Month: December 2017

The Glycemic Load vs. Glycemic Index Charts – Which is Better?

Glycemic Load vs Glycemic List - Which is Better

If you’re like most people, you’ve been on and off diets for years, possibly with mixed results. Some more popular weight loss plans refer to either the glycemic load or glycemic index chart when gauging how the body’s insulin levels are effected by the foods we eat.

But these charts have conflicting information, causing confusion. In this article, we’ll dig into the details a bit, and compare the glycemic load vs. glycemic index so you can choose the best reference tool for your weight loss and health goals.

The Glycemic Index and Why its Misleading

Some foods cause the blood sugar to rise more than others. And since the culprits can be hard to detect based simply on the amount of carbs in a food, scientists came up with a standardized test. They gave test subjects a certain amount of a certain food, then tested their blood sugar level afterword. The glycemic index of a food is a measurement of how much it causes glucose to spike versus the standard of a slice of white bread. Here is an example of how a few common foods rank:

Tomatoes 23

Spaghetti 64

Carrots 68

White bread 100

Bagel 103

According to the glycemic index, carrots have a GI of 68, or 68% of that of a slice of white bread. Spaghetti has a GI of 64. Wait, what’s wrong with this picture? How could carrots, a vegetable we thought was good for us actually cause our blood sugar to raise even higher than white pasta?

The answer is that they don’t. The glycemic index was originally intended for lab use only, not as a dietary guideline. In the lab, test subjects were given foods by a standardized weight (grams), because certain foods like carrots have more water and unavailable carbs like fiber, they had to give subjects seven carrots to equal the carbs of white bread. Spaghetti only requires 1 cup to equal the carbs of white bread.

Using the glycemic index to decide whether you should eat a particular food or not is totally flawed because the amounts that were tested in many foods do not represent a typical portion size.

If you rely on the GI, then you might think that eating starchy carbs are only slightly worse than many fruits and vegetables and in fact, they are much, much worse.

Adjusting glycemic indexes of foods to typical serving size totally exposes starchy carbs for the problem they really are.

 

Glycemic Load – Accuracy is Key

The Glycemic Load is a measurement of how foods raise your blood sugar based on the amount people typically eat. The chart below shows the dramatic difference. These are typical serving sizes of the same foods we listed for the GI:

Carrot (1 medium) 11

Tomato (1medium) 15

White bread (1 slice) 100

Spaghetti (1 cup) 166

Bagel (1 medium) 340

Based on this more accurate way of measurement, we can get a much clearer picture of what we should be eating to prevent glucose spikes. We can see exactly what foods to eliminate and what to include in our regular diet.

But just exactly how do we use this chart to help us lose weight?

Reducing Glycemic Load to Lose Weight

Foods that are 100 or more on the Glycemic Load chart are the main culprits that are causing us to gain weight and should be avoided. But you don’t have to memorize the chart or carry one around with you in order to be successful at losing weight.

If you simply avoid the following foods, you’ll eliminate nearly all the glucose spiking foods in your diet:

  1. Grain products
  2. Rice
  3. Potatoes
  4. Soft drinks and fruit juices

If the thought of never eating another slice of hot french bread fresh from the bakery is enough to make you run away screaming, take heart: you can get away with eating 1 serving of starch per day or 1/4 serving of starch at a time if you totally avoid sugary soft drinks and fruit juices all together.

Since there really isn’t enough sugar in the rest of our food, we can pretty much eat whatever else we want. If you get a hankering for a bag of potato chips, grab a handful of salty peanuts instead. Skip that brownie and go for a few chocolate covered peanuts to satisfy that sweet tooth. There’s no longer any reason to feel hungry or deprived.

Learn why you don’t need to memorize the charts here

I hope you found this post helpful. I’d love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below.

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

 

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

How to Lose Weight During the Holidays and Still Eat Festive Foods

How to Lose Weight During the Holidays and Still Eat Festive Foods

Most of us don’t know how to lose weight during the holidays so we either give up or put it off til the new year…then regret sets in. Conventional diets just set us up to fail.

But what if I told you there is a way to both enjoy some holiday treats and still stay on track without killing yourself at the gym? In this article, I’ll give you a simple plan to do just that.

The Real Cause of Weight Gain – Too Many Starchy Carbs

Starchy foods like flour products, rice and potatoes are high in carbohydrates and take more of the hormone insulin (than fat and protein) to break them down for digestion.

When we get too many carbs on a regular basis, an imbalance can be created, where parts of our body chemistry aren’t sensitive to insulin and the parts that still our (like fat cells) end up overloaded. In other words, insulin ends up storing the excess blood sugar it made into our fat cells.

Too much insulin tends to lock fat in, keeping it from being used as energy, We eat, have plenty of calories stored as fat, but feel hungry again after a short time. We get stuck in a vicious cycle.

