Low Glycemic eating is the best way I’ve found to lose or maintain a healthy weight and beat sugar cravings. Low GI foods help the body sustain energy throughout the day by keeping your blood sugar from spiking and dropping constantly.
Understanding the glycemic index
The Glycemic Index is the measurement of the rate at which any food (carbohydrate) raises your blood sugar levels. One thing to note about GI is that proteins and fats do not raise blood sugar. Foods like eggs or olive oil do not have an impact when it comes to low glycemic eating as they do not contain glucose.
Glycemic Index is measured as the following:
- 0-55 = low
- 56-69 = medium
- 70+ = high
A food that is high on the glycemic index will spike your blood sugar really fast and after about an hour, your blood sugar will dip really low.
The orange line shows the rapid spike and plunge in glucose levels, and the blue line represents the slow role up and down of glucose levels in low glycemic index foods.
The benefits of a low glycemic diet
In this section, I’m going to share what’s actually happening and why it’s important. When your blood sugar spikes every day over a long period time your body will begin to store that energy as fat instead of using it. This storage usually starts to happen in your late 20’s and early 30’s where you’ll notice it gets more difficult to lose weight and keep it off without much effort.
A low glycemic diet stops this cycle along with reducing inflammation, increasing immune support, shedding fat around the waist, increasing energy and reducing cravings.
My journey with low GI eating
First, when I discovered this way of eating it was a relief to know it’s not restricting. Second, I had found a way of eating that made the most sense and explained my eating habits. I learned the reason I was craving salty foods, constantly going for something sweet around 10am each morning, and couldn’t get rid of my bloated stomach.
Will a low glycemic diet work for you
Your body is used to the rise and fall in glucose levels, it will take time to get those signals working again. It can take 6-8 weeks for your body to reset and it’s helpful to remember that your current health state is a result of years of eating habits. There’s no quick fix to “undo” it all, however in 6-8 weeks you can get back on track.
Eventually low GI becomes a way of eating rather than another fad diet. You learn what to eat, how to eat, when to eat, and you lose and maintain your weight simply.
A 30 day low glycemic eating plan
If this eating plan is something you’d like to try I recommend sticking with it for 6-8 weeks. It’s a very flexible way of eating and doesn’t restrict you from eating foods you love. Most importantly, you don’t have to count calories or points and can still lose weight with very little exercise.
For the next 30 days, here’s the plan:
- Eat as low GI as possible. You can use the Kitchen Checklist to see what foods you already have.
- Moderate exercise and/or mindful movement
List of Low GI foods
The below tables will give you a good idea of where food falls on the Glycemic Index. I’ve grayed the sections of high-glycemic foods below; this is only a small list, and remember by nature of the foods, all fats and proteins are low glycemic.
Recommendations to support a low GI diet
A few last things, eat as close to nature as possible. When you feel like you’ve “fallen off the wagon”, go easy on yourself and get back on. Lastly, changing your eating habits can be tough, so I recommend starting small and introducing one thing at a time. You can start by seeing the good low GI foods you have, and then see what things you can add in.
You will see changes soon, stick with it. Again, it will take at least six weeks to reset your body.