The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss is designed by Dr. Arthur Agatston, who is a cardiologist at the University of Miami, Florida.
Basics of the South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet is based on the Glycemic Index* and emphasizes on the balanced intake of good carbs* and good fats*.
* Glycemic Index (GI) – ranking system for the carbohydrate effect on blood sugar levels; carbohydrates that break down rapidly during digestion have high GI; carbohydrates that break down slowly have low GI.
* Good carbs – high in fiber or high in good fats, and have a low GI â€“ fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, poultry, dairy products, seeds, muesli.
* Good fats – polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, especially those with omega-3 fatty acids (saturated and trans fats are bad fats).
The diet is often called a low-carb, because of the limited carbohydrate intake during the first two weeks of the diet and is also compared to the Atkins Diet. The author states it is not a low-carb diet and the only similarity it has with the Atkins diet is the first two week introductory period of low carb consumption.
The South Beach diet has 3 phases
Phase 1 (2 weeks) – the most restrictive part of the diet – you are not allowed to eat rice, pasta, bread, fruit, potatoes, sugar, alcohol; you can eat lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish, and shellfish), low GI vegetables, low fat cheese, nuts, eggs.
After these 2 weeks you can lose between 8 to 13 pounds.
Phase 2 – you add back carbs â€“ the good carbs like whole grains, fruits; you will continue to lose weight (1-2 pounds per week) and once you reach your goal weight you can go to Phase 3.
Phase 3 – you eat foods from all food groups in normal portions and learn how to maintain your current weight and good health for life.
Dr. Agatston also recommends at 20 minutes of exercise per day.
The South beach Diet book includes sample meal plans of about 1200 calories each.
Dr. Agatston also offers a couple of interesting cookbooks with many recipes for fast and easy preparing of delicious South Beach diet meals.
Good news for vegetarians – a vegetarian version of the South Beach Diet is also available.
If you want to start the South Beach Diet, you should first read the book.