The truth about the glycemic index and fat loss

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Although the GI has some useful applications, such as in post-workout and pre-workout carbohydrate choices, it's not the most relevant factor when it comes to fat loss. The GI is only one of many criteria you should consider in selecting your carbohydrates during a fat loss program.

The mistake in using the GI as your only criteria for making carbohydrate choices is that the GI was developed based on eating carbohydrates by themselves in a fasted state. The BFFM program is based on combining carbohydrates and protein together. When carbohydrates are eaten in mixed meals that contain protein and some fat, the GI loses its significance because the protein and fat slows the absorption of the carbohydrates.

For example, mashed potatoes have a GI near that of pure glucose, but if you combine the potatoes with a chicken breast and broccoli, the GI of the entire meal is much lower than the potatoes alone. Rice cakes also have a high GI. But if you put a dab of peanut butter on them, the fat slows the absorption of the carbohydrates, lowering the GI of the combination.

The GI is also affected by frequent eating. The GI was developed based on eating a food in the fasted state. On this program, you will be eating approximately every three hours - that's about as far from a fasted state as you can get. Because undigested food from each previous meal can slow the absorption rate of the current meal and because frequent eating stabilizes blood sugar levels, this also makes the index lose some of its relevance.

To say that foods like potatoes and carrots are fattening and shouldn't be eaten simply because they are high on the glycemic index is ridiculous. Although some bodybuilders drop out potatoes, opting instead for lower GI starches such as yams and oatmeal, many others, myself included, eat white potatoes up to the day of competition and their body fat reaches the low single digits.

The GI is definitely a factor you can consider when deciding which carbohydrates to eat, but using the GI as your only criteria for choosing your carbohydrates is a mistake. If low GI foods were the key to fat loss, then you could eat ice cream, peanut M & M's, and sausages and you'd lose weight. There are more important factors than the GI. For maximum fat loss and optimal health, a much more relevant criteria than GI is whether your carbohydrates are natural or processed.

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