Now that the New Year is here, are you finding yourself looking for a new diet to start? Recent research found that one of the most consistent predictors of weight gain was people who had been on a diet! That's right, 95% of people who go on a diet weighed more than 12 months later than they did before they started the diet!
The best way to lose weight is to change the way you eat on a regular basis, not simply try and restrict yourself for a few weeks. However, there is one diet that many doctors and nutritionists recommend, because it aims to do exactly that – change the way you eat on a permanent basis.
The GI diet:
The GI diet aims to teach you which foods you should focus on long-term – and which you should avoid! The GI diet was not developed by a celebrity, or someone trying to make a fast buck (although plenty have cashed in since).
The GI diet is based on the glycemic index (GI) of foods – a ranking of carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. In other words, it helps you to identify (and avoid) the foods that lead to the insulin response.
So carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion have a high GI score, while those that break down slowly have a lower GI score. Foods are ranked as:
– Low GI (55 or less)
– Medium GI (56 – 69)
– High GI (70+)
The aim of the GI diet is to eat foods that are low on the GI scale. Low GI foods, which release glucose gradually into the blood stream, have the following benefits:
– They produce a smaller rise in blood sugar levels
– They can help you lose weight
– They re-fuel the body's glycogen stores better
– They are a better source of energy for prolonged physical efforts
All of this makes the GI diet both an effective way to lose weight, and a healthy way to eat. Eating low GI is easy if you follow these simple rules:
– Try to choose most of your carbs from the low GI list
– Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (except potatoes)
– Choose whole grains as much as possible; in general whole grains have a low GI, because their high fiber content slows digestion
– It's the GI score for the whole meal that counts, so adding quality protein or fat will lower the GI level of a meal
– Do not use this plan as a license to fill up on low-GI foods that are high in calories, such as Snickers!
Some other considerations:
– Eat regularly
– Drink plenty of water
– Avoid highly processed foods – if there are more than two ingredients you can not pronounce or do not know what they are, avoid it.
– Lean protein
– Whole grain carbs
There are literally hundreds of GI books on the market now, plus innumerable web sites dedicating themselves to weight loss, so finding information and recipes is easy.