Roman’s Rules for Macronutrient Combination

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I get asked a lot of questions about nutrition for fat loss, and people are sometimes surprised at how simple my approach actually is.

There are a few rules I follow that are pretty effective, and as far as I’m concerned, universal; and following them removes a lot of the guesswork from nutrition.

Drink more water. Eat more vegetables. Avoid crappy processed foods. Take fish oil. Eat something before you go to a family dinner, and then pretend to like whatever you’re served.  Basic stuff, but all of it effective.

I also advise a few things that some people balk at; and today, I want to talk to you about one of my “controversial” suggestions.

One of the things that I often suggest to people is to divide their meals into “types” – I do this because I feel it makes it easier to lose fat when you separate some macronutrients from others.

Said a little more plainly, I subscribe to the belief that for most people, it’s almost never a good idea to combine fast digesting carbohydrates and fats in excess in the same meal. 

In fact, where at all possible, I recommend not combining carbohydrates and fats together at all.

Which, as a general guideline, I believe that each meal should fit into one of two categories:

PROTEIN + FAT Meals – These meals consist primarily of protein and fat while minimizing carbohydrates. While ideally the total grams of carbs will be as close to “0” as possible, there will likely be a few grams of naturally occurring carbohydrates in your protein and fat choices—don’t sweat that. Not worth worrying about. The MAIN THING is to keep the carb content below 10 grams.

PROTEIN + CARB Meals – These meals consist primarily of protein and carbohydrates while minimizing fat. While ideally the total grams of fat will be as close to “0” as possible, there will likely be a few grams of naturally occurring fats in your protein and carbohydrate choices—don’t sweat that. Not worth worrying about. The MAIN THING is to keep the fat content below 10 grams.

Anyway, as some of my readers may already know, I basically stole this from Dr. John Berardi. (It’s okay, though—one time I bought him ice cream after a seminar, so I figure that evens us up).

In all seriousness, though I should mention that JB has been one of the biggest influences on my nutritional philosophies; if you want to learn some more from the big guy, check out this interview I did with Berardi.

Of course, it’s not NECESSARY to eat this way to get results.

The original theory behind this style of macronutrient separation was outlined in Berardi’s article on T-Nation, Massive Eating. The main thrust of the theory was that by eating carbs and fats together, you create perfect storm for fat storage: high levels of fat consumed while insulin is elevated from the carbohydrate ingestion.

Sounds good, right?

Well, the problem is that it isn’t really as accurate (or as simple) as all that. In fact, a not inconsiderable number of well-known nutritional sources have said that it’s pretty much bullshit. These people posit that if Berardi is suggesting that avoiding consumption of fats and carbs together makes it easier to avoid fat storage, he must, in some small way, be suggesting that carbs are necessary to store fat, right?

No. As many of these people are quick to point out, “fat doesn’t need insulin to be stored—it can store itself.”

I’m not going to discount that, so let’s talk about acute fat storage for a second.

Yes, due to the phospholipid bilayer of adipocytes, fat can store itself without insulin. Similarly, many other nutrients (creatine, amino acids, etc.) can be stored without insulin because of various non-insulin dependent storage pathways.

While all of that may be true, it’s worth considering that in almost every situation, if you add insulin, you’ll increase acute nutrient storage—fatty acids are no exception. And so, regardless of what the naysayers put forth, I still believe that there is something to Berardi’s original argument.

However, even with all of that said, I am very willing to admit that from a purely scientific perspective, adhering to the nutrient combination/separation recommendation would only yield a small increase in results.

Why then, would I make it?

Simple: as with all things, I strive to strike a balance between theory and practice—between science and practicality. I am, above all things,  incredibly pragmatic.

And so, from the most pragmatic standpoint I can take, I just like this recommendation because it makes sense and creates a system that’s hard to screw up.

Here is the real truth of it: I am an ardent believer that for the most part, most foods get along together pretty well—assuming everything else is going according to plan, that is.   Which means that if people just ate healthy foods, didn’t go overboard on calories, and made intelligent dietary decisions, this would be irrelevant.

The problem is, the times when that happens are few and far between. We often have to deal with tons of stuff, and that can get in the way of nutrition.

Because of that, I often find it helpful to follow  this simple “rule” and divide consumption of macronutrients—which I find allows for increased compliance and results.

Basically, this creates what we call a pattern interrupt—which means that it breaks the “flow” of life where you just see food and eat it without thought to either process or consequence.

The idea of having to actually think about your food in order to place it into one of two categories FORCES you to think about what’s in your food—and that’s kind of the point.

Even if, from a purely scientific perspective, you aren’t going to burn more fat or even create an environment where you’re less likely to store fat, I thoroughly believe that the more systems in place that force compliance, the better you’ll do.

Ultimately, my belief is that by dividing macronutrients in this manner (or attempting to as much as possible), you are much more likely to hit the mark than to miss it in terms of your diet. Certainly, this dietary principle is not graven in stone, but I have found that by adhering to it, you wind up creating and eating meals that fall in line to a significantly higher degree than most.

This is a simple rule you can follow which, by it’s very nature, will force you to think about your food more critically, and become a lot more accustomed to making correct dietary decisions. It’s a rule I follow, one my coaching clients follow, and if you follow it, I promise you’ll find that results come a LOT easier.

And, by the way—I’m not the only one that thinks like this.

