on February 21, 2005
(See update at the end of the review)
First, I just have to say thank you to all of those who wrote reviews before me. It was reading through all your comments and that helped me decide to give one more diet a try.
(I got both books, The GI Diet and Living the GI Diet, which has a lot more recipies in it, and some of the ones I mention here are from that edition) Now, regarding the books and the diet: The books are set up in such a way that they are extremely easy to follow. I love the red, yellow, and green light idea for the various foods listed. The only part that is a little confusing at first is the portion size, but once you get used to not having to measure everything you eat, it is great! This book lists portions as how much of the plate it fills: 1/4 for meat, 1/4 for pasta, rice etc, and 1/2 for fruits and veggies. Now how much easier can that be? Sure, there are some things that you have to be more precise with, but not that many. The recipe sections are set up by categories that are very easy to follow. So far I have tried only a few of the recipes. I work very late hours, so there isn't time for serious cooking on work nights. Mom and I do meat and veggie meals, or a little wheat pasta with veggies and cottage cheese usually on those nights. But on my three days off we cook. Most recipes make enough servings that we can have leftovers the next day, or freeze the extra for meals when you need something quick. The recipes we have tried so far are fantastic! They don't even taste like you are on a diet. Three of our favorites are the Lazy Cabbage Rolls, Hunter Chicken, and Meat lasagna. Makes your mouth water just remembering how good it all was.
So, how is it working, you might wonder? Mom and I have been on the diet for three weeks. So far Mom has lost 8 pounds and I have lost 10. We have both lost over 2 inches from our waist measurements. Sure, we are just beginning, and most people can stick to a diet for that long, but honestly,this is the easiest diet I have ever done, and by far the most effective. I don't feel deprived of anything (with the exception of a nice big Hershey bar <G>), but I am learning that I don't need one. My energy level is higher and doesn't flucuate through the day like it did before when I had sudden peaks and dips in my blood sugar. Now, it stays level all day, and I don't feel like I am going to fall asleep at my computer at work.
Anyone who is considering starting a new diet should consider this one. You'll be glad you did!
(Update) I've been on the diet now since February 1, 2005, and I have lost just under 50 pounds. I admit I wasn't as strict with it over the summer since it gets too hot in our house to do much baking or cooking of things that take very long to prepare, but I didn't gain back a pound over those three months that I was a little lax. We just ate simpler meals, stuck strictly to the whole grain and no sugar rules and I maintained my loss through those hot months. Now that it is moving into cooler weather again, I am anxious to get back in the swing of things. Oh, by the way. I have gone from a size 28 to a size 22. My goal is to reach a size 16, which is small enough for me since I am nearly six feet tall. <G> My mother has gone from a size 22 to a size 16 and is aiming for a size 12. She's maintained her loss through the summer and even managed to drop 3-4 pounds during those hot months. This really is the easiest, and the best, diet I have ever tried and it has become a lifestyle change that I know I can stay with even once I reach my goals.
on July 7, 2005
I purchased this book for a family member because it focuses on pursuing a low-sugar diet. I've read a lot on nutrition and after finding out how much of an impact refined sugars have on our bodies, in the form of extra fat and also in the form of a lowered immune system, I started reading this book myself, and now its my Bible. Its absolutely amazing, I'm a 19 year old college student, never dieted before, following these easy to decipher green, yellow, and red light precautions for food. Many surprises in this book, for me anyway- some foods that I thought were great for my health really aren't, and vice versa...did you know dark chocolate has a relatively low glycemic index? How cool is that??
I know many diets that claim, "This is not a diet, but a way of life." The truth is, any diet is a way of life, and restricting certain foods completely from any diet is usually fruitless. This book doesnt do that- it merely gives you indispensable information about what you are putting into your body so as to keep you healthy and vital forever. It even has a GI shopping list inside of it- some of the foods on it are impractical if you don't live near a health food store or want to spend a lot of money, but many of the foods are easy to find and inexpensive. Take a look at some of the good, healthy recipe this book offers as well.
