How can a low glycemic food list help with losing weight?

Getting my head, and my body around a low glycemic food list is where I am at the moment. Losing weight and maintenance is an ongoing process, although not a painful or embarrassing one anymore. Rather, it's about keeping my weight under control, and making as many healthy choices to improve my health as I can.

Low glycemic foods is what I'm experimenting with at the moment. A low GI diet makes sense.

What are low glycemic foods?

Low glycemic foods are those that take longer to digest so that they deliver the energy from foods in a steady supply, rather than with a flood like high glycemic foods. The glycemic index is a measure of how fast carbohydrates are broken down in our bodies and converted into energy.

The advantages to eating from a low glycemic food list when you want to lose weight, is that these foods, because the body has to work to digest them, keeps you feeling fuller longer, so less feeling hungry and wanting to pig-out.

Most of these foods are lower in calories too. So it's of double benefit.

Why a low glycemic food list makes sense.

While a low GI 'diet' is termed a 'diet', it's actually a maintainable life-long healthy eating plan. It doesn't restrict any food group, so it doesn't deny your body any of the nutrients that it needs for health. And it isn't an all or nothing thing...if you're looking at a program that says you can't eat this again, or no more of wary...that's not maintainable, and it sucks every bit of enjoyment out of being lighter and healthier.

It's focus is on regulating the supply of sugar (energy) to the bloodstream, and of getting the nutrients your body needs. You don't have to forego certain foods, you just choose varieties, types and cooking methods that are slower to digest.

For example, potatoes are good, 'new' potatoes are the lowest GI, so they're a great food to eat everyday, whereas mashing or baking potatoes makes them faster to digest, therefore making them high GI and something that you should avoid while you're losing weight, and eat as occasional foods when you reach you're goal.

Incorporating a low glycemic food list into your life.

For me, permanent weight loss has come by step-by-step, changing my eating patterns, one thing at a time, and focusing on the fact that I want a lighter and healthier life. So, incorporating low glycemic foods into my diet, is part of that ongoing process.

Have I abandoned everything else, is this the new fad? No. Fads are passing. A low GI diet fits in with what I believe to be a healthy and permanent way to continue the process of losing weight, maintaining it and living a lighter healthier life. It makes sense to eat foods that digest slowly, it's another part to the process.

My low glycemic food list so far.

Here are some of the things that I've changed and why:

  • Rice - swapped short grain rice for basmati and long grains. Short grain rice has a high GI, it tastes no difference than Basmati, so it's made no difference to the taste for me or the family.
  • Butter - I've swapped this for an olive oil, lower fat blend margarine. It's different than butter, but nice
  • Types of fats - I've started checking labels not just for 'fat', but 'saturated' fats (usually from animal fats) and use plant based fats and oils as much as possible.
  • Chocolate - yes, I've swapped from milk to 70% or more cocoa...most of the time. The good thing is that the 70% cocoa is richer in flavour and I actually don't need as much as the milk deprivation there. Moderation is the key, I don't eat chocolate everyday anymore, but I still indulge once a week.

Gradual change is the key, there is not much point making a great leap into something and then not be able to maintain it. I'm still working on introducing more low glycemic foods into the family's diet. Partially because it takes time to introduce new flavours to children so that they get used to it, and because it takes time to find ones that I go...oh, yes, yummy, that's as good as the other one I was eating.

Small changes...big results.

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