The South Beach Diet is a popular diet program created by the cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston. If the program is strictly followed it promises to produce an 8 to 12 pound weight loss in the first 2 weeks. The diet is a low carb program which also focuses on restricting saturated fats which can cause increased cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. The South Beach Diet promises that through stabilizing blood sugar levels by following a low carb low saturated fat diet the cravings for sugar and carbohydrates will be diminished increasing the success of the diet.
The South Beach Diet is broken into 3 phases. The first phase is 2 weeks in length and eliminates a number of foods. Sugar, bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, fruit, milk, and honey are a sample of the items that must be eliminated during the first phase. The foods focused on in the first phase include fish, eggs, lean proteins, low fat cheeses, nuts, beans and fresh vegetables. The second phase lasts an undetermined length of time until your goal weight is met. During the second phase you slowly reintroduce some fruits and whole grains including bread and pasta. A healthy carbohydrate is then introduced at one meal per day for the first week then slowly over time the number of carbohydrates increases to 2 or 3 per day. The maintenance phase is designed to last a lifetime and is the culmination of everything learned on the South Beach Diet. On the maintenance phase your weight should remain stable.
The South Beach Diet has a number of books which can be used to help guide you through the program. Additionally, there is a website with a number of resources. The resources included on-line for the South Beach Diet include a weight tracker, a meal planner, community message boards, personal journal, food guides, and recipe database. The South Beach Diet also has a number of foods ranging from snack items, nutrition bars and frozen meals available at most grocery stores.
There are numerous pros when considering the South Beach Diet. The South Beach Diet emphasizes encourages a clean way of eating. It focuses on fresh produce, lean proteins and heart healthy fats while avoiding sugar and saturated fats. Another pro of the South Beach Diet is that it teaches you a healthy way of eating while helping you lose weight. The South Beach Diet also provides a maintenance phase to help you maintain your weight loss.
Like most diet programs the South Beach Diet also has a number of cons which must be considered. The South Beach Diet is a low carb diet which typically is difficult for vegetarians to follow. Another con is that the South Beach Diet is difficult to maintain long term because certain foods are banished such as certain fruits and types of carbohydrates. Another con to the South Beach Diet is the lack of exercise guidelines. Although the program suggests following a regular exercise program it does not provide a detailed plan of action. Following a structured exercise program can be a key component for successful long term weight loss.
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