Althealth

Glycaemic Index

How it Works

Unlike many fashionable celebrity high protein, low-carb or fruit-specific diets, the GI diet allows you to eat a variety of different foods including protein, carbohydrates and fats.

The difference is all the carbohydrates you eat have a low glycaemic index (GI) - which means they release energy more slowly allowing you to feel fuller for longer.

You will not have to count a single calorie and you won't have to worry about putting weight on soon after you've lost it. This diet is designed to keep weight off for good.

Although you can lose up to 10 pounds in a month, the aim of the diet is to lose weight slowly. This is so you can learn how to maintain your ideal body weight for life.

The diet, which was originally designed for diabetics and is often prescribed to cardiac patients, is based on established scientific fact that different carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels faster than others.

Releases glucose

An index - the glycaemic index - showing the various speeds at which the body breaks down food, releases glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream and raises blood sugar levels. This speed is rated on a scale of 1 to 100.

The lower the GI, the longer it takes for the body to break down food and the steadier the rise in blood sugar. The higher the GI, the faster foods are broken down and the more sudden the rise in blood sugar.

When you eat a high GI food and experience a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, your pancreas releases the hormone insulin. The job of insulin is to take sugar out of the bloodstream and divert it into various parts of the body for immediate use - or to store any extra as fat.

Eating high GI food will trigger a higher insulin response causing sugar to be taken out of the blood more quickly. This, in turn, causes a dip in sugar in the bloodstream and causes cravings.

However, keeping insulin levels stable by eating foods with a low GI keeps hunger at bay and helps prevent fat formation and also encourages fat to be converted back into energy.

Less insulin

This is because insulin is responsible for storing glucose as fat and the less insulin there is in our system, the easier it is for the body to convert back into glucose and use as energy.

The GI diet is made up of two separate phases:

phase one is the weight loss portion of the programme during which you reduce your calorie intake by around 500 calories a day, burning off excess fat cells and slimming down to your ideal weight.

Ideally, this phase takes around three months, depending on how much weight you have to lose.

phase two is no longer about trying to lose weight, but focuses on maintaining your new weight

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