What is The South Beach Diet?
The South Beach Diet was created over 20 years ago by Dr. Arthur Agatston and Marie Almon. Dr. Agatston, a cardiologist, and Almon, a registered dietician, combined their expertise to create a diet that promoted a healthy heart, and a smaller waste-line.
This diet plan rose to fame in 2003 after Agatston released a book by the same name. Since then, the diet has caught on like wild fire with anyone who has wanted a healthier life, or to shed a few pounds.
How Does The South Beach Diet Work?
The South Beach Diet has 3 phases, and most report losing 8-13 pounds in the first 2 weeks of the diet. And the best part of all is that there is no calorie counting involved.
Phase 1: Getting Started
Instead of caloric deficit, that’s more energy spent than energy (i.e. calories) consumed, the South Beach Diet’s focus is to bring one into a state of ketosis. This is where the body doesn’t receive enough carbs to keep burning glucose, so it begins to burn ketone bodies for fuel by breaking down fat.
To achieve ketosis, a list of foods one should and shouldn’t eat is given below:
– Lean meats and fish like Chicken, Turkey, Salmon, Tuna, Shellfish, etc.
– Low carb vegetables like Broccoli, Lettuce, Kale, Asparagus, Cauliflower, etc.
– Foods low in saturated fats, but high in other fats like Avocados, Low Fat Dairy (max 2 cups per day), Nuts, Olive Oil, etc.
– Eggs, Soy Products, and Legumes are allowed as well.
Foods to avoid for these first 2 weeks include:
– Fruit or Fruit Juice
– Whole grains like Rice, Bread, Oatmeal
– Sugar, or any food with Added Sugar
– Starchy Vegetables Like Pasta, Potatoes, and Sweet Potatoes
– Alcoholic Beverages
Though it may seem overwhelming at first to not be able to eat some of these foods, one should focus instead on adding foods they enjoy that also fall within the parameters of the above list.
Phase 2: Reintroducing Some Carbs
At the beginning of week 3, one can begin to slowly reintroduce carbs back into their diet. Whole grains in moderation is fine, but one should limit themselves to 1 serving of whole fruit a day. A little wine at this point is also acceptable, with emphasis on “a little.”
Where as in Phase 1 you might not have been able to make it through the day without snacking here and there, now snacking should feel completely optional.
The most important part of this phase is to listen to one’s own body. If one eats more carbs but ceases to lose weight, they should back off the carbs a bit until results appear again.
You should monitor their progress with an accurate scale. They say that what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get managed. It is in this phase where the majority of the weight should be dropped. After hitting one’s desired weight, it is then time to begin Phase 3 of the South Beach Diet.
Phase 3: Maintaining the Lifestyle
Phase 3 lasts as long as one wants it to. Another week, another year or one might even feel good enough as to eat this way for the rest of their life. Once into Phase 3, no longer does one have to think to their self “I can never eat this or that again.”
In fact, Dr. Agatston recommends to not “think of a particular food as off-limits, just use good judgment and portion control.” However, Dr. Agatston also recommends eating 3 servings of fruit a day at maximum.
He says a max of 4 servings per day of starchy foods is fine so long as they mainly come from vegetables. And finally, Dr. Agatston reminds everyone that they should make sure they are getting their fat from “high-quality sources.”
Anyone would be hard pressed to call Phase 3 of this diet restrictive by any means. Phase 3 is really about not going overboard on the carbs.
Should You Buy South Beach Diet?
The term “diet” has come to be thought of as one refraining from eating pleasurable foods and starving themselves in order to lose weight, but one need not go hungry on the South Beach Diet.
This diet differs from most other weight loss diets in that it doesn’t restrict the amount of fat that one can eat. Contrary to popular belief, it is the addition of these healthy fats that help one to lose weight so quickly.
Of course, it is always a good idea to get the advice of one’s own doctor before starting any new diet. Doing a little research oneself couldn’t hurt either. The South Beach Diet appears to be a great investment for anyone who is interested in living a healthier lifestyle and shrinking their waste-line.
Have you tried the South Beach Diet before? Thinking about doing it again or trying it for the first time? We want to know what you are thinking! Please leave a comment down below.