The Glycemic index or GI for short is extremely trendy today, but what does it mean? Is the glycemic index useful for fat loss, muscle building or just fitness in general? Read on to find out.
What does GI mean?
The glycemic index is basically a fancy way of saying “this carbohydrate digests quicker than this carbohydrate”. Sounds useful right? Well it is. But only in certain circumstances, it’s actually an amazing tool for people who need to check how fast carbohydrates digest into blood sugar, such as diabetics. For example if somebody needs to get carbohydrates into their system quickly then they wouldn’t choose a slowly digesting food such as oats, or sweet potato. They’d choose refined sugar or white bread. This makes the glycemic index an amazing tool. But the majority of it’s users aren’t using it because they want to regulate their blood sugar, they’re using it for weight loss… which is bullshit.
Why GI is bullshit for weight loss
GI is a scale, the higher a carbohydrate ranks on the glycemic index then the worse it is for you, apparently. Companies and supermarkets sell low GI foods and ready meals on the assumption that it’s healthier for you and it won’t make you fat. That is all marketing, and should for the most part be ignored. While the GI research was being done, it showed the effects on foods consumed alone, in a fasted state and only 50 grams at a time. This is the way the testing was done, however once you consume carbohydrates in larger quantities, with protein or fats and out of a fasted state then the results are very, very different.
Protein and fats effect carbohydrate digestion
When you eat carbohydrates during the day as part of a balanced meal then that actually slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream. A meal of chicken, broccoli, white potato and a little grass fed butter slows down the digestion of the high GI carbohydrate (the white potato) massively. This is because of the protein, fats and fibre have been added to the carbohydrate source. This basically makes the glycemic index a useless tool for fat loss and muscle gain. This also teaches good habits for healthy eating in general, and that is to eat your carbohydrates in a balanced meal with fats, protein and fibre. If you aren’t doing this and you’re eating (or drinking) sugary snacks on their own, then you know why you’re always hungry. Eat your carbs in a healthy meal and you’ll not only feel better, but your results will be much better as well!