How does stopping my cravings and increasing my energy make a difference to my body fat? Let's look at your blood sugars...
Tip number 5 is not just useful for weight loss but also for general health and disease prevention. The Glycemic Index (GI) of food is a measure of how much carbohydrate foods raise your blood sugar levels. If you eat low GI foods, your blood sugars will stay on a fairly even path. However, if you eat high GI foods that raise your blood sugars, you end up signalling your muscles, organs and fat cells to absorb the glucose. Some of the glucose is used for energy, the rest is stored as body fat.
Diagram 1: Illustration of how we ideally want your blood sugars to be
Do you lack energy?
Many people eat high GI/sugary foods when they are lacking in energy in the belief that these foods will give them energy. This will happen, but only on a very short term basis. Your blood sugars rise and you'll feel good for a very short period of time. When your blood sugars are too high the hormone insulin is released to bring your blood sugar levels back down. But by however much you have raised your sugars, a similar fall will occur and this will leave you craving more sugar/carbohydrates. It will also leave you lacking in energy and feeling sleepy (I think this is certainly to blame for why so many people fall asleep after a Christmas dinner!) For me personally, if I have a big bowl of a sugary pudding, I often fall asleep half an hour later.
Diagram 2: The effects of high GI Foods on the body
So what changes should you make?
- Make sure you are not eating big plates of carbohydrates without adding protein and fats to it too. If you eat a balanced plate of food, your blood sugars will not rise as much.
- Start your day with protein for breakfast. Once you get on the blood sugar rollercoaster for the day, it's very hard to get off it again.
- Avoid sugary foods. If you look at the list of GI of foods, the highest GI of any food is sugar. So avoid it!!!