Using the Glycemic Index for Fat Loss
The nutritional mantra as it applies to fat loss has always been; “Calories In vs. Calories Out.” To a large extent, this is indeed true. If you want to lose weight you must be in a caloric deficit; whether the deficit is caused by a reduced calorie diet, through the expenditure of extra calories through exercise, or optimally a combination of the two. While there can be no debate on the fact that a calorie is a calorie irrespective of which macronutrient it comes from, there is a huge difference on the effects of the calories you consume upon your body dependent upon which macronutrient they are derived from.
There is no question that if a person who eats 5 Big Macs a day drops his intake to 2 Big Macs a day he / she will lose weight, but losing fat is an entirely different animal.
Each macronutrient causes a different reaction physiologically in the body. Carbohydrates (especially simple carbs,) have a very pronounced effect on blood sugar (causing it to rise rapidly,) and thus spiking insulin secretion, whereas protein and fat causes no such spike. The conundrum lies in the fact that the body uses glucose and glycogen (the stored form of carbs) for its preferred source of energy for intense activities.
The ideal nutritional program for someone looking to shed unwanted fat is a low glycemic, high protein, moderate fat diet. A nutritional program that focuses on slow digesting carbs and complete protein really hits the mark.
The glycemic index was originally designed for diabetics. The index is used as a way to monitor and manage food intake as it applies to the effects it has on blood sugar levels. However, by paying close attention to the glycemic index of a food and its effect on blood sugar, you can minimize the chance of developing Type II Diabetes, and you can keep body fat levels in check.
The glycemic rates carbohydrates on a scale of 1-100 dependent on how quickly a food influences blood sugar levels.
High Glycemic Index: Foods rated higher than 70
Moderate Glycemic Index: Foods rated between 56-69
Low Glycemic Index: Foods rated less than 55
Foods that are high in fiber have a relatively low Glycemic Index rating.
Low Glycemic Complex Carbs Include: Barley, Bran, Whole Grain Bread, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Yams
Low Glycemic Fruits Include: Apples, Bananas, Pears, Grapefruit, Grapes, Kiwi, Oranges, Plums
Remember for any nutritional program to be effective, it must be practical and sustainable. It must become a way of life and not some short term, quick fix attempt at losing weight.