Dissociated diet: Operation, Menus and Reviews

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

The American physician William Howard Hay (1866-1940) is the designer of a diet that bears his name (Hay diet). This slimming method is also called a dissociated diet. This is a method aimed at losing weight. The implementation of this slimming diet is based on respecting a certain number of principles and a well-adapted menu. Like all diets, Dr. Hay’s diet has advantages, but also disadvantages.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

The principles of the dissociated regime

Unlike some slimming diets which recommend a combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the dissociated diet recommends only one category of food during each meal or a day. It is based on a principle according to which the combination of several categories of food during a single meal is likely to induce weight gain.

The American William Howard Hay is the designer of the Hay or dissociated diet.

In other words, the wrong combination of foods will cause you to gain weight. It overloads the digestive system which cannot easily assimilate these different food groups.

To avoid these unfortunate consequences, the designers of the dissociated diet recommend consuming foods without mixing them by eating only one food group during meals. For the latter, distinguishing between the different food groups and consuming them separately helps optimize weight loss. It is the consumption of foods in isolation that allows you to lose weight, even when they are consumed in large quantities.

Thus, the dissociated diet is based on the consumption of a single food group per meal or course of a single day. Only one food category is favored during each meal. This diet is therefore based on dietary dissociation with the consumption of a single food group per meal or per day. Consuming the same family of foods per meal or daily allows you to lose weight or helps you lose weight.

There are several variations of the dissociated diet. These are, among others, the Shelton diet, Antoine diet, Montignac diet and dissociated Scandinavian.

How does the dissociated diet work?

To know how to lose weight on the dissociated diet, it is important to know the different categories of foods and to make the right combinations. Food categories include:

  • carbohydrates (pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, etc.);
  • animal proteins (white meat, fish, etc.), vegetable proteins (walnuts, almonds, peas, etc.);
  • lipids (butter, oil, dairy products, cheeses, etc.);
  • fruits (lemons, dates, figs, kiwis, etc.);
  • vegetables (cucumbers, green salads, spinach, onions, carrots, etc.).

The dissociated diet consists of consuming only one food group at a time by developing meals that do not include proteins and starchy foods at the same time. It is then important to eat foods that belong to the same category in the same meal.

For example, during the same meal, only proteins should be consumed or only fruits. For better digestion and weight loss, foods should not be mixed. During the same meal, for example, proteins should not be combined with carbohydrates, nor fats with carbohydrates. There are therefore incompatible foods that can cause digestion problems and bloating. All foods can be consumed as desired and without counting the number of calories, as long as there are not certain incompatible mixtures or combinations during the same meal.

Set up

Food dissociation can be implemented:

  • over the course of a day: in this case, only one food group is consumed during each meal. For example fruit for breakfast, protein for lunch, carbohydrates for dinner;
  • over a week: where a single class of food is consumed every day for a week. There is, therefore, an alternation of different types of foods over the course of a week.

While consuming a single food group weekly or daily during each meal, it is important to maintain a spacing of four hours between meals.

How to succeed in your dissociated diet
In a typical week of the dissociated diet, you will be able to eat vegetables on Tuesday. And you should only eat vegetables during this day.

The typical day

A typical day of a dissociated diet is easy to follow. It can be characterized by the consumption of fruits for breakfast, carbohydrate-based foods for lunch, vegetables for dinner.

A typical day might be devoted to just one food group over the course of a week.

  • Monday: fruit;
  • Tuesday: vegetables;
  • Wednesday: proteins (fish);
  • Thursday: carbohydrate-based foods (rice);
  • Friday: proteins (meat);
  • Saturday: dairy or dairy products;
  • Sunday: carbohydrate-based foods (potatoes).

The advantages of the dissociated diet

  • It is an easy diet to follow since it consists of consuming only one category of food per day or during a meal. There is therefore no particular recipe that is difficult to concoct and no use of a product to lose weight like a appetite suppressant or one fat Burner.
  • The dissociated diet contributes to weight loss. By recommending the consumption of the same food group during a meal, the appetite decreases with a rapid effect of satiety. By helping you eat less, this food dissociation also helps you lose weight.
  • This diet has health benefits. By avoiding food combinations likely to make digestion difficult, food dissociation helps eliminate certain digestive problems, notably bloating. Also, the weight loss it induces is not associated with health problems.
  • A less restrictive diet since it offers a wide range of food choices provided that certain food associations are avoided. There is no strict deprivation or calorie counting. So, to lose weight, you don’t need to be hungry. This diet does not impose limits on the quantity of foods to consume.

