The South Beach Diet - What Can You Expect In It

By: lynter
The book entitled 'The South Beach Diet' incorporated the diet strategy formulated by the cardiologist, Arthur Agatston. Its name comes from the fact that he was working in Miami, Florida when he wrote it. It has since become a successful diet plan for millions of women around the world.

Why is this diet different?

The main emphasis of the South Beach Diet is on losing weight while still eating a healthy and balanced diet. Certain types of carbohydrates and fats are required by the body while others result in weight gain. By focussing on the useful carbohydrates and fats you not only lose weight but also lower your cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol levels can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and other heart diseases. Consuming too many bad carbohydrates has been linked to diabetes. The diet aims to reduce the cravings for foods that contain these bad carbohydrates and fats.

Unlike the Atkins Diet, which cuts out all carbohydrates altogether, the South Beach Diet places the emphasis on eating the right types of carbohydrates. This includes plenty of vegetables as well as allowing lean meat.

The diet may sound simple enough but it needs a lot of will-power and the desire to succeed. As easy as it sounds, this diet does require a lot of determination and self-motivation.

The three stages of the South Beach Diet

The diet plan has three distinct stages. Each one has a specific goal.

* Stage One

This is the first and the most regimented of all three stages of the diet plan. It spans the first two weeks and is the only stage that specifically prohibits the consumption of certain foods. It is this that many people find difficult to adhere to but, if successful, a person can expect to lose between 8 and 13 pounds by the end of the two weeks. It also acts as a detoxification period which makes the body healthier.

The banned foods include full fat cheese, fruit juices, fruit, beef rib steaks, honey-baked ham, yogurt, pasta, rice, oatmeal, bread and other starchy foods. These are compensated for by the foods that are allowed to be eaten in regular amounts.

Shellfish, fish, chicken, turkey and other lean meats as well as nuts, vegetables and eggs are on the approved list. The idea is to eat three decent meals a day to lessen the amount of cravings between meals.

* Stage Two

After the first two weeks, some of the foods that were previously prohibited are now able to be eaten. These are specifically the high-fiber carbohydrates found in whole grain bread, for example. These help promote the production of insulin in the body.
Low fat dairy products and some fruits are also back on the menu.
There are limits set on the amounts of certain items including potatoes, honey, watermelon and some refined wheat-based foods. Red wine is also allowed in small amounts. Stage Two is considered complete once you have attained your ideal weight. Then it is on to Stage Three.

* Stage Three

The final stage of the South Beach Diet is dedicated to ensuring that the weight loss achieved is maintained. This is why the diet is seen as a change of lifestyle and not a simple plan to lose weight quickly.

The emphasis is on staying healthy and preventing any weight gain. All cravings for foods high in empty carbohydrates or fats should have subsided. If the pounds do start to creep back up then the diet can be restarted from Stage One.

Are there any drawbacks of the diet?

As with any diet, the initial dramatic weight loss most women experience on the South Beach Diet is largely due to water loss. This excess water was being retained in the body by the carbohydrates in foods that are prohibited in Stage One. Once you are free to eat these foods again there is the possibility that the water retention will cause some weight gain.

Before beginning the South Beach Diet, as with any diet, it is important to consult with your medical practitioner.

Summary:

The South Beach Diet is dedicated to ensuring that the weight loss achieved is maintained. This is why the diet is seen as a change of lifestyle and not a simple plan to lose weight quickly. The emphasis is on staying healthy and preventing any weight gain.
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