I tried the Fit for Life nutrition plan by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond for two months. It was the most miserable two months ever. I’ve been on many nutrition plans because I am a figure competitor, but Fit for Life left me starving. Even though the Fit for Life food combining trend is meant to help with food satiation it made my hunger soar.
Fit for Life’s food combining method
The Fit for Life’s food combining method starts with eating fruits and fresh juices until noon. After, meals are combined so proteins and starchy carbohydrates are separated at meals. For example, I’d never eat a steak and potato together.
I’d have steak with non-starchy carbohydrates instead. The next meal would contain a potato and non-starchy veggies if I still want to eat a potato. A salad is also eaten with each meal. Fruits, especially melons, are never eaten with other foods. Dairy is excluded and fats are minimal.
Fit for life believes food combining allows enzymes to break down foods optimally.
On the brink of starvation
For me, the Fit for Life nutrition plan is very difficult. I believe in some of the principals Harvey recommends, but eating nothing but fruit in the early mornings left me hungry and grouchy. I was so hungry that I felt like my stomach was eating its way out of my body–Think Aliens with Sigourney Weaver.
After cross-referencing Harvey’s book with The Food Combining/Blood Type Diet Solution by Dina Khader, M.S.R.D., I realized this program isn’t the best for me. Khader specifically states, “Also, athletes who burn their calories rapidly would lose too much weight being strict food combiners.” In my case, I wasn’t losing weight, but gaining because I didn’t eat enough calories to sustain my hunger from hard workouts. This caused me to binge by noon or 1:00 p.m.
Another problem I ran into is Fit or Life was created by a vegetarian. I care less that Harvey is a vegetarian, but I’m a meat eater, and found that I was even hungrier because I reduced my protein significantly. Unlike some bodybuilders, I don’t believe in eating massive amounts of protein, but Fit for Life only recommends one protein meal per day.
I can’t blame it all on food combining
Food combining is not conducive to my work schedule. The meals are made with whole foods so I don’t have time to eat between personal training clients. I train seven clients back-to-back which means eating a salad, veggies and a starchy carbohydrate isn’t happening. This is why I binged. Even after modifying the program, as Dr. Khader suggested, I realized it still was not enough food to sustain my needs.
However, if I worked in an office, sat at a desk and lived a sedentary life Fit for Life’s food combining would work for me.