Use Carb Blockers

Although ideally, we should avoid eating starchy carbs, we know that isn’t necessarily practical during the holidays, so we’ll agree to cut them out for the most part and then employ the use of “starch blockers”.

It turns out that certain foods actually slow down or even thwart starchy carbs from digesting too fast and causing our blood sugar to spike. If you eat any of these foods approximately 10 – 15 minutes beforehand it can slow the digestion of say, dessert down by up to 30%!

The pyloric valve acts as a sort of gateway between your stomach and intestines, allowing only so much food at a time to pass through to digest. When it senses there’s enough, it slows the passage of food down.

The most powerful “controller” of the pyloric valve is fat. When fat enters the intestine (as little as 2 teaspoons), it closes the door for a while, keeping the rest of the food from digesting too quickly.

We’re going to simply eat a fatty snack as an appetizer, or while we’re cooking the main meal so we can enjoy dessert later. Yes, it can be that simple!

Carb Blocking Foods to Eat First

  • Olives or a salad with oil and vinegar or a creamy, low carb dressing such as Caesar
  • Handful of nuts
  • Guacamole with veggies
  • Cheese
  • Meat (yes, bacon!)
  • Eggs

Learn more about carb blockers here

Have a Drink with Discretion

It just so happens that a little alcohol can also slow carbs from turning to fat, choose any one of the following:

  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1 ounce of bourbon, scotch or vodka (no sugary mixers)

*Skip the beer as most are just too high in starchy carbs.How to Lose Weight During the Holidays and Still Eat Festive Foods

 Your Easy Holiday Party Plan

  1. Sip on a glass of wine while munching on some cheese
  2. Have a lettuce salad with creamy dressing
  3. Main course of meat and vegetables
  4. Enjoy dessert

As you can see, with very little planning, and by using starchy carb blockers, you can still enjoy a festive holiday dinner with your friends and family without sacrificing your weight loss success.

We’d love to hear about your holiday survival ideas, leave a comment below.

 

Happy Holidays!

Karyn


We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

Low Carb Diet Plans Compared

Low Carb Diet Plans Compared

Low Carb Diet Programs have been around for years, and they’ve endured with good reason – they work! In fact, more and more studies are confirming what some experts have known all along. Going low carb not only helps us lose weight, but can have incredible health benefits as well.

Some of you may be wondering if restricting carbs is really that easy to do. We’ve all started new diets, only to quit a few days later because they were either too complicated, too restrictive or too expensive to continue.

In this article, I’ll dig into some popular, low carb plans and compare the benefits and challenges side by side, so you find one that suits your individual needs for success.

Atkins Diet

Dr. Robert Atkins published his first diet book back in the 70s, starting the first low carb craze. According to Atkins, cutting calories didn’t work, his idea was that we should focus on what we eat, not how much of it. He was immediately called a quack by the medical mainstream.

They couldn’t believe he would tell us that eating meat and dairy was healthy. Back then, the conventional ‘wisdom’ was to simply eat less. Eggs and butter were bad, margarine was healthy. Of course, we now know that the good doctor was actually ahead of his time. His diet helped many lose weight, while still enjoying fatty, satisfying foods. His legacy lives on, here’s the plan in a nutshell:

On Phase 1, you’ll cut all starchy carbs, eating only meats and other protein, leafy veggies, nuts and cheese. You must keep your daily carb grams under 20. This means most of your carbs will come from vegetables and a few from nuts for the first 2 weeks, minimum, or until you’re within 15 pounds of your goal weight.

You see, on Phase 1, by going cold turkey on sugar and starchy carbs, you break your body’s dependency on these carbs, and I know from experience that there is a type of addiction going on…the more you eat, the more you want. Cutting them out completely for awhile will curb the cravings that can sabotage your success.

Phase 2 introduces fruits back into your diet and high fat dairy, such as cream. Your weight loss will be slower than Phase 1.

Phase 3 and 4 slowly introduce more carbs back into your diet until you reach 100 grams per day max, hopefully training you along the way not to over indulge until you reach goal and enter in the maintenance phase.

Atkins also offers many prepackaged convenience foods to help you avoid cheating when healthy choices may not be readily available.

You won’t be counting calories or weighing and measuring your portions, but you will be tracking carbs and you will eventually need to deal with the possible effects of adding starchy carbs back into your diet. This is when a lot of dieters have simply gone back to their old eating habits and gained the weight back.

Of course, if you find the weight creeping back, you can always go back to Phase 1…

Keto or Ketogenic Diet

The Keto diet is a high fat (70%), moderate protein (20%) and low carb (10%) diet.  It is very effective for weight loss and is also being used by doctors to control epileptic seizures. How exciting is that?Low Carb Diet Plans Compared

Ketosis is the process of your body burning fat for energy (yay!) because it’s not getting enough carbs. Other diets cut carbs, but are too high in protein. If that happens, your body can actually convert protein into energy, thus thwarting the burning of fat.  This means that you may actually have to work to get enough fat in your diet! Butter in your coffee, anyone?

