The South Beach Diet has long been popular with celebrities, but can it work long term for the average dieter? While the diet was developed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston, some people believe the diet restricts healthy foods for quick weight loss. However, later parts of the diet emphasize eating lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains, the building blocks for a healthy diet.
The South Beach Diet relies on the idea that carbohydrates with a high glycemic index cause the body to be unable to process fats and sugars. The South Beach Diet also aligns itself with traditional wisdom that states there are both “good” fats and “bad” fats. Bad fats are trans fats and saturated fats, that should be eaten as sparingly as possible. Good fats, like the fats found in olive oil and fish, can be heart healthy, and eaten regularly. The South Beach Diet relies on the consumption of good fats, and low glycemic index carbs, like whole grains, to achieve weight lose.
In Phase I of the South Beach Diet, dieters are expected to avoid all high glycemic carbs and bad fats. South Beach Dieters are also encouraged to drink as much water as possible. Although Phase I lasts only two weeks, many people lose over five pounds. However, the emphasis on drinking water and limiting carbs means that most of this weight is probably lost water. The lost water, often called “water weight” is the first to be lost in most diets, when the dieter begins to properly hydrate his body.
Phase II of the South Beach Diet begins with a gradual introduction of whole grain foods and fruits. These foods, although not considered unhealthy, are still greatly limited, and portion control must be stringently practiced while eating these foods. Phase II of the South Beach Diet is where weight is lost. Like most diets, the South Beach Diet also recommends regular exercise for steady weight loss.
In Phase III, the South Beach Diet relaxes some restrictions on good carbs and fruit. Phase III of the South Beach Diet must be followed for life to retain weight loss according to devotees. This phase of the South Beach Diet allows three servings of fruit and three servings of whole grains a day.
If followed correctly, the South Beach Diet will help you lose weight. But it has not been proven that the South Beach Diet is a magic formulation of foods that will help you lose weight faster than any other plan. Any diet that encourages eating non processed foods and exercise will help you lose weight.
For people looking for a regimented plan that will help them plan meals, the South Beach Diet is the perfect plan. The South Beach Diet’s emphasis on avoiding sugars, white flour, and harmful fats are very beneficial, but its severe limits on fruits and whole grains make this diet difficult to follow in the long term. Talk to your doctor before beginning any weight loss plan, he may have recommendations not included in a standard weight loss plan.