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You might have heard of the GI diet and wondered if it had anything to do with the nation's military forces. Actually, this meal plan is not connected with any branch of the armed services. But it is definitely an important part of the war on fat. By following the GI diet, you might be able to successfully fight the battle of the bulge.

To begin with, it is important to define our terms. GI refers to glycemic index. The GI measures just how quickly the body breaks apart food in order to develop glucose, which has been referred to as a major energy source for the body. The GI was the brainchild of Dr. David Jenkins, a nutritional expert at the University of Toronto.

If food ranks high on the GI scale, it means that the food breaks down quickly. As a result, the body is not satiated and goes looking elsewhere for food. However, food that is low-glucose breaks down less quickly, which means that it makes you feel satiated. The GI diet, therefore, is made up of food that is low on the GI barometer. If you follow this food plan, you will be eating lean meat and fish, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, you can partake of dairy, as long as it is low-fat. However, you'll be passing up cake, cookies, bread, and other foods that are comprised of white flour and therefore high on the GI.

Those who support the GI diet maintain that the vast majority of diets are unsuccessful because dieters do not feel satiated. Dieters may also feel fatigued, causing them to binge. In addition, many diets are complex, requiring individuals to do complicated calculations in order to determine how much they should eat.

Following the GI diet is as easy as following a traffic light. Red means stop—in other words, don't eat that particular item. Yellow means proceed to eat with caution—and moderation. Green means go ahead and eat the item—it's good for you. There are numerous advantages to the GI diet. To begin with, it provides proper nutrition, which means that it is heart-healthy. Also, you can eat as much as you want—if the foods have been given the green light. Chances are you won't feel as if you're running on empty with this diet, since it's designed to keep you feeling satiated. It is believed that the diet can reduce the likelihood that you will be afflicted with heart disease, diabetes, stroke, colon cancer and prostate cancer. The GI diet is easy to maintain and equally easy to follow.

You might believe that the GI diet is like Atkins; however, there are notable differences. For example, the Atkins approach stresses high protein and animal fat while curbing carbohydrates. Atkins is based on the philosophy that, if the body does not receive carbs, it will end up breaking down fat instead. Over the long term, Atkins has been linked to kidney damage, heart disease, and Alzheimer's.

But the GI diet is based on carbs such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and encourages dieters to eliminate saturated fat, winning it the endorsement of a number of nutritionists. Still, it should be noted that the GI diet is not perfect. If you have spent a lifetime eating foods in the red category, you might find the diet quite challenging. Also, during the initial stage of the diet, the dieter's weight may rise until the body makes an adjustment.

The GI diet may not be as popular as other diet programs, but it has a number of qualities to recommend it. It is not complicated, so it may not lead to as much frustration as other diets. The traffic light system might appeal to even the most unsophisticated of dieters. It encourages the consumption of good carbohydrates which are nutrient-rich. It is also sure to eliminate an individual's reliance on junk food. While the adjustment to the diet may be difficult at first, a number of dieters maintain that it is well worth the effort. You may actually be surprised to learn exactly how much weight you can lose following the GI system

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