In his awesome cookbook, Metabolic Cooking (the best cookbook for fat loss), Dave Ruel has an entire system called “meal profiling” which divides meals by their macronutrients; a good number of which are broken up into P+F and P+C meals, as with my stuff.

If you’re looking for meals that fall into “Roman Approved” categories, pick it up here:

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 12.14.22 PMMetabolic Cooking is available for you today so make sure you hop on the delicious food train. 

NOTE: Here is a quick link jump to the entire series:

Macronutrient Breakdown Part I: The Truth About Carbs

Macronutrient Breakdown Part II: The Truth About Fat

Macronutrient Breakdown Part III: The Truth About Protein

In the meantime — who divides their meals like I do?  Do you love this idea or hate it?

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

Comments for This Entry

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  • Marc Jongma

    Hey Roman, thanks a lot for your clarity. There's so much contradicting nutritional advice out there, all of it seemingly backed-up by academic research. It's refreshing to have someone break it down to some basic advice that is both simple and easy.

    June 24, 2014 at 9:21 am

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  • Ursula Petreif

    Great articles! When you talk about eating minmum fat with a protein + carb meal..are you talking about minimising unsaturated fats or saturated fats? How about fats from nuts, olive oil or coconut oil?

    June 21, 2013 at 12:54 am

  • Alex

    Great article Roman, I get the whole P+F and P+C cycling routine, it makes perfect scientific sense. However; how long should you go between meals to avoid macronutrient crossover i.e. if you had say P+C for lunch and P+F for your evening meal, how long should you wait between these meals?

    June 20, 2013 at 8:05 am

  • Ann Danner Leighton

    I love the ability to have it my way and still do it right. Thanks for the overarching guidance and simplicity!

    June 20, 2013 at 1:27 am

  • Billy Beck III

    Roman, I love the post. I utilize the same protocol to teach clients and keep it simple. When I switched over to FIRE Meals (P+F) FUEL Meals (P + C) and FREE Meals (anything you want), the light bulb went off for a lot of peeps. As Einstein stated, "Simplicity is Genius" (or something like that) :) Looking forward to working with you brother!

    June 20, 2013 at 12:31 am

  • Evan Kamph

    I generally do IF and eat this way already. I have no idea if it does anything, scientifically speaking, but I do find it a good way to maintain discipline as is suggested in the blog. Fundamentally, it just seems to make sense to 'save' the carbs for pre and post workout and leave the body in optimal fat burning mode the rest of the time. Maybe the body is smart enough to do all of this without this extra effort but the regimen helps me to stay under control.

    June 20, 2013 at 12:25 am

  • Chuck Newell

    Hey Roman, new here. Just finished ETA (great read by the way) and am on week 3. I understand that this is more of a habit forming tool than real science, but with the current nutrition in P1 of ETA, I eat P+C post workout, but ETA also says to eat carbs before bed. My IF schedule only lets me eat 2x a day (lift around noon). How would you recommend I employ this technique and get my fat?

    June 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm

  • Martha

    So if the goal is no carbs with fat, a salad with salmon or avocados or nuts would be bad? Somehow that seems counterintuitive.

    June 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm

  • David Jones

    This is good stuff. Ive been eating more like this for some time now and I have seen the benefits!

    June 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm

  • Geneva Manilova Rmt

    This is so funny! My mom went on a diet years ago in Russia that followed this exact principle and she had great results! Seeing the science and reasoning behind it now is very interesting. I'll try this from now on. Great article!

    June 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm

  • JT

    I think this is a great 'idea' that needs to be expanded upon. Do any of the 'packaged' diets do this? Nutrisystem for example?

    June 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm

  • Elizabeth McIntosh

    I really like this idea... I would just need a list of each macro nutrient posted on my Fridge so I can look and grab easily. I'm not very good about pre-preping meals!

    June 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm

  • KOh

    Thank you Roman.

    June 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm

  • Apollo

    hahaha great! - I have been doing this unconsciously for a while.

    June 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm

  • Peter Bellagio

    Found Dr. Berardi last year through Tried nutrient timing before I went on vacation and was very pleased. I really did think about my food so much more. Led me to make better choices. When you started mentioning him in the book I was like "Are u fuqin serious?" (actually, that happened alot in the book). But, even then I didn't fully understand it. Your book has made everything so much more clear. I follow Arnold, Tim F., Martin B. and have read countless articles. I would have saved so much time just following you.

    June 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm

  • Robbie Farlow

    I follow a Primal (Paleo but with milk and cheese, seriously protein powder with water? nah I'd rather swallow sandpaper) lifestyle and I noticed how similar this idea and it kind of runs. Eating veggies you are getting very little carbs and usually I have protein and fats (olive oil/coconut oil) with a heaping of vegetables. After a heavy lift I will eat some fruit to get my carbs or take a handful of almonds or nuts on the train ride home then get my shake once I get home. I have to say eating 150 carbs or less a day I have been able to continue fat loss (lost 3 pants sizes in 3 months and almost 20 pounds) while not sacrificing my strength. If I had a BIG lift day I will eat some sweet potatoes to help give me the carbs I need to fuel the muscles too. Keeping the carbs low has helped me keep the fat burning and the insulin from spiking. Minus the occasional NYC pizza treat! (cheat days right, kinda need em?

    June 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm

  • Josh McCumber

    I look forward to your recipes. I'm a believer in this theory.

    June 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm

  • Meg

    already doing this, works great, gimme recipes :P

    June 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm

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    March 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm

  • Eduardo Urias

    I guess this separation is also good to control the calories of each meal... it's much easier to screw up if combine carbs and fats.

