It's rather a relief to discover that The GI Diet
is not, after all, an in-depth investigation into the secrets of the US Army's mess halls and field rations. This GI stands for Glycemic Index, the latest thing in weight-loss thinking. Encouragingly based on his own efforts to lose weight, the introduction explains how Rick Gallop worked his way through diet after diet. Single-food diets (grapefruit, cabbage) he rejected as unsustainable; high-protein/low-carb ones unreliable and potentially dangerous (sorry, Dr Atkins). None of them worked in the long run. Finally he stumbled across the theories of nutritionist Dr David Jenkins, and the GI Diet, the new Only Diet That Works, was born. Essentially, the Glycemic Index measures how quickly carbohydrates are digested and release their sugars into the bloodstream. Foods with a high GI rating release glucose rapidly, their energy is rapidly burned up and hunger quickly returns. The Chinese meal syndrome, where you're hungry half an hour later, is the perfect illustration of this. Low-rated slow-release foods, by contrast, provide long-term energy and tend to require the body to do more work to convert it. Oats, beans, barley and similar foods high in soluble fibre represent the ideal forms of low-GI food. Fats are likewise differentiated into the familiar saturated (bad), unsaturated (good) and polyunsaturated (best).
Naturally, there is more to it than this rather obvious-sounding core precept. Rick Gallop has constructed an entire dietary plan around it, with a introductory weight-loss period followed by a less severe maintenance diet (in this, rather like the Atkins Diet but much less onerous and restrictive). There are long lists of foodstuffs graded by GI rating, a selection of (rather basic) recipes and suggestions for exercise regimes--the latter including some interesting Pilates-like strengthening routines--so the whole thing becomes more of a lifestyle plan. The most telling evidence for its effectiveness, says Gallop, is that it worked for him and everyone he has persuaded to stay the course. Judging by the collection of excited testimonials from satisfied newly thin users, it could very well be worth a try.--Robin Davidson
'Forget fads: change your eating habits for life' -- Daily Telegraph
Forget the Atkins diet the latest slimming plan, tipped to be the craze for 2004, is the GI diet' -- Bella
Healthy, simple to follow and guaranteed not to leave you feeling hungry or deprived -- Slimming
The World Health Organization has recommended that diets be based on low-GI foods to promote long-term health' -- Top Sante Health and Beauty
Treat this book as gospel and, in matters of the waistline, everythings gonna be alright -- OK! Magazine