I'd also recommend a website, called the World's Healthiest Foods, where you can take a quiz about how much you eat certain foods, and it will tell you what nutritiets may be lacking in your diet and how to supplement them. Happy reading!
on December 28, 2005
The thing about diets is that any "diet" you adopt for some specific, finite purpose (e.g. "I will eat a low-carb diet until I have lost 20 pounds" or "I will reduce my intake of fat and sugar until my cholesterol levels improve") is that they assume your "diet" is temporary, and at some point (after reaching your goal, presumably), you can "go back" to eating "normally." Well, if eating "normally" resulted in your current physical condition, what do you think will happen when you resume eating that way? Hence the failure of most diets. The only way a diet is going to work for you permanently is if it can become your PERMANENT DIET, i.e., the way you eat for the rest of your life. So, who can follow a low-carb diet or a coconut diet or a no-sugar-or-fat-or-anything-tasty diet or eat supplements and prepackaged meals FOREVER? No one.
This diet you can follow permanently. Yes, it does mean giving up junk food and greasy, fatty foods or foods made mostly of sugar and starch (or at least, limiting them to the occasional cheat meal, and by OCCASIONAL I mean "every couple of months," not "a couple times a week"!). But if you're not prepared to cut McDonald's and Oreos and Haagen Daaz out of your life, or at least confine them to a RARE treat, then you're not prepared to lose weight permanently, because you'll never accomplish any serious weight loss goals eating that stuff, sorry. The thing is, the G.I. diet doesn't try to exclude entire arbitrary categories of food or tell you you can only eat foods from certain groups. Instead, it lists foods as "red light" (don't eat at all, except for those RARE treats), "yellow light" (indulge occasionally but don't make them a regular part of your meals) and "green light" (eat all you want).
Now, here's the thing -- While the G.I. diet is based on the "glycemic index," i.e., how fast different foods metabolize into sugar -- there is nothing magical about the "green light" foods. Any book on nutrition will tell you what's healthy to eat (fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lowfat/nonfat dairy, lean meats) and what's not (sugar, fatty meats, full-fat dairy, anything made of "enriched" white flour, which basically turns into sugar almost immediately upon hitting your bloodstream). So you can follow this diet without obsessing over the GI ratings of different foods. The red light/yellow light/green light system is a useful guide, so you know, for example, that bananas, while not "bad" for you, are "yellow light" because they have a much higher starch content, and apples or berries are a better choice. No surprise that bacon is "red light," but there are plenty of meats that are "green light," you just have to be choosy about both your selections and your portion sizes. (If you're a vegetarian or even a vegan, the GI diet will suit you fine too.)
Mostly what you will learn is the choices you should substitute for less optimal foods. Apples are better than bananas. Sweet potatoes are better than regular potatoes. Brown rice is better than white rice. Old fashioned oatmeal is better than "instant" oatmeal. Skim milk is better than whole milk. Canadian bacon is better than ham or regular bacon. White meat is better than dark meat, and tenderloin is better than flank or round steaks. Again, none of this is a mystery and there are no magical combinations to learn, but you have to be willing to make these kinds of substititions PERMANENTLY.
I've been following the GI diet for almost a year now, with very good results. I supplemented it with a serious exercise program, but on the other hand, I never followed the stricter "Phase I" portion of the diet (where you are supposed to eat nothing but "green light" foods). I've cut "red light" foods 99% out of my diet (I can't give up cream in my coffee) and "yellow light" foods make up less than 20% of my diet. I do not feel hungry or deprived, and I eat plenty of stuff I like.