The lessers

  • Eating only one food group during a meal can lead to food disgust or boredom with eating only one type of food. Over time, this diet can be confusing or difficult to follow for a long period of time.
  • With an interval of 4 hours between meals, this diet may not be very restrictive for some people. The latter must no longer listen to their hunger signals, especially when they occur prematurely, before the imposed deadline. Also, selection of certain food groups and limited food combinations may constitute other types of restrictions for other people.
  • Also, an inappropriate selection of food groups can generate a dietary imbalance or nutritional deficiencies. In the long term, this diet can result in a weakening of the body, malnutrition, significant nutritional deficits or obvious micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Dietary balance is not preserved when the dissociated diet is applied weekly with only one food group during the day.

The effectiveness of the dissociated regime

The dissociated diet allows for better digestion of food while ensuring excellent assimilation of nutrients. It is associated with a feeling of satiety which occurs quickly, but also with a feeling of food weariness. Indeed, with the absence of dietary diversification, the dissociated diet has the physiological effect of rapid satiety, reduced food consumption during meals with increased mobilization of fat reserves.

Unlike a normal diet combining a variety of foods which increases the risk of fat and excess weight, the dissociated diet promotes reduced calorie consumption. Thus, the beneficial effects of food dissociation allow weight loss.

The dissociated diet is effective for losing weight, for example, a few extra kilograms, but this effectiveness is short-lived and cannot induce considerable weight loss. Indeed, food dissociation cannot be applied in the long term. Also, returning to a normal diet means losing the beneficial effects of this diet, notably substantial weight loss. The effectiveness of the dissociated diet is therefore limited in time. Weight gain can therefore inevitably occur at the end of the diet.

Weight loss induced by the dissociated diet
The dissociated diet is short-lived. It allows you to lose a few kilograms. The weight loss is not significant due to the short duration of the diet.

Duration of the dissociated regime

Applying the split diet for a long time can lead to nutritional deficiencies or health problems. This is why it is recommended to follow it for a short period of time or occasionally for a few days.

Special menus and recipes for the dissociated diet

A separate diet menu for one day

a day Fruit (a plate of melon or watermelon)Vegetables (a plate of salad) Dairy products

A week’s menu

1st day Fresh fruitfresh fruitsfresh fruits
2nd day Meat (white or red)meat (white or red)meat (white or red)
3rd day Cerealscerealscereals
4th day Eat dairy productsDairy productsDairy products
5th day Eggseggseggs
6th day eat fresh green vegetables (lettuce, spinach or cauliflower salad)fresh green vegetables (lettuce, spinach or cauliflower salad)fresh green vegetables (lettuce, spinach or cauliflower salad)
7th day eat fishPiscesPisces
Table of special menus and recipes for the dissociated diet

Opinion of health professionals on the dissociated diet

For dietitians and many health professionals, the dissociated diet has no scientific basis. Furthermore, the principle and effectiveness of this diet are not supported by a scientific study.

Experts deplore the absence of relevant scientific data relating to weight loss induced by such a diet. In the absence of scientific evaluation concerning this diet, they recommend caution with regard to food dissociation which may be deficient in terms of nutritional intake or minerals and vitamins.

For these professionals, this seemingly simple diet requires a certain knowledge of the composition of foods in order to break them down effectively. Otherwise, exposure to a dietary imbalance can prevail with serious health problems due to the absence of excellent nutritional intake during meals.

You don’t need to be a chef to succeed in your dissociated diet.

Consumer reviews

While some consumers highlight the positive points of the dissociated diet, others denounce the weak points of food dissociation.

In terms of strengths, consumers like this satiating diet that is not very restrictive. For the latter, it offers very appreciable freedom in terms of food choice with the possibility of organizing menus. You don’t need any tips or to be a cordon bleu, nor to rely on the expertise of a coach to follow the dissociated diet correctly. Also, they emphasize the effectiveness of this diet which actually allows you to lose weight quickly over a short period of time.

Alongside these advantages, there are negative points which emerge in many other opinions. These are mainly the harmful effects on health. So, even if it can cause weight loss or muscle wasting, these effects can be associated with fatigue. In the long term, the risk of being affected by a deficiency which could lead to malnutrition or anemia may prevail.

Also, the effectiveness of the dissociated diet is strongly criticized in certain forums since it does not ensure weight stabilization. The risk of weight regain is increased when returning to a normal diet. For consumers, the dissociated diet is sometimes difficult to follow when you are invited to friends or to a dinner in a restaurant. As a result, respecting the constraints of this regime can alter social life.