21 Day Meal Plan

The MediterraneanI Diet Plan


Not all starchy foods release glucose (sugar) into the blood stream at an equal rate... This is the reason for feeling hungry sooner, after eating two slices of toast for breakfast, than after eating High Fibre Bran or Fibre Plus and milk.

One way to control fluctuations in blood sugar levels is by consuming low-GI carbohydrates. The GI is an index with which carbohydrate rich foods are measured  assigned on a scale from 0 to 100  which also reflects their influence on blood sugar levels.

Low GI foods cause slower rise in, and more sustained sugar levels. Foods with a GI of 0 to 55 are known as low GI foods, those with a GI of 56 to 69 are known as intermediate GI foods and foods with a GI of 70+ are known as high GI foods. Sugar free food doesn't necessarily have a low GI rating and not all foods that contain sugar necessarily have a high GI rating.

For this reason all carbohydrate foods are tested on real people in order to calculate their GI. Foods with a low GI rating are viewed as fat burning foods and will provide you with a satiated feeling for longer. In this way, insulin levels stay lower and your body burns more fat for energy,  which is not the case when insulin levels are high. Therefore foods with a low GI rating are preferable.

Guidelines for the Low GI Diet Plan


  • Cut out any visible and non-visible fat form your diet (as far as possible). Remember that if you include carbohydrates into your eating program, you must eat low fat.
  • Eat foods with a GI rating of 55 or less. See Glycemic Index.
  • Eat small meals regularly. If your portions are too large you will not lose weight.
  • Drink enough water. It helps the body store carbohydrates as glycogen rather than fat.
  • Eat recommended portions. If you think you are still hungry wait fifteen minutes and see if the feeling persist. If indeed it does you may eat more vegetables.
  • Breakfast provides energy and kicks your metabolism into action so do not skip breakfast.
  • In the Beach Body Low GI Plan you can mix and match your menu. You will see the energy values for each meal on the eating plan. It is designed in such a way that if you mix and match, you will still fall in the 5000 to 5400 kJ range. EXCEPT Sundays. Sunday's meals should not be mixed and matched with other days. You can still replace the protein with a different type of protein and replace the carbohydrates with something else on the Glycemic Index; otherwise you need to follow a different menu on a Sunday.
  • You can exchange foods in the same food group, for example protein with another protein, such as swapping a chicken breast with lean beef. Use the Glycemic Index if you want to exchange carbohydrates, and choose carbohydrates from the Low GI category.

Tips


  • Sugar and honey: Try to cut sugar from your eating plan! Sugar is not Low GI and it causes fluctuations in one's blood sugar levels, which in turn causes you to feel hungry all the time. Rather use healthy sweeteners such as Stevia or Xylitol. Honey possesses many health benefits, but eat it in moderation if you are trying to lose weight. At times there will be honey during the breakfast part of the eating plan but do not eat more honey than this every day. One teaspoon honey is equivalent to 92 kilojoules; one teaspoon sugar 67 kJ; one teaspoon Xylitol 40 kJ.
  • Yogurt: you can eat low fat fruit yogurt if it does not contain added sugar. Read the nutritional value on the back. If it is artificially sweetened it will be lower in kilojoules. I prefer plain yogurt because it is healthier than sweetened fruit yogurts since it does not contain preservatives or colourants.
  • To lessen kilojoule intake, use fat free or skim milk for your breakfast cereal and then one can enjoy low fat milk (2%) with one's coffee or tea.
  • Try to cut out margarine. A alternate option for your bread or provitas is Hellmans Lite mayonnaise or low fat cheese spread.
  • Fat burning soup: If you get hungry during the day, you can have some of the fat-burning soup (see Recipes). It is very low in kilojoules and has many health benefits. If you are a person with a high muscle percentage you can have an extra fruit/ yogurt/ 3 provitas each day, as those with a higher muscle percentage tend to become hungry more often If you do not see any weight loss then it is better to remove the extra snacks.
  • Fruit: What size is a portion of fruit? One portion of fruit should fit into the palm of your hand while your fingers are almost touching. One portion is two or more small fruits, for example two small prunes, two small apricots, 3 or 4 strawberries or 8 - 10 small grapes. Medium-size fruits: one portion is one fruit, such as an apple, small to medium banana, pear, orange, or nectarine. Large fruits: one portion is half a grapefruit, one slice papaya, one slice sweet melon, one large slice pineapple or 2 smaller slices(it should fit into the palm of your hand if cut into small pieces), or 2 slices mango (5cm slices).
  • Coffee and tea: You may drink 4 cups of tea or coffee every day. Note, that there is an additional cup of milk allocated for this daily. If you do not drink coffee or tea you can eat an additional daily 100ml yogurt.
  • What to drink: Drink LOTS (6 - 8 glasses) of water. It is exceptionally good for you and can aid in weight loss. See my detox water recipe in Recipes. You can also drink artificially sweetened cold drinks in moderation; green tea, coffee, tea. Alcohol will make you hungry. Be wary of not consuming alcohol on a regular basis if you want to lose weight. If you drink a glass of alcohol you will have to cut one carbohydrate out of the menu for the day.

Glycemic Index of Low Fat Foods


Try to only choose Low GI carbohydrates. Foods or drinks with an intermediary or high GI can be consumed within 30 - 60 minutes of exercise, if longer than a half hour. Diabetics should not eat any high GI carbohydrates. Use the Glycemic Index of low fat foods below to make informed choices when you eat carbohydrates.

Download the Glycemic Index

For a full list of foods, visit the GIFSA website at gifoundation.com