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The G.I. Diet: the Green-Light Way to Permanent Weight Loss (Revised and Updated With Forty New Recipes) [Paperback]

Rick Gallop
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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“Stick to this diet and the pounds should pour off.”
The Globe and Mail

"An inspired, realistic, uncomplicated, long-term approach to successful weight management...A simple guide to food choices, both at home and away, with easy to remember images, practical tips, tasty recipes and strategies for feedback and self-monitoring."
—Michael Sole, M.D., former Chief of Cardiology, Toronto Hospital

From the Back Cover

“Stick to this diet and the pounds should pour off.”
The Globe and Mail

"An inspired, realistic, uncomplicated, long-term approach to successful weight management...A simple guide to food choices, both at home and away, with easy to remember images, practical tips, tasty recipes and strategies for feedback and self-monitoring."
—Michael Sole, M.D., former Chief of Cardiology, Toronto Hospital

About the Author

Rick Gallop graduated from Oxford University and emigrated to Canada in 1964. After a twenty-year career in advertising and marketing, he joined the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario as president and CEO in 1986. During his tenure, the foundation became a major catalyst for behaviour and lifestyle change in Canada.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


It’s hard to ignore, especially as a cardiologist, the fact that obesity has ballooned into a crisis of epidemic proportions in North America. It affects one in three adults and one in four children and teenagers. In my own practice, I see a disproportionate number of patients who are overweight or obese, as obesity is a recognized risk factor for conditions that are the foundations for heart attack and stroke. Contrary to popular belief, abdominal fat is not merely a passive repository of excess weight; it is actively associated with hormones that endanger health. A waist circumference of greater than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women is associated with a high-risk profile for coronary heart disease.

Millions of people are on diets, spending billions of dollars on self-help, quick-fix books, weight loss programs, diet drinks and foods. The continued growth of the weight loss industry is assured since so many of these plans and practices fail in the face of unachievable expectations. Indeed, many dieters rebound to weights exceeding their original. Obesity is a chronic condition, and effective weight management requires a long-term behavioural strategy. The promises of easy weight loss diets are false and will not result in long-term success. The marked early weight loss seen in low carbohydrate diets, for example, is due to water loss with depletion of carbohydrate (glycogen) stores, not fat loss. Low carbohydrate diets are high in protein and fat and low in fibre and several important micronutrients; thus they provide no basis for long-term healthful eating and permanent maintenance of weight loss. These diets are associated with an increase in constipation and headache, and there is concern in the medical community that they pose an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The typical dieter is doomed to repeat failure because he or she chases the fantasy of a dream weight and a fast solution rather than learns from experience and finally confronts the reality of achievable, permanent weight loss. The laws of thermodynamics are irrefutable, even for dieters: to lose one pound of fat you must achieve a deficit of 3,600 calories.

Why read The G.I. Diet, another book on a long shelf of “New You” promises? If you want weight loss fiction, this book isn’t for you. The G.I. Diet is an innovative, realistic, uncomplicated, long-term approach to successful weight management. To create this diet, Rick Gallop has drawn on his long experience with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and its research and public education programs. He discusses the principles of nutrition and illustrates these with anecdotes and humour, which bring them alive and make them easy to digest.

Building on this practical knowledge, Rick then tackles the problem of weight loss as a long-term issue, leading you through the supportive elements of behavioural change, including the development of achievable specific goals: How much should I lose per week? Exactly how will I do it? If I fail one day, how do I respond? How do I cope with breakfast meetings, luncheon meetings, muffins in midday meetings, and then fast-food dinners or more formal dinners out? You only live once and food is one of life’s great pleasures. Counting calories is not a preferred option.

The G.I. Diet presents the reader with a simple guide to food choices, both at home and away, with easy-to-remember images, practical tips, tasty recipes and strategies for feedback and self-monitoring. The critical importance of exercise is also addressed. Finally, Rick Gallop has included an assortment of self-help weight loss tools — additions that the reader is certain to find useful.

