Our Glycemic Impact Diet review takes a look at one of eDiets most popular diets, an online GI diet that offers hope to all you sugar addicts – is it a good choice?
Ok, anyone who’s tried to lose weight in the last decade or so will have heard of the GI approach to weight loss. GI stands for Glycemic Index.
eDiets has taken the GI weight loss strategy and re-packaged it as an online diet.
In truth, the Glycemic Impact Diet is similar to other popular weight loss plans like the Zone, South Beach, Sugar Busters and the original GI Diet itself.
We’ve reviewed these elsewhere on this site.
We generally like GI diets so how does this one match up?
Glycemic Impact Diet Review – How Does it Work…?
The principles of the Glycemic Impact Diet are really pretty simple – you basically cut out the sugar, refined carbs and processed foods.
You eat less fat and more wholegrains, veg and lean protein.
In some GI diets fruit is severly restricted as it contains fructose, a sugar.
However, this diet is more liberal in allowing most fruits, which is a big plus for us given the valuable contribution that fruit makes to your diet in terms of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.
Now, we’re not going to go into too much detail about the GI principle or the foods you can and can’t eat as we’ve already covered the subject in some depth on our page on GI.
In summary, though, GI dieting is based on the theory that simple sugars and refined starches, like white flour, pasta and rice raise your blood sugar level.
Your body responds by producing insulin to regulate blood sugar.
As insulin is your fat storing hormone, the sugar will be sent off to your adipose tissue to be stored as fat.
It’s fair to say that there’s not universal agreement that this theory is the reason why people gain weight, but there’s enough research to suggest that it plays a role in weight gain.
Now, the GI measures the rate at which the sugar in different foods is released into the bloodstream on a scale of 1-100.
Basically, the nearer to 100, the faster the sugar is released, the quicker your blood sugar level spikes and the more likely it is to be converted to fat.
The GI approach to weight loss proposes that eating mainly low GI foods like most veg, some fruits, wholegrains, lean meat and fish leads to a slower rise in blood sugar.
This is because they’re digested more slowly and release their sugar gradually. Hence you get fewer blood sugar spikes and your body produces less insulin.
The result? Lower GI foods are less fattening than higher GI foods, so the theory goes.
Follow the Glycemic Impact Diet and you’ll avoid high GI foods and eat mainly low GI foods.
Which means that white bread and pasta, white rice, sugary breakfast cereals and cookies will be out.
Wholegrain bread and pasta, wild rice and plenty of veg, chicken, fish and lean meats will be in.
Our Glycemic Impact Diet review would suggest that overall this is really a pretty healthy way to lose weight.
It’s a high fiber diet with moderate levels of lean protein and is low in fat, particularly saturated fat.
You’ll also get plenty of fresh veg and fruit.
Now, there are a couple of flaws in the GI approach generally, which the Glycemic Impact Diet largely avoids.
For example, lets take the humble carrot and banana.
These are forbidden under many GI diets as they’re relatively high on the Glycemic Index.
Whilst GI is a useful concept, Glycemic Load (GL) is also a factor. GL measures the amount of sugar a food releases.
Sure, a carrot may be higher GI, but its low calorie and has relatively little sugar so will have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels, insulin production and fat storage.
As long as you don’t eat a ton of carrots every day, eating carrots won’t be a problem!
In common with most GI diets, our Glycemic Impact Diet review found this diet to be around 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat.
Not far off healthy eating guidelines, which are around 50%, 20%, 30%.
The diet advocates generous portion sizes and as you’ll be eating lots of bulky, high fiber foods and lean protein, you’ll fill up and feel full for longer.
Our Glycemic Impact Diet review would suggest that hunger should not be a problem if you follow the plan.
As this is an eDiets online plan, you get a personalised profile and diet to follow. There are menus, recipes and shopping lists to download as well as forums to participate in and 24/7 support and advice.
For more info on eDiets, read our eDiets review.
There’s also the option of a personalised exercise plan with eDiets.
Whether you take advantage of that or not, 3-5 20-30 minute cardio sessions and a couple of weight training sessions a week would be a good adjunct to the diet…to any diet for that matter!
The Glycemic Impact Diet has no weight maintenance phase as such, you simply follow the low GI way of eating for life to keep the weight off.
Glycemic Impact Diet Review – Does it Work…?
Our Glycemic Impact Diet review would suggest that you will lose weight if you follow it.
Let’s face it, any diet that promotes the consumption of healthy wholegrains, fruit, veg and lean proteins should produce results, both in terms of weight loss and your overall health and well being.
Whether any weight loss will be due to the low GI nature of the diet or the fact you’ll be eating fewer calories is still the matter of some debate.
The fact that you’ll be eating a lot less sugar will make a huge difference in terms of your calorie intake and potential weight loss.
Whether, people who lose weight following low GI diets do actually keep the weight off long term is unclear.
You’ll have to ask yourself whether you’ll be able to avoid sugar, white bread and pasta forever!
The diet is a little higher in protein than the 15-25% recommended in healthy eating guidelines.
Our Glycemic Impact Diet review, though, found plenty of evidence to suggest that eating up to around 30% protein helps to control appetite, speed up metabolism and protect lean tissue mass when dieting.
There’s unlikely to be any long term health risks from consuming 30% of your calories from lean protein, although there’s no definitive evidence one way or the other.
However, our ancestors stretching back millions of years ate a lot more than 30% protein and we’re still around!
As far as our Glycemic Impact Diet review is concerned, we like the fact that it promotes a long term approach to eating and weight loss, based on a healthy, varied and balanced diet that includes all the main food groups.
We would suggest that this increases the likelihood of your losing weight and keeping it off long term.
Glycemic Impact Diet Review – The Bottom Line…
Overall, our Glycemic Impact Diet review would conclude that this is a healthy, well balanced approach to weight loss.
It offers a long term solution to weight management and maintenance, which can’t be said for many diets!
It won’t suit everybody, but we’ve found that low GI diets have worked well for those of our clients that have a problem with sugary foods and refined starchy products.
Unfortunately, the more carbs you eat, the more of a problem you’ll have with carb cravings, which can spell diet disaster for many!
If that sounds like you, then this diet may help you to beat the cravings, change your eating habits and lose some weight.
Whilst the evidence base for GI diets is still disputed, we find it difficult to find a great deal wrong with a diet that advocates the consumption of high fiber foods, lean protein and fruit and veg.
You’ll also get plenty of ongoing support and advice from eDiets and fellow dieters online, which research has shown are key factors to successful weight loss.
If you’re looking for a GI diet with personalized weight loss plans and 24/7 support then you may want to check out eDiets…Introducing The Glycemic Impact Diet. Lose 10 Pounds in 5 weeks
Our Glycemic Impact Diet review verdict? A smart choice!