    January 9, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  • Danny Lonie

    This is exactly what I've been searching for. Thanks!

    January 8, 2013 at 5:47 am

  • Kevin Stock

    Yep! What I teach my clients - not entirely backed up with research (as far as benefits) however anecdotally + just like you said (thinking before you eat!) has shown tremendous results! And I personally believe, it can only help nutrient partitioning!

    January 8, 2013 at 1:50 am

  • Trent Dodwell

    so..all in all would it be best to follow nutrition and exercise by this great quote "Eat like a caveman, and train like an animal" ?

    January 7, 2013 at 7:48 pm

  • Tyler

    im in love with a protein shake that has a dick-ton (not sure how that converts to metric) of kcal but thats good bc I'm shooting for mass. I read your post about macro manipulation a while back and have been considering this p.f but wanted to see what you think. 1.5 scoop muscle pharm combat powder (which is fucking delicious btw choc pb) 200kcal 5g carb 25g protein...... plain greek yogurt 150kcal and 10g carb and a big scoop of crazy richards pb (or a.b when i have it) at about 220kcal 8g carb. comes out to 20-25g carb depending on my portions but a way higher percentage of fat...thoughts?

    January 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm

  • Nate Gates

    It is nice to have a website actually load in a readable format on mobile. Props Roman and #copterlabs

    January 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

  • Steve McIntire

    I started planning my meals this way after I bought your SHFL. Since then, I have gone from 340 to 295. Now, exercise and IF have certainly helped in the fat loss but you are correct in the assumption that by splitting meals into categories, I do pay a lot more attention to what I am eating, and what I have eaten that day. At this point, categorizing meals requires almost no effort.

    January 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm

  • Kelly Jones

    Is there a limit on the carbs for the "protein/carb" meal? My training load is high right now due to training for Boston marathon & a Spartan race. 40-50 miles a week plus 4 strength workouts. My main source of carbs right now is sweet potatoes @ veggies

    January 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    • John Romaniello

      There isn't a limit based on the meal structure, but rather based on your macro split. If you generally take in, say, 100g carbs in a day, and you have 2 P+C meals, you should just split the carbs 50/50. Or 75/25 etc etc.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm

  • John Romaniello

    I'm really not an expert on vegan diets, to be honest. But, I would say that you could use a protein powder like hemp, rice, etc.

    January 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

  • Matt Bona

    What is the recommendation for someone that has to eat all their food in basically one long meal at the end of the day with IF until then? I have been working out, finishing and taking my W/O drink around 7:30 and then eating & cooking from like 8-10pm straight.

    January 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm

  • Joe Evilsizor

    "if people ate healthy foods, dont go over on calories, and make intelligent decisions this would be irrelevant". Good call! No mention of IF here Roman, Im assuming you have no problems with combining the grass fed beef patties in your example above with the sweet potato if i only have 4 hrs to get my calories in! haha

    January 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm

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  • Stacia

    what, no more peanut butter sandwiches. Say  it ain't so..

    June 12, 2012 at 2:44 am

  • Granny

    Thanks for the info on food combining, plan on trying real soon!

    June 12, 2012 at 12:50 am

  • Cindy Tackett

    I am trying to incorporate this, my problem is I hate salad without dressing (yes I use salsa but dressing makes it better!) How do you handle that?

    June 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm

  • Marie-Claire Gravel

    I've eaten like this for a year now thanks to you and I've lost 22lbs! BUT it goes out the window on cheat day...

    June 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm

  • Darren

    I thought the best part of the article was the point that it forces you to think about what you are putting in your mouth. Anything that reminds me to eat smarter is a great idea. Looking forward to the rest of the week! Thanks!

    June 11, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    • John Romaniello

      Thanks, Darren.  You know, I think mindfulness is the reason that most diets work. If you have some sort of restriction, you have to think about what you eat. It doesn't matter if it's low carb, slow carb, paleo, veganism--you have to filter your potential food through a lens. If it doesn't fall into that category you follow, you don't eat it. Just doing that makes you think about every morsel you put in your mouth...and that is the key to progress. 

      June 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm

  • Derek Doepker

    I'm glad you pointed out the difference between what is theoretically "right" vs. what is practical.  Taking the most practical or pragmatic approach often trumps arguing non-stop about what is "ideal" or absolutely "right."  It seems the less people are concerned about dogma and more about what actually will get them results, the better off they are.  Great job Roman! 

    June 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm

  • Haileyhagan

    What about oatmeal and coconut shreds or almond slivers. Both healthy carbs and fats but when eaten together would it create fat storage?

    June 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    • John Romaniello

      The better your food sources are, the less you have to worry about things like that; however, it's important to say that you should still be aware of the amounts you're eating. And macro combination forces you to do that. Coconut shreds by themselves aren't inhibiting fat loss; however, if you eat a bag of them, you will. If you're only "allowed" to eat them with 50% of your meals, that's less likely to happen. 

      June 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      • Haileyhagan

        So basically if you are eating the right serving of healthy fats and carbs together, then there is no need to worry about mixing them?

