Every diet has a “hook”. A catchy term or phrase to easily market the diet and distinguish it from others. Diets like the Zone, Nutrisystem, and Sugar Busters are all based on the core philosophy of choosing foods based on the glycemic index.
So what is the low glycemic index, and what’s it used for? The Glycemic Index (GI) was actually developed as a medical diet, but proved to have some value when it comes to weight loss.
Planning your meals around the glycemic index of the foods was initially used as a way to help treat diseases like diabetes and heart disease. You choose food based on how they influence your blood sugar.
Food that can significantly raise your blood sugar will have a high GI value, and food that doesn’t significantly elevate your blood sugar will have a lower value.
Foods that do not directly influence your blood sugar, like most meats, will not have a glycemic index value.
Why Is It Used For Weight Loss?
If this was developed to help treat specific diseases, why are there so many weight loss diets based on the philosophy of choosing your food based on their GI?
Having high blood sugar levels is often associated with obesity and problems with weight management. If you’re able to get your blood sugar under control, it should also help you lose body fat and better manage your weight.
Does It Work?
While there is little debate as to the effectiveness of glycemic index diet to help manage diabetes, there isn’t definitive evidence supporting it as “better” than any other calorie restrictive diet for weight loss. People do lose weight on the GI diet, but the argument can be made most people would have similar results following a balanced diet with the same degree of diet discipline.
Example Low Glycemic Foods (55 or lower)
Whole wheat bread
See Also: How to lose 20 pounds in two months
Example High Glycemic Index Foods (70 or higher)
Macaroni & Cheese
Sweetened Breakfast Cereal