Learn more about GIFT Diet
GIFT Diet is a lifestyle and diet, conceived by Dr. Luca Speciani, MD and based on the most recent scientific evidence, which aims at making you healthier, with weight loss as a consequence.
GIFT is an acronym and it means Graduality, Individuality, Flexibility, Tone: gradually and taking in consideration the individuality of everyone and, without being too rigid, naturally improving the metabolism, the strength and the individual’s regeneration skills. Weight loss is just a consequence of the implementation of these principles.
GIFT Diet introduces several important concepts: from the absence of counting calories, by relying on our body’s finest ability to self-regulate itself, to the concept of the biological signals, which helps explain and understand why a behaviour is healthy and why another one is not, to the strong scientific foundation of each of its principles.
These are the general indications of GIFT Diet, which in no way replace or are equivalent to a doctor’s or a health professional’s prescriptions.
The Principles of GIFT Diet
How does it work?
GIFT Diet is based on a few simple rules.
Let’s focus in particular on: distribution of meals, what to do during meals, and how to behave between meals.
1. Meal distribution
- Three meals a day by following the single-plate distribution: 1/3 of carbohydrates (with starches), 1/3 of proteins, 1/3 of fruit/vegetables.
- Rich breakfast, sizable lunch yet less abundant than breakfast, light dinner.Dinner is normally an exception to the single-plate distribution (1/2 of proteins, 1/2 of fruit/vegetables).
The GIFT single-plate, thanks to the association between carbohydrates (starches), proteins, and fruit/vegetables, both stimulates our sense of true satiety and, at the same time, prevents strong insulin peaks (the GIFT principle of the “insulin quietness”).
The first biologic signal of the morning must be of satiety and abundance of resources. Therefore, there is no suppression of metabolism, which is a strong defensive survival mechanism in famine.
2. During meals
- No added sugar of any kind(some examples: glucose, sucrose, sucralose, syrup …)
- Using only whole wheat flour, never refined flours. Therefore whole wheat bread, pasta and pizza.Even special flours, such as spelled or kamut (although organic) are not whole grain unless explicitly written on the package.
- An adequate amount of protein
- Fats of good quality are not an issue, while harmful ones (like hydrogenated fats or fried oil) are forbidden
- It’s important to eat different foods if it is possible, so that the meal is not always the same
- Starting the meal with at least a few bites of the fiber part,if possible
- Chewing slowly and in depth, to avoid the distortion of the sense of hunger and fullness
Simple sugars and refined flours tend to stimulate glycemic peaks, followed by insulin peaks, promoting the deposit of fat and, in the long term, raising the risk of diabetes. Furthermore, they negatively influence the intestinal bacterial flora (microbiota).
The proteins are bricks of our body. In an inadequate protein diet it is easy to not have enough of what constitutes the foundations of our cells, our hormones, our muscles. The metabolism is also lowered. Furthermore, the GIFT single-plate is unbalanced.
Foods such as fried foods impair the body’s natural ability to burn fat and negatively affect the microbiota in a vicious circle.
Always eating the same meals raises the chronic inflammation of the organism, influences the microbiota negatively and promotes the development of food sensitivities, which are the concept that, in scientific terms, is working its way to replace the old concept of ‘intolerance’, which was missing a scientific consensus. Sometimes, a licensed health professional may advise to rotate between certain groups of foods in order to help the body lower its inflammatory response.
- You must never be hungry between meals. If you are hungry, it may be for three reasons:
- previous meal was underestimated (too small, increase portions)
- previous meal was unbalanced (the proportions of the GIFT single-plate were unbalanced, it usually happensfor excess of the carbohydrates portion)
- previous meal was qualitatively inadequate (such as the presence of forbidden foods, such as sugar, refined flours, sweeteners, etc.)
- The only snacks allowed are fresh fruit and vegetables, always free in quantity
- As a general principle, to practice a light physical activity, alone or in company at least three times a week
- Take some time for yourself, to relax, to breathe, to feel better, to do something that you love to do, alone or in company of others.
GIFT Diet aims stimulate and rebalance the metabolism in order to be healthy and to lose weight. That’s why hunger, a constant feeling in low-calorie diets, is a significant metabolic slowing factor which works in the opposite direction, as it is a sign of famine. The feeling of hunger of our body, if we follows the principles of GIFT Diet, can be the finest indicator of our caloric needs, which therefore should not be calculated, but felt.
Listen to your body, and then eat. Fruits and vegetables out of the main meals are great to calm the feeling of hunger, if you are close to the next meal. You absolutely should not be hungry all the time. But if I’m eating a meal and I’m still hungry even though I’ve followed all the principles, I’ve probably eaten too little, which means I should increase my meal next time.
If I have made mistake, and therefore I did not follow all the principles, it’s not an issue: just recognize the mistake and next time you’ll make it right. There are no unforgivable mistakes in the GIFT Diet: each of them is just another step toward healthiness.
Physical activity is a strong player in our health and psychophysical well-being. Physical activity should not be too intense, it should last between half an hour and an hour, at least three times a week (nearly every day would be best), as all this stimulates metabolism, promotes health and weight loss.
Certainly. Rediscovering serenity is the first, fundamental step in order to change your lifestyle. Mind and body are a whole. First be healthy, then lose excess weight.