The GI Diet is based on the glycemic index of each and every food. This index measures the effects of food on the blood sugar level. During digestion breaks the body food at a different speed down. Carbohydrates for example that break down fast and release glucose constantly into the bloodstream count among the high index. Those ones that break down more slowly have a low glycemic index. The lower the glycemic index of one food the slower are carbohydrates digested. This leads to a lower insulin level and may improve over a long period the controll of glucose.
Foods are devided in 3 parts:
- Low GI Foods
apples, apricot, asparagus, bananas (immature), barley, basmati rice, bran, broccoli, cashewnuts, cauliflower, cherries, chickpeas, chocolate bars, confiture, corn, diet coke, eggs, grapefruit, kale, lentils, long grain rice, milk, mixed grain, most fresh juices, muesli, oatmeal, oranges, peppers, peanuts, peanut butter, pasta, peaches, pears, peas, popcorn, pumpernickel, radish, red cabbage, rye bread, salad, sellerie, soda, strawberry jam, string beans, sweat potatoes, wild rice, yoghurt
- Medium GI Foods
ananas, bran muffins, couscous, honey, ice cream, jam, kiwi, mango, new potatoes, oatmeal cookies, pita bread, potato crisps, roisins, rye crisp bread, sweetened condensed milk, whole-grain bread
- High GI Foods
bagels, baguette, bananas (ripe), beetroot, breakfast cereals, carrots, coca cola, croissants, dates, figs, ginger ale, lemonades, muffins, old potatoes, parsnips, roast potatoes, water melon, white bread
Reference level for the GI
The increase of the blood sugar level cause by glucose function as reference level for the glycemic index which is 100. A glycemic index von 70 and more means, that the carbohydrates are absorbed to fast. That leads to a rapidly rise of the blood sugar level. When you try to lose weight, you should try to abandon or not to consume to many of those high GI foods. Try to combine high GI level foods with low GI foods.
A glycemic index of 69 to 56 is a mean value. Every food with 55 or lower is a low GI food and very good to control the sugar realease.
But be careful when you cut down calories. The fewer calories we ingest the more weight we lose, but not all the weight loss will come from fat loss. Generally the quicker the weight loss, the more chance it will come from muscle and water loss rather than fat and cutting calories quickly results in rapid weight loss.
This is why you shouldn’t just go for weight loss alone and the reason why experts recommend only losing an average of 1 -2 pounds per week. This little and often approach requires a gradual drop in calories so there’s more chance any weight loss will largely come from reduced body fat stores resulting in a better chance of long term success.
The G. I. diet works in a similar way but additionally helps to control blood sugar levels which limit the storage of fat through control of insulin spikes. This is where the G.I. diet excels. It tends to target the loss of fat stores rather than just body weight alone. It helps limit the amount of lean muscle loss, thus maintains a speedy metabolism which keeps you burning more energy.
The fact is we burn fat all day, the problem is we often cause any fat loss to be replaced at the next meal because many convenient foods contain lots of refined sugars which cause the pancreas to release more insulin. The high insulin levels drive excess fat and sugars into cells for storage. The result is we rarely gain the benefit of a net loss of body fat. If we could stop or reduce the body from storing fat after eating we would naturally see a reduction in stored body fat. The G.I. diet does this well if it is followed correctly. A calorie deficit can also do this but there’s no guarantee because it is dependent on what the individual eats and how much he/she reduces calories. With a low calorie diet there’s always the need to burn off extra energy through exercise because we need to tip the balance in favour of burning more than is replaced to produce a net loss of stored fat. The trouble is the body also breaks down muscle to maintain the amino acid pool (protein available in blood). This causes the metabolism to eventually slow down resulting in the weight loss plateau.