Food Combining: The Natural Weight Loss Secret

Jo Schaalman and Julie Peláez by Jo Schaalman and Julie Peláez | October 10th, 2013 | 30 Comments
topic: Detox, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

food combiningAlthough new research suggests that fewer people are dieting in America (yay!), many of us are still puzzled when it comes to figuring out how to achieve optimal health, longevity and vitality. As a culture we’ve been trained to look at what we put in our mouths as the main event — the food, the calories, the protein, the fat — but we’re not taught or encouraged to look at what comes out of our bodies.

We want to turn this perspective around with a bold (and obvious) statement: Everyone poops. Yep, everyone sits on the porcelain throne. You already know this, so let’s get right to the reason we’re bringing it up in the first place.

Waste = weight.

The number one weight loss secret that nobody really talks about is the fact that the extra poop sitting around in your colon is one of the main causes of excess weight. When you learn to rid your body of extra waste on a regular basis, weight loss and maintenance become effortless.

But how do you do it?

Detoxing is all the rage these days. It’s a great way of cleaning out your tissues and cells so you can rid your body of old toxic waste. But detoxing doesn’t always mean going on a smoothie fast or eating only raw fruits and veggies for a week. In this blog, we’ll explain how a simple technique called “food combining” can help you tune up your digestive system so you poop like a 3-year-old and have the same energy and vitality as you once did!

The benefits of food combining

Food combining can be a complex topic. It can also make us a bit crazy in the beginning, because the idea that a “balanced meal” always contains a protein and a starch has been ingrained in our brains our entire lives.

The fact is that our digestive systems are way more complex than that, as different food groups require different amounts of time to be broken down and absorbed by the body. What’s even more interesting is that the faster a food is digested, the less waste it leaves behind. The less waste left behind, the easier the digestion process. And the easier the digestive process, the more you’ll poop, and the faster you’ll lose weight and feel healthier!


When you learn how to eliminate on a consistent and regular basis (at least every day, if not twice a day!), you can also expect less of the following: cellulite, inflammation, disease, headaches, acid reflux, gas, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and more!

4 tips for food combining

Okay, so let’s look some very basic food combining principles:

1. Vegetables combine well with nuts and seeds, legumes and beans, gluten-free grains and animal protein.

2. At each meal, choose either a protein or a non-gluten grain or starch. Avoid combining protein with non-gluten grains or starches.

3. If you choose to eat protein with your meal, choose from one category: nuts or seeds; beans or legumes; or an animal protein such as fish, chicken or wild game.

4. Always eat fresh fruit alone on an empty stomach, with a few minor exceptions. (Fruit does combine well with dark leafy greens, such as in green smoothies.)

As you can see, veggies combine well with most foods. What’s key is to avoid mixing an animal protein and a starch or grain in the same meal.

As we mentioned, there are many complexities and gray areas when it comes to food combining. The point isn’t to obsess over it, but to be aware of this simple yet profound principle. And don’t take our word for it. Be your own experiment. If after a meal you feel energized, gas-free and less bloated, and you poop easily, you most likely found a good food combo!

food combiningRelated Articles:

Green Smoothies: 3 Nutrition Powerhouse Drinks

10 Ways to Detox Your Body

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Browse all of Gaiam’s Weight Loss and Detox Products

food combining


  1. 3 says to have a protein at every meal. 4 says not to have a protein and a starch/grain at the same meal. So then when do you eat starch/grains? Just for snacks, never at a meal? Seems contradictory. Have heard the fruit on an empty stomach before. However with all the diet “tips” out there, I’d like to see some scientfic/medical studies referenced.

    Really? | October 14th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  2. Thanks for the feedback! We’ve clarified the language for those two tips so they are no longer contradictory.

    Gaiam Content and Social Media Manager

    Valerie Gleaton | October 17th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  3. Eating fruit alone is disappointing I use smoothies to hide leafy greens in my diets. What about citrus I use fresh squeezed lemon often as part of or a replacement for salad dressing.

    Andrea Cole | October 29th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  4. I believe avoiding prepared foods would be the first step to be able to lose weight. They could taste good, but highly processed foods currently have very little vitamins and minerals, making you eat more to have enough energy to get over the day. For anyone who is constantly ingesting these foods, transitioning to grain and other complex carbohydrates will help you have more vitality while consuming less. Interesting blog post.

    Anonymous | October 29th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  5. Regarding comment # 1, three does not say that you should eat protein at every meal, it says IF you choose to eat protein at a meal…

    Susan | November 15th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
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  7. Hi!

    There is no mention of dairy. Does it fall into the animal protein category even though it isn’t mentioned?

    Vanita | December 20th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
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