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Newbie to GI diet - help!


Full Member
S: 18st0lb C: 17st0lb G: 10st0lb Loss: 1st0lb(5.56%)
Hi all,

I've tried and failed with the Slimming world diet and following a reduced / low carb diet. The dietician at the hopsital said to have half my plate vegs, 1/4 protein, 1/4 carbs and to choose lower GI options.
I've bought the Collins Gem GI lists book but I'm a bit confused. If its green can I eat as much as I like? What abour orange and red items - how much can I eat of those? I'm lost and need help!


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Paleo maintenance rocks!
S: 200lb C: 137lb G: 150lb BMI: 20.8 Loss: 63lb(31.5%)
Hi Jeg and welcome! :) I am also a convert from SW, it worked for me for a few months but not after that.

Your dietician's advice is sound and those are good proportions to follow so that you don't have to weigh and measure everything. I don't have the Collins Gem book (it sounds like it doesn't have much introductory information!) but usually the traffic light systems are:

green - eat as much as you need to

yellow/orange - eat occasionally/in moderation

red - avoid except for very rare occasions.

There's an explanatory chart here:

The GI Diet - Glycemic Index Traffic Light Food Chart

and a useful overview (with a link to a sample day's menu at the bottom) here:

GI Diet Report

The focus is on eating more 'good' low GI carbs (green) and avoiding higher GI carbs (yellow/red).

I would say that regarding your question of whether you can eat as much as you like of green foods, I have found GI to be different to SW in this regard. On SW you are encouraged to eat a lot of food whereas on GI you are encouraged to eat 'enough' food in 3 meals and 2-3 snacks in order to keep your blood sugar stabilised (which is one of themain points of low GI). Carb portions (rice, pasta, sweet potatoes etc) should be limited to recommended low GI serving sizes.

If you're after a really simple intro to low GI eating, I rate Rick Gallop's GI Express Diet book highly. He also uses a traffic light system (so you can get use out of your Collins Gem book) but also gives suggested portion sizes for carb foods and simple meal ideas and quick recipes. You might be able to find this in your local library if you don't want to buy any more books. Also, everyone here is really helpful so just ask any questions you might have or peek in our diaries to see what we're all eating. :)


Paleo maintenance rocks!
S: 200lb C: 137lb G: 150lb BMI: 20.8 Loss: 63lb(31.5%)
Also, although I don't think calorie counting is necessary for most people on a low GI diet, some of us have found it helpful to work out our daily calorie needs and then track calories for a short period when starting this new way of eating, to ensure that we're neither eating too much or too little. This gives a good idea of what size meal/snack portions are right for you individually so you can then carry on without counting. :) If you want to go down this route, two good sites are:

BMR Calculator - to calculate your daily calorie needs and goal amount to lose weight


Free Calorie Counter, Diet & Exercise Journal | MyFitnessPal.com - to track food
S: 179lb C: 158lb G: 130lb BMI: 25.5 Loss: 21lb(11.73%)
Hi Jeg57. Welcome to the GI section. I'm not too familiar with the traffic light system of GI. But I'm sure that green light means low GI.

Green leafy veggies are something you can eat a lot of and it has very low GI/GL and calories. So it's pretty guilt free and helps makes the tummy feel full. I enjoy often times a half a plate topped high with fresh spinach, rocket, green lettuce, etc. I usually top it with lemon juice or with salad seasoning and little olive oil.


Full Member
S: 18st0lb C: 17st0lb G: 10st0lb Loss: 1st0lb(5.56%)
Thank for the help - going to Amazon now to look for the book!

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