The South Beach diet really is one of the best diets out there as it not only focuses on losing weight but also on a healthy lifestyle. The diet is based on scientific research and initially was a diet created by a doctor in Florida (Dr. Arthur Agatston) working at a cardiac prevention center to help his patients control their insulin and cholesterol (as those are two factors that have an impact on the chance of a cardiac arrest happening). After some of his patients took on the diet it was discovered that the diet had a very positive effect on our path to lose weight fast as well. Soon more and more people outside the prevention center heard about the positive effects of the diet and today it is one of the most popular diets in the United States. The South Beach diet is a low-(saturated)fats and low-carb diet although you are allowed to eat certain types of carb-rich foods. The South Beach diet is also considered to be a very healthy diet and has three stages (which we will explain you further down this page).
Good Fats & Good Carbs
The South Beach Diet focuses on the intake of “good fats” and “good carbohydrates”. Instead of avoiding any sort of fat, like many popular weight loss diet plans advice you to do, the South Beach Diet focuses on teaching you how to separate the good foods from the bad ones. The goal of the diet plan is that in the end you can distinguish them by yourself and you will lose weight, live a healthy lifestyle (when it comes to food) and still be able to eat certain foods that other diets will advice you not to eat. Not only will you lose weight with the South Beach Diet, you will also live a more healthy lifestyle. Some of the good foods are chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, olive oil, vegetables and a lot more foods that has good nutritional value but isn’t always fat-free. Much of these foods are also part of the Mediterranean Diet.
Stage 1: Restricted To “Good Foods” For 2 Weeks
The first two weeks is probably the hardest stage of the South Beach Diet. During these two weeks you are only allowed to eat certain types of good foods with good amounts of vegetables. Below we will give you all the good foods that you are allowed to eat during the first stage of the diet:
- Fish and shellfish (especially the ones with lots of fats)
- All the healthy types of oils like olive oil, linseed oil, sunflower oil, etc..
- Eggs and soybean
- Nuts (not too many, a hand-full of nuts a day)
- All types of spices and sugar substitute
- Low-fat meat and sausages
- Chicken and turkey (without skin)
- Vegetables and vegetable juice (juicing for weight loss is used in the juicing diet)
- Cheese (only the low-fat cheese types and cottage cheese)
It’s important to note that you should never allow yourself to have a starving feeling during this stage(to avoid starvation mode). You should always act on a serious hungry feeling by eating some of the above foods. This is very important if you want the diet to succeed properly. Foods with lots of carbohydrates like bread, corn, rice, potatoes and pasta are forbidden in the first two weeks. Also sugar(that means any type of candy), fruit, any type of fatty dairy product, fat-rich meat and even carrots are forbidden in these two weeks. The reason why you are restricted to certain types of (healthy) foods is to lower the blood glucose level to a normal level so it becomes stable. The only way to accomplish that is the eat foods that have a low score on the Glycemic Index (like the ones in the “allowed foods” list that we gave you above). A good diet regarding to this is the GI diet.
Stage 2: Slowly Adding Low Glycemic Carbs
After two weeks of keeping a strict low glycemic “good foods” diet the pounds should now be flying off and you are allowed to step into stage 2. Stage 2 is a basically eating the foods of stage 1 + adding more carbs, that is what it comes down to. Because stage 1 of this diet is not as healthy a lifestyle as one could live, because of the low carbs, you are now slowly going to add more carb-rich foods to your diet. But even though you are going to add more carbs, you are still required to add foods to your diet that have a low score on the Glycemic Index. Good examples of foods that you can add are whole bread, brown rice and fruit. Start with one portion of extra carbs a day, preferably to your dinner meal. The duration of stage 2 is totally up to your personal weight loss goals. When you’ve succeeded in losing the amount of weight you wanted to lose you can go to stage 3.
Stage 3: The South Beach Diet Has Become Your Lifestyle
After you’ve reached your weight loss goals with the South Beach Diet you can now step into stage 3. Stage 3 is basically making sure the South Beach Diet has become your lifestyle for the rest of your life(or as long as you want). You can now eat more food as in stage 1 & 2 while keeping an eye on maintaining the weight you have by not overeating. You can now recognize all the good foods and the bad foods by yourself and you can eat anything you want as long as it are good foods. If somehow you ate too much and gained weight, you can go back to Stage 1 and complete the first two stages all over again.