What is the South Beach diet?
Most people are sick of trying new diets! What makes the South Beach Diet different is that it teaches a way of life where you rely on the right carbohydrates and fats. The South Beach diet is a low-GI diet, which was originally developed for heart patients in the United States. It’s a low-GI diet, with limited sugar and starch.
The plan became popular when cardiologist Arthur Agatston released his best-selling book The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss.
This way of eating allows you to live contently without eating the bad carbohydrates and fats. In contrast, when a person eats bad carbohydrates and fats they feel hungrier, causing them to eat more, which causes weight gain. In exchange for eating right, you become healthier and can enjoy an 8 to 13 pound weight loss in just two weeks!
The South Beach diet phases
The South Beach Diet was created by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a highly respected cardiologist, to work with your body safely and effectively.
This diet works in phases, the first two for a specific timeframe and the third phase for life.
With this new approach, you can stop counting calories, stop weighing food portions, and stop feeling as though you are deprived from eating good-tasting and satisfying food!
Actually, you will be eating three, normal-size meals and you will also get two snacks each day and with meal plans that are designed to be flexible, you can enjoy a variety, based on what sounds good to you on any particular day.
The South Beach Diet promises that you will see amazing results in a short amount of time.
Your hips, thighs, and stomach will be thinner, the number on the scales will go down, and all those overwhelming food cravings will be gone!
Just imagine losing weight while still enjoying many of your favorite foods. With the diet, you can dine on mouth-watering foods like Chicken en Papillote, Shrimp Louis, and even Chocolate Sponge Cake and still lose the weight!
You don’t calorie count or limit your portions on the plan, and dieters are encouraged to eat three meals and two snacks-a-day.
The emphasis is on eating high-fibre foods with lots of lean protein, while avoiding unsaturated fats and starchy carbs.
The first stage of the diet is designed for rapid weight loss, promising a shed of up to 13lb in the first two weeks. Reduce cravings for sugar and starch, and cut out nearly all carbohydrates to jump-start weight loss.
On the banned list is all pasta, rice, bread, fruit and alcohol.
Dieters focus on eating lean protein – such as seafood, skinless poultry, lean beef and soy products.
They can also eat high-fibre vegetables, low-fat dairy, and foods with healthy unsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds.
A typical day in Phase 1:
- Poached Eggs with spinach
- Omelette with smoked salmon
- Shrimp or scallop salad with an iced tea or sparkling water.
- Salad, chicken breast, soup
- Grilled tuna or pork, with grilled vegetables and a salad.
- Fish, chicken or lean meat, as much veg as you want, light dairy
- Ricotta cheesecake
SNACKS choose one
- Muenster cheese bites
- Low-fat cheese
- Roasted chickpeas
Begin to re-introduce wholegrain carbs such as brown bread, pasta and rice – as well as fruit and a more extensive list of vegetables.
Dieters should stay in this phase until they reach their goal weight.
The life-long diet phase. All foods can be eaten in moderation, as long as dieters continue to follow the basis South Beach principles.
South Beach Diet Tips and Guides
The SouthBeach Diet is different from the Atkins diet in that it is not a low carbohydrate diet.
Regardless of which phase you are currently in, you should follow these recommendations:
- Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water, decaffeinated beverages such as club soda, tea, coffee, or decaffeinated sugar-free soda every day
- Limit your intake of caffeine-containing beverages to 1 cup each day
- Take one multivitamin and mineral supplement daily
- Take 500 mg of calcium for both men and women under the age of 50, and 1,000 mg for women over the age of 50, each day
Eating can be both pleasurable and healthy as long as you eat the proper foods.
All the meals in the SouthBeach Diet consist of healthy combinations of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Dishes can be made by anyone and the ingredients can be found in most grocery stores.
These foods will satisfy your hunger without depriving your system of the low-quality starches and sugars that caused problems with your blood chemistry in the first place.
Is the South Beach diet safe?
The NHS warns: “The severe dietary restrictions of phase one may leave you feeling weak and you will miss out on some vitamins, minerals and fibre.
“You may initially experience side effects such as bad breath, a dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and constipation.”
None of which sounds particularly pleasant. The good news is, these negative side effects will only last for two weeks.
The British Dietitic Association (BDA) say that amount of weight loss promised in the first two weeks is ‘worrying’. The association also warns that some of the shed will be from carb and water weight, which will be put back on as soon as you start eating normally.