        June 12, 2012 at 12:53 am

  • Timothy

    Since Roman turned me on to the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet I've been utilizing Macro Nutrient partitioning.  The results have been stellar.  The concept of nutrient timing has given me total awesomeness the Roman way! I started at 10.89% BF and I'm typically dropping 1% or more of BF a week.  Not to mention, going totally vascular.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm

  • Steve Brake

    Great article Roman. I try to eat like this as much as I can. Where does Peanut butter fit in here, or even other nuts for that matter. The fat content is obviously high putting them in that category, however there can be a lot of carbs as well. Thoughts?

    June 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm

  • Michele Brosch

    I had heard of this before (probably here), but was always too intimidated to give it a try ("what, no carbs and fats can I bake cookies?" Lol, that's the point dummy.) But now I'm doing Flavia Del Monte's latest program, which includes these types of meals, and it's not too hard at all. I'm not baking (obviously), but with a little planning I am still enjoying tasty food and making conscious choices that are more beneficial to my health and goals.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    • Roman Fitness Systems

      I imagine it WOULD be hard to bake without combining carbs and fat...but the same token it's hard to bake and get lean! But, yes, the main thing is that you do need to plan a bit, but that in itself forces you to be mindful of your food.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

  • Jonathan Woodman

    As a diabetic, I think Roman's advice on this particular type of eating plan is excellent.  It helps my blood glucose immensely.  And it certainly has resulted in some excellent fat loss for me.  As a veterinarian I find your title quite amusing.  Compliance is our number 1 problem.  Too many clients do not comply with our suggestions and as a result do not achieve the desired results.  I'm glad to hear it happens to others, too.  That said, I'll strive to be as compliant with your suggestions as I can be.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

  • Karen Praxel

    But........what about fettucini alfredo?

    June 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

  • Анастасия

    awesome article! maybe its a bit confusing for beginners to understand all this stuff, the best way is to experiment with your body individual reaction on different kind of food comes with experience

    June 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

  • Matter2003

    I usually eat eggs for protein+fat or eat chicken with a few tbsp of olive oil or coconut has the added benefit of helping you slim down and boosts testosterone by enhancing the ability of the leydig cells to absorb more cholesterol and enhancing the enzymes ability to concert it into testosterone...

    June 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm

  • Matter2003

    Roman, Running MI40 by Ben Pakulski and he has the exact same philosophy with carbs+fat ever...

    June 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    • John Romaniello

      Yeah, Ben and I have discussed. Again, from a purely physiological perspective, the actually effects are slight - but it has a MAJOR effect in keeping people on track, which is absolutely tremendous in terms of results

      June 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm

  • Sebastian Müller

    Exactly the way I eat! Great article. I hope tomorrow comes number two.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

  • Marshall L Shnider

    Could you give us specific examples of the two types of food combinations?

    June 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm

  • Mike Whitfield

     Good stuff Roman - I love this cookbook.  By the way, the blog looks fantastic!

    June 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

  • Rachael Riley

    Roman, when you are talking about carbs, are you then excluding low GI carbs that don't spike insulin levels? Also what is your take on Raspberry Ketones which are known to block function of fat storage pathways?

    June 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

  • Sido

    ahhh, that makes perfect sense. Again. Again from you. Thanks J!

    June 11, 2012 at 10:36 am

  • Calandus Dowdell

    Nice article can't wait to learn more.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

  • Danny

    This is pretty much the reasons SOME ppl should avoid the carb+fat combo on cheat days (really minimize the fats)

    April 28, 2011 at 10:31 am

  • Sue

    I love this idea and want to learn more!

    April 13, 2011 at 10:56 am

  • John Romaniello

    Well, there are various protein sources: powdered pea protein, rice protein, and hemp protein are great. Soy is a not a good option but it IS an option. Barring that, I assume you'd have to work more on combining foods the way vegans do to make complete proteins. I'm not an expert on that, but you can check out - Alternatively, Dave has a veggie cookbook as part of the Metabolic Cooking package

    April 7, 2011 at 12:33 am

  • Sarah

    So how do you suggest adding protein into a vegan diet? That has been my biggest challenge.

    April 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Hey Jason, All of those would be fine to mix into a shake. Also, I will be posting a good P+F shake recipe tomorrow!

    April 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Interesting question. I don't know that there'd be any real benefit in that case...but I can't see how it'd hurt. If it creates a major inconvenience to do it, I'd say don't bother, though.

    April 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm

  • John Romaniello

    No, there is not much science. As I states--several times--I like the rule because it helps people by way of increasing compliance. In fact, the subtitle of the post is "Because Sometimes 'Compliance' Outweighs 'Science'" What about my position is unclear, Alan?

    April 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm

  • Alan Andrus

    No science here!

    April 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    • John Romaniello

      No, there is not much science. As I states--several times--I like the rule because it helps people by way of increasing compliance. In fact, the subtitle of the post is "Because Sometimes 'Compliance' Outweighs 'Science'" What about my position is unclear, Alan?

      June 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm

  • Glenn Moore

    Thanks John Isn't it weird that just yesterday during lunch I was being told about food combining. I was then googling it last night and thinking how great the theory sounded. Now I have read your article I am certainly going to give this a try.

    April 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

  • jason

    R: Great thoughts there-JB has always been one of the nutrition guys i listen to. Now that i am trying to use your advice on"shake-day"..can you comment on using these fats for (P+F) drinks? How do you feel about ..chia seed ...cocoa nibs ...flax meal (tonight's shakes will have Protein+PB) Thanks,Jason

    April 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

  • BJN

    If following a pulse feast type protocol do you think it's as important to divide up the macros?

