The G.I. Diet Clinic
By Rick Gallop
Workman Publishing Company, Inc. (2008)
Reviewed by Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N
Stop counting calories and measuring your food. Just eat the foods in the green-light column and watch the weight drop. The third book of the G.I. Diet series, The G.I. Diet Clinic explains how the diet works and shows how to make the G.I. plan a lifetime eating plan.
Synopsis of the Diet Plan
The G.I. Diet is based on a color-coded system. Readers are discouraged from ever eating red foods (or foods with a high Glycemic index), only eating yellow foods after achieving their goal weight and eating green light foods anytime (foods with a low Glycemic index).
Nutritional Pros and Cons
The premise of the book is based on the Glycemic index and the application of the Glycemic index is controversial among medical experts. However, whether you agree with the Glycemic index or not, the meal plans and guidelines are presented well and should produce weight loss for most people following the diet. Its practical and easy-to-follow manner easily categorizes foods for a dieter.
While some "red-light" foods, such as melons, are not unhealthy or high in calories but are restricted because of their high Glycemic index, most of the foods on the green and yellow lists are appropriately placed for weight loss. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins and healthy fats are emphasized, while refined grains and foods high in added sugars are limited or eliminated.
The book offers guidelines for portion control for some foods, but most foods do not have a portion limit so some dieters may still consume too many calories without concrete recommendations.
The author takes readers through a 13-week journey with each week focusing on a different area of weight loss. Stories from actual followers of the diet are included -- which could be relatable for people struggling to lose weight -- in addition to modification strategies to cope with emotional eating, eating out and other scenarios.
The author is not a big supporter of exercise during the weight-loss phase but does recognize the benefit of exercise in helping to maintain weight loss and for the health benefits.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics doesn't subscribe to the Glycemic index theory for weight loss; however, I think the average reader would still find success by following the otherwise relatively balanced diet outlined in the G.I. Diet Clinic. The combination of insightful tips and encouraging comments from fellow dieters really helps, but, readers should add more exercise during both the weight-loss and maintenance phases.