List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
Using The Glycemic Index To Lose Weight After Pregnancy
The vast majority of postpartum women will not return to their pre-pregnancy weight without the help of proper nutrition. This article will explain why extreme diets don't work and why the Glycemic Index may be the best long-term solution for postpartum weight loss.
Don't Go To Extremes
There are thousands of "diets" on the market, yet the question still remains: how can we achieve weight loss in the healthiest, most permanent way? Restricting calories too much can shut down metabolism and cause us to gain weight in the long run. Eating "Fat free" can make us hungry all the time and deprives the postpartum body of key nutrients. "High protein/no carbohydrate" diets are unhealthy and can put our bodies at possible risk of liver and kidney damage.
We know going to nutritional extremes doesn't work. Alas, we come back to the age-old method of balance. How we balance carbohydrates, fats, and proteins can make all the difference.
Research shows that unsaturated fats are better than saturated. And proteins such as chicken, fish, and even beans far outweigh red meat as a healthy choice. What about carbohydrates? Which carbohydrates work best for weight loss and energy? Choosing the correct carbohydrates in balance with healthy proteins and fats will help you achieve the healthiest form of weight loss for the postpartum period and beyond.
The Hormonal Response To Food
When we eat, our bodies digest and convert foods into usable forms of energy. The main unit of energy for the body is a sugar called glucose. When people talk about blood sugar levels they are referring to how much glucose is in the bloodstream at a given time.
A stable blood sugar level is important for health and our bodies stimulate hormones to regulate it. If we have too much sugar in our blood, a hormone called insulin is released. Insulin will bring our blood sugar back to an acceptable level, however it also encourages our bodies to convert the excess sugar to fat.
According to Joyce and Gene Daoust, authors of 40-30-30- Fat Burning Nutrition, "It is important that an individual's blood sugar level does not rise too high or too quickly because, if it does, the body reacts by alerting the pancreas. The pancreas then detects the excess glucose and secretes the hormone messenger, insulin, to correct it. Increased levels of insulin force your body to burn glucose for energy and store any excess away as glycogen or fat."
Essentially, insulin promotes the storage of fat in our bodies. To burn fat instead of store it, we should limit the amount of insulin in our blood. The way to do this is by keeping our blood sugar levels from getting too high, too fast. How do we control our blood sugar? Fortunately, there is a tool that will make our job easier.
The Glycemic Index (GI)
The Glycemic Index is a numerical rating scale that measures how fast a particular food can raise blood sugar (glucose) levels in our bodies. At the top of the scale is pure glucose with a rating of 100. All other foods are ranked in a hierarchy along the scale. Foods that break down (convert into glucose) slowly have a low Glycemic rating. Foods that breakdown quickly have a high rating. The Glycemic Index (GI) values of different foods are extremely important, because the speed at which foods are converted into glucose not only affects our insulin levels, but our appetite, cholesterol and blood fats as well.
To Lose Weight, Eat Foods With A Low GI Value
It's that simple. Choose low Glycemic foods and your body is less likely to convert them into fat. For example, you'll notice that eating a cup of All Bran cereal (GI = 51) will sustain you longer than a cup of corn flakes (GI = 84). As you can see, Corn Flakes elevate your blood sugar faster than All Bran.
An apple (GI = 38) will keep you full longer than a piece of watermelon (GI = 72). Because the apple converts to sugar in the blood slowly, your insulin levels will be much lower than if you ate the watermelon. You will also get more sustainable energy over a longer period of time from the apple.
The Glycemic Index and Appetite
Controlling food portions and appetite becomes easier when you understand how the GI of certain foods affects your body.
Typically, high GI foods stimulate appetite by making blood sugar rise and fall quickly, thus creating a feeling of constant hunger. For example, a slice of white bread has a high GI, because it's starches release and digest quickly. When blood sugar rises and falls rapidly, the body is stimulated to eat again. Candy, potatoes, honey, and other refined (processed) grains will have the same affect.
To reduce appetite, eat low GI foods such as beans, vegetables, fruits, and certain whole-grains. They release at a slow, steady pace, keeping you full, energetic and away from the refrigerator! Although most carbohydrates are naturally low in fat, those carbohydrate foods with a low GI index also have more fiber. Low GI foods release energy in the body at a much slower rate, helping you avoid "peaks and valleys" and maintain a steady energy level.
More ways To Reduce GI
Other factors, such as the way foods are prepared can affect the GI. Coarsely ground flour in bread tends to release at a slower rate than extra fine flour. Old-fashioned oatmeal made with fiber-rich rolled oats and natural sugar has a lower GI than the instant version. Even cooking spaghetti less can decrease its Glycemic Index, making the carbohydrate molecules release at a slower rate. In general, the more a food is cooked, the faster it releases sugars and the higher GI it will have.
The same goes for raw fruits and vegetables. The crunchier, the better! It takes the body longer to release and digest raw vegetables, thus converting to sugar slowly and keeping us full longer.
Combining high GI foods with low GI foods will also reduce the speed at which sugar is released in your blood. For instance, if you ate a rice cake (GI = 99) you would have an insulin spike because the rice cake is converted into sugar very fast. However, if you had a tablespoon of peanut butter (GI = 15) with your rice cake, the total GI of the meal is only 57. Yes, the peanut butter adds more calories to the meal, but because you have less insulin in the blood those calories are more likely to be burned instead of being stored as fat.
It's important to note that portion size is a big factor. This article assumes you are not overeating. When you take in way too many calories than you need, your body will certainly store fat. However, if they are low Glycemic calories you would store less fat than if they were high GI calories.
