Weight loss for women's health covers diets, weight loss plans, weight loss surgery, tips for successful weight management, dieting tips, and healthy eating. Discover the facts about the latest diet books and eating plans for weight loss and maintenance of healthy weight when you've met your dieting goal.
Best Weight Loss Food Rules
Remember the old adage that it's not only what you eat but how you eat and when you eat that most affects your health and weight management? Here are some of our favorite tips on eating for weight loss:
Weight Loss Food Rule #1
Read your labels! If it comes in a box or bottle or plastic wrapping, chances are it's high in carbs and/or artificial ingredients. Always check the nutritional information on the label. If the carb content is more than double the protein content, don't eat it. And if you see more than four artificial-looking ingredients, good to skip that too.
Weight Loss Food Rule #2
Eat low-glycemic foods. The glycemic index of foods indicates the rate at which its carbohydrate content breaks down into sugar in the body. Foods with a low glycemic index will stimulate a relatively low amount of insulin. Foods with a high glycemic index will, on the other hand, trigger a big spike in insulin.
Weight Loss Food Rule #3
Eat fruit solo. Fruits digest rapidly, so it's best to eat them alone or with a little yogurt. Other foods can be eaten a half hour later. When fruits are eaten with foods that require longer digestion time, indigestion will occur. To get specific, the fruit sugars will putrefy in your gut, causing bloating (adding non-fat inches to your waistline!) Fruit is a superb diet food when eaten right. Go for low glycemic fruits. They can safely be eaten alone. When you eat a high glycemic fruit, be sure to eat it with soaked nuts (almonds, preferably, as it's a great weight loss food) or non-fat plain unsweetened yogurt or low-fat cheese. Consult our glycemic index chart for glycemic load rates of various fruits.
Weight Loss Food Rule #4
Eat protein with every meal or snack.* Protein is a natural regulator of fat-producing insulin. Make sure you include protein with any high carb or sugary meal or snack. It will reduce the amount of insulin production, which will encourage your body to burn the food you eat rather than store it as fat.
* This may sound contradictory to Rule #3, but keep in mind this caveat: low glycemic fruits can be eaten with little or no protein, if you tend to have digestive difficulties.
Weight Loss Food Rule #5
Don't be afraid of fat. Fat does not make you fat. The wrong kind of fat will cause digestive problems and other health issues, but fat in and of itself is not your dietary enemy. Eat the right fats: olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, avocados, walnuts, almonds, to name a few.
Weight Loss Food Rule #6
Be afraid – very afraid – of transfats. Avoid – like the plague! – all products containing hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oil. Also, skip the french fries and other fried foods served at restaurants.
Weight Loss Food Rule #7
Chew your food thoroughly. Did you know digestion starts in your mouth? Saliva breaks down carbohydrates, so chew your breads and grains until soft and mushy. Thorough chewing also jump starts enzyme production in the stomach. Remember that undigested food creates bloating and toxins that find their way to your fat cells, making them larger in size.
Weight Loss Food Rule #8
Stop eating before you are full. 80% fullness is the ideal. One of the most prevalent factors underlying many diseases is over-eating. When we eat too much at once, we put tremendous stress on the digestive organs, and later the eliminative organs. Lighter meals will nourish your body more fully and give you more energy.
Weight Loss Food Rule #9
Eat in peace. Eat in a calm, serene setting. If you're eating alone, let the process of eating be a sensory meditation. If you're eating with others, keep the conversation on pleasant topics. Never eat during an argument or while watching disturbing shows on TV.
Weight Loss Food Rule #10
Don't eat late. Eat your last meal at least three hours before going to bed. Any undigested food that a late night meal or snack produces will increase your waistline from bloating and your fatty tissues from the storage of toxic by-products.
The Glycemic Index: What It Is and What It Isn't
The glycemic index is a rating system that assigns a number to any given food designating the rate at which the sugars in that food produce an insulin response in the body. Foods are rated from 0 - 100. The higher the number, the more quickly that food raises blood sugar levels; low numbers are assigned to foods that raise blood sugar very slowly.