    April 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Well, again, these recommendations are for fat loss. If you're trying to lose fat, then peanut butter and jelly (while delicious) shouldn't really be on the menu, anyway. If you're maintaining the occasional sammich won't hurt.

    April 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm

  • John Romaniello

    With the exception of root vegetables like potatoes and anything that's really starchy, you can pretty much disregard the cabs from most veggies. Spinach, broc, cauliflower, and the like may have some trace carbs, but they have so much fiber that the Glycemic index is insanely low. Your salad is still super healthy =)

    April 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Hey! Thanks for picking up the programs, I appreciate the support. As for tips, the biggest thing i can tell you is that you need to take it one day at a time. Set up your workouts and your meals, and just focus on hitting each and every one of them as best you can. Worry only about that day, that meal, that workout, that rep. Focus on the present and think only abstractly about the future and you'll be surprised how quickly you progress

    April 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm

  • John Romaniello

    I'm excited for you. So many great recipes in here that it'll make losing the last 10% more fun and a bit easier =) (FACT - the choco-peanut butter muffins are sinful. Or heavenly. Or both).

    April 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm

  • John Romaniello

    I appreciate the feedback =) And congrats on the results. XLFD is pretty comprehensive, really covers just about everything.

    April 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm

  • John Romaniello

    If you're an athlete training twice per day, I have to assume your primary concern is performance, rather than appearance. You should eat in a way that allows you to get enough cals and perform optimally. Once you've done that, you'll probably lose fat and stay lean, anyway.

    April 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm

  • John Romaniello

    You're totally right - it's really hard to make such clear separations on a veggie or vegan diet. It's a bit outside the range of my expertise, as I've only had very limited exposure to trying vegetarianism, BUT Dave does have a complete Vegetarian cookbook in Metabolic Cooking, so at least there's a resource

    April 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm

  • John Romaniello

    If it's putting together meals and menus that is the issue, definitely check out Metabolic Cooking. You'll have a much better understanding of how to arrange and create meals and menus after reading it. However, it's also important to just understand this can take time. Belly fat is often the last to go - so if you're storing fat in the middle, could be an issue with either cortisol or insulin (or both). Patience!

    April 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Thanks, Sharon! Any edge helps. Again, it's not totally necessary to eat this way, but it forces you to think--and that IS necessary to make progress.

    April 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Check tomorrow, and you shall!

    April 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Primarily for fat loss and maintenance after fat loss. If you're an ecto trying to pack on mass, you don't really have to bother with this -- ALTHOUGH the original Massive Eating recs were made to help guys gain mass while staying lean. There's still merit, just not as beneficial as it is for fat loss. Great question!

    April 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Ideally, I find that it's best not to consume fat immediately post workout--so you're right on, there. Having said that, 1.4g is really minimal. As I mentioned, as long as you keep it below 10g, you're fine!

    April 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

  • John Romaniello

    In that case, when you guys visit I will expect you to do most of the cooking!

    April 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

  • John Romaniello

    I'm saying that, speaking generally, if you use this "rule" or another like it as the filter through which you process the ideas about what you're thinking of eating, you'll be more successful. In this case, yes, avoid combining them in general, not just when you're cheating.

    April 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

  • John Romaniello

    THIS is exactly the point =) Congrats on your success, Julian!

    April 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Well, a single food that combines them is likely not to be healthy. But two food items which by themselves are healthy can still be outside this. The point is, as you mentioned, just to think about what you're eating.

    April 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm

  • John Romaniello

    I'll post some good ones that are quick and delish!

    April 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Great advice here, guys =)

    April 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm

  • John Romaniello

    P/N is legit, such a great resource. I should go over and poach some content ;) Great stuff, though, for real

    April 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm

  • Jennifer

    Yeah, I totally agree with your philosophy that forcing people to think about what they are putting in their bodies helps. It helps me anyway, many people though are not willing to do the work. You have to take the time to read, think it through, run a test on your own metabolism, write it down if necessary and then maintain it. And be willing to adjust. Speaking as a woman it seems that my body goes through hormonal fluctuations every six to seven years and I have to make adjustments in order to maintain optimal weight levels, energy and fitness! Do the work people it is worth it!

    April 6, 2011 at 11:22 am

  • Andrea

    I like this idea -- it's easy to follow, makes some sense, and isn't bizarrely restrictive. I'll give it a try, and I'm looking forward to a new recipe or two (especially if it takes 5 minutes or so to prepare...).

    April 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

  • Scott Jones

    This is the first time I've heard this. Are you suggesting that healthy fats and carbs should not be combined in a single meal? Or are you suggesting that avoiding this will minimize damage from our screw-ups?

    April 6, 2011 at 10:24 am

  • Ruben

    Sounds interesting. I think the carb + fat combination is bad because it are mostly fried things (french fries, chips etc) Or is doing some pumpkin seed oil with your rice also bad? Being aware of your food is pretty hard in our society but I was nurtured very well by my parents so I eat 95% of the time clean foods.