Putting It All Together
Here's a formula for new moms who desire weight loss and high energy. Try to balance all your meals with:
40% of calories coming from low GI carbohydrates
30% from lean protein
30% unsaturated fat
The above ratio has been shown to keep your blood sugar at an optimum level for burning fat instead of storing it. Since protein and fat have naturally low GI's your carbohydrate choice will be the biggest factor in the total GI of your meals.
A Sample Day Of Balanced Meals with a GI below 50
Breakfast: Low fat cottage cheese, peaches and raw almonds
Lunch: (water packed) Tuna salad sandwich (Mayo, celery, sweet pickle relish and lettuce), grapes
Snack: String cheese and an apple
Dinner: Grilled salmon, vegetables (Onion, green pepper, zucchini) and salad with low fat dressing, an orange
The great thing about the Glycemic Index is it's easy to learn. It's the perfect tool for busy new moms. Instead of wondering what to eat, you'll start making smart food choices around low GI foods. Once you combine the power of the Glycemic Index with regular exercise you'll watch those postpartum pounds melt away in no time. You can learn more at www.strollerfit.com
View a Glycemic Index of various foods here:
Curt Conrad, CSCS, is Founder and President of DIAMOND CUT, Inc. and StrollerFit Inc. His companies have helped thousands of clients enjoy better life through better fitness. For more great information visit http://www.strollerfit.com and http://www.mommymuscle.com
Breakfast -How Not To Start The Day Part I
Axiom Number FourTo have a great selling diet plan encourage people to do what they want to do anyway, even if they won't lose weight and may become morbidly obese, get cancer and have a very poor quality of life.Question from one of our readers .
Rapid Weight Loss - Is It Healthy and Does It Work?
It is important that the public not only understand the right ways to lose weight, but also equally understand the wrong ways!There have been many FAST weight loss systems that have come and gone over years - The Cambridge Diet and Slim Fast are two that spring to mind. "LighterLife" is the latest meal replacement diet to tempt the public.
5 Tips For Weight Loss
Are you ready to lose some weight? Perhaps you're surfing for the magic pill that will vanish your weight away. Maybe you're simply searching for the right information to help you lose and keep the weight off.
Coconut Oil Diets
Have you heard about coconut oil diets yet? People are adding coconut oil to their diets and are getting incredible results. They are losing weight, getting more energy, and getting healthier.
Getting Through the Holidays Without Gaining Weight
Now that the holiday season is here, holiday foods and meals take center stage. And this is as it should be.
Be a Loser: 50 Reasons to Get Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery is fast becoming a very popular way for obese and morbidly obese people to get and keep the weight off. America is the fattest it's ever been and they're even saying there is an "obesity epidemic".
Staying Healthy on a Low Carbohydrate Diet
It is estimated that about 32 million Americans are following some type of low carbohydrate diet. This is the result of fad diet authors claiming that carbohydrates are the cause for America's rising obesity problems.
Developing Mental Toughness For Permanent Weight Loss
Losing weight and keeping it off is much more than eating right and exercising hard. In order to lose weight and keep it off, especially in today's stressful society, you must be mentally tough.
The Type Of Food and Nutrition That Can Help You Lose Weight Fast
The following are diet tips that can help you shape up and lose weight:1. Try and adopt a vegetarian diet.
Gastric Bypass Surgery - A Mortality Rate to Be Scared Of?
Success stories on the gastric bypass are everywhere, but how about the fatalities from the procedure? Barely mentioned in the magazines and newspapers, there is a serious risk carried by the gastric bypass and that risk is a 1 in 50 chance of you dieing within 1 month of the surgery - that certainly puts the frights up me. The study by Washington University is shocking to say the least.
Calculate Your BMI - Do You Need to Lose Weight?
There are a few different ways to determine if you are overweight. Underwater weighing, computerized topography and measurement of skin folds with calipers can be the most accurate ways to measure fat.
A Revolutionary Product Called Hoodia Part 2
The rediscovery of the wealth of the wonder drug Hoodia was a chance occurrence. While scientists were busy searching a cure for HIV/AIDS they found it and the test conducted revealed that the expedition turned out worthwhile.
High Protein Diets Can Have a "Bad" Impact on Your Career
With all the excitement regarding high protein diets, one area that is often not talked about is a diet rich in protein can be a major contributor to bad breath. Actually, there are several causes of bad breath, many of which most people have given little, if any, thought to.
Hollywood Weight Loss Secrets - Movie Star Personal Trainer Tells All!
In the early nineties I had the opportunity to work with some of the most famous movie stars in the world. As a manager and personal trainer of Kathy Smith's health club I experienced first hand the secrets to the stars.
Lose Fats - Gain Confidence when You Lose Weight
"How do I lose 5 kg or 30 kg?""How do I gain some muscles and tone up sexily?"It is simple. Yes, you heard it right, it is simple.
Lose Weight And Get Healthy; Can Laughter Be A Cure For Obesity?
Once there were these two Nuns and they..
Six Super Easy Weight Loss Tips
If you have been trying to lose weight permanently, then these six weight loss tips may be just what you need to kick start your weight loss program. You may have heard some of them before, but if you make them a part of your core goal, you will not have as much difficulty achieving your weight loss goals.
On-line Weight Watchers Diet Helper for Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and Mobile Phones
At the beginning of December, WeightWatchers.com announced the release of an application for Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and PDA mobile phones.
Managing Cravings with EFT
There are several ways to manage cravings. You can: Attempt to stop eating the food you crave entirely (out of sight out of mind).
Low Carb Diet Secrets Revealed!
You may be considering a low carb diet program, but wonder if they really work, and if so, how well?Let's take the mystery out of low carb diets by giving you the 3 most important elements to their success.First, you need to bring your carboydrate cravings under control.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !