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Last time when I was talking about LCHF and Atkins diet, a reader mentioned using South Beach diet. You can read about Atkins for vegetarians here and non vegetarians here. Here we are with South Beach Diet Plan Review:All Phases and Foods Explained
South Beach diet is a low carb diet that promise weight loss without starvation. South Beach diet is similar to Atkins and was created in late 1980s by Dr.Arthur Agatston and Marie Almon, a dietitian.
Dr. Agatston was a cardiologist and had a lot of cardiac patients needing to lower their cholesterol level and shed weight. He found that patients have hard time following low fat diet.When a food is termed as low fat, usually the calories don’t reduce since sugar is added to them. Therefore low fat foods are usually high in sugar that cause insulin spike that leads to hunger pangs and cravings… cravings for more sugar and carbs. Its a vicious circle. You eat low fat thinking you will shed fat and instead end up eating more sugar and calories!
When Dr. Agatston formulated the South Beach diet, his goal was to teach his patients how to eat right foods so as to prevent worsening of their cardiac conditions. The patients were so successful in shedding weight that South Beach Diet was spread around the world like fire and the rest is history.
The South Beach Diet is more of a lifestyle change than a diet. This lifestyle is sustainable for a long term since it does not eliminate all the carbs. Therefore, you can enjoy a variety of foods and still follow diet and lose weight, how cool is that . Optimum balance of fat. fiber , protein and right kind of carbs constitute the diet. Let’s delve deeper into South Beach Diet Plan
The South Beach diet revolves around glycemic index. It limits foods that have high glycemic index and replaces them with low glycemic alternatives. Read about glycemic index here.
The South Beach Diet has three phases. The time frame of these phases depend on the weight that a person needs to lose.
This is the toughest phase of South Beach Diet that usually lasts for 2 weeks. You need to watch your portion sizes and consume lean proteins, low GI foods, good carbs and low fat dairy so that you don’t overdo calories. Instead of 3 meals a day, you need to have 3 main meals and 2 snack meals so that your metabolism is continuously working and you don’t suffer with hunger pangs.
You should never starve but eat until you are full. Since this diet eliminates all the harmful foods, you need not starve yourself. Some of the banned foods in this phase are processed carbohydrates, fruits, all kinds of sugars,high glycemic vegetables, starches and baked foods.
Dr. Agatston designed this phase with 2 intentions – eliminate all the foods that can increase blood sugar level and reduce cravings for sugar or junk food.
People who consume more than 200 gms of carbs everyday when follow this South Beach Diet lose a lot of weight during this induction phase. This gives enough motivation for them to keep going.
Foods Allowed in Phase 1
Vegetable oil spread
Lean cuts of beef
Plain, low fat yogurt
Low fat milk
Foods Prohibited in Phase 1
This is a pretty easy phase as compared to Induction phase. This phase reintroduces some low glycemic foods back in the diet. The weight loss in this phase is gradual, say 1-2 pounds per week. diet and will continue to gradually lose weight. On average, dieters can expect to lose one to two pounds per week during this phase.
This phase has no set time period. If you still have weight to lose, continue with Phase 2 until you reach your ideal weight.
Foods Allowed in Phase 2
Whole wheat pasta
Jams and jellies
Alcohol(quantity and frequency restricted)
All foods allowed in Phase 1
The last phase is not a phase but a routine that you need to follow all your life if you wish to maintain your weight loss. When someone reaches this phase, he/she understand portions and has learnt to choose foods wisely.
The prohibited foods in Phase 2 can be eaten once in a while only to make sure that you gain back. If you are eating good carbs, the chances of weight bouncing back are less. Keep eating healthy and stay in shape for life