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Caloric Surplus Causes Weight Gain, Not High Glycemic Foods

Posted Nov 29 2010 5:02pm
You will gain weight and fat if you maintain a daily caloric surplus even if you eat low glycemic foods. This fact remains unchanged: A daily caloric surplus (consume more calories than you burn) will cause you to gain weight! Lose weight by maintaining a caloric deficit over time .

That's right, you can still gain weight on a low-carb diet.

Having said this, it is important to eat quality carbs, proteins and fats. But, how much you eat will determine if you gain weight or lose weight.

Being aware of the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) of certain foods can help you control your glycemic response and body fat .

The glycemic index is a numerical index that ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of glycemic response, or their conversion to glucose within the human body. The Index uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. Pure glucose is the reference point and has a GI value of 100.

A low-carb diet is not necessary. You are better off eating the right kinds of carbohydrates at the right time.

Your body depends on carbohydrates as a primary fuel source (especially during intense workouts). For instance, after a tough workout, a post-workout drink with high glycemic carbs and protein will help your body recover and rebuild your muscles. During the day, low glycemic carbs are more desirable.

The glycemic index is important because your body performs best when your blood sugar is kept relatively constant. When blood sugar drops too low, you become listless or experience increased hunger. If it goes too high, your brain signals your pancreas to secrete more insulin. Although insulin will bring your blood sugar back down, it does so primarily by converting the excess sugar to stored fat.

For non-diabetics, there are times when a rapid increase in blood sugar is desirable. For example, some coaches and trainers recommend high GI foods (like sports drinks) immediately after exercise to help speed recovery.

Another way to control your GI is to also control your glycemic load (GL). Glycemic load can be controlled by the type and amount of carbohydrates you consume. So, GI and GL work together to control your glycemic response.

GI's of 55 or below are considered low, and 70 or above are considered high. GL's of 10 or below are considered low and 20 or above are considered high.

IF YOU USE GI AND GL VALUES AS THE SOLE FACTOR FOR DETERMINING YOUR DIET, YOU COULD END UP OVERCONSUMING FAT AND TOTAL CALORIES. GI is only used to rate a food's carb content. If you continue to eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight no matter what you eat.

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