    April 6, 2011 at 9:46 am

  • Stephen McCaldin

    Awesome, I've actually been kind of doing this without knowing, but now I'll try and work this fully into the way I structure my diet! Cheers Roman

    April 6, 2011 at 8:35 am

  • Julian

    Hi Roman, I really struggled with getting my bodyfat down until I started using macronutrient separation. I've never really thought about it being down to a greater focus on what I'm eating but I would say it makes allot of sense. Again great article, given me food for thought. Julian

    April 6, 2011 at 7:34 am

  • Fred

    Solid stuff here man. This is actually what Slag and I have been doing for over a year now; works like a charm. One of the reasons this is appealing to us is its sheer simplicity. Takes a lot of the guess work out of the picture and - as you so eloquently put it, is hard to screw up. Seriously, this is very actionable knowledge you're sharing. Very cool! We've also been using Dave Ruel's Anabolic Cooking for a long time. It contains excellent stuff if you want to learn the basics of cooking healthy food. Btw, Slag got Metabolic Cooking yesterday and that's looking sweet as well. Highly recommended!

    April 6, 2011 at 5:09 am

  • Barbara

    Hi there, good writing - and great info, too! ;-) But to be honest, all this combining/separating food is making me a little confused. I've often read to not consume fat after your workout. By the same token, protein shakes are recommended as after workout meal. So is it still ok for me to drink rice milk (which contains 1.4 grams of fat per 100ml) with mixed up raspberries and strawberries???? Looking forward to your next blog ....

    April 6, 2011 at 3:20 am

  • Sebastian

    Hi Roman, is the P+C and P+F division a general rule or mainly for anyone aiming at fat loss? I'm more on the ectomorph side, trying to put on some weight, so I feel I should get my carbs throughout the day in each meal. I guess as long as my sixpack is still visible (at least when tensed) it's ok.

    April 6, 2011 at 1:54 am

  • Trevor Rackley

    Again a great article, as you say the more people think about their food and what are carbs, fats, & protein then the more likely we are going to make the right choices. Looking forward to more info, as always Trevor

    April 6, 2011 at 1:32 am

  • Jacob

    It sounds pretty simple, but I'm just not so sure it is. I'd like to see some recipes. Thanks for sharing though.

    April 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm

  • Sharon

    Now if only we did more thinking and less eating... ;-) But it is important to think about what we eat BEFORE just shoveling stuff into the mouth. Every psychological advantage we can get, right? Good blog as usual.

    April 5, 2011 at 11:16 pm

  • Chris

    Thanks for this post, John. Just from the reading I can totally see your point about using the separation to force your mind to actually think about what you're eating. I need to try this and see how it works!

    April 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm

  • Jordan

    I have been dividing my meals like this for quite some time now (~1 year) and I definitely feel that is effective. -I feel as long as you are cycling your carbs and fats (which should coincide with workout program) while keeping your protein intake pretty steady (with hefty amounts of veggies and fruits) w/ supplementation of a multi-vitamin, fish oil, BCAA's, etc. you should be getting all the nutrients you need.

    April 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm

  • friday

    Thanks for the info. I'm still having trouble putting together menus that work. I eat healthy and workout but am still chunky through the middle.

    April 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm

  • Nadia

    Vegetarians and vegans have a tougher time with this kind of eating. What suggestions do you have for them?

    April 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm

  • diego

    yo john! would you recommend eating like this for an athlete who trains twice a day? i have done this type of eating before and it works, however with my schedule now its hard to get the cals in if i dont mix up my food. some meals that i have are like 4eggs with oats and berries or salmon with sweet potato. i have 4 meals and 1 shake, so basically all my meals are either a pre/post workout meal so i have carbs in it but still need to get my fats in.

    April 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm

  • ShonaLea

    Hi Romie, first of all thanx for putting yourself out there & sharing your knowledge with us..much appreciated!! So I recently bought your FPFL programme..absolutely brilliant(not just saying that to be polite ;P ), & started Joels' Big Breaky meal plan yesterday..just wandering if you have any tips for me to follow & keep me sane during this next month. I am currently training for my first bodybuilding comp (figure), in September so wanna be sure I have all the knowledge I can get. Thanx & great blog by the way!!

    April 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm

  • Teresa

    Hey John, I don't pretend to have a super analytical mind...but I know, when I follow your XFLD, I peel off more fat (weight) than any other time. The rest of the time I try to eat clean, allow myself to waller in some decadent food a couple of times a month. It has been working for me. Granted, I am nowhere near 10-15% body fat, but I am in a helluva lot better shape than I was this time last year.

    April 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm

  • Shelby Meidinginger

    I have been so excited for this cookbook, definitely going to buy it. I think I will learn why I haven't been losing the fat, even though I have at least 10% to lose. I eat fairly well, with lots of spinach and fresh fruit, but this will, I hope help with the little bit of why I am not losing. Yay, I am excited.

    April 5, 2011 at 8:46 pm

  • stuart dragon

    oh no, also peatnut butter jelly with bread, do i have to not consume this now?

    April 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm

  • rocky

    Joel Marion actually taught me this. I haven't mixed carbs and fats since. Idk if it's psycological for me or what but when I do I just feel more fat. But I have both of daves books, the anabolic and metabolic, and he has a lot of recipies that have a ton of carbs and fats mixed. More so in the anabolic cookbook though.

    April 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm

  • stuart dragon

    Great stuff! I always thought my (C)veggie salad was super healthy, but I add more than 10g of good fats. I've ofeten heard the vegetables in the salad should be considerd as calorie free, but they sure do stack up on carbs and fats, thoughts? I guess i should limit the fat intake in it and not add any grains to it too?

    April 5, 2011 at 8:40 pm

  • MJ

    As long as your total calories per day are in check, why would any of this matter?

