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The Glycemic Index and Weight Loss

1 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Losing Weight on a Low-Glycemic Diet

The glycemic index is a tool you can use as part of your overall weight-control and healthy-eating strategies. What does every traditional weight-loss diet have in common? Each one promotes its own twist on losing weight, but at the end they all come down to one truth — eat fewer calories.

Paying attention to the amount of calories you consume and increasing the number of calories you burn each day through exercise and just moving around is crucial for achieving and maintaing a healthy weight.

If counting calories was all you needed to do to lose weight, you could theoretically eat candy bars all day and lose weight as long as you kept under your daily calorie limit. However, there's more to weight loss than just counting calories. Choosing healthier foods that provide energy and promote a strong, fit body is just as important as sticking to a calorie goal.

The glycemic index diet goes beyond calories; it encourages you to look at the way foods are digested and metabolized in your body and what impact that has on your body weight and how full you feel after eating. If biology and chemistry weren't your strong points in school, don't worry. The glycemic index puts all the science together into a list of foods categorized by their effect on blood sugar and insulin.

Use a glycemic index list as a weight-loss tool by selecting low-glycemic foods or balancing out a high-glycemic food choice with a lower-glycemic one. There’s no one right way to do this. Nor is there a black-and-white approach where you're either "on" or "off" the diet. Just use the information in the glycemic index list to add additional healthy benefits to your food choices.

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