by: Jayson Hunter, Registered Dietitian, CSCS
If you’re trying to drop dress sizes, get a handle on insulin, the fat-storing hormone. Insulin level is controlled and manipulated by the glycemic load of foods. In your diet plan, you want to consume lower glycemic foods to produce a lower glycemic load which keeps your insulin levels lower. By doing this, you allow your body to burn more calories rather than storing them as fat.
First, let’s discuss what low glycemic is before we decide if it will help you with your weight loss goals. Foods that are considered low glycemic when consumed are foods that do not dramatically elevate your blood sugar levels. Eating foods that are high glycemic will dramatically increase your blood sugar levels. Your body starts to promote the fat storage of these sugars when you eat high glycemic foods because your insulin level increases.
When women want to know or ask what foods to eat so they can be skinny and look amazing in that mini skirt, they are essentially looking for foods that aren’t going to promote the storage of fat. To become low glycemic, a food needs to have a mixture of nutrients, be lower in overall sugars and contain a fair amount of fiber with each serving.
For example, a piece of white bread is a high glycemic food because it consists of processed and refined flour. A piece of whole-grain bread would be a lower glycemic food because it contains a good amount of fiber and other nutrients that would slow down the absorption of your food.
Your objective is to choose foods that contain some protein and are a good source of fiber so that you consume a lower glycemic food. Though you also need to look at the big picture and look at what else you are eating for that meal. It is all digested at the same time.
When deciding on a meal, you want a balance of a lean protein source, 1-2 servings of vegetables and/or fruit and 1 serving of a higher fiber whole-grain carbohydrate food choice. Your total glycemic level is lower when eating balanced like this which means your blood sugar levels don’t rise as high and your body promotes fat to be used for energy instead of being stored.
When you eat a lean protein source at your feeding opportunities, you are also releasing a hormone called glucagon that is the opposite of insulin and counteracts the effect of insulin by promoting the release of fat to be used as energy instead of storing it.
So, my answer to women who want to know what foods to eat so that they look amazing and sexy, I would say plenty of foods can work as long as you eat them at the right time and in the correct portions. The best way to your goals is to eat a lean protein source at every feeding opportunity and a vegetable that is a good source of fiber along with fiber rich whole grains. Your goal is to avoid high sugar soft drinks, fast food items that are high in fat and processed refined carbs and sugars.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES