October 29, 2018 4 min read

Developed by American doctor William Howard Hay in 1911, this diet is focused on isolating food groups when eating them throughout the day. It has started gaining a renewed interest in the health and fitness community but the question is, how effective and doable is it?

The 411 on the Dissociated Diet

This diet was developed in 1911 by Dr. Hay because he believed that the digestive system becomes imbalanced when it has to digest different types of food all at the same time. The reason for this being that different types of food are digested in the stomach under different conditions. By eating food that don’t require the same level of environment in the stomach, it can lead to indigestion or to a malabsorption of nutrients. This can also lead to an upset stomach or bloating are also a common side effect of eating food that do not complement each other.

The diet also includes taking a certain number of hours in between meals before consuming food again. This is to allow the stomach time to empty itself before new food is allowed into the system again to be digested. In this way, the environment in your stomach is not immediately altered and is given enough time to rest before it needs to digest again. The meal planning of the dissociated diet allows flexibility wherein you can either do a weekly food rotation or you can choose to change up your food with every meal.

Knowing which food goes well together is important in the Dissociated Diet.

Because the diet can be quite restrictive and it may cause a person to be lacking in essential nutrients that are part of the required daily dietary allowance of each person, it is highly recommended to plan your meals in a way that would allow for a nutrient rich diet from food that are within the same category or to keep the meals the same for two meals and then go for another category for the other meal. The emphasis on when you should eat, however, is critical.

Planning Your Meals

When following this diet, especially in the beginning, there would be instances where you might accidentally mix up food items from different categories. As a general rule of thumb, you have to avoid mixing up incompatible food items. You are not supposed to mix protein with food that are starchy, sugary, or fatty. Starchy food does not go well with sweet, and acidic food. The reason for this is that mixing uncomplimentary food items will cause an imbalance in your digestive system because the digestive nature that they require are very different.

The stomach releases digestive enzymes to help the body digest the food that you have consumed and consuming food that requires different types of enzymes may cause your organs to go into overdrive and would leave you feeling tired and drained from the extra process that you would have to go just to digest your food. If you eat food that are digested differently, the food that sits in the stomach for an extended period of time before being digested ferments and is putrefied, which leads to an imbalance in the body and bloating, among others.

Having a meal plan is helpful when doing the dissociated diet

The diet is also focused on the awareness of the type of food that you eat. Fast food, canned or frozen food products, and ready-to-cook meals are not allowed in this diet. The emphasis on cooking your own food is the underlying statement in this diet because that is the only way for you to be able to control the type of food that you eat, and you can best avoid crossing categories when you prepare your own meals.

Considerations Before Doing The Diet

Because this diet is quite rigorous, it requires meticulous planning and good consideration of what a balanced diet should be like. It is worth noting that because of the rigor of this diet, it is not recommended for those who require high calorie diets such as children and pregnant women. The diet’s intention is for the body to regain its alkaline environment where bodily functions are at their optimum performance. The diet is a great way of detoxifying body waste and toxins that have accumulated over the years due to the combination of the wrong food items.

The good thing about the diet though is that the re-evaluation of your food choices and eating patterns does help in promoting a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced meal. The challenge in this diet lies in the planning, execution, and determination of the person in staying completely within its confines. It can serve as a great detoxifying diet, however, and one that should not be taken lightly.

The dissociative diet is a great way to detoxify the body.

As with any diet, careful considerations with where you are in your health is very important. Making sure that you get the nutrients that you need everyday is the main objective of a healthy lifestyle, weight loss is just an added bonus. Consulting with a dietitian or nutrition expert is the best way of ensuring success when and if you do decide to take on the dissociated diet.