HomeFood & DrinkRecipes

Delicious food combinations that boost weight loss 


6th Feb 2020 Recipes

Delicious food combinations that boost weight loss 
Did you know that certain food combinations can help with weight loss?
What do you think of when combining foods on your plate? Most of us instinctively make certain food combinations because this is how we’ve eaten them since we were little – think bread and butter, fish and chips, beans and eggs. Or because they look delicious together and it’s what you’re in the mood for.
But did you know that there’s some complicated chemistry behind food combinations and some ingredients can boost weight loss when used together?
In fact it turns out that sugar and fat is one of the worst combinations for gaining fat. One of the reasons for this is because sugar stimulates the production of an energy storage hormone called insulin, and consuming too much sugar leads to abnormal levels of insulin which promotes fat storage. For instance, DNA Lean sports nutrition expert Paul Jenkins MSc calculated that by drinking just one extra can of coke per day, additional to your regular diet, could lead to a weight gain of 15.6 lbs in just one year.
As it turns out, it’s not just chefs who believe that creating the perfect recipe is a matter of science. Scientists have also discovered that the way ingredients interact creates chemical reactions that boost not only flavour but also nutritional properties and fat burning. 

Why some food combinations make us lose weight (or gain it)

Although we live in a world where “miracle” diets go in and out of fashion every season, nutritionists are trying to raise awareness that to lose weight and stay in shape you don’t need to starve yourself or resign yourself to eating bland foods. There is such a thing as smart dieting, and to make it work for you, you only need a bit of patience, attention to detail, and an understanding of basic chemistry.   
  • Certain ingredient combinations change the way our body absorbs nutrients, so you can make the most out of the food you are eating 
  • Ingredient interactions also affect blood sugar levels, which in turn affect the hormones that trigger weight loss or weight gain 
  • Food combinations can slow down or speed up the digestive process, which is why it’s important to eat foodin the right order. Meat takes the longest to digest (4-5 hours) and fruit has the shortest digestion time (approximately 30 minutes). 


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and if you want to lose weight, skipping it is actually counterproductive. A delicious combination that can also boost fat burning is vitamins + fatsBasic chemistry tells us that some vitamins, such as vitamin A, D, and E, are soluble in fat, which means your body can absorb them faster. So, if you eat your yoghurt with almonds, nuts, or fruits, you’ll enjoy a breakfast that’s both tasty and filling. Similarly, you can use avocado as a substitute for butter and add a glass of orange juice on the side. Don’t be afraid to use full-fat dairy products for breakfast. Although low-fat versions might seem better for weight loss, nutritionists explain that they’re often too high in sugar so, in the long run, they actually make you put on weight. Meanwhile, full-fat dairy is more filling, so you won’t feel the need to snack throughout the day, and it’s healthier too because their fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Lunch & dinner 

If you’re trying to boost your protein intake, but you don’t want to include red meat in your diet because of its saturated fats, then try pairing rice with peas. Eaten alone, rice is low in amino acids, but the peas balance it out and also add more potassium. This combination is also great if you’re following a vegan diet and you’re wondering how to include more protein to your meals. 
When you’re watching your weight, dinner should be lighter and eaten at least 3 hours before going to bed. Otherwise, the digestive process will interfere with your sleep, causing a whole package of unpleasant symptoms that range from bloating to nightmares. But don’t try to skip dinner either, because going to bed hungry makes you eat larger portions and snack more throughout the next day, making you put on more weight. 
Here’s a good dinner idea if you want to lose weight: leafy greens and avocado oil. Adding a few drops of avocado oil in your lettuce or baby spinach salad will give it a more interesting taste and also make it more filling. 
If you fancy meat, combine chicken breast with red chillies. Chicken is one of the most filling, nutrient-packed lean meats and, combined with the capsaicin in peppers, this meal can suppress appetite and help you burn calories faster. 


Ideally, you should eliminate snacking in between meals but if you can’t do that, then try to replace your usual snacks, like crackers and candy, with healthier alternatives. For example, did you know that you can add chickpeas to your salsa dip, instead of nachos to boost your protein intake and satisfy your cravings without too many calories? 
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you can combine a mix of raw nuts and seeds with a banana, or spread some peanut butter on a slice of whole-grain bread to keep you going until the next meal. Watch out for fruitsnacks, though. While they’re healthier than sweets, nutritionists warn that they’re still high in sugar, especially the dried ones.A handful of berries with a bit of Greek yoghurt is an excellent 2 pm pick-me-up, but if that handful turns into a huge bowl, you won’t shed those extra pounds. 
Similarly, protein bars often have enough sugar in them to equate to an entire day's worth of or sugar. Jabari Martin, CEO of GRIT Superfoods, says "most protein bars contain more carbs and sugar than protein. Instead, try to focus on unprocessed and nutritious superfoods. The resulting antioxidants will help boost your energy levels without the excess junk."


When counting calories, we tend to leave out drinks, but any drink other than water still has a caloric count, so be careful. For best results, make your own fresh juice at home with ingredients such as grapefruit, lemons, pomegranate, and ginger. If you’re a coffee-lover, here are some good news for you: coffee is a known appetite suppressant, so not only does it give you the energy to be more awake and active throughout the day, but also keeps your cravings under control. But instead of ordering a high-calorie sugary drinksprinkle some cinnamon into your black coffee instead. Cinnamon is tasty, low in calories, and contains antioxidants that prevent fat accumulation. If you don’t like coffee, green tea and lemon is a great alternative for weight loss. 
Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter