The Glycemic Index (GI) is a system that is used to measure how quickly a food turns to sugar in the bloodstream. It is an important reference for diabetics, but it can also help you when you are trying to lose weight.
The key to weight loss is blood sugar control, because a quick hike in blood sugar will raise your insulin levels and cause you to store fat. Most commonly, this fat is stored in the belly.
The foods that will have the greatest effect on your glycemic levels tend to be starches and sugars (meaning carbohydrates), or more specifically, foods with little fiber that are highly processed. This includes white rice, bread, crackers, potatoes and cookies, to name a few. This is why eating fresh, whole, unprocessed foods are your ticket to a smaller waistline.
So how can the Glycemic Index work for you? It’s simple. You can find the GI number for any food by looking on the web. Foods that score high (70+) should be avoided. Foods with a number of 55 or lower are healthier options. Anything in between is considered moderate and can be eaten in moderation.
Now I don’t recommend looking up the score for every food you put in your mouth. This is not about being obsessive. However, take a look at some of the foods you eat on a regular basis. For example, a white potato logs in at 70, but a sweet potato is 51. A seemingly harmless bag of microwave popcorn is a belly-buster at 72. And a bowl of Corn Flakes is not the healthiest way to start the day at a score of 80.
In the end, the Glycemic Index is just an easy way to gauge the quality of the foods you are eating. The true secret to a lean, slim body is to keep it real in the food department. Real food equals real weight loss. It’s that simple. Really.