What Is The South Beach Diet?
The South Beach diet was created by American cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston. At the outset, it should be noted that this is not a typical diet based on a short-term reduction of calories consumed, but a nutrition program for life. The goal of the diet is to help you lose weight safely and maintain health and physical fitness for the rest of your life without the feeling of hunger and weakness associated with other diets. This diet consists of three phases, with each subsequent phase being less restrictive.
The South Beach diet consists of consuming vegetables, fruits and whole grain products with a high fiber content and a low glycemic index. Good unsaturated fats, lean protein sources and low-fat dairy products are also recommended. You don’t need to count calories or weigh our meals in the South Beach diet. You should eat enough food to satisfy your hunger. During the diet, eat three meals and at least two snacks a day.
Southern Beaches Diet has conquered the whole world. Thousands of men and women have already benefited from a perfectly balanced diet that allows you to eat tasty dishes and at the same time effectively lose weight. This diet is not a high-protein (protein) diet, nor a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet. Instead, it is a diet reasonably composed in terms of health and nutrition. It covers many categories of healthy foods and strengthens our eating habits for the rest of our lives.
The most important advantages of the South Beach diet
- diet effectively lowers blood cholesterol and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes
- helps you lose weight quickly and safely without the yo-yo effect
- does not belong to extremely restrictive diets, so compliance is relatively easy
- it is very comfortable because it does not cause hunger
- teaches the basic principles of healthy eating
The first phase of the South Beach diet
This is the shortest, but also the most restrictive phase of the South Beach diet lasting exactly two weeks. During this phase, we lose weight rapidly, and additionally stabilize our blood glucose levels, which definitely relieves appetite attacks, and thus allows us to reach stress-free end of the diet.
Undoubtedly, the first phase is the hardest test for everyone, because for a period of 2 weeks we must withstand without products with a high content of carbohydrates, without caffeine and without saturated fats. We also need to eliminate starch (pasta, rice, bread), sugar and all fruit and fruit juices from our menu.
It is the complete elimination of sugar from our menu during the first phase of the diet is crucial for stabilizing blood glucose, and thus eliminating the adverse effect of appetite, which often causes the abandonment of various diets. Completely giving up sugar may seem a bit difficult, but after a few days of using the diet, we will see no hunger pangs and a pleasant feeling of fullness.
We also remember that this phase lasts only 14 days, and in the next stage of the diet we will be able to include some fruit and whole grain cereal products in our menu. In addition, rapid weight loss noticeable during the first two weeks of the diet (up to 6 kg) motivates us to continue it.
During the first phase, you should eat three filling meals and two snacks a day. In addition, you can afford a high-protein low-sugar dessert once a day. Snacks should be eaten one to two hours after basic meals. The purpose of the snacks is to combat hunger pangs occurring between main meals. Snacks should consist of protein and vegetables with a large amount of fiber (e.g. low-fat yogurt with a handful of nuts or a spoonful of bran), because then they are the most effective.
You should also be aware that starting physical exercise with your diet and increasing physical activity significantly speeds up the loss of unnecessary kilograms.
Phase Two of the South Beach Diet
Now that we have survived the most difficult stage of the diet and we are lighter by a few unnecessary kilograms, we can enrich our menu with new tasty and healthy products containing more carbohydrates. The second phase lasts until the desired weight is obtained. However, we must be aware that weight loss at this stage of the diet is slightly slower than during the previous phase.
In the second stage of the diet, we can gradually introduce products to our menu that we previously had to avoid. These include whole wheat bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta, as well as most fruit. However, when introducing the above products to our menu, we must maintain appropriate moderation. The whole secret is to gradually restore good carbohydrates to our menu.
The biggest mistake of those using the South Beach diet is consuming too many whole grain products as well as vegetables and fruits containing a higher amount of carbohydrates at this stage of the diet. Which, as a consequence, stops weight loss.
The introduction of starch products and permitted fruit should take place in a manner planned by the diet creator of the cardiology professor Arthur Agatston. We must be aware that the gradual introduction of good carbohydrates gives our body time to adapt to increased amounts of sugar, and we can carefully monitor how a given product affects our body.
Phase Three of the South Beach Diet
Now that we have reached the planned weight, we can start the next stage of the diet. This phase is basically no longer a diet, but a nutrition program recommended for the rest of your life. According to the creator of the South Beach diet, our body has already got used to a healthy lifestyle, and we have learned to properly compose meals which will allow us to enjoy impeccable figure and well-being for a long time.
The two previous phases of the South Beach diet have taught us to rationally choose products and choose those that we can eat without fear in any quantity. The third stage is really a test of whether we can control ourselves and follow the recommendations learned in earlier stages of the diet.
Our task here is above all to maintain the ideal body weight, which we managed to achieve only thanks to our strong will. The secret of our success is the use of ingredients in our dishes that the Glycemic Index will not exceed 60, but if we want to give ourselves some slack and reach for dishes that contain more carbohydrates, we must remember to skillfully neutralize this excess.
There are no longer banned items at this stage of the diet. We can now include products not allowed in earlier diet stages in our menu. We should only monitor which products over-stimulate our appetite and cause cravings. Such ingredients should be limited or completely avoided.