With the new year approaching, many of us struggle with a resolution to lose weight that is rarely followed through. It can be daunting trying to find a good program to lose weight with when so many different options are out there. How do you know which one will actually work? In fact, most of us who try to lose weight will begin a program very enthusiastically only to become bored. Then we enevitablly fall off the program and gain back everything we lost…and then some!
What we fail to realize is that fad diets do not work. In order to lose weight and to keep it off, we need to make a lifestyle change. Beginning with changing the way we think about eating is the first step. One of the best programs to do this with is the South Beach Diet. I think the word “diet” is a bad choice because South Beach really isn’t a diet at all. It’s a new way of eating and it is for life. The South Beach Diet book was authored by Dr. Agatston who created this program for his heart patients to reverse the effects that obesity took on his patients.
The South Beach Diet is a very healthy program that teaches you how to eat right and to get healthy. You can eat carbs and fats on this diet, but you will learn to eat the RIGHT carbs and fats. You eat normal portions and you never go hungry. You do not have to weigh, measure, or count calories for your food. When you are hungry, you eat. It’s really great to have a weight loss program that actually lets you eat so that you never feel starved. The program is very easy to follow and has three phases to it.
Your first two weeks will be phase one. This is certainly the hardest part of the diet to follow. Phase one means very little carbs. You can not eat any breads, pasta, potatoes, rice, or even fruit. No sweets and no alcohol either. The point of this is to phase out the cravings you have for the carbs. It helps detox your body as well. You can eat plenty of vegetables, reduced-fat dairy, and lean meats. Personally, I DID find this phase to be very tough. Luckily phase one only lasts for two weeks and most people have a big loss of weight during this period which makes the sacrifice worth it.
Phase two is much easier to follow and you will remain in this phase until you reach your weight loss goal. During phase two you will begin to slowly add carbs, the right kind of carbs, back into your diet. Rice, cereal, poatoes, pasta, fruit, even chocolate or a glass of wine will be okay. You can not have all of them at once, but you can eat them within reason. You will start by adding one carb in per day at a time and gradually can add in a couple more in normal sized portions. You will pick and choose what you can have based on your weight loss. You will also focus on the good carbs such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta and avoid refined carbs (The bad ones!) like white bread. During this phase most people average a one to two pound loss per week.
Once you hit your weight loss goal you will begin phase three. Phase three is built to maintain your weight and is even a little more liberal. But by this point it won’t feel like a diet anymore but more like a way of life.
The South Bach Diet is a great program. It works and that is proven by the thousands who have lost already. You can read the books and follow the program or even join their online web site which is filled with tons of support. If you are looking to lose weight and actually keep it off with a program that really works, don’t “diet”, choose the South Beach program.