The hourglass diet is designed to shrink fat from your muffin top—your waist. It highlights lean proteins and low glycemic index foods that will burn fat, resulting in a more attractive, slimmer body. Although, on the surface, it appears that the hourglass diet places more emphasis on improving the way you look, it does promote health benefits such as lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Foods High on the Glycemic Index
Foods high on the glycemic index are quickly digested. These foods release sugar into the bloodstream making you feel hungry faster. This sugar in our bloodstream is referred to as blood glucose and it is a source of energy. Once our energy needs have been met and our storage levels filled in our muscles and liver, excess glucose is converted to fat.
According to The George Mateljan Foundation, foods high on the glycemic index are white foods: potatoes, bananas and anything made with white flour and sugar. The glycemic index food pyramid is similar to the food pyramid. Eat sparingly high glycemic index foods—refined grains, such as white bread, rice, potatoes and sweets like cookies and cakes.
Foods High in Saturated Fats
The meat and potatoes diet and inadequate exercise have long been blamed for the widening of American's waist lines. Fried foods, hamburgers, chips and milkshakes are accused as the culprits. These foods are high in saturated fat and may be part of the cultural reasons why rates of obesity have increased. As of 2009, only two states, Colorado and the District of Columbia, had obesity rates less than 20 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Limit fatty cuts of meat such as steak. For some foods, such as chicken and turkey, you can trim the fat and skin from it before it is prepared. Processed meats such as bacon and hotdogs should not be eaten regularly. Eat infrequently creamy foods and whole-milk dairy products such as ice cream, sour cream and cheese.
Some Vegetables, Fruits and Grains
Potatoes are high on the glycemic index, but there are other foods that you should be cautious of on the hourglass diet. Whole-grain breads, fruits, starchy vegetables and legumes triggers the production of insulin, a hormone that helps get blood glucose into our cells to be used as energy. Heightened insulin levels cause increased appetite and obesity. For example, cooked carrots and beets may raise blood glucose levels. Couscous, raisins, watermelon and pineapple have high glycemic index values.
- The Worlds Healthiest Foods: What is the Glycemic Index?
- Healthy Kidz: The Glycemic Index Food Pyramid
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: U.S. Obesity Trends
- Discovery Health: Foods High in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol
- Fit and Healthy Online: Hourglass Diet
- The Daily Mirror: Mirror UK: The Hourglass Diet