each of your meals can help stabilize blood sugar and increase feelings of fullness, which may aid weight loss.

In addition to enhancing weight loss efforts and supporting blood sugar management, combining foods high in protein, fat, and carbohydrates into each of your meals may also provide other benefits.

For starters, it can be much easier to meet your nutritional needs by eating a diverse diet where every food group is represented.

It’s also a much more sustainable eating pattern than fad diets focused on weight loss, many of which eliminate certain foods or completely exclude whole food groups (8).

Additionally, following a well-balanced diet that includes lean protein, fiber-rich carbs, and healthy fats is also recommended to support heart health and protect against chronic disease (9, ten, 11).

What’s more, not only can a balanced diet promote healthy blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, it may also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the long term (12).

Although more research is needed on the potential effects of combining specific foods, it is clear that combining a balanced diet with a healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity is beneficial for multiple aspects of health.


Including a good source of protein, fats and carbohydrates at every meal as part of a balanced diet can protect against chronic disease and make it easier to meet your nutritional needs. It’s also a healthier and more sustainable approach than fad diets promising rapid weight loss.

Pairing high-protein or high-fat foods with high-fiber carbs is a great way to stabilize blood sugar, promote feelings of fullness, and promote sustained weight loss if that’s your goal.

It can also help ensure that your nutritional needs are met and that you are getting enough protein, fats and carbohydrates in your daily diet.

Here are some examples of nutritious food combinations to get you started:

  • whole grain bagel with fried egg and avocado
  • baked salmon with brown rice and broccoli
  • vegetable and cheese omelette, plus a side of fruit, hash browns or an English muffin
  • sandwich with turkey, spinach, tomatoes and guacamole
  • rolled oats made from cow’s milk or soy, mixed with nuts and berries
  • whole wheat toast with cream cheese and scrambled eggs
  • fresh fruit with yogurt and chia seeds
  • wrap with feta, chicken and vegetables

Feel free to mix and match other ingredients in the examples above to suit your tastes, but make sure every macronutrient – including protein, fat and carbs – is on your plate to make the most of it.


The meals listed above are just a few examples of nutritionally balanced food combinations you can try making at home.

What foods can I eat together to lose weight?

Including a good source of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats with every meal is a great approach to sustained weight loss. These nutrients increase feelings of fullness and stabilize blood sugar to help you achieve or maintain a moderate weight.

Try some of the combinations listed above, or get creative and experiment with your favorite foods to find what works for you.

Can certain foods (or combinations of foods) help burn fat?

Several foods contain nutrients that can temporarily increase your metabolism, which is an important mechanism for weight loss. However, note that the only effective and sustainable way to lose body fat and promote weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn each day (13).

Do certain foods (or combinations of foods) speed up the metabolism?

Protein-rich foods take more energy to digest and can temporarily increase the number of calories you burn. Additionally, research suggests that several other ingredients, such as chili peppers or coffee, may also slightly increase your metabolism (5, 14, 15, 16).

However, keep in mind that the effects of these foods are minimal and only last temporarily.

For this reason, it’s best to incorporate these foods into a well-balanced diet and pair them with resistance training and increased protein intake, both of which can help increase muscle mass to increase your metabolic rate. at rest (17, 18, 19).

Food combining is based on the idea that specific nutrients found in certain foods can complement each other and provide health benefits or promote weight loss.

Although some variations of food combining are not based on scientific evidence, pairing carbohydrates with healthy fats and a good source of protein is a food combining strategy that can be beneficial.

In addition to improving blood sugar management, including these three macronutrients in each of your meals can help you meet your nutritional needs. It may also promote long-term, sustainable weight loss, especially when combined with regular physical activity.

Maria D. Ervin