There are several recipes in this book that work very well as meal staples. I use them repeatedly, week after week. "Living the GI Diet," by the same author, is basically a GI Diet cookbook with many more recipes, also worth getting.
on August 20, 2005
I am a member of Weight Watchers since January 1979. I lost weight and kept it off until 1993 when I had my last child. I kept all the weight I gained during this last pregnancy. I was at 200 lbs and am 5'5" tall. This same weight stayed with me until 2003. I was going through menopause so I began HRT (hormone replacement therapy). Being older my metabolism really slowed down, so I added more weight to my body. I got to 223 lbs and I began to panic, since both my sisters are Type 2 diabetics and are morbidly obese. My own BMI is over 30.
I am on medication for HBP and recently was diagnosed with diabetis too. My regiment is diet and exercise and glucose monitoring once a day.
Since I am a weight watcher, I began my program to lose my weight again. I kept a food journal and added walking 2 miles 4 days a week to my regiment. I was losing weight the healthy way (1 - 2 lbs a week), but after 4 months, my weight just stayed the same. I would lose 2 lbs and the next week gain them back. This cycle continued for about 6 weeks. I had already purchased the G.I. Diet but never read it. Imagine that... but when I decided to give this book a try, I was impressed so much by Mr. Gallop's writing and how it seemed that he was speaking to me and my way of life. I decided to try it, after all I am a lifetime member of weight watchers what could it hurt.
After being on this diet for 2 weeks, I lost over 3.5 lbs. My energy level is up and my mind is focused. I cannot believe how clear my mental well being is now that I am following this food plan. I love it and highly recommended this to both my sisters.
I will update later as I am so excited about these changes in my well being.
on February 25, 2003
Hi there my name is Chris and I would like to tell you a little bite about my life and the changes that this book has made in my life.
It was 6 month's ago that I purchased this book by Rick Gallop. I read the book, only the first phase as the book had told me to do. In the first phase it is all about losing the weight and how to go about it. It seemed to simple to work for me, I was 275 lbs and not at the gym at all. I decided to follow the books advice and give it a fair shot. I did have my doubts, thou I had to try something. It wasn't going to be easy I kept telling myself, which was, to me getting off on the wrong foot. Weeks went by and the weight just kept coming off. I couldn't believe what was happening to me and how easy this all was to do. It made perfect sense and believe me this is not what I consider a diet, but a change in lifestyle. Diets don't work, so a change in the way that you eat is the answer. Rick was right on the money as far as I am concerned, this really did work. I am still keeping to the lifestyle change and will never turn back. No-one can figure out how I did this amazing transformation from 275 lbs of fat guy to a very fit 200 lbs at 13% body fat muscular dude, in only 6 months. Trust me I tell everyone about this book and were they can get it. Those of them that have read the book all come to me and tell me it seems so easy and there going to give it a try. So now I have everyone at my gym getting this book and going for it. What a great feeling to see so many people, so happy about eating so much good food. Everyone used to think, to get fit you had to eat less, but let me tell you, you are what you eat, and eating more is the key, Rick will tell you that in this book. The right food at the right time is the answer, and lots of it. I like to use the term "FEED THE FURNACE". The body needs lots of the right food to get ride of the fat. Your workouts are important, but your eating habits are 75% of the battle. If you can't eat properly than the workouts WILL suffer, with out a doubt. So as an ending to this letter, go out and do yourself a favour and buy this book by Rick Gallop, you will not be sorry, since you are only investing in a very healthy future, for yourself and your family.
Sincerly and thankfully Chris Pare'
on December 19, 2005
I teach nutrition and I love this book. I think its focus on the GI is right on track with what people need to learn. Having said this, I think there are a few areas in which the book was a little misleading:
1. Body Mass Index (BMI). While Gallop criticizes traditional methods of measuring excess fat, he goes on to endorse the Body Mass Index (BMI) approach. The BMI only considers two inputs: weight and height and can therefore be wildly inaccurate in estimating body fat. On page 17, Gallop writes that, "if you are ... overly muscled (and you really have to be a dedicated bodybuilder to qualify), these numbers in all probability do not apply to you." There are many more people than Gallop suggests whose body compositions are not accurately estimated by the BMI. You're better off getting a body composition test done at a respectable health club, or buying a scale that incorporates body composition analysis.
