Posted by: Y | 2008/10/27

Low GI vs. High GI

Dear Dietdoc,

I' ve been on a low carb (actually a no-starch) diet for two months and lost 8% of my body weight in the process (still got 20kgs to go though).

I did not want to stay on the low carb plan for too long as you and other dieticians always say it' s bad, so after two months (starting about a month ago) I started re-introducing starches into my diet (I' ve eaten fruit and veggies while on the low carb plan).

I' ve noticed the following:
Eating pizza (high GI), chocolate cake (high GI) (at a friends birthday) or oats w/o milk (intermediate GI) allows me to continue loosing weight at about 100g to 200g a day.

Eating a single slice of low-GI seed bread (low GI) or a small bowl of pasta (low GI) on the other hand makes me pick up weight (in the case of the one cup of pasta 1.1 kg in one day!) And I know it wasn' t just water weight because it took me over a week to loose that weight again. (And no - it wasn' t pre-menstrual water retention either.)

Needless to say - I haven' t touched pasta since.

This doesn' t make sense to me.

(O yes -and I can judge the effect of these carbs accurately as I' ve only added up to two portions of a single type of carb a day to the low carb diet that I' ve followed very successfully the previous two months, while eating less meat - which I' m not fond of in any case.)

What' s going on here? It doesn' t make sense in the light of current dieting wisdom.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Y
When you eat low-GI carbs they get stored in the form of glycogen which makes your body retain water no matter what time of the month it is. The high-GI carbs are usually used up immediately for energy purposes. The storage of carbs in glycogen in the liver and muscles together with quite a bit of water, is also the reason why people lose so much weight (not necessarily fat!) when they start on the zero GI diet. The glycogen is used up within the first day or so and all the water is released, and the person loses lots of weight which of course strengthens the belief in the efficacy of the diet. If you stay on a low-fat, low-GI diet this change in weight will even out over time and you will start losing fat.
Best regards

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Interested | 2008/10/30

Hi Y

I could not find it at a library. I will have to go to Exclusive books...until then, is it the same as Atkins? Do i just leave out carbs completely? I want to start right away but dont have the book, i do have an Atkins book though...

thanks :)

Reply to Interested
Posted by: Interested | 2008/10/29

THANKS Y!!!! Much appreciated!!

I am definitly going to look for the book!

Post a note sometime to say how your weight loss is going! Good luck :)

Reply to Interested
Posted by: Y | 2008/10/29

Dear Interested,

I exercised when I felt like it but only did things I enjoy - such as taking a stroll around the block, maybe riding my bicycle, or playing ball with my dog. Nothing strenous, and never longer than a half hour (and not every day - only when I felt like it).

I followed the diet fairly well, but I did cheat occassionally (with chocolate or maybe a medium pizza) - maybe once a week. But even when I cheated, I tried to stick to higher fat, lower starch options. So I would have a dark chocolate that has more cacao than sugar, or a thin-based pizza with double toppings of cheese.

I typical menu for a day would look something like this:
2-3 eggs (boiled or scrambled or fried). If scrambled or fried, fat was added in the form of butter or ghee. If boiled, I often crushed it and mixed it with full cream mayonnaise or miracle whip and some bacon.
or a large chunk of cheese and slices of cold meat, including salami
Some veggies - e.g. fried onions or mushroom, or maybe just slices of tomato.
Often I also (in addition to the " main meal"  above) would eat a bowl of strawberries covered in cream.

A salad made from typical salad greens, tomato, green peppers etc.
with cheese and/or chicken and/or beef strips and/or cold meats (whatever I felt like that day)
with a nice fatty salad dressing or even just olive oil

A nice thick steak (with the visible fat LEFT ON), with a creamy cheese and mushroom sauce
and some veggies (cooked or roasted or stirfried or in the form of a salad)

Eating like this one shouldn' t need to eat in between meals, but when I did get the munchies I would have a handful of nuts or a chunk of cheese.

Late night snack (just before bed or else just after dinner):
A nice double cream yogurt (e.g. Woolies'  Airshire double cream yogurt with coconut).

Other details - I did loose weight faster the first week - as expected, but as long as I sticked to the diet, I consistently lost weight without ever feeling hungry.

O - I forgot to mention - when the weather started turning warmer, I often added a magnum icecream as a late afternoon snack. Magnums are expensive, but they' ve got a very favourable fat to carb ratio (expecially the Almond version with about 20% fat to 30% carbs - much better than most other icecreams) , and I still lost weight!

I hope you enjoy this way of eating as much as I do!

Reply to Y
Posted by: Interested | 2008/10/28

Hi Y. Hope you come back to your post and respond to this. I am on now trying to get a copy of that book.

You say you lost 8kg in 2 months. Did you exercise? Were you religious about following the diet? Please leave some details about those two very very interested!!!


Reply to Interested
Posted by: Y | 2008/10/28

Yes, well - you do keep on spouting the high carb, low fat dogma, but I' ve tested just about every diet out there and high carb (even low GI) does not work. I' ve even been on a low GI (high carb, low fat) diet prescribed to me by a registered dietician. I picked up weight on this diet. 2 Kgs the first week, and 1.4 Kgs the second week. This is worse results than the Weighless diet on which I lost 2 Kgs the first week, and nothing thereafter for several weeks. She (the dietician) did not see me again.

O and by the way, I did loose real fat on the high fat, low carb diet that I mentioned in my question. I lost 8Kgs in 2 months (which is not a very fast rate like one would expect with a high protein diet - which this was not), as well a dress size.

Anyone interested in loosing weight in a healthy, natural way - do yourselves a favour and read Barry Groves'  " Natural Health &  Weight Loss" . He explains why fat is not the enemy, but rather carbs. And why one shouldn' t increase protein intake when on a low-carb diet but rather fat intake.

Reply to Y

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.