It’s important to note that you may see Keto diet plans ranging as high as 100 net grams of carbs a day which is very reasonable to maintain once you’ve broken your body’s addiction to sugar and starch.

To seriously burn fat though, you must stay in ketososis, meaning you must maintain the correct percentage of fat to protein to carb intake or your weight loss will slow down. How do you know your body is in ketogenesis? You can check with special testing strips, which are available online.

It is a highly effective way to lose fat, if you can stick with it. Staying at 20 grams and under a day felt too restrictive to me after 2 weeks, but I am able to pull off 50 grams or fewer a day on a regular basis and I’m still losing weight, so ultimately you’ll have to play with carb count/food until you find your comfort zone.

The way I see it, if doctors are able to greatly reduce epileptic seizures with this way of eating, what other health benefits from the Keto diet may they discover? That’s actually pretty exciting when you think about it.

For the best selection of recipes and to get Keto meal plans delivered to your inbox, Click Here

Paleo

On the Paleo diet, you’ll eat protein, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Just like our paleolithic ancestors did before the agricultural age. No dairy, no cheese, no sugar at all and most importantly: no grains whatsoever…ever.

The Paleo folks agree with most other low carb plans, in that grains were not meant for human consumption and can cause all manner of nasty conditions including weight gain. Once again, effective at weight loss, but I dare you to stick with it the rest of your life.

Unless you have food allergies such as gluten intolerance, you’ll be hard-pressed to stay on this one. I mean, you can only eat so many eggs. It can get boring, fast.

 

Pros and Cons of Low Carb Diets

 

Atkins Pros:

  • Dramatic weight loss in Phase 1
  • Packaged foods available for convenience
  • Ability to add some starchy carbs back eventually
  • Great website for support and recipes

Atkins Cons:

  • Phase 1 can be restrictive – only 20 grams or fewer of carbs which may be difficult to sustain for those with higher weight loss goals

 

Keto Pros:

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • You get to eat rich, creamy fatty foods, which help you feel full and satisfied
  • Great online resources available including abundant low carb recipes

Keto Cons:

  • Carbs are pretty restricted. You must maintain the right balance of fat, carbs and protein to stay in ketosis
  • Some keto recipes can be over-the-top fat laden and can cause some people gastric issues

 

Paleo Pros:

  • Effective for weight loss if protein levels are kept moderate
  • Great for those who are gluten intolerant as no grain products are allowed in any form

Paleo Cons:

  • Super restrictive, hard to sustain (especially forever)
  • Supporting packaged foods are expensive and may be hard to find

 

Known Side Effects

When you cut starchy, baked goods from your diet, you also dramatically reduce your intake of sodium. This is normally a good thing, but you should be aware that when levels of salt plummet, so can levels of potassium and magnesium – essential to our health.

If you experience fatigue, constipation or leg cramps while eating low carb, you should talk to your doctor about adding these minerals back in – possibly in supplement form.

Magnesium citrate is safe to add on your own, but potassium supplements should always be taken under your doc’s supervision.

Which Low Carb Diet Plan Do I Recommend?

As you can see, any of these low carb diet programs will help you lose weight effectively, but the key to success is consistency. Unless you must eliminate gluten for diagnosed health reasons, Paleo will be the toughest to stick with, so I can’t recommend it to most people.

Keto is great.  I used it for several weeks to eliminate my cravings and kick-start my weight loss. I know others who use it intermittently. You can lose weight eating a high fat, medium protein, low carb diet without constantly tracking your carb count or even staying under 20 grams of carbs per day. I still eat this way for most meals and snacks and there are some great websites for Keto recipes and cookbooks. M

There’s also another plan that you may find even simpler.  Unlike the plans above, your weight loss is not dependent on completely eliminating whole food groups at all.  While you will have to restrict your intake of sugar and starchy carbs, you can still eat enough of them to satisfy a sweet tooth as long as you know how and when to eat them.

Once you learn this (and it’s super simple), you’ll not only be able to enjoy some of the foods you grew up eating and still lose weight, but you’ll gain confidence knowing you have the tools to allow you to eat healthy the rest of your life without feeling deprived.

This is not a “food combining” diet, but one that uses the science of how the body processes and utilizes food to prevent starchy carbs from doing their dirty work.

Find out more about this exciting plan and  how it helped me  hit my goal weight in just weeks, cured my addiction to starchy carbs, and most importantly, knocked my blood glucose level down from prediabetes to normal.  I couldn’t have done it without this important information.

Learn more about it  here

 

To Your Success,

Karyn


 

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.