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Hay Diet

Weight loss today has many different schools of thought. For any kind of exercise and diet, you can find someone who tells you; yes you can lose weight like this. But weight loss has always been promoted as an activity that is a combination of controlling what you eat and how much you burn. It takes a lot of hard work and regularity to eat right, workout and stay healthy.

But there are also many people who cannot always make time for such a lifestyle. Getting healthy is lifestyle choice and some prefer taking short cuts.
These are called quick weight loss diets. These are also called fad or crash diets.  There are many fad diets that are popular methods around the world to lose weight. The fad diets are usually inclusive or exclusive of food groups and work on the basic principle of reducing the number of calories you eat. The fad diets only mention what you can and cannot eat.  The Hay Diet is one such example of a diet that promotes eating in a certain way. The Hay Diet is a diet where you are encouraged to combine food to make the recipes that promote weight loss.

It was developed by New York physician Howard Hays in the 1920s. He had contracted some diseases and he believed he was near death. He started eating natural foods at this stage and recovered completely and lost a lot of weight. After this, he started research on naturopathy and began promoting his diet. The Hay Diet is mostly based on the chemical process of digestion. The diet shows you how to pair foods to gain most from the digestive process.

He discovered that fruits and vegetable left an alkaline end product while processed foods left an acidic end product.  The aim of the diet is to, therefore, not have food leaving an undesirable acidic end product. That is what led to food combining for the best results.

The Hay Diet is also alternatively called the Food Combining Diet. People who advocate this diet say it helps cure conditions like arthritis, indigestion, constipation and flatulence. It also stimulates natural weight loss and reduces health risks linked to obesity, such as diabetes, gallstones and coronary heart disease.

The meal plan in the Hay Diet involves referring to a chart and rules. Food is divided into three groups acidic, alkaline and neutral. Acidic foods cannot be combined with alkaline foods. Proteins, starches and neutral foods respond to the three categories. You can combine protein neutral foods and you can combine protein and starches but you should not combine protein and starches.

Proteins include meat and dairy; beans including lentils, pinto beans, soy beans, garbanzo beans, haricot beans, lima beans; most fruits like, apricots, berries, cherries, apples currants, , grapefruit, grapes, guavas, kiwis, lemons, gooseberries limes, lychees, , nectarines, oranges, passion fruit, pears pineapples, prunes, raspberries, strawberries, mangoes and tangerines; red wine and cider.

In the starches, food like cereal, bread, rice; products from whole grains like oats, corn, barley, wheat; vegetables like potato, sweet potato, pumpkins; fruits such as raisins, dates, sweet grapes and ripe bananas; beer and ale.
Neutral foods include all vegetables except those in the starches category; all nuts except peanut; fats including butter, cream olive oil and egg yolk; whisky and gin.

The diet tells you to eat three meals a day of which the first meal is all from the alkaline group of foods, the second meal is from the protein column, with salads, vegetables and a sweet fruit, and the third meal is starchy food with again, salads and a sweet fruit. 

The basic rules are do not eat carbohydrates and proteins together; eat vegetables, salads and fruits as the main part of your meals; eat proteins, starches and fats in small quantities; eat unprocessed starches and whole grains excluding refined products; allow an interval of at least 4 hours between meals of two types.

The main aim is to not combine proteins with starches as while digesting them both together the body produces acid (for the protein) and alkali (for the starches) leading to many other health ailments. Eating them separately allows your body to digest them separately, keeping your digestive tract clean

In later years other doctors have also proved that whatever you eat, your pancreas still secretes digestive enzymes to digest proteins. It does matter if you eat starch or protein. But that has not hampered the popularity of the Hay Diet.
This diet also requires you to reduce the milk you consume as it does not mix well with other food groups. Timing of the meals is also very important and your three meals must be had at proper time intervals. The doctor insisted that exercise played no part in weight loss which is quite contrary in regular and sustained weight loss programs. This diet has, therefore, been criticized for being inadequate in nutrition. Nutritionists also believe that restricting food groups to one meal a day could lead to nutritional imbalance. Dr Hay also did not measure out serving or portion sizes, which works as a negative for the diet.

The Hay Diet actually encourages very good eating habits. You actually get used to eating more fiber, lean proteins and less fats. Only if you could find to include exercise into it, it would be sustained weight loss. The Hay Diet, unlike some other fad diets like the Fast Food Diet for instance, do not encourage you to continue to have food that is bad for you, just because you cannot make a little effort.

Some of the other really popular fad diets are Atkins Diet which eliminates carbohydrates, Cabbage Soup Diet which add a low-calorie filler or even the Cookie Diet, which makes you eat hunger-suppressing cookies. In a way the Hay Diet is actually good eating but it needs to be well-rounded with proper nutrition and enough exercise so that the weight you lose after all this hard work, stays off.
Submitted on January 16, 2014