I just started to follow a low glycemic idex diet or making healthier food choices. Any advice regarding GI eating? Any success stories using this process? Any pitfalls? Would love some feedback from fellow dieters.
It's good to know what foods are high and what foods are low on the Glycemic Index so we can properly combine the high with the low, if it's needed. I believe it's the overall index of the meal that counts.
Is that what you are finding with your new GI diet?
We've had terrific success with a low GI diet. A few years ago, I became increasingly concerned about my husband's weight gain. Our food choices were already healthy compared with the typical North American diet. Nevertheless, numerous attempts to lose weight eating smaller portions were unsuccessful.
The low GI diet intrigued me, and I took several cookbooks out of the library. One of our favourites is "the g.i. diet cookbook" by Rick Gallop. His other books do a good job of describing the diet, and include some recipes as well. I found his "green", "yellow" and "red-light" concept of categorizing foods particularly easy to understand. If you are interested, check the internet for his website. For a period of many months, every meal we ate came from a GI diet cookbook (much easier than having to calculate the GI index myself). Despite making no attempt to control portion sizes, we both lost as much weight as we needed to in a matter of 3 or 4 months (my husband, 31 pounds; myself 11 pounds). This way of eating has become the norm for us, and after 2 1/2 years, neither of us have gained more than a few pounds back (eg. at Christmas) and we easily lose it again once we become more disciplined.
We're not fanatical about eating low GI all the time anymore -- just most of the time. As a permanent lifestyle change, it does require a different mindset (eating with health as the first priority, rather than making food choices predominantly based on taste). Having said that, the meals we currently eat are still very tasty. I actually became a better, more creative cook after adopting this diet. I more frequently make ingredient substitutions than I used to, and many of our favourite meals are original recipes I developed using low GI principles.
My advice is to be careful not eat junk food just because it's low GI.
Here are some examples:
* hot dogs
I agree that the above foods don't belong in a healthy diet. However, I'm surprised to see some of them listed as low-GI. Artificially-sweetened soda and hot dogs would be low-GI. However, cake, pizza and pastries (unless made with stone-ground flour and no sugar) would not be low-GI -- at least not according to the books I've read.
The cakes I remembered seeing that were low GI were pound cake and chocolate cake. The ingredients were not given. Pizza is a processed food and everything depends on the ingredients. Those tested may have had sausage on top, or whatever. Most pastries are not low GI but I did see one that was just a notch above the low area.
I keep my book because it has some useful information but I don't agree with everything. For example, their concept of "moderation". It may be acceptable for some but not for me. Also, I'm on a plant based diet so I can't use meat or dairy to balance a meal. Everything depends on the individual and what he or she is trying to accomplish.
Last edited by JohnR41; 05-07-2010 at 05:57 PM.
Reason: word change
While I don't do a full on low glycemic diet, I try overall to limit anything too high on the glycemic index. I might have something as an occasional treat, but overall I find it helpful to just cut out a lot of processed foods. I love lots of fresh fruits and veggies and lean meats, and whole grains. I've made some changes like swapping white potatoes for sweet potatoes, and I love them! Definitely be open to trying new foods. Overall I notice that with a more natural diet and lower glycemic index foods, my energy stays more stable. When I eat very sugary, high GI foods, I get a bit more energy right after, and then I crash. My energy gets very up and down, and that gets frustrating. Overall I just feel better, happier, and more energetic with a healthy diet!