This GI Diet review takes a look at one of the most popular weight loss concepts of recent years.
It seems that just about everyone is on or has been on one GI diet or another.
Film stars, celebrity chefs, politicians, sportspeople…they all seem to be at it.
To be fair though, most ‘celebrity’ diets picked up and promoted by the media are, well…rubbish. Faddy, unbalanced, unhealthy.
The GI diet, however is an exception to the rule and is potentially a healthy approach to weight loss.
So what is the GI diet and how does it work?
GI Diet Review – What is it…?
Now, we’re not going to give you chapter and verse here on what GI is, we’ve a page all about GI with the GI of some popular foods, so take a look at it if you want a bit more detail.GI stands for glycaemic index if you’re British, or glycemic index if you’re from the US…but the spelling is not important, everyone’s heard of GI!
In summary, the glyceamic index measures the effect that different foods have on blood sugar levels. The scale goes from 0 to 100 with simple sugar, glucose, being 100. Other foods are then ranked against this on the scale.
Put simply, foods that cause rapid spikes in blood sugar are nearer to 100, foods that have little effect on blood sugar levels are ranked lower in the scale.
GI Diet Review – So How Does it Work…?
Well, the theory is that high GI foods release their sugar into the blood quickly, so you feel hungry soon afterwards and are more likely to eat something else, which in the long term means you eat more and this can lead to weight gain.
Low GI foods, however, release their sugar slowly into the bloodstream, leaving you feeling more satisfied and fuller for longer.
Hence, the theory goes, eat more low GI foods and you end up eating less and are not so prone to overeating and consequently gaining weight.
Furthermore, when your blood sugar level rises your body produces insulin to remove the sugar and control your blood sugar level. Most of this sugar is excess to your body’s energy requirements and is ferried away to be stored as fat.
After all, insulin is your fat-storing hormone.
GI diets essentially encourage you to eat more low GI foods and fewer high GI foods. This helps to:
The result…you eat less and lose weight.
Now there is a problem with the glycaemic index that any GI diet review should point out, in that some fatty foods have a low GI. So, most GI diets limit your intake of fatty foods.
Don’t blindly follow the glyceamic index as you could end up eating an unhealthy, high calorie diet of bacon, fried eggs, nuts and cheese…what do you mean, “lovely”!
Some low GI foods can also be packed with salt and lacking in vitamins and minerals, processed foods like sausages and burgers, for instance
There’s another drawback with GI diets and that is that when you eat foods together in a meal the GI of the meal can change significantly. It’s hard to work out the GI of a meal so include a lot of low GI foods and that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
GI Diet Review – The Bottom Line…
For us, the GI diet is a good weight loss plan to follow, as long as you stick to healthy eating guidelines and a bit of common sense.
Don’t eliminate high GI foods from your diet, eat a balance of different foods.
If you ensure you eat lots of fruit and veg, most of which are low GI and cut down on fatty and sugary foods you’ll not only lose weight, around 1-2 lbs a week, you’ll end up healthier too.
You’ll also be getting more vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants and fibre in your diet.
A diet rich in low GI foods has also been associated with reduced risks and incidence of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic disease.
We like the low GI concept and the emphasis on fresh fruit and veg, wholegrain products, eating natural rather than processed foods…it’s really compatible with healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.
Again, check out our GI page for more information.
There are plenty of GI diets to choose from, with some great books such as the original from Rick Gallop.
However, I would suggest that Gallop’s follow up, “Living the GI Diet” would be my pick – easy to follow, full of common sense and a good choice for busy people.
The verdict of our GI diet review? This one gets a thumbs up!