The Visual Weight Loss System - VEEP

Understanding Glycemic Load For Weight Loss

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If you have heard the term Glycemic Index thrown around in the context of weight loss, you may wish to understand how Glycemic Load is a much better measure of how carbs will impact your weight loss efforts.

Glycemic Index is not a new concept in nutrition, but lately it has been getting a lot of attention based on popular weight loss ads on television.

Glycemic Index is the measure of the RATE at which different foods cause sugar to be dumped into your blood.

Unfortunately, Glycemic Index is NOT a very good measure of the impact a given food will have upon your blood sugar.

Glycemic Index is missing three very important variables – DENSITY,  AMOUNT and GASTRIC ACTION.

Density simply refers to how much carbohydrate is present per a given volume of food.  

Amount refers to the total amount in grams of the food in question.

Gastric action refers to the amount of energy it takes to digest a given food. Some high GI foods require a tremendous amount of energy simply to digest, such as carrots.

When you look at Glycemic Index from this perspective, it now makes sense why Glycemic Index often makes no sense.

Continuing on with carrots, for example, once you consider that carrots have a low density, and it’s difficult to eat a lot of them, and require a lot of gastric energy to digest them,  it becomes easy to understand why you won’t get fat eating carrots, even though according to Glycemic Index, you shouldn’t eat them.

A much better measure of the impact on your blood sugar is Glycemic Load. Glycemic Load basically takes into account the AMOUNT and DENSITY of the carbs you are eating.  Once you understand Glycemic Load, you will do much better in your weight loss efforts.  The trick with Glycemic Load is since it is difficult to calculate, you need a poor man’s way of figuring it on the fly.  First, let’s give you the official calculation, and then show you how to figure it at a glance.

Calculating Glycemic Load:
The official calculation is  (Amount of Carbs in Grams) X Glycemic Index of Carb/100 = Glycemic Load

Not something you are going to take with you, right? Here is a simple way to figure Glycemic Load.  To estimate the glycemic load you need to learn to ask 3 questions.

Density: Is this a dense starch? If the food has more fiber than starch, its density is low. If it has more starch than fiber, it’s density is high

Amount: Is my portion, small, medium or large? The more you eat, the higher the glycemic load.

Glycemic Index: Is this a processed carb or can I pick it from a tree or pull it from the ground?  In general, processed foods will have higher Glycemic Index than natural carbs.

Using this method of evaluating foods, you can quickly determine the impact on your blood sugar from a given food. What this allows you to do is have certain prohibited foods, such as potatoes, by virtue of  the fact you are now factoring in the amount as a consideration.  ½ baked potato has a smaller glycemic load than a bowl of oatmeal!

Hopefully, with this understanding, life long weight loss just got much easier to obtain.