No need to panic: eating pasta and cheese at the same meal will not make you fat. In fact, whether it is foods rich in carbohydrates, lipids or proteins, it all depends on the amount consumed …
However, according to some, it is not too much consumption of calories that causes weight gain, but the combination of foods rich in lipids (fat) and carbohydrates (the large family of sugars). According to this theory, it would therefore be appropriate to eat cheese, but without bread, and meat, but leaving aside pasta, rice or potatoes …
From theory to reality
Proponents of this “doctrine” argue that foods high in carbohydrate lead to increased blood sugar levels. The body then secretes a hormone, insulin, in order to lower the level of sugar in the blood by transforming it into a reserve of fat. And fats would be stored even more if we eat sugars and fats at the same meal.
In fact, the glucose (from the digestion of carbohydrates) that enters your body’s cells is immediately used for energy. In short, it is the fuel of choice for all the cells in your body. These must also constantly be supplied. Only the sugars consumed in excess are transformed into fat reserves (adipose tissue).
Likewise, if the calorie content in your meal regularly exceeds your energy needs, chances are you’ll gain weight.
Healthy weight management: a question of energy balance
To lose weight, the amount of food we eat (our energy intake) must be less than our energy expenditure. This is called the concept of energy balance, which is negative in this case. In other words, you have to eat less and move more. In terms of weight, the quantity of food and calories that one ingests thus has more of an impact than the quality of these.
In 2015, a review of the scientific literature compared the effect on weight and health of a low or high carbohydrate diet in diabetic subjects. Result: no significant difference was observed concerning the weight of these two groups. The authors conclude that the subjects’ total calorie intake remains the best predictor of a person’s weight .
Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and other nutritious foods are essential for staying healthy, and they help keep you full at meals. Eat it with every meal!
Eating fat and carbohydrate at the same meal therefore does not make you fat and is not the cause of obesity. What matters is that the calorie content on your plate does not exceed what your body needs to function.
By applying the method described above, many people actually see their silhouette thinner. But the weight loss is mainly due to the low energy content of this diet.
In 2000, a study compared, for the first and only time, the effectiveness of a diet which avoided mixing, at the same meal, foods high in sugars and foods high in fat with that of a traditional diet. Both low-calorie diets contained the same amount of calories.
Results: All subjects lost weight after 6 weeks, regardless of whether they were on the traditional low-calorie diet or the combination diet. All of them also reduced their blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
However, only the subjects of the traditional diet saw their blood pressure decrease. They also had an easier time following their diets than those restricted to strict rules based on food combinations.
In addition, the long-term effect of this type of diet has not been studied. Knowing that popular diets tend to lead to temporary weight loss, followed by weight gain (yo-yo effect), it would have been interesting to assess whether the weight of participants assigned to the combination diet was high after the experience.
Excluding a food category entirely (eg grain products, protein foods, or fruits and vegetables) can also lead to certain essential nutrient deficiencies. In addition, this type of restrictive practice can lead to weight gain rather than loss.
For example, people who avoid grain products or “starches” with meals are at risk of having symptoms of fatigue, headaches, irritability and weakness during the day due to a lack of food. of fuel (glucose level too low). In doing so, they could suddenly be inclined to want to consume products concentrated in added sugars (chocolate, cookies, cakes, soft bars, etc.) in order to quickly feed the brain and all the cells of the body which are crying out for starvation. .
Let’s rely on proven strategies!
To lose weight, instead rely on principles that have been proven:
- enjoy cooking and moving more often;
- balance the contents of your plate ;
- eat less fast food and ultra-processed foods high in fat, added sugar and salt;
- listen to your hunger signals (hollow in the stomach, gurgling, low energy, salivation, etc.) and satiety (satisfaction without being full, less pleasure in eating, less tasty foods) to eat foods portions of food corresponding to your energy needs;
- take the time to eat and chew each bite well so that you can feel full at the right time, during the meal. Remember that it takes about 20 minutes for the satiety signal to reach your brain;
- avoid waiting to be hungry at mealtime so as not to have eyes larger than the paunch;
- incorporate nutritious snacks between meals as needed to quell hunger;
- limit the consumption of sugary drinks , which satisfy little hunger despite their high content in added sugars and opt instead for water, the most hydrating drink there is;
- opt for smaller crockery sizes (plates, forks, glasses, etc.);
- don’t force yourself to finish the plate at the restaurant and take leftovers home. After all, here’s a quick way to have a tasty lunch the next day.