Over the past years, the term "glycemic index" or "GI" has been bandied about as a popular way to lose weight. The challenge: Turning the concepts into a realistic diet that can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Get the skinny here.
- What it means: Initially created to help those with diabetes control their blood sugar, glycemic index diets use a classification of foods based on their potential to increase your blood sugar level.
- How to use it: Rather than counting calories or focusing on eating low-carbohydrate foods, you will focus on eating more foods low on the glycemic index. For example, white bread scores high, while bananas receive a medium rating. In contrast, raw apples and skim milk are "green light" low-GI foods. For a complete listing of all foods, get the "Glycemic Index Food Guide."
- How it can help with weight loss: Sometimes referred to as "slow carbohydrates," foods that are low on the glycemic scale are more slowly absorbed. As a result, they can help to reduce cravings and keep you satisfied longer. These foods also generally are lower in calories, which also helps you shed pounds.
- Recommended books to get you started: "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Glycemic Index Weight Loss" offers details on how different foods rate and how to put meals together based on that scale. Love to cook? Then go for "500 Low Glycemic Index Recipes: Fight Diabetes and Heart Disease, Lose Weight and Have Optimum Energy with Recipes That Let You Eat the Foods You Enjoy." And for an approach one step beyond the GI diet, try "The Glycemic-Load Diet: A powerful new program for losing weight and reversing insulin resistance."