With a heavy travel schedule, lunchtime meetings and dinners out, I must be continually vigilant about my weight. The principles and ideas described by Rick Gallop in this book have certainly been beneficial to me. The G.I. Diet charts a course that if followed will deliver its promise of permanent weight loss.

Michael J. Sole, BSC (Hon), MD, FRCP(C), FACC, FAHA
Former Chief of Cardiology, University Health Network
Professor of Medicine and Physiology
Founder of The Heart and Stroke, Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence, University of Toronto


I am so amazed and delighted by the number of people who have picked up The G.I. Diet, followed its advice and slimmed down to their ideal weight. In a world of fad diets and bad advice, hundreds of thousands of people have chosen the best and healthiest way to permanent weight loss — hooray! The book has become a national bestseller in Canada, the United States and Britain and is now available in over a dozen countries in ten languages. And every day I receive readers’ letters and e-mails telling me how much weight they’ve lost and how it’s changed their lives. This truly has been my greatest reward and satisfaction, because this is exactly what I set out to do when I first wrote the book: to help people get healthy and feel good about themselves.

I know what it’s like to be overweight and to try one deprivation diet after another with no success. Several years ago, as a result of a lower back disc problem, I had to give up my regular morning jog. Well, it didn’t take long for me to gain 22 pounds and — even worse for my vanity — 4 inches on my waist. As president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, my job was to raise funds for research into heart disease and stroke and to promote healthy lifestyle choices to reduce people’s risk for those diseases. And there I was, overweight myself! All of a sudden I had to practise what I had been preaching for ten years — a sobering experience. I tried about a dozen different leading diets, calculated calories, points, carbs and blocks, suffered hunger pangs, hallucinated about food, and never managed to lose those 22 pounds.

Luckily, when I was just about at the end of my rope, I happened upon a way of eating that changed my life. I finally lost the weight that had been plaguing me for so long, and it was a revelation. You can imagine how excited I was; I wanted to tell everyone about it, end their dieting frustrations forever and lower their risk for heart attack and stroke. I asked fifty volunteers to try my new-found weight loss solution. But after one year, only two of those volunteers had managed to stick to the diet. I was completely floored. I interviewed every one of the forty-eight volunteers to find out why they had dropped out. Everyone gave the same two reasons: 1) They felt hungry and deprived while on the diet; and 2) They hated having to count and measure calories, points and carbs. I realized that if I could eliminate those two obstacles, namely hunger and complexity, the diet would work for everyone.

The result was The G.I. Diet, and the question of whether it works has been answered by the tens of thousands of e-mails I’ve received. The overwhelming response encouraged me to write Living the G.I. Diet, which gives more tips on how to stick to the diet as well as over one hundred G.I. recipes from Emily Richards, the popular TV co-host of Canadian Living Cooks.

Since the publication of the books, more and more research has been done on the effectiveness of a low-G.I. diet. Recently, a Harvard study showed that in animal trials, those fed a balanced diet with high-G.I. carbohydrates gained more weight, doubled their body fat, and lost more muscle mass than those fed an identical diet with low-G.I. carbohydrates. The high-G.I. group also saw an increase in their blood sugar and a high likelihood of developing diabetes.

With all the new research and information coming in, I decided to write this new revised and updated edition. It includes new additions to the red-, yellow- and green-light food listings, forty new recipes, a meal planner and a host of personal stories to help motivate you with your own weight loss goals. I look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions through my Web site, www.gidiet.com.

The greatest dream in life is to feel you have made a difference to someone. I’d like to express my appreciation to those hundreds of thousands of readers who have made this dream come true for me!


Jambalaya is a traditional Cajun dish in which rice is used to sop up the rich juices of the stew.

2 tsp canola oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1/2 —inch cubes
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 /4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups chicken broth (low-fat, low-sodium)
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 can (796 mL) stewed tomatoes
1 can (540 mL) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 /4 cup brown rice
1 bay leaf
1 /4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the celery, garlic and onion and cook until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, thyme, oregano, chili powder and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
2. Add the chicken broth, green peppers, tomatoes, kidney beans, rice and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes or until the rice is tender. Let the dish stand for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Stir in the parsley before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Seafood Option: Add 8 oz of small raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
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