5 Simple Rules to Beat Hunger

Actually, one rule will do: Lower each meal’s overall score on the glycemic index (GI) — an indication of how quickly a meal drives up your blood sugar — and you’ll feel full longer. The index ranks foods against glucose, a sugar that scores 100. Under 50 is considered low; 50 to 70 is medium; over 70 is high. The foods’ scores are in parentheses below; for an expanded list, see The Glucose Revolution Pocket Guide to Losing Weight, written by leading GI researchers.


  • 1.

    Be Wary of White

    Be Wary of White
    Such as white bread (73), bagels (72), Cream of Wheat (70), doughnuts (76) — just about anything made with white refined flour. Ditto for high-sugar products such as Pop Tarts (70), colas (65), and sweet cereals (85). Also troublesome are white veggies and grains such as instant rice (72), baguettes (95), french fries (75), baked potatoes (85). Try new potatoes (57) instead.  There are exceptions to the white rule, including dairy products (40 or less), and most pasta (40 to 50).

  • 2.

    Eat Healthy Fat

    Cook with olive and canola oil, snack on nuts, and make sandwiches with cheese, peanut butter or avocados. Also good is lean protein such as beans, fish, chicken, lean cuts of beef, and some luncheon meats. (All of these score low.)

  • 3.

    Eat Fiber

    That means whole-grain breads (53), long-grain or brown rice (55), vegetables (most score low), fruit (unsweetened and unjuiced, it’s fine).

  • 4.

    Snack Smarter

    Skip jellybeans (80), Skittles (69), Lifesavers (70) in favor of Peanut M&M’s (33), Snickers (55), Twix bars (44) or milk chocolate (34). For salty snacks, pass on the corn chips (72), pretzels (81) and rice cakes (77) in favor of a handful of nuts, another low scorer.

  • 5.

    Think Balance

    Having a baked potato on the side won’t hurt if it’s served with a salad and salmon. It’s the overall score of your meal that counts.

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