What Is South Beach Diet? And, What Are Its Benefits?

If you are watching your weight and you also want to reduce the risk of getting heart disease, the South Beach Diet might be good for you.

green apple for south beach diet

Most of the time, people associate carbohydrates to being one of the main causes of weight gain. So if you plan on getting into a diet regimen with low carbohydrates you may want to consider the almost 2 decade old diet that is said to easily make the body lose specific amounts of weight and at the same time is heart-friendly: the South Beach Diet.

The South Beach Diet: How Did it Start

It was in the early 1990s when a cardiologist with a certain name called Dr. Arthur Agatston was able to think of a kind of diet that can be commercialized later on. As it is named after the elegant South Beach that is found in Miami, Florida; this diet somehow became a very hot trend that people thought of as a glamorous type of diet.

Dr. Agatston started his work by analyzing the Atkins Diet. According to Dr. Agatston’s findings, the Atkins Diet have shown enough promising results by reducing the person’s carbohydrate intake. However, he found the recommended amount of saturated fat in the diet somehow inappropriate; so he decided to think of his own version of the Atkins Diet that will be beneficial even for those who have heart conditions. Also, he thought it was necessary to add amounts of food that rich in fiber and those that contain healthy kinds of carbohydrates like fruits and whole grains.

The doctor was very concerned for patients who are diabetic and overweight because out of all people they are more at risk in getting heart disease; so he finally decided to try a developed version of the Atkins Diet by himself; and this is how the South Beach Diet was born.

As Dr. Agatston continued trying his new found diet routine, and soon enough he saw the positive results he was looking for. Until then, he recommended it to his patients and they were equally satisfied on how the diet resulted to weight loss.

In the year 2003, the doctor finally introduced the diet to the public by publishing his own book entitled The South Beach Diet. As soon as the book was sold in the bookstores, it immediately became such a big hit and people loved it. This popularity made the book a worldwide bestseller.

The diet became very popular beyond the doctor’s imagination, so the book was even upgraded and changed into the title The South Beach Diet Supercharged. Again, the upgraded version became a bestseller all around the world.

The Process of South Beach Diet

The diet is actually divided into three phases; which are named plainly as phases 1, 2, and 3. The first two phases are focused on helping the body lose weight, then the last phase is for the maintenance of the current weight of the person.

Phase 1

For phase 1, the person is required to follow a strict lineup of food for 14 days.

The only food the person will be allowed to eat are limited to fruits, grains, and other foods with higher carbohydrate content since this phase aims to decrease the levels of both the blood sugar and insulin. Also, the person will benefit from the variety of foods in phase 1 when it comes to controlling their hunger and cravings.

The person should follow eating three meals in a day, each of them should contain foods that are of pure lean meat and vegetables with no starch content; combine them with few amounts of food with healthy fats (either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated) and some legumes.

Also, it is an additional requirement for the person to eat about two snacks per day; with the same kinds of food.

By monitoring the weight, the person can expect around 8 to 13 pounds of weight will be lost during phase 1.

Phase 2

On the 15th day of the diet is when the phase 2 starts. The person can extend this phase for a few more weeks until the goal weight is achieved.

For the foods to eat on phase 2, it consist of the same ones that are recommended for the phase 1. However, there should be some additions of fruits and whole grains that have good carbohydrates. Fortunately for those who loves