    April 5, 2011 at 8:32 pm

  • Flower

    Hey Marisa, Don't forget Quinoa! It is a great replacement for rice and is contains a full complement of amino acids. and yes it does have fat, but they are the good kinds: Omega 3's and Omega 6's!!! Hmmmm, although Sushi would be quite different using that instead!

    April 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm

  • Flower

    Hello Roman, Your blog today is "right on." I've heard of the F&C and F&P techniques not only from Berardi, but I believe the Blood Type enthusiasts who follow this type of format as well. Even better, I like the fact that you give that 10 carb / 10 fat number! Heart disease has been steadily working it's way up the scale and Diabetes is going to quickly outstrip all other nutrition diseases in this country due to the fact that most people do not realize they are overconsuming their carbohydrates and are already insulin resistant!!!. A good rule of thumb I like to use is no more carbs at a meal (with carbs) than the size of your palm!

    April 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm

  • Ajay Sakaria

    Hi John i've got a qquestion for you, I just recently found out that I carry 23% bodyfat I was just wondering what type of diet would be most appropriate to get my bodyfat down to 10% or below and what is your opinion of the paleo diet I keep hearing about?

    April 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm

  • Keenan

    Got to ask John, when was the first time you started lifting whether it be a fitness model or bodybuilder. I see that you have a very well developed body and that makes me ask how long did it take you to get a symmetrical body like that?

    April 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

  • Tara Loiselle

    Heyyy Roman. I've been eating sort of like this for a long time now after reading Fit For Life many years ago. The basic diet is fruit alone, never combined, veg with protein or veg with grains, and never protein with carbs at the same meal. So, it's pretty easy to follow. Fruit in the morning is like carb loading and gives fuel for a workout, then protein with veg for the rest of the day. A protein shake post workout with baby spinach is awesome! Easy way to eat, easy and quick to digest, and no fat gain. :)

    April 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm

  • dmreid

    apple and nut butter?

    April 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm

  • Jorma

    I can't say I adhere to any heavily structured eating plan, more like "get in my belly!". Here is how I do try to be good: I definitely try to ensure the quality of the ingredients and have found that to be very effective, nothing too processed, almost no refined sugars, white wheat products, etc. Also (because of food intolerance that were not particularly sever or noticeable as "allergies" I've taken to severely limiting wheat, dairy and peanuts). I found that limiting inflammatory ingredients was probably the single biggest help to trim off unwanted fat, for me anyway. I try to do the majority of my eating before and after a workout and shortly after waking up. I also try to cheat once a week and am going to put in one or another method of intermittent fasting (1 or 2 24-hour 0-calorie periods, or maybe a few weeks of daily 16-hour 0-calorie periods, not sure yet) starting this week. So this is my loose plan but more structure is better. I'm a believer in the "every little bit counts" motto, particularly since I've plateaued right around 12% body fat, which it 4% higher than my current goal. I definitely like the idea of applying a little analytical reasoning to what I put on my plate. Another theory which I read somewhere (but unfortunately one for which I have no scientific back-up that I know of) is that you should actually separate out carbs and protein consumption as each will be more efficiently digested alone as opposed to together. This I think has to do with how, or how fast, the body will absorb one or another type of nutrient. Anyway I know I went on a bit and any feedback is appreciated. What's your take on that, any perceived advantage/disadvantage to that.

    April 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm

  • dmreid

    John, a few people have mentioned or questioned the combination of vegetables as the carb source with protein and adding fat i.e, a salad with avocado or EVOO dressing, or a vegetable and protein stirfry, etc., can you confirm whether there is a problem then? I would appreciate your response!!!!

    April 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm

  • Deb

    Purchased the XFLD and, since this is all new to me, reviewing the program and putting together my variable information, buying the BCAA and protein products, and looking forwarding to getting started. What is your take on a raw vegan diet to maintain after the XFLD?

    April 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm

  • Alan Andrus

    Although this diet meal plan has been around for many years, there is no scientific evidence that it works. Picking and choosing between certain foods can lead to shortages of vital nutrients that the body requires. In addition, reducing the amount of protein you eat is likely to result in muscle loss, and flies in the face of current research that suggests that increasing the protein that you eat will result in increased weight loss.

    April 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm

  • Debbie Williams

    Yeah! I already eat this way. Also do the carbs before workouts and the protein meals after workouts. I am hoping I am on the right track! It's been noticed, so I am sure I am. Also like to do 5 or 6 small meals a day. That way I am always getting fuel and my metabolism just burns faster!

    April 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm

  • Marisa

    No way! That would mean no more brown rice avocado sushi rolls or any fats or oils in my salads since veggies are carbs. And there pretty much aren't any vegan protein sources without fat!

    April 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm

  • scott zelesnikar

    well I try to eat good foods most days..I have two boys in sports and shuffling back and forth makes it hard to prepare meals like that everyday...I just have to be more vigilant about doing it...I workout a lot so does my 16yr. old...So this may be just what i need to get me over the hump and get the body I want at 49...I am a trainer and actually look pretty least thats what they tell me:)

    April 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm

  • John Romaniello

    I assume, by the way, that the awesomeness of the cookbook is due to Karine's involvement. Adding hot girls to things makes them way better.

    April 5, 2011 at 5:27 pm

  • John Romaniello

    The cookbook is great. They put so much work into it. Even the random recipes that I wouldn't think to try look great.

    April 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Definitely keep me posted! And, of course, stay Golden

    April 5, 2011 at 5:25 pm

  • John Romaniello

    It's the only way I survive. If I didn't eat some grilled chicken and a salad before Sunday dinners, I would eat myself to death on pasta.

