The Gracie family are well known for their achievements in Martial Arts. And, one secret of their success is the strict diet they follow, apparently.
Grand Master, Carlos Gracie, developed the Gracie Diet based on his observations (over 65 years) of the effects of various food combinations.
Gracie Diet Principles
The basis of this book is spacing meals at least four and a half hours apart, and food combining – something I first heard about years ago when my mum when on “Fit for Life.” However, it’s not an idea I’m particularly fond of.A study, published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2000, looked at of the benefit of food combining for weight loss, and found no evidence that it was effective.
In the book, foods are grouped according to the digestive enzymes needed to break them down. This means that only foods from compatible groups can be eaten together at a meal, as a way of reducing the body’s workload, easing the digestive process, and therefore essential functions, such as training, healing injuries, and fighting disease, can take precedence.
Unfortunately, even though this sounds great on paper, there is very little science to back it up.
The book is also promoted as a “family affair,” however I feel it would be quite difficult for children to adjust to this way of eating. And, it seems unnecessary for them, too.
I have to say the main concept behind this diet, is a no-no for me. I don’t like diets which complicate matters for people, because it makes being “healthy” seem unattainable.
Gracie Diet Plus Points
However, I also don’t think the diet is a dangerous one. So, if this sounds like your kind of thing, here are some of the ideas I like about the Gracie Diet:
- It encourages spacing between meals – for most people that is a good thing, forcing them to eat less. However, it’s probably not suitable for diabetics, or those who train vigorously.
- Almost all foods can be eaten (but they do have to be combined correctly).
- On the official website there are recipes, how-to videos, and lots of other tools and tips. The Interactive Gracie Diet Table is very useful for getting to grips with the food groups, and which foods can be eaten together.
- Eating right vs. eating junk food is always going to leave you feeling healthier and more energetic.
- Exercise is encouraged.
The Gracie Diet is available from Amazon for $30.