The Glycemic Control Diet for Weight Loss
Achieve Your Ideal Weight Without Hunger
or Deprivation

Everything you need to lose weight without hunger

The focus of a glycemic control diet is to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels low and stable. Anyone beginning the diet will have unstable levels at first, causing hunger, which is a sign of high insulin and/or falling blood sugar. When hunger strikes, you should immediately eat a snack that contains protein to return your blood sugar and insulin to healthy levels. Starvation and deprivation are the hallmark of high carbohydrate–low fat and calorie counting diets. You will have a whole new mindset with glycemic control eating, which is to correct your blood sugar and insulin levels quickly and banish hunger. This means you can forget about willpower. You won't need it.

The glycemic control diet is useful for many conditions in addition to overweight including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Glycemic control can be simple if your blood sugar doesn't take wild swings, as in my description of giving up snacks of grapes only and instead eating low GI cherries or nuts in the anti-cancer diet section of this website. Simple control is good for slim people on the anti-cancer diet. However, if you want to make consistent progress on weight loss, you may be better off with a formal balancing of carbohydrates and proteins. You should eat protein-containing snacks two to three times per day and follow the guidelines presented below. With either approach, simple or formal, most of the carbohydrates you eat should be low on the glycemic index (GI), with some moderate GI foods in small quantities. For more about the glycemic index, click here. For tables of GI values for foods, see Healing Basics.

Glycemic control is the best way to lose weight because (1) you do not have to experience hunger and (2) it enables you to work with your body rather than struggling against your body in the weight loss process, as in calorie counting diets, which often end up making us fatter in the long term. To lose weight, we need to control the hormones that determine whether the body stores or burns fat. These hormones include insulin, cortisol, and leptin, among others. In optimally healthy people of normal weight, the leptin system raises metabolic rate and reduces appetite if we overeat, thus restoring us to a normal weight. Decreasing your level of inflammation helps leptin to function normally. Inflammation can be reduced by eating anti-inflammatory fats and anti-inflammatory foods. Click here for a list of anti-inflammatory foods.

Insulin is the most important hormone for controlling weight. To burn fat rather than store it, you must also keep your insulin level low and stable. The way to accomplish this is to always balance carbohydrates with protein and to eat protein or balanced protein plus carbohydrate snacks between meals, eating something every two to three hours. If you feel hungry, it means your insulin level is high. You need to eat a protein snack immediately. A more detailed discussion of how to balance proteins and carbohydrates is below.

The reason insulin levels are critical for weight control is because a high level of insulin activates an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase. This enzyme catalyzes the production of triglycerides from any fatty acids (digested fat units in the form that is absorbed by the intestine) eaten in a meal. Thus, excess insulin promotes storage of fat by our fat cells rather than using it for fuel after a meal. [1] In a person with normal insulin levels, any recently eaten fats could have been used for energy during the two hours after a meal. If insulin levels are high, dietary fat is more likely to be stored in the fat cells.

In addition, high insulin levels in the blood inhibit the activity of the enzyme triglyceride lipase which breaks down stored fat for use as energy. Thus, if you have chronically high insulin, you cannot burn your own body fat! [2] For more about how hormones control weight loss, see Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss or visit http://www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss.com/ .

Here is a list of the most important things to do to lose weight with this no-hunger plan. Following these principles here will stabilize your blood sugar, insulin, and other hormone levels and enable you to burn fat. Do not allow the numbers below to make you legalistic about counting as if you were on a calorie counting diet. Weigh a portion of the food when starting this eating plan, and then eat about that amount the next time. See the glycemic index tables in Healing Basics to determine what amount of a specific food is one unit, meaning that it contains 15 grams of carbohydrate (for carbohydrate foods) or 7 grams of protein (for protein foods).

1. All of your meals should contain the correct balance of protein to carbohydrate. Consume carbohydrates low on the glycemic index as much as possible. Keep your carbohydrate intake at or below two units (30 grams at 15 grams per carbohydrate unit) per meal and balance it with the same or a greater number of units of protein (7 grams per protein unit). Add a little fat (especially if the protein food doesn't provide some) and enough additional protein and non-starchy vegetables to satisfy your hunger.

2. Every morning eat a breakfast which contains enough protein to satisfy you plus carbohydrates in the correct amount to balance the protein or less. Eat breakfast early, ideally within the first hour after arising.

3. Eat protein-containing snacks three times a day, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and at bedtime. They don't have to be large; a handful of nuts will do. If you desire, sometimes you can add carbohydrates to your snack in the correct balance with the protein you are eating. Eat enough at each snack to quell any hunger.

4. Think nutrients. Eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods and consider taking a supplement that provides general nutritional support as well as the nutrients most important for control of insulin levels and inflammation such as chromium and omega-3 fatty acids. Eat lots of low-carb fruits and vegetables, and make sure you're eating healthy fats as described in the anti-cancer diet. Fat is a friend with this type of weight loss, so do eat healthy fats.

5. Do some moderate exercise or brisk walking. Intense or prolonged exercise, especially without food, can cause your body to hold onto fat and burn muscle, which will decrease your metabolism and make weight loss more difficult. Never exercise when you are hungry; have a protein-containing snack first. See the "Exercise Right" page here http://www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss
.com/exercise_right.html
to learn what type and how much exercise is right for you.

See Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss for more information about weight loss, exercise that is right for you, and recipes. Click here if you have food allergies and want to lose weight.


Footnotes

[1] Montingnac, Michel. Scientific Principles: Basic Principle Behind the Montignac Method. http://www.montignac.com/en/scientific-principles/
[2] Hart, Cheryle R., MD and Mary Kay Grossman, RD, The Insulin Resistance Diet, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001, 2007), 5; and also http://www.montignac.com/en/la_methode_scientifique.php