    April 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Excellent addition. The nutrient timing aspect is also important.

    April 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm

  • John Romaniello

    ...basically. Ha! JB is super lean, to be sure, but like anyone else he likes ice cream. Because it's awesome.

    April 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm

  • Josseline

    Breaking down meals to P+C and P+F has been working a treat for me the past 8 weeks or so... I was doing a 4-5 day body split together with a session or 2 of HIIT leading up to commencing FPFL 2.0 this week. I was eating ABOVE my daily maintanence on workout days (to gain a bit of muscle mass), but by eating this way I did not put on any body fat, which I was super happy about. I surrounded all my P+C meals before and after my workout and the rest of the day was only P+F meals.

    April 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

  • Franz

    Right, I think i have got a tendency to store fat quite easily. What I used to do was combining carbs, fat and protein all in one meal. The result was quite big bf% increase. What I did then is I followed Berardi’s advice. I only consume carbs after waking up, before and after work out. And I never mix them with fats now. The results were actually astonishing. Now I am packing on muscle while losing fat. Oh, i do not do any cardio at all. I will always recommend what Roman wrote about. Especially for ppl who have tendencies for storing fat.

    April 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm

  • Katie M

    I don't divide my meals, but I think for the most part I probably eat like this (mostly bc I don't eat that many fast digesting carbs). I can't handle too many rules for eating, my main ones: get enough protein, LOTS of veg, and keep calories in check (which focusing on veg and protein kind of does this on its own). My goals right know: lose 3-5 lbs of fat (so maintain my muscle mass).

    April 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm

  • Ylwa

    I do now, thanks to you :). Plan to make some new weekly mealplans from the metabolic cooking as well, they sound great

    April 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

  • Jon

    So to thank Berardi for giving you some great advice on not eating fat and carbs together, you...bought cream....... Must be nice, walkin' around, all sub-10% bf, cheatin' all over the place.

    April 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm

  • Tony Roe

    As you know, I divide my meals this way! Precision Nutrition introduced me to the idea, but it's really grown on me. I can see continuing to use it indefinitely. It just seems like meals that fall in line (either P/C or P/F) make sense to me now taste and food choice-wise. And, like you said, keeping with this layout does indeed increase compliance. One thing I've noticed I do is if I'm out with friends or something and I am tempted to grab a bite to eat, I analyze it (is it mostly P/C, P/F, or some dastardly combination of a little of everything?). If it's not a healthy P/F meal (assuming I'm out at night) then I'm not gonna touch it! -Tony

    April 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm

  • adam feinstein

    Romanz, I love your KISS methods (keep it simple stupid). Sure at the edge the science makes a difference, but for most of us it's just about what we can do every day to get by.

    April 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

  • Paul McCloskey

    I've been doing this for some time and it seems to be helping. I've noticed an increase in the size of muscles which I always had a problem growing before. Eating before hitting the family dinner... I need to remember this one. I always seem to screw that one up.

    April 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

  • Matt Kittoe

    I whole-heartedly agree with dividing macronutrients. I remember reading long ago that you SHOULD combine fats & carbs to slow down digestion, but that seemed a little iffy. These rules definitely make things a little simpler. Any idea if this cookbook also includes the recipes from the Anabolic Cookbook? I made Dave's crispy baked chicken nuggets the other night and dipped them in guacamole. They were teh bombz.

    April 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm

  • Tyler Carter

    I've come to the same conclusion that simply having to Think about what you're eating has a significant impact on how yo do so, which is a level of simplicity I can appreciate.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm

  • Rachel

    I really liked the point about creating compliance through more and more avenues. I totally agree that making people think about what's in their food is imperative. Great post, Roman!

    April 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm

  • Deborah

    This is great advice and I have found it suprisingly easy to do for the past year, although recently I have faced a few extra dietry challenges due to food intolerances that have made me have to rethink my whole food world. I've got there though, I've readjusted and am back on track and didn't put a single pound back on during the rather ugly transition period, where frankly I felt lost! One thing I would like to ask, is that I am making myself eat more oily fish (it IS very good for you) and so am using tinned wild salmon in my jacket potatoes, but this is quite oily. I drain it well but there is still quite a high fat content to the meat. Can someone tell me does this mean I should be eating the salmon with fibrous carbs instead rather than starchy? PS. I don't need to lose weight, just tone up a few tiny areas.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm

  • Kyle Ermatinger

    Hey Roman. Great article, thanks! I just finished my first week of FPFL, and holy Winterfell am I sore. Love it! Concerning the dead hooker workout....i am going to Vegas in May, and was wondering if that is something i can do everyday while there. Also, i don't think the Tropicana provides dead hookers (although, they just renovated, so maybe)...would a bloated, dead elvis impersonator work in a pinch? Thank you very much.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm

  • Matt Letten

    As a client of Roman, I actually enjoy this type of eating. Any eating style that forces you to compartmentalize what you are eating, is more aware eating, in a society where that rarely exists...

    April 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm

  • james quigley

    Another great freebie!!! Thanks pal, I've been on the Precision Nutrition site now for the last two weeks. Its amazing information. I actually was combing my fats and carbs and while NOT gaining any weight I wasn't seeing any fat loss either. I decided to put this into practice about a week ago. I'll keep you posted on my results in about 4-5 more weeks pal. Stay golden pony boy.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm

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