2. Glycemic Load. I imagine that legitimate concerns about space limitations and simplicity had something to do with Gallop not discussing the Glycemic Load. By considering the density of a carbohydrate, glycemic load or GL (GL = GI (%) x grams of carbohydrates per serving) builds on the GI to provide a measure of total glycemic response to a food. Many of the foods (most notably fruits) that Gallop labels as those that should be avoided have very low carbohydrate density and therefore very little impact on blood sugar or weight gain. They offer excellent sources of micronutrients and antioxidants and should not be discouraged.
3. Benefits of Exercise. While Gallop acknowledges the long-lasting metabolic benefits of exercise and muscle development late in Chapter 8, most of his calculations related to weight loss from exercise do not take these metabolic benefits into account. It's worth noting that 5 pounds of muscle burns over 11,000 calories each year - that's over 3 pounds of fat.'
Despite these limitations, I think this is an excellent book that should be undestood by anyone interested in a sustainable and healthy approach to weight loss.
on January 13, 2004
I have never bought a diet book before and have never tried a specific dieting approach. The book is laid out in a way that is very easy to follow and provides lots of practical choices. I followed the G.I. Diet to bring my cholesterol down - not only did I completely surprise my doctor by bringing my cholesterol to a healthy level by my next checkup but I also lost 12 pounds and have lots of energy. I think one of the best things about this diet is that it is a sensible approach to healthy eating, not just a short term approach that will help you achieve a specific goal.
on January 27, 2005
I've bought at least 20 copies of this book for my friends and myself. I also gave a copy to the dietitian at the my gym, she thought it was teriffic. It's the same advice only made simple. No I'm not a health nut, I'm fat and need to fix it. The trouble with most diets is they're complicated ... and you get hungry. This book goes to extraordinary lengths to keep it the whole process simple, good foods (green) vs bad foods (red) and explains how to avoid getting hungry and blowing your diet. Need to take a break and eat out with friends? Go ahead, do it, just don't make a habit of it. It's a lifestyle change but one you can live with ... literally. My friend recommended this book highly [...]
on August 21, 2003
When My parents bought this book I thought well I could eat a bit healthier so I gave it a read and stated into it. Two months later and I have managed to loose 28lbs and I am continuing now to loose about a 1lbs every 3-4days.
There are enough suggestions in this book to keep meals from getting boring and since taking on this diet there has never been I time when I was hungry between meals or tempted to cheat on the diet.
on May 19, 2006
This is a book where the word 'diet' corresponds to the dictionary definition of 'a person's normal way of eating' - rather than simply a way of losing weight (although that is a natural side-effect). This is a book that is so practical that it would sit well as a standard text in every school in the country. Gallop emphatically DOESN'T want you to go out and buy branded products, supplements or strange ingredients. He DOESN'T insist on ridiculous food combinations, exclusions, point-counting, carb-counting, calorie-counting or complicated rules. This is a book for everyone, any age, any condition, who wants to eat more healthily.
Whereas many diet book authors fall into a rather unfortunate Messianic tone when putting their point across Rick Gallop's approach is more 'enthusiastic tutor'. He clearly explains the established biology behind the diet and how using GI principles will reduce cravings for sugary foods, tackle the problem of over-eating and improve your general health and well-being. His style is friendly and approachable and the content really doesn't claim to be ground-breaking or controversial in the slightest. Some looking for a dietary 'magic wand' might find this absence of smoke and mirrors disappointing - I found it immensely reassuring. Importantly, his recommendations are endorsed by the medical profession and the GI Diet is increasingly being advocated as a useful tool in the treatment of obesity, diabetes, PCOS, Syndrome X and insulin resistance.
Every home should have a copy.