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When the same number of calories are eaten, there is no difference in the amount of weight lost on a “food combining” diet or a balanced diet. Fat loss and muscle loss are the same on both diets. Food combining diets may be more difficult to stick to. A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity has found that “food combining” diets do not promote greater weight loss than a normal, balanced diet of equal calorie content.
In the study, 54 obese patients were placed on diets containing 1100 calories a day, one of which was a food combining diet and the other a balanced diet. Both diets were similar in the amount of protein, fat and carbohydrate they contained but differed in the way this was distributed throughout the day.
The food combining diet did not allow fat and carbohydrate to be eaten together at the same meal. The balanced diet, however, allowed any combination of fat, protein and carbohydrate at the same meal.
There was no difference in amount of weight lost between the two groups. Additionally, there was no difference in fat or muscle loss, waist measurement or changes in total cholesterol levels.
However, a reduction in blood pressure was only seen in the people following the balanced diet. Additionally, people found it easier to stick to the balanced diet.
The authors conclude that food combining diets have no added benefit over other energy-restricted diets. They also emphasise that it is energy intake, not pattern of food intake, that determines weight loss.
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