Mar 11

Spilling the Beans and the Fat

In ONE-TWO PUNCH, fat is treated as a condiment that will add to your feelings of fullness and satisfaction.75 If you’re using the fist as your parameter, you can keep the fat intake in check. Yes, nuts are super tasty, and it would be easy to go overboard and eat a container of cashews. But you’re using your fist as your portion guide. 

In ONE-TWO PUNCH, fat is not included as a macronutrient you need to count in your fists of protein and carbohydrate. It is considered a condiment; butter on your vegetables, dressing on your salad or fat already in your choice of protein or carbohydrate. Fats include oils, cream, butter, margarine, salad dressing, avocados and some sauces. 

There is fat in some of the carbohydrate and protein foods that you choose as your fist-sized portions, but the idea is not to get too caught up in the details. Remember, if you’re using your fists as your portion guidelines, your fat is not going to be out of control. Some meals will be higher in fat than others. With more fat in some meals you will stay full for a longer period of time. Remember the first foundational principle is waiting until you are hungry before eating.

So you’ve got foods designated as protein, foods designated as carbohydrate and fat as a condiment. However, not every food fits neatly into a category. Some foods contain a mixture of nutrients; some naturally contain protein and carbohydrates and some have a mixture of both because of the way they are prepared. 

Food prepared with both carbohydrate and protein, by putting two different foods together, are considered mixed foods in ONE-TWO PUNCH. These include foods such as lasagna, casseroles, macaroni and cheese, pizza and so on.

Foods that already have protein and carbohydrate in them naturally are considered a hybrid food in ONE-TWO PUNCH. The protein and carb is contained in one food. Such is the case with legumes because they contain a combination of both carbohydrate and protein.

For example, a half-cup of black beans contains 7-8 grams of protein and 20+ grams of carbohydrate. That’s as much protein as a cheese stick but they’re lopsided a bit towards carbs. And while they contain about 15 grams fiber that contributes to fullness, they don’t have the staying power that fats provide, like in nuts. Due to the protein, legumes don’t fit completely into the carbohydrate category. In ONE-TWO PUNCH legumes are a hybrid food.

Here’s how a hybrid food works in OTP. If you’re having hummus, one fist-size serving would contain a half-fist of protein and a half-fist of carb. That’s what I mean by hybrid. Have two fistfuls of hummus with fresh cut-up veggies. You’re already getting your carb. You’re already getting your protein. Having two fistfuls is like having a fist of each. 

If you have the hummus with pita bread or chips, your carb intake becomes lopsided and out of balance. If you’re having a small cup of lentil soup, it’s both protein and carbohydrate. If you add a piece of bread, that’s more carb. You’re going to be sustained longer and feel more satisfied if you also add some protein to the bread and soup. Or have a larger bowl of soup because it already contains both. 

I am aware that many vegans and vegetarians use legumes solely as a protein, for instance with rice. This idea came from obtaining particular amino acids from the legumes and different amino acids from the rice to make a complete protein. Specifics regarding amino acids are outside the scope of this book. Our focus is the protein and carbohydrate available from food and how it enters the body. Legumes have more carbohydrate than protein but still have both components in one food. They are considered a hybrid food in ONE-TWO PUNCH.


75. Grodner M, Escott-Stump S. Nutritional Foundations and Clinical Applications: A Nursing Approach. 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2016.