Why the Glycemic Index and spike in insulin are irrelevant for weight loss

If you think that the Glycemic Index (GI) and spikes in insulin caused by certain foods are important to losing weight, then here’s why that’s not the case.

But first, let’s understand where this myth is coming from.

It just happens that whenever we eat carbs, our body needs to break them down to their basic form (have you heard of glucose?).

And no, that’s not a bad thing…

because the preferred energy source of our bodies is glucose (and if carbs would be bad for our bodies, why would our bodies decide to use them?…).

Once digestion takes care of it and has turned it into its basic forms, then the liver decides what to do, to which it has 3 options:

  1. Store it as glycogen
  2. Turn it into fat 
  3. Release it into the bloodstream as glucose

But, why is this important?

Because there’s this common belief that those refined carbs (which are known for “fast absorption”) will be turned into fat as the energy from these wasn’t used right away.

Meanwhile, those carbs that are “slow” doesn’t necessarily have to be used after you eat them.

And that’s why this is a myth (and GI gets totally irrelevant).

Not only studies show that when you combine any carbohydrate (fast or slow absorption) with protein and fats in the same meal, they give you a much slower absorption, but…

the way the body uses energy is not something as instant as the GI portrays it.

The body is constantly fluctuating (on a daily basis), but it will be the total amount of energy (AKA, calories) you eat that will determine whether you’re using that excess of energy as fat or not.

If you’re not eating more than what you should and you’re eating all your macronutrients in every meal, there’s nothing to worry about.

You’ll lose weight regardless of the GI and any spikes in insulin you can have.

But as I said before, that’s why adding protein, fats (and fiber) to your meals will get rid of any idea that these spikes in insulin are not the reason why you can’t lose weight and keep it off.

Focus on what matters (which is eating a diversity of food rich in nutrients while making sure you’re on a deficit), and you’ll lose weight.

There’s just no other way to go about it.

Sadly, the fitness industry loves to complicate things and make you doubt whether the food you’re eating is good or bad.

That’s why if you want to get more daily tips like this delivered to your inbox, all you have to do is sign up below… so you don’t have to worry about what’s true and what’s completely BS.


Ivan @ Fitnessthetic