The Glycemic Index and Weight Loss

The glycemic index is a measure used to determine the effect of given foods on blood glucose levels. Generally, what happens in your body when you eat foods with a high glycemic index is that they are rapidly changed into sugar and your body responds by quickly producing enough insulin to transfer the sugars to your muscles. This is called a spike and you can actually feel a surge in energy. But this surge is short lived as when the insulin has taken care of the sugar, it drops to a low level very rapidly. This drop brings on hunger pangs which may trigger more of the same ups and downs. Such spikes and drops contribute to feelings of hunger and can sabotage weight loss efforts. By choosing low glycemic index foods, you will feel fuller longer and delay hunger pangs for longer. Low glycemic foods tend to reduce abdominal fat and keep insulin levels low which inhibits the formation of fat back into energy throughout the day. In order to incorporate low glycemic index foods into your diet to regulate your blood glucose levels and avoid spikes and drops, consider eating the following low GI foods throughout the day:

Almonds Wheat Bran Oat Bran Soybeans Olive Oil Wild Rice

Tomatoes Blueberries Grapefruit Grapes Lemons Limes

Oranges Peaches Pears Plums Leeks Spinach

Egg Whites Asparagus Broccoli Zucchini Peppers Seafood

There are additional books and resources that can help you identify low glycemic index foods to incorporate into your diet. Two general rules of thumb when adding low GI foods into your diet are to (1) try to have at least one low GI food at each meal and (2) to eat 4 to 5 times a day (every 3-4 hours) to keep your metabolism going throughout the day. By following a low GI diet, you will find yourself with more energy and better equipped to meet your fitness and wellness goals.