South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet Explained

Arthur Agatston, MD, a Florida cardiologist designed the now famous and popular South Beach Diet. He intended the eating plan to help his heart patients who were chronically overweight. As the patients lost weight and their friends saw the results, they of course wanted to know how they did it. Patients passed out copies of the diet, strangers started calling, stories appeared in area newspapers, and so in 2003 Dr. Agatston published his plan in book form. For more details check It's still in the top ten of national bestsellers, two years later.

Phase 1

The South Beach Diet is based on eating the right way (as most diet plans claim), learning to tell the difference between "good" and "bad" fats and carbohydrates. During the first two weeks the dieter follows a strict regimen of meals outlined in the book. In this period they eat no grains and no fruits and no sugar. The intention is for the dieter to lose 8 to 13 pounds in this period, known as Phase 1. Allegedly he or she will also lose the cravings for the foods that caused the initial weight gain, due to changing the way the body reacts to some of those food groups.

Phase 2

In the second phase of the South Beach Diet, some fruit, pasta, baked goods, and other carbohydrates will be added back to your diet, but in moderation. At the same time you'll be learning how to choose the right carbohydrates, as Dr. Agatston provides a great deal of nutritional information. The length of Phase 2 varies by individual, as each person establishes a goal weight they wish to attain. On average they will lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. By keeping regimentation to a minimum, he feels that more people will be successful than if food choices and quantities are limited to a great degree. He also sees correct insulin production to be of utmost importance to our heart health.

Phase 3

By the time someone reaches Phase 3 of the South Beach Diet they will have reached their goal weight and will start eating as they hope to for the rest of their lives. Since one premise of this diet is that some carbs trigger food cravings, you will be introduced to the glycemic index. The lower the number in the index the better the food is for you. The higher the number the more the food will trigger sudden spikes and drops in blood sugar levels. The more slowly the levels fall, the longer you'll feel satisfied and less susceptible to cravings.

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