Are You Gaining Weight Eating Low Glycemic Carbs?


Eating low glycemic foods will not necessarily help you burn fat and lose weight

Are you primarily using the glycemic index (GI) to determine what carbohydrates you eat to aid your fat loss and weight loss? Have you been successful?

If you have been successful shedding pounds and fat, it is not primarily because you have been eating low glycemic foods. You lose weight and burn fat by maintaining a caloric deficit on most days and engaging in regular strength and interval cardio exercise.

So, how does GI help the fat loss process?

The GI is important because your body performs best when your blood sugar is kept relatively constant. When blood sugar drops too low, you become listless or experience increased hunger. If it goes too high, your brain signals your pancreas to secrete more insulin. Although insulin will bring your blood sugar back down, it does so primarily by converting the excess sugar to stored fat.

For non-diabetics, there are times when a rapid increase in blood sugar is desirable. For example, coaches and trainers recommend high GI foods (like sports drinks) immediately after exercise to help speed recovery.

Being aware of the GI and glycemic load (GL) of certain foods can help you control your glycemic response. The GI is a numerical index that ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of glycemic response, or their conversion to glucose within the human body. The Index uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. Pure glucose is the reference point and has a GI value of 100.

A low-carb diet is not necessarily required to burn fat, although it can be useful in some circumstances. You are better off eating the right kinds of carbohydrates at the right time. Your body depends on carbohydrates as a primary fuel source (especially during intense workouts). After a tough workout, a post-workout drink with high glycemic carbs and protein will help your body recover and rebuild your muscles. During the day, low glycemic carbs are more desirable.

Another way to control your GI is to also control your GL. Glycemic load can be controlled by the type and amount of carbohydrates you consume. So, GI and GL work together to control your glycemic response.

Foods with GI's of 55 or below are considered low, and 70 or above are considered high. Foods with GL's of 10 or below are considered low and 20 or above are considered high.  Here are a few examples:

Food GI, Serving Size, Carbs, GL

Peanuts 14, 4 oz (113g), 15, 2
Grapefruit 25, 1/2 large(166g), 11, 3
Pizza 30, 2 slices (260g), 42, 13
Lowfat yogurt 33, 1 cup (245g), 47, 16
Apples 38, 1 medium (138g), 16, 6
Spaghetti 42, 1 cup (140g), 38, 16
Oranges 48, 1 medium (131g), 12, 6
Bananas 52, 1 large (136g), 27, 14
Snickers Bar 55, 1 bar (113g), 64, 35
Brown rice 55, 1 cup (195g), 42, 23
Honey 55, 1 tbsp (21g), 17, 9
Oatmeal 58, 1 cup (234g), 21, 12
Ice cream 61, 1 cup (72g), 16, 10
Mac & cheese 64, 1 serving(166g), 47, 30
White bread 70, 1 slice (30g), 14, 10
Watermelon 72, 1 cup (154g), 11, 8
Popcorn 72, 2 cups (16g), 10, 7
Baked potato 85, 1 medium (173g), 33, 28

Things to Consider When Using Glycemic Index/Glycemic Load

1. Generally, any food processing such as grinding or cooking will elevate GI values for certain foods.

2. The addition of other foods that contain fiber, protein or fat will generally reduce the GI of the meal.

3. The rate of glycemic response varies from person to person. Also, a person's glycemic response might vary depending on the time of day. And different people have different insulin responses. Lesson? GET TO KNOW YOUR BODY!

4. If you use GI and GL values as the sole factor for determining your diet, you could end up overeating fat and total calories. Glycemic index is only used to rate a food's carb content. IF YOU EAT MORE CALORIES THAN YOU BURN, YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT NO MATTER WHAT YOU EAT.

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