Can The Gi Diet Help You Lose Weight

Can The Gi Diet Help You Lose Weight



The GI diet,​ based on​ the​ Glycemic Index,​ has recently become very popular,​ but the​ GI ranking system has been around since 1981. There have been several books published on​ the​ success of​ the​ GI diet,​ but is​ it​ really a​ diet or​ a​ lifestyle change?

The glycemic index

Dr. David Jenkins,​ from the​ University of​ Toronto in​ Canada,​ developed the​ glycemic index to​ measure the​ speed at​ which foods break down in​ the​ body to​ produce glucose. While originally intended to​ help diabetic patients control their glucose levels,​ it​ was soon used to​ help individuals trying to​ lose weight to​ control their eating habits and hunger. the​ key was to​ decrease the​ fast breakdown of​ foods into glucose. Glucose is​ the​ natural source of​ energy for the​ body. it​ produces a​ rush of​ energy when the​ food is​ broken down,​ and then when it​ is​ burned up,​ it​ leaves a​ feeling of​ hunger and fatigue.

Depending on​ how fast they elevate the​ blood sugar level after eating,​ foods are considered high,​ medium and low GI foods. Low GI foods rank less than 55 on​ the​ glycemic index scale,​ medium GI foods go from 55 to​ 70 and high GI foods rank higher than 70. High GI foods break down very quickly in​ the​ body and make you feel hungry again soon after consuming them. Low GI foods are slowly digested and absorbed so you feel fuller for a​ longer period of​ time after you eat.

High GI foods include:

  • white flour products like white bread,​ croissants,​ doughnuts;
  • heavily processed foods like corn chips,​ potato chips or​ pretzels;
  • foods high in​ sugar like cookies,​ rice krispies,​ ice cream;
  • high starch vegetables such as​ potatoes and parsnips;
  • fruits high in​ sugar - watermelons,​ dates and other dried fruits.


Medium GI foods include:

  • most types of​ pasta;
  • rice;
  • some fruits like mangos,​ apricots and raisins;
  • some vegetables like baked beans.


Low GI foods include:

  • most fruits and vegetables;
  • legumes;
  • cereals that are high in​ fibers but low on​ sugar;
  • dairy products like low fat plain yogurt,​ whole,​ low fat or​ skimmed milk;
  • whole grain breads.


The Low GI Diet

The low GI diet focuses on​ changing eating habits so that the​ majority of​ the​ foods consumed are from the​ low GI food group. These foods take longer to​ break down into glucose in​ the​ body. This does two basic things:

  • Produces a​ more even level of​ glucose throughout the​ day to​ avoid those high glucose times followed by the​ low glucose slumps.
  • Stops cravings and hunger from occurring as​ much.


When these two components combine,​ they allow the​ dieter to​ eat a​ balanced meal and not experience the​ "energy slumps". the​ whole grains and unprocessed foods take more time for the​ body to​ convert to​ glucose and keep the​ feeling of​ being full for longer. it​ also prevents those cravings which tend to​ cause overeating or​ consuming foods that are not on​ the​ eating plan.

However,​ the​ diet should not rely exclusively on​ the​ glycemic index as​ low GI foods aren't necessarily healthy. Foods should be chosen based on​ their overall nutritional value. the​ glycemic index is​ influenced by a​ sum of​ factors like: the​ nutrient content of​ the​ foods,​ the​ extent to​ which they are processed,​ the​ cooking method,​ food combination or​ ripeness in​ the​ case of​ fruits and vegetables.

Products that are high in​ fat have a​ low GI as​ they don't break down as​ easily as​ the​ ones high in​ carbs. That doesn't mean you should choose to​ eat high fat foods in​ order to​ stick to​ the​ index. as​ an​ example,​ whole milk is​ ranked lower than the​ fat free or​ low fat one.

The glycemic index doesn't rank foods that do not contain carbohydrates,​ like fresh meat,​ chicken,​ fish,​ eggs and cheese. However,​ it​ includes processed foods that include meat and diary products. For a​ healthy low GI diet you should choose lean or​ low-fat meats that have been trimmed of​ visible fat,​ skinless poultry,​ fish and low-fat dairy products,​ even though they aren't ranked.

The nutrient content is​ also very important. Between dates or​ watermelon and a​ bag of​ crisps the​ obvious choice is​ the​ fruit even though the​ watermelon is​ considered high GI because of​ the​ sugar content and the​ crips are considered low GI as​ they are high in​ fat and slow down the​ absorbtion process.

It is​ also important to​ remember that the​ glycemic index ranks invidual foods only,​ not whole meals. Depending on​ how the​ foods are combined,​ the​ overall GI value of​ the​ meal can change and cannot be measured accurately,​ but the​ main idea is​ that including low GI foods in​ your meal will result in​ lower GI value overall.

The low GI diet does not lead to​ rapid weight loss; rather it​ results in​ a​ steady and constant decrease in​ body weight. the​ individuals who use this plan find that they have more energy and therefore are more likely to​ exercise.

So is​ the​ low GI plan a​ diet or​ a​ lifestyle? Most experts agree that it​ is​ a​ diet plan that leads to​ changes and becomes a​ lifestyle. Eating low GI foods just makes good sense for weight control and maintenance,​ energy levels and healthy eating.




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