At A Glance
The Glycemic Impact Diet, as the name suggests, is a good diet plan that’s based on the glycemic index of foods.
The glycemic index basically ranks foods according to their effect on your blood sugar levels.
For example, foods high on the glycemic index will be digested quickly which means that these foods have a fast but short lived effect in raising your blood sugar levels. On the other hand, foods low on this glycemic index are foods that are digested slower, thereby releasing sugar slowly and gradually into the blood stream, giving your body a steady stream of energy without any blood sugar level spikes.
In general, if you’re to choose the Glycemic Impact Diet, you’ll be choosing to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index while avoiding foods that are high on the glycemic index.
Here’s How It Works
As mentioned, the glycemic index ranks foods based on the effects it has on your blood sugar level and if you’re on the Glycemic Impact Diet, you should choose foods that rank low on this index.
By choosing foods low on the glycemic index, you’ll avoid sudden spikes in your blood sugar level as the sugar is released slowly and steadily into your blood stream.
What this means is that you’ll feel more full and satisfied after every meal as your body will be supplied with a constant stream of energy. As you feel fuller throughout the day, you’ll in turn snack less. As we all know, snacking too often (we’ll assume on snacks high in sugar and fat as they are the most readily available) is a killer to any weight loss program.
The Glycemic Impact Diet also goes one step further… Other then just looking at foods on the glycemic index, it also takes into consideration something that is known as the Glycemic Load.
The Glycemic Load is a combination of the glycemic index of foods and the amount of carbohydrates a food has. For example, carrots have a very high ranking on the glycemic index but they also have a very low amount of carbohydrates per volume. The net effect or glycemic load of carrots are therefore quite low. Following the principles of the Glycemic Impact Diet – carrots make great foods/snacks.
And What Can I Eat?
At this point in time, you should know that foods high on the glycemic index are to be avoided and you should be eating foods low on the glycemic index.
In general, foods that contain simple sugars and simple carbohydrates like table sugar and white bread are high on the glycemic index. Foods that are low on the glycemic index will be unrefined carbohydrates like whole grain bread & cereals and sweet potatoes.
In addition, the Glycemic Impact Diet also encourages you to cut down on foods high in saturated fat. Don’t think you can chomp down everything in sight just because they are low on the glycemic index – there are foods that appear low on the glycemic index but high in saturated fat… so these foods should be avoided as well.
The Glycemic Impact Diet basically balances unrefined complex carbohydrates (foods low on the glycemic index), with lean protein (like chicken and fish) and healthy fat (low in saturated fat). Eating in this way gives your body a stream of energy while helping you lose weight at the same time.
- stabilizes blood sugar levels while releasing a steady stream of energy into your body;
- reduces hunger & cravings for snacks;
- slowdown of digestion means you feel fuller longer;
- excellent for people with diabetes owing to the improvement of glucose and lipid levels in the body; &
- reduces risk of heart disease;
- the restriction of certain carbohydrates may be tough for some.
How About Exercise?
Exercise is not heavily stressed on the Glycemic Impact Diet as it is more of an eating plan but should be incorporated into the program for faster and healthy weight loss.
The Glycemic Impact Diet is an excellent diet to follow as it takes the best from other popular weight loss programs like the South Beach Diet and the Zone.
However, and this is a big ‘however’…
The Glycemic Impact Diet is an excellent eating plan and healthy diet in theory. But in reality, this is a highly restrictive diet which may be difficult for some people to follow for the long term.
Some people may stray off the diet after a while and therefore gain the weight back. Of course, it is most ideal to cut out sugar and white flour (foods high on the glycemic index) but I’m sure you know that it’s almost impossible to cut these items out from your diet forever.
The best thing is therefore to follow this diet in moderation so that you can sustain it over the long term.