Blood Sugar Balance: The Secret To Getting Lean

What Should You Eat To Get Lean?

For years I was trying different nutritional plans. Always searching for something that was healthy and easy to follow. The problem with most diets, and I have literally tried them all, is that they are always looking for a way to grab your attention. They will use an effective marketing gimmick that sounds new and make you believe it’s different.  On closer inspection they usually fall into one of the following categories – “no fat”, “no carbs”, “high protein”. In my opinion they are all flawed. You probably will lose some weight if you follow them, but cutting out an entire food group is unrealistic and in the long run usually fails. But is there a method out there that does work in the long run?

Eat Like A Diabetic

An approach that does work however is the Glycemic Index (GI). The glycemic index is the measurement of the impact a certain food has on your blood sugar levels. Rating a foods ability to raise the bodies insulin response on a scale of 1-100, or more commonly low, medium or high GI. Originally developed to define which foods would be most suitable for people with diabetes, the glycemic index has proven to be a valuable tool for weight management and various blood sugar disorders such as hypoglycemia, which can be caused by excessive insulin production.

What Is The Glycemic Index?

When you eat, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin causes the liver, muscles and fat cells to store glucose in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is used by the body for energy. The amount of insulin released depends on the glycemic index of the food eaten. When you eat too many high GI foods your body will stop burning fat for fuel as there is an excess of glucose present. This is bad news if you want a lean, toned body. In effect, too much high GI food will stop you losing weight. If you continue to eat a high GI diet you can overwork your bodies insulin response. This can lead to type II diabetes. If this happens your body will no longer register when you are eating and allow the glucose/sugar to circulate freely in your body attacking your vital organs.

Gain Control Of Your Blood Sugar, And Gain Control Of Your Weight

Luckily you can avoid this scenario by making some small changes to your diet. When you follow a GI approach to eating you can effectively “reset you pancreas”. When you do this you will not only find it quite simple to eat plenty of good food but you will also notice how much better your mood is. When your blood sugar rises sharply you get  a sudden burst of energy, you feel great. But this feeling is very short lived. Your blood sugar will then crash just as rapidly leaving you feeling weak, irritable and exhausted. What happens next? You reach for another cookie, energy drink, etc. And so the cycle continues. Whereas eating foods that keep your blood sugar even, you will feel better and won’t be tempted by the quick energy boost.

What Does A High GI Diet Look Like? – You May Be Surprised

Below I have set out an example of a high GI diet and a low GI diet. Have a look and see which one is closest to your regular diet.

Sample Low GI Menu


2 eggs scrambled

porridge (non instant) w/ cinnamon and berries, herbal tea or glass of water


homemade salmon salad with spinach, olive oil and quinoa

Afternoon snack

1 apple and some fresh almonds or homemade soup


Homemade chicken stir-fry and brown rice

Sample High GI Menu


Cornflakes or toast with milk, shop bought muffin and orange juice/coffee


Lunch roll/deli roll or shop bought pasta salad, crisps and 1/2 bottle fizzy drink

Afternoon snack

Chocolate bar, coffee/other 1/2 bottle fizzy drink


Frozen dinner/take away with a glass of wine or beer

Any Surprises?

Most people would think the high GI breakfast is quite healthy but most cereals are very high GI and in general the shop bought cereals are no good. They are cooked at such a high heat that they are basically one step away from being ash. I know they say “added vitamins” and “fortified with” but they only do that because they cooked the natural goodness out in the first place, and to be honest it’s not the same.

You are best avoiding processed foods. If man has tampered with them you’re better off without them. Opt instead for non-instant rolled oats in the morning. They only take five minutes to cook and will keep you full until lunch time. You can even soak them over night and they will cook in about 2.5 minutes.

Another point worth noting is the lack of fiber in processed food, which accounts for just about all the high GI menu foods. When you want to lose weight or maintain it, fiber is your friend. Fiber will slow down the rate at which your blood sugar rises. It also helps you to feel more satisfied and less likely to over eat.

Eating The GI Way Is Easier Than You Might Think

It might seem a bit confusing if you’re not familiar with the glycemic index but it’s actually fairly straight forward. I have found that once you get the basics down you don’t need to be a slave to the index. I will naturally avoid the foods I know are high GI and choose low GI with very little effort. I usually just eat three meals per day, avoiding processed foods and don’t snack. For me the combination of GI eating and regular exercise has yielded excellent results.

There is much more information available online about the glycemic index than I have covered here but the take home message is: Gain control of your blood sugar and you will lose excess weight, feel more energetic and look much better!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.