Home Gym Search Supplier Search Products Fitness Info Business Contact Us
   Profiled Gyms   Special Offers   Advertise with us     List your gym     List your trainers  

Gyms.co.nz Fit Tips

The Low GI Diet?

Are you tired of all that calorie counting, cutting out foods from your diet, feeling hungry all the time?  Do you long for a natural and balanced way of eating that will leave you satisfied and satiated after your meal.  Well you may have found exactly what you are looking for in the Low GI diet.

While I am not a believer in diets whatsoever, preferring to prescribe a combination of healthy eating and exercise in order to achieve weight loss goals, the Low GI diet does have the support from many scientists around the world as a healthy way to lose weight.  To me it does seem to reek of 'common sense eating' backed up with a scientific reasoning...

So what is the GI diet?  Lets start with a bit of an explanation.  GI stands for Glycaemic Index.  What?  OK... all Carbohydrate foods once consumed are eventually broken down in your stomach and intestine to the simplest form of Carbohydrate, Glucose.  In the form of Glucose, Carbohydrates are absorbed into the blood stream for transportation throughout the body to eventually act as a fuel supply.  The speed at which each type of food is broken down and absorbed from the intestine into the blood stream can be measured and is termed the 'Glycaemic Index' of the particular food.  Glucose is given a GI level of 100, as it is absorbed immediately into the blood stream.  Other foods are ranked in relation to glucose.

Foods with a GI rating of 55 or below are termed Low GI (For example Apples, Grapes, Pears, Yoghurts, Porridge, Pasta).  From 56 to 69 are Medium GI (e.g. Peanut Butter, Bananas, Raisins) and 70 upwards are High GI foods (e.g. Biscuits, Sweets, French Fries, Fruit Juices, Salad Dressing).

What's wrong with High GI foods then?  High GI foods trigger the release of large quantities of a hormone called Insulin from the Pancreas.  Insulin is responsible for removing excess glucose from the blood to return blood sugar levels to normal.  A prolonged intake of High GI foods causes excess insulin production, which triggers the conversion of Glucose into Fat.  Too much Insulin also stimulates other reactions that will make you feel hungry and urge you to eat more High GI foods ... to get another Glucose 'Hit'. 

Low GI foods have the opposite effect.  They are digested slowly and cause a very small increase in the glucose level in the blood over a longer period.  Due to this small increase only minor amounts of Insulin are required to deal with it, which helps to blunt hunger pangs by giving you a feeling of fullness.  Low GI foods therefore keep the body feeling full and get it off the Glucose-hit roller coaster!

The Low GI diet is based on eating Low GI Carbohydrates as opposed to Medium and High ones.  The diet prescribes approximately 50% of your daily calorie intake from Carbohydrates, 15% from Proteins and 35% from Fat.  This seems to be consistent with a healthy diet?

So what can I eat then?

Typical GI Day 1

A bowl of porridge, made with skimmed milk, topped with a sliced banana.  (Avoid over ripe bananas - which are higher in GI rating).

Mid Morning Snack
An Apple.

A pita bread stuffed with salmon and salad, followed by a low fat plain yoghurt and a pear.

Mid Afternoon Snack
A slice of rye bread with peanut butter.

Spaghetti Bolognese followed by fresh berry salad.

Typical GI Day 2

Scrambled Eggs on granary toast.

Mid Morning Snack
An Oatcake.

Chicken and Vegetable Curry with basmati rice and fresh mango.

Mid Afternoon Snack
A slice of fruit toast

Grilled tuna with new boiled potatoes and a mixed salad, followed by fresh pineapple slices.

Bedtime Snack
Bunch of Grapes.

Exercise Tip Of The Month

Eccentric Training

Are you finding you are becoming stale with you workouts?  Perhaps you want to add a little spice to your training?  How about including some regular 'Eccentric' Training in your routine.

Eccentric Training means focussing on building strength during the lowering phase of your weight lift, rather than during the normal 'Concentric (Lifting) phase. 

For example - Eccentric training during a bench press would encompass a slow exaggerated lowering of the bar, perhaps with a slightly heavier weight than usual. 

Done correctly eccentric training has been claimed to build strength without associated increases in muscle size, as well as helping to de-condition habitual tightening and shortening of muscles.  Try including an eccentric session into your routine once every few weeks for something a bit different.  
Note:  The exercise instructions above serve only as a guide.  You should not complete any weight training without the correct tuition from a qualified professional and a clearance from your doctor.