Hay Diet & Food Combining

The Hay Diet

The Hay Diet was introduced by Dr WIlliam Hay in the early 1900's. The primary idea behind the Hay Diet is weight loss and weight management via food combining. There are five basic rules in the Hay Diet and food combining. These rules are:

  1. Do not eat proteins and carboydrates witin the same meal
  2. Eat fruit, vegetables and salads as the main part of your diet
  3. Limit the amount of protein, starches (potatoes and rice etc) and fats you eat.
  4. Eat non-processed carbohydrates including wholemeal and whole grain breads, brown rice and wholemeal pasta rather than white bread and white rice.
  5. Eat every 4 hours

Hay Diet & food combining in profile

Use the food table below to create a diet that follows the Hay Diet rules.

List A
List B
List C
Neutral Foods
Lean meats
Most vegetables
Lean poultry
All salads
Olive oil

The rules:

  • Never mix List A and C
  • Mix anything from List A with List B
  • Mix anything from List C with List B
  • Mix vegetables or salads with pulses (beans etc)

How does the Hay Diet & food combining work?

The Hay Diet and food combining looks to limit the acidity levels of the stomach and the body. It is thought that acidity levels of the body contribute to such conditions as chronic and degenerative conditions including constipation, indigestion and arthritis. By limiting the level of acid in the body these conditions will reduce and eventually disappear.

Others also believe that the Hay Diet and food combining can help with weight loss and weight management. And with such tips as only eating natural and non-processed foods and limiting fat intake, who can blame them.

Advantages of the Hay Diet & food combining

The Hay Diet suggests eating 3 square meals a day, one consisting of alkaline foods only (fruits and vegetables) and two meals consisting of proteins and salads. The first thing to say here is that the Hay Diet and food combining does advocate eating breakfast - a meal that all successful dieters eat. Breakfast is an important meal to regulate the metabolism (the body's internal fuel and calorie burning engine).

Secondly, the Hay Diet and food combining diet will allow the dieter to regulate insulin levels and therefore control the amount of potentially stored body fat. Any successful diet should look to promote the burning of excess body fat - after all this is what weight loss is all about. By regulating and limiting the amount of insulin produced (insulin is increased with increases of sugar in the diet) then the dieter's level of weight management and weight loss success increases.

Disadvantages of the Hay Diet & food combining

The Hay Diet and food combining requires that the dieter eats very specific foods at specific times of the day. This may be possible for some both not possible for others.

If you are able to prepare meals to take to work (fish and salad or lean meats and salad) then great. Otherwise you may be forced to eat whatever the work canteen or local shop can offer, which is usually a sandwich or pastry of some kind - not ideal when you can't combine proteins and carbohydrates in the one meal.

The Hay Diet & food combining- Conclusion

The Hay Diet and food combining is something that some people swear by. However, food for thought, to lose weight you MUST eat less calories than you expend during a typical day. This means that whether you eat protein on its own or a meal of proteins, carbs and fats, if you eat too much food you will increase weight rather than lose weight.

So, with that in mind use the Hay Diet and food combining suggestions as a way to clean up your diet. Limiting fats and processed foods is never going to anything but a positive. But be mindful that you can sticking to the Hay Diet religiously shouldn't be something that cause undue stress. If for whatever reason you can only eat a meat-based sandwich, bear in mind that it is always better to eat something at the right time than eat nothing at all.

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