Glycemic index is not a measurement of
the sugar a food contains, but rather
the rate at which that food breaks down
into glucose sugar in the body.
Instant mashed potatoes have a high
glycemic index, a whopping 87; honey has
a glycemic index of 61; a raw apple, 36.
Glycemic index ratings are 'raw'
numbers, meaning that the foods are
rated in their most basic state. The
mashed potatoes had no added condiments
when it was measured. If you add butter
and sour cream, the glycemic index of
those dehydrated potatoes will change.
The GI will drop, in fact, because
dietary fat slows down the breakdown of
the complex sugars in the potato, thus
slowing down the increase in insulin
Many factors, then, will affect the actual glycemic impact of the foods your eat. Keep this in mind as you use the glycemic index to plan your meals. There are individual differences that can't possibly be added to the equation as well. For example, your insulin response to foods may be affected by your age, activity levels, the time of day and your unique insulin sensitivity.
The Glycemic Index: A Tool for Healthy Eating & Weight Loss
Any one pursuing a weight loss diet or interested in weight management, disease prevention and long life, can benefit from just a rudimentary understanding of the glycemic index. We suggest only a basic understanding, because the science of glucose-insulin response is really quite complex. Here's what you need to know in order to benefit from using the glycemic index for weight loss, weight management or disease prevention:
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load
glycemic index has recently been
improved with a second rating factor:
glycemic load. Here is the difference
between the two: glycemic index measures
how quickly a particular food elevates
blood sugar levels and then triggers an
insulin response. The higher the number,
the quicker the response. The glycemic
index is looking at the carbohydrate
content of the food, since that is the
triggering food component relative to
blood suger. A glycemic index of 70 or
more is considered high, 56-69 is
medium, and 55 or less is low.
The glycemic load of a food looks at more than the carbohydrate in a food, and takes into account how much carbohydrate a food contains. The glycemic load offers a more accurate assessment of the glucose/insulin impact a food will likely create when it's consumed. The glycemic load of foods are also numerically rated. 20 is considered high, 11-19 is medium, and 10 or less is low.
Most low GL foods have a low GI. Medium to high GL foods can be anywhere on the GI scale. The watermelon presents an interesting comparison. The glycemic index of a watermelon is 72, which is high. This is the measurement of its carbohydrate glycemic rate. But watermelon is mostly water, and it's relative carbohydrate content is very low. We find then, that the glycemic load of watermelon is 4, very low.
The Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load: Numbers & Charts
Next you need access to a comprehensive chart showing the glycemic index and glycemic load of foods. We have published several charts here. The University of Sydney has a searchable database on their web site glycemicindex.com.
The Glycemic Index: Why It's Important and How It Can Help
sugar levels are important to maintain
for a few reasons. First, there are the
physical reactions and food cravings
that result when levels that dip too
low, which can result in lethargy,
headache, dizziness, inability to
concentrate and increased hunger. Your
body may not need more food, but it does
need more glucose, so it will motivate
you to eat, and it usually wants high
carb foods to feed the low glucose
When your blood sugar level is too high, your body produces insulin to bring that level down and stabilize the glucose content of your blood. When insulin is released into your blood, it converts the excess glucose into fat and it also signals to your body to store it's fat reserves. We find then, that high glycemic snacks and meals, even though they may initially offer an elevation in energy and mood, will inevitably result in fat storage and the crash that is experienced when our body is slammed with a high dose of insulin.
Low glycemic foods release glucose gradually into the bloodstream, which necessitate a modest amount of insulin production. Blood sugars remain stable and balanced. Energy levels, while not necessarily explosive, will be sustained and even. Your body will be more likely to burn fat reserves rather than use up the glucose in your blood. For dieters and those with diabetes, a diet rich in low glycemic foods is highly desirable. A low glycemic orientation can be applied to virtually any weight loss diet. An increasing number of doctors, diet experts and nutritionists advocate using the glycemic index in conjunction with meal programs for the management of diabetes as well as for weight loss.