How should I pair my foods to lose weight? Also, should I eat more calories during breakfast and less at dinner? –Farris B.
For weight loss you’ll want to utilize your digestion and metabolism to their capacity to promote fat burning. Weight loss requires consuming fewer calories than you expend (both muscularly and metabolically).
Yes, you should have a larger breakfast and smaller dinner. Enough said.
As far as pairing your foods, most food “combining” diet programs are for improving digestion. I’ll address your concern for weight loss. To promote using fat as energy and prevent overeating you should keep calories moderate, avoid added sugars and alcohol, and eat high-volume foods that keep you full longer.
I’d suggest the following food pairs during the day: choose lean protein or complex carbohydrates with plant fat for breakfast, eat fresh fruit with nuts mid-morning or mid-afternoon, have your main starch at lunch with plant fat, or you could opt for a big green salad with beans, and have lean protein with vegetables for dinner.
Here are some great combinations to incorporate into your routine:
- Oatmeal + pecans
- Egg whites + avocado
- Orange + walnuts
- Greek yogurt + berries
- Cottage cheese + pineapple
- Whole grain bread + peanut butter
- Hummus + raw veggies
- Spinach + cannellini beans
- Fish + asparagus
- Chicken + broccoli
Have it solo! Edamame (soybeans) needs no partner as it’s already a combination food, containing carbohydrate, protein and fat.
There is no need to limit yourself to only 2 foods to match-up at one sitting! Non-starchy vegetables like celery or cucumber are ideal throughout the day. But if you’re sticking with pairs, consider the following: condiments like lemon, cinnamon or salsa can go with any of the above; a spoonful of olive oil works with most meals; and an added spoonful of flaxseed or wheat germ is perfectly acceptable anywhere.
With a little experimentation on what keeps you energized and satisfied, you might come up with even more options! When you do, please share them with us by commenting below.
- Debbie J., MS, RD
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