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Green Light/Red Light — The Simple Plan

Good morning!  Are you ready to get down to brass tacks about how to start giving your autopilot the right message?  Ready to start losing the pounds and feeling stronger and more energetic? That’s where we are headed.  We’re talking today about the glycemic index.

So how do you start a low glycemic eating plan?  It’s easy!  Well, you can make it hard if you want to.  I personally am not a number person and I don’t like to add up and keep track of either calories or index numbers — and I REALLY don’t want to do it forever.  But, if you are a number person and need that kind of structure, you can certainly do it if you want.

I love the red light/green light system.  Some foods are “green light” foods. They are low glycemic and won’t cause your blood sugar to spike.  Your auto pilot won’t send out the message to your pancreas to pump out insulin to let the sugar into the cells and your body won’t get the message from the insulin messenger to “store fat.”  You want to base your meals and snacks around these green light foods.  They have a glycemic index of 55 or less.


However, keep in mind green light doesn’t mean free food.   You can’t eat all you want until you are stuffed.  That’s true with some of the foods, but some, particularly those in the bread category, can become high glycemic if you eat too much of them.

Other foods are in the yellow category.  Go slowly on these.  Too many and you are in trouble!  They can be part of your daily meal plans — but overdoing on these can sabotage your weight loss.  These have a GI number of 56 to 70.

You can guess what the red light foods are.  They have a number above 70.  These are foods that are easily digested and dump masses of sugar quickly into your bloodstream.   They don’t just add calories, but tell your body to pack on the pounds — which isn’t exactly the message you want to give it!


A red light doesn’t mean never-ever.  It’s just a good idea to stop and think about before you put it in your mouth.  Is it really worth it?  You won’t feel as well after you eat it.  You will be sad to think of your body getting that wrong message.  But, if it is really worth it, enjoy it. Savor every small bite.  Don’t ruin the pleasure by feeling guilty.  Just resolve to pass the next time and go take a walk.  And don’t take seconds. Or thirds. Or — well, you get the picture.

Most of your meals and snacks should consist of green light foods, with yellow light foods in a balance and, once in a while, a red.  You will be eating meats and vegetables with some fruit and whole grain breads and some interesting and surprising additions. That doesn’t sound too difficult or depriving, does it?  It’s not.  It’s something you can do for the rest of your life.


Here’s a more detailed explanation of the plan and a list of foods to make it easy for you. Click here to read about low glycemic foods and the Green Light/Red Light eating plan.

Eating to live and living for Christ,

Susan Jordan Brown


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posted May 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

Glad to have you onboard! I’ve posted the green light/red light lists in several posts. And I’m looking for a way to make them easier and more accessible. You can also check in the library or at your local book store for books with lists. I recommend the ones by Jennie Brand-Miller and Thomas Wolever. They are the doctors and experts. You can Google the glycemic index, too, and will get lots of hits.

Unfortunately, the GI numbers are not listed on food labels here. I gather that they list them routinely in Australia. For now, about all you can tell is what is NOT low GI. If it has a high carb number and sugar in the double digits it’s pretty safe to leave it alone.

I hope you follow my blog for more info and lots of encouragement!

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posted May 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I want to start right away…how do I find out
the glycemic index of foods? Can we do a calculation from
the food label?

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April Brown

posted May 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Sounds like a good plan. Thanks for making this blog.

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