The Low-GL Diet: Healthy and Effective

Patrick Holford Low GL programWith the over indulgence of the festive season looming, many people will embark upon a new year diet. According to the British Dietetic Association many  people will take bad weight loss advice from diets reported to have celebrity backing such as Party Girl’ IV Drip Diet and The 6 Weeks to OMG Diet.

For a healthy and effective diet, I suggest to follow the 3 week Low GL Diet by Dr Patrick Holford, leading British Nutritionist and author.

What is the Low GL Diet

The low-GL approach is  the easy way to achieve healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss, and more importantly, encourages you to eat a balanced diet at all times.


  • Within 3 days you will start to feel more energetic and relaxed
  • Within 7 days you will start to lose pounds as quickly as you’ll gain energy
  • In just 3 weeks you will feel close to 100% healthy

Why we get fat

Have you been trying to lose weight for some time? If so, you will already know  how hard it is to stay on a low-calorie diet, and the truth is that low-calorie diets don’t lead to a permanent  weight loss. This is because your body doesn’t run on calories but on glucose, which it needs for energy (just as a car needs fuel).  Your body gets that glucose from your food and mainly from starchy foods known as carbohydrates. The best source are vegetables, grains, sugars and fruits. When you eat more food than you need,  you produce more glucose than your body can use straightaway, and so the extra is stored and turned into fat.

The Low-GL diet makes sure you never have more glucose than you need – so there will be no extra to store as fat.

What Low-GL means

GL is short for ‘Glycemic Load’ and it is a unit of measurement, rather as pounds or kilos and calories are.  It shows how much carbohydrate there is in each food (and therefore how much glucose it will create and release into the bloodstream as blood sugar). It also show how fast the carbohydrates will break down into glucose (and therefore how quickly your blood sugar level will rise).

According to this, food is divided in:

  •   Low GL foods (GOOD, because glucose is released slowly): oatcakes, wholemeal bread, baked beans, wholemeal pasta, fish, white meat, eggs, milk, etc
  • Medium GL foods (Healthy in moderation, more likely to overproduce glucose): boiled potatoes, bananas, rice noodles, etc
  •  High GL foods (BAD, because glucose is realised quickly and they lead to food cravings): white baguette, muffins, cornflakes, couscous, all potatoes, honey, etc.

Low GL Weight Loss Menu

Sample of a daily low GL menu

  • Breakfast: Porridge
  • Snack: Fruit and yogurt smoothie
  • Lunch: Greek stuffed pita bread
  • Snack: pepper and cucumber crudités with hummus
  • Dinner: Sausages with sweet potato mash and onion gravy
  • Drinks: unlimited water, herbal teas, plus 1 glass of diluted juice

About Laura

I am passionate about healthy eating. I have a background and job in media & marketing but my interest in nutrition started in 2009 when I moved to London (from Italy). I enjoy cooking wholesome yet luscious treats for my family and friends and sharing recipes on my blog
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