South Beach Diet
Invented by the cardiologist Arthur Agatston, the South Beach diet
is a three stage diet based on the idea of moving the food intake
in the direction of 'good' , and away from 'bad'.
'Bad carbohydrates', such as refined sugar and grain, are replaced
by 'good carbohydrates' like pasta and brown rice. Carbohydrate
sources are 'good' only if they have a low
glycemic index. The same applies to fats with the 'good fats',
like olive oil and omega 3 rich fish oil, replacing the unhealthy
trans-fats and saturated fats which make up a big part of the western
How does the South Beach Diet Work?
The South Beach theory proposes that the intake of 'bad' quickly
absorbed carbs causes a rapid high in blood sugar levels. The body
releases a surge of insulin to cope with this which reduces blood
sugar levels, leading to feelings of hunger and a desire for more
carbs within a relatively short time.
The reduced blood sugar levels can also make you feel tired and
listless and looking for the next 'high'. Hence the craving for
cakes chocolate and all the other sweet stuff we're trying to avoid!
Consult your doctor or medical professional before beginning
any diet or exercise plan.
The South Beach diet divides into three stages:
Phase 1 -The Induction Phase
This the stage where you get your body out of the sugar high-low
cycle and aim for a more regulated blood sugar level, which in turn
leads to a more consistent level of insulin production and the reduction
of hunger pangs. This stage gives a high initial weight loss but
can be difficult to follow as it bans pretty much all carbohydrates.
On the positive side, by the time you finish stage one, you should
be free of food cravings and you might have lost almost a stone...
Stage two begins two weeks after you start stage one and relaxes
the allowed foods a little. In stage two, you can eat good carbs
such as brown or wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, fruit
and veg. The secret to success in this stage is to re-introduce
the foods you are allowed in moderation - don't go mad and overdo
the pasta just because you are allowed some!
Phase 3 - Maintenance Phase
When you have reached your ideal weight and found the right balance
of carbs and fats which at you can maintain your desired weight,
you are in the maintenance phase.
It's given this name because in common with every other diet, you
can't just lose weight and then revert to your previous heating
habits without gaining the pounds again - the new slimmer you requires
foods does the South Beach Diet suggest?
A days eating
on the South Beach diet might look like this:
- Ham (or bacon) and eggs or
egg with salmon
- Grilled shrimps (or prawns) with veggies and salad or
- Garlic chicken with mushrooms and peppers or
- Lean steak and green salad
of the South Beach diet
The three stages of the South Beach diet make it easy to follow,
although the induction fortnight can require a little willpower
as you pretty much cut out the carbs. On the plus side, this can
give you significant weight loss in the two week induction phase
making it another good option for fast weight loss.
The South Beach diet is also reported to be good at getting rid
of the 'spare tyre' or 'beer gut' excess weight around the stomach
Difficult for those who enjoy carbs and suggested meals can increase
Alcohol is banned during Stage 1 and limited during Stage 2.