The glycemic index is an important tool to use in a weight loss program, it allows for you to see the effect food will have on blood sugar levels.
There are 3 categories of the glycemic index.
Low GI - up to 55
Medium GI - 55-69
High GI - 70 +
The majority of your diet should concentrate on foods low on the glycemic index, foods in the medium category should be ate in moderation and foods high on the glycemic index should be ate the least often. Click here to check out 60 different commonly ate foods and where they sit on the glycemic index.
* The Food Guide PDF on the weight loss program recourses page has a low GI shopping list
One of the biggest causes of weight gain is the constant rise and fall in insulin levels cause be eating refined, high sugar/starch foods.
- Refined carbohydrates, high starch foods, and sugar all cause a rise in blood sugar
- Elevated blood sugar levels trigger the hormone insulin to be secreted by the pancreas
- Insulin takes the sugar found in the blood and pushes it cells to be used as energy
- When energy stores are full, the excess sugar is deposited as fat to be used as energy for later
- This cycle is often repeated
The drastic rise and fall in blood sugar usually causes symptoms of hypoglycaemia (moodiness, fatigue, irritability, lack of concentration, increased hunger, carbohydrate cravings), which almost always has people reaching for another sugary snack for a pick me up.
The way that insulin levels rise and fall is important in weight loss as well as maintaining a healthy weight. This is where the glycemic index comes in handy. The glycemic index captures the changes to blood sugar levels by comparing the effect of food on blood sugar with the same amount of pure glucose and it's effect on blood sugar.
Foods high on the glycemic index result in a quick spike of blood glucose where as foods low on the glycemic index have a slower, smaller effect. Not only does a low GI diet prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels but it has also been known to stabilize energy levels, mood and promote sustainable weight loss.