Friday, January 15, 2016

The South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet is another low-carb eating plan. The thing that sets South Beach apart from the other low-carb diets is the fact that the South Beach plan limits carbohydrate intake, but also keeps control over fats by recommending lean meats and dairy products in place of the fat-laden options promoted in other low-carb diets.

In the mid 90s, Miami cardiologist Arthur Agatston developed the South Beach diet by focusing on eating the right carbohydrates and fats. The theory behind the South Beach programme is that controlling your blood sugar levels will enable you to better control your hunger.

The South Beach plan is divided into three general phases. Phase one bans most carbohydrates. Though reports vary, it is estimated that dieters can expect to lose between eight and 13 pounds during the first phase of the South Beach diet here.
   
Phase two of the South Beach plan involves reintroducing ‘good carbs’. South Beach defines ‘good carbs’ as those with a lower rank on the glycemic index. In the third phase of the South Beach diet, a wide range of ‘good carb’ and ‘good fat’ foods are gradually reintroduced to help sustain a healthy weight for life.

Though the initial phase of the South Beach diet is quite restrictive, the South Beach diet is generally thought to be flexible enough for the whole family to join in – meaning an easier ride for whoever is cooking the meals as there’s no need to prepare a separate dish for the dieter(s) in the house. The diet is thought of as easy to follow because South Beach doesn’t require calorie, carbohydrate or fat gram counting – rather, there is a list of ‘allowed’ foods and a list of ‘banned’ foods. South Beach dieters have three meals and three snacks a day, during which they can eat as much as they feel they need of any ‘allowed’ food for their particular phase.

South Beach operates on a very simple structure, with a few basic rules:

1. Eat three meals and snacks each day.

2. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

3. Take a calcium supplement.

4. Eat until you’re satisfied – portion sizes aren’t limited, but you are advised not to gorge yourself.

5. Monitor your saturated fat intake, and wherever possible, opt for monounsaturated fats.

6. Limited alcohol consumption is allowed after phase one, with a preference for wine over any other tipple.

7. No refined foods or sugars are permitted.

The critics claim that the first phase of the South Beach diet might leave participants feeling weak or lethargic, and point out the high potential for failure as the first 14 days require serious dedication and willpower. Other criticisms of the South Beach diet are that the recommended weight loss in the initial phase is dangerous, that the foods recommended in the South Beach diet is expensive and that there isn’t extensive research or support to back up the claims made in the diet as it is relatively new.

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