If you are considering trying out the low glycemic index diet, you’re likely considering the health benefits and weighing them against the potential drawbacks in dietary restrictions and lifestyle changes. That said, for those ready to commit and make changes to the way they live and eat, this nutritional model can be a huge win, and result in weight loss, improved overall health, and reduction in risks for obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
There is even evidence that a low GI diet can have the following benefits that most wouldn’t generally assume:
- Helps individuals fighting drug or alcohol addiction
- Can help reduce seizures
- and Improve brains function
- Promotes anti-aging
The diet can be especially beneficial if you are currently diabetic and looking to find a permanent solution to manage your blood sugar and improve your changes for longevity.
However, one benefit of a diet rich in low glycemic foods and void or almost void of high glycemic foods is a significant increase in energy. This improvement can be seen regardless of your fitness level or current health. The primary reason for this is related to blood sugar.
Your energy level is directly related to blood sugar
Blood sugar level is one of the main causes for how energetic we are feeling. Blood sugar is essential the amount of glucose in your blood stream. This is where the critical distinction between low GI and high GI foods comes into play. High GI foods, like sweets, breads, and other highly processed foods made with sugar and enriched flour, make the glucose level in the blood stream spike rapidly. This is because the food is so highly processed that the glucose is more or less instantly available to the body.
When blood sugar rises, the pancreas responds by producing insulin, which basically tells the cells in your body that there is glucose available to use for energy conversion and storage. It is this process of your cells taking in glucose and converting or storing it that determines your energy level, and the more dramatic the peaks and valleys are in the insulin, the more uneven your energy will be. The video below provides a very clear overview on how low GI foods will help stabilize your energy.
That means that a low glycemic index diet will not cause the dramatic spikes in insulin that are caused by white bread, sweets, and many highly processed snack foods. The result is more steady, well-regulated blood sugar and insulin levels. This is just one very basic way in which a low GI diet will make you feel more energized. This benefit has been supported by many diet and nutrition experts, including Connie Guttersen, PhD.
Many high glycemic foods – and the overeating of them – make you feel sleepy
Have you ever been at Thanksgiving dinner, eaten a large plate of food, and then proceeded to collapse on the couch? The reason for this is that high glycemic, carb-heavy foods like mashed potatoes cause a release in the chemical serotonin, and one of the effects of this chemical is to make you feel sleepy. So, the main message here is that if you ditch the high GI foods, you will often experience large energy drains much less frequently.
Another added effect of the very same Thanksgiving meal (or any meal that is heavy in carbs and calories), is that overeating will cause the same drain in energy. This has do with the amount of resources your body is dedicating to digest the large load of calories that you just input. The more calories, the more that is required for your body to process them.
A low glycemic diet, on the other hand, will often cause you to consume fewer calories because you are eating more vegetables. Vegetables, as everyone knows, have a high volume, but relatively low amount of calories. As a result, you wind up over-eating less often, because you’re enjoying meals that are satisfying but that don’t have an excessive amount of calories. This is not to mention the impact that slimming down will have on your energy level as well.
Weight loss makes people feel more energized
One of main reasons that many people turn to the low glycemic diet is that is can be beneficial for weight loss, especially for those who are overweight or who are struggling with obesity. For these people, after a certain amount of time eating low glycemic foods (and this time varies depending on the person’s genetics), you will eventually start to burn fat and lose weight. And the benefits of this to your energy level are obvious in the way you feel.
Exercising will be easier. Instead of carrying around those extra pounds of fat that are just weight you down, you’ll feel lighter and faster on your feet. And since you’ve been exercising, you’ll likely have more muscle mass, which will only magnify this effect. Similarly, you’ll get winded less quickly, and all those burning symptoms and difficulty breathing will be much less of a factor, not just when exercising, but throughout your day to day life.
This is one of the best reasons for adopting the low GI diet. You don’t need scientific studies to tell you that you feel 100% better. And if you stick to this way of eating, at some point, you will feel more energized and want to keep doing what you’re doing, independent of any other health benefits it will give you.