The South Beach diet is a low carb heart healthy diet developed in the 1990s. It was designed by medical professionals to help patients lose weight. The diet is based upon the idea that if you lose weight your blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels will drop. This should help improve heart health.
WHO ARE THE MAKERS
The South Beach Diet is the brain child of Dr. Arthur Agatston, a specialist in preventive cardiology. This diet was developed in the 1990s with the support of Marie Almon, a dietitian. The plan was named after South Beach in Miami. When it was first created it was called the Modified Carbohydrate Diet.
Dr. Agatston created the program for some of his patients when he discovered that despite their adherence to eating the low fat, carbohydrate rich diet recommended by the American Heart Association, there was very little weight loss occurring. He found no decreases in the blood sugar levels or even reduced cholesterol levels of the patients. He developed this diet plan to address these concerns and began to speak about the diet plan at medical conferences he attended between the end of the 1990s and in the early 2000s.
The South Beach diet gained more attention in 2003 when Agatston published his best-selling book, “The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss.” In 2008, Agatston released a second book titled, “The South Beach Diet Supercharged.” The second book was co-authored with Professor Joseph Signorile, an expert in exercise physiology.
- The South Beach diet advertises food for sale which includes smoothies, protein bars and snacks.
- You can buy complete lunch and dinner packages off the online menu.
- The diet is expensive.
- The first two weeks are hard to get through.
- The diet is easy to maintain after the first two weeks.
- The diet was developed by medical doctors.
- The diet is safe for most people to follow.
HOW DOES IT WORK
The South Beach Diet is a low carbohydrate diet quite similar to the Atkins Diet, although it takes a different approach. The South Beach Diet utilizes the glycaemic index and load in determining the specific carbs dieters should eliminate from their diet. It is a known fact that foods with a high glycemic index tend to increase blood sugar longer, faster and higher than foods with a much lower index. Some researchers have opined that this rise in blood sugar can increase one’s appetite, leading to more eating and increased weight. The plan encourages dieters to incorporate vegetables, foods high in monounsaturated fats and fruits in their meals, while reducing the intake of unhealthy fats.
The South Beach Diet can be applied within three weeks. It involves three stages:
Stage 1: It starts off the first two weeks, where cravings for high carb foods are alleviated to begin the weight loss journey. Dieters have to completely strike out the carbs in their meals including fruits. Users are encouraged to eat more lean proteins and vegetables. They are allowed to consume healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil. Dieters must eat a lot of vegetables, particularly the low carbs variants like tomatoes, broccoli and egg plants. The first stage of the diet is helpful for rapid weight loss (an average of thirteen pounds in two weeks). This is arguably the toughest part of the diet plan.
Stage 2: (long-term weight-loss phase): The dieter can consume foods high in carbs at this level. This extends to foods like wheat and high-carb variants of fruits and vegetables. The expected average for weight lost at this stage is about one to two pounds every week.
Stage 3: This is a maintenance phase, meant to act as a lifetime healthy eating plan. The user is encouraged to adhere to the practices of the previous stages. Portion control is vital. If dieters experience a bit of weight gain, the recommendation is to go back to level two.
While the South Beach diet does exclude foods rich in simple carbohydrates such as white bread, white potatoes and white rice, one distinctive and unique feature is that it does not require dieters to forfeit carbs entirely or even measure their intake. Instead, it evaluates on the “glycaemic impact” (short term effect on glucose) of foods. Dieters can eat vegetables even at level one.
Critics claim that the South Beach Diet is a fad diet. Like some other dietary plans, the South Beach Diet has been sold with many claims promoting its effectiveness without much to support the promises made. This diet plan has also been accused of increasing the risk of cardiovascular ailments due to its high protein eating recommendations.
- Research shows that following a long-term eating plan that’s rich in healthy carbohydrates and dietary fats can improve your health.
- Lower carb diets with healthy fats may improve your blood cholesterol levels.
- The South Beach Diet is meant to be straightforward and easy to follow.
- Dieters do not need to figure out the percentages of nutrients or count calories daily.
- One distinct advantage of this diet is that dieters are permitted to eat packaged foods.
- This diet can be easily modified to make room for special dietary considerations especially for vegetarians, and gluten-free dieters.
- The South Diet has a devoted online platform designed to help users answer questions, and find recipes.
- Reports have shown that restrictions imposed at stage one of the diet may lead to side effects that includes dehydration, bad breath, insomnia, dizziness and indigestion.
- The South Beach Diet is very expensive.
- It is controversial as a heart healthy diet because it is high in saturated fat.
- “I have lost over 22 pounds on the South Beach diet. The food was tasty and nutritious.”
- “I have four children and have always wanted to set a positive example for them. On this diet I have a lot more energy to keep up with them.”
- “I have been on the South Beach diet for a long time. The plan is easy to follow. The quality of food on the diet is great. I don’t have cravings and I’m never hungry.”
- “The diet just makes common sense. The guidelines are very easy to follow.”
- “This diet is just too “fluffy” for me.”
This diet is considered safe for most people. It was developed by medical professionals. We approve it as a safe diet plan. The results are not guaranteed, the diet is expensive and it can be hard to stick to during the first two weeks. Most people who stick to the diet seem to have success and do not seem to have difficulties maintaining it long term. Those with high cholesterol should use caution adopting this diet because it is high in saturated fat.