About the GI diet (also known as the South Beach Diet)

The GI Diet (sometimes known as The South Beach diet) is based on the consumption of foods with a low value on the Glycaemic Index, hence “GI” – it has nothing to do with the military or little plastic men. It encourages practitioners to choose foods with a low GI rating – the system which determines how quickly foods affect blood sugar levels in the body – and is marketed as a lifestyle change, rather than a diet.

Typical Daily Menu:

Breakfast: Porridge made with water and cinnamon

Lunch: Tomato and basil soup

Dinner: Pork skewers with ginger pumpkin mash


Foods with a low glycaemic index are digested more slowly, leaving you feeling fuller for longer despite consuming fewer calories.

The GI diet is something of a misnomer, as you’ll be encouraged to adopt this approach to eating for the rest of your life. If you obey this principle, you shouldn’t experience any rebound weight gain as a result of returning to your former ways, as many do after dieting.


The GI index can be misleading, as foods with a high GI are not necessarily unhealthy and the reverse is also true. For example, watermelon and parsnips have a high GI value, but chocolate cake has a lower GI value – which would you choose?

Some foods which are high in fat, such as crisps, have a low GI value due to being cooked in fat, which slows the absorption of carbs in the body. If you’re not on the ball, it can be very easy to embark upon an unbalanced diet while following the principles of GI.

It means learning the GI values of foods which can be confusing, and it’s easy to make mistakes.

Further Information

Discuss this diet or ask for help getting started.

List of GI values of foods

Read about other popular diets in our guide to diet plans for men