Created by Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist and Marie Almon, a dietician, the South Beach Diet was. The original goal for the diet was to help lower the risk of heart disease in those who are overweight, but due to the diet’s benefits and ease of weight loss, it quickly earned a reputation as a popular weight loss plan. The diet consists of three main phases. The first phase helps to jumpstart weight loss and eliminates cravings, the second phase is for those who have approximately 10 pounds to lose, and the third phase is designed for life maintenance. The diet is low carb but includes more healthy carbohydrates than you may find in other low carbohydrate diets. The first phase helps stabilize blood sugar levels and is a good choice for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or have been told by their health care provider that they are prediabetic. The South Beach Diet is considered a lifestyle rather than a temporary diet that one goes on for a limited time period.
One of the factors that makes the South Beach Diet a popular weight loss plan is that it does not focus on counting grams, carbohydrates, or calories. In fact, you will not need to worry too much about controlling portion sizes as you are allowed to eat large amounts of protein. Instead, the plan focuses on making healthy food choices and adhering to some basic principles inherent to the diet. Those on the South Beach Diet can enjoy eating a wide variety of delicious, nutrient rich foods. Just as you would check with your health care provider regarding any diet or weight loss plan, ensure that your health care provider is aware of your plans to begin the South Beach Diet.
The first phase of the diet focuses on eliminating insulin or blood sugar spikes, breaking a dependency on simple carbohydrates such as white sugar, white flour, and refined starches. The first phase of the South Beach Diet lasts for two weeks and though it is a short phase, it is the time when the most weight loss is experienced quickly. Phase one includes eating foods from a prepared list that includes lean proteins, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, eggs, low fat dairy, reduced fat cheese, olive and canola oil and unsaturated fat. During the first phase, you will avoid fruit, fruit juice, and whole grains. The weight lost during the first phase of the diet plan can be an emotional motivator that helps encourage users to continue on the diet plan.
The second phase of the South Beach Diet allows the user to enjoy more foods. In addition to the foods eaten on phase one, those who are on the second phase can enjoy foods considered as good carbohydrates. These include a wider range of vegetables including pumpkin, peas, and sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta and whole grain bread. It is during this phase that users can enjoy dark chocolate as well. There are a number of delicious meals, recipes, and desserts that may be enjoyed which makes the South Beach Diet seem far from a weight loss plan and more like an enjoyable way of life.
The third phase of the South Beach Diet takes place after a person has reached his or her goal weight and is for maintenance purposes. Those on the third phase of the diet continue to enjoy their newly found weight loss while ensuring they do not return to their negative eating habits. The South Beach Diet focuses on good, healthy carbs, rather than bad or negative carbs. It is important to remember that the South Beach Diet is not a fad diet but a lifestyle plan that removes unhealthy eating habits and replaces them with a nutrition plan that wards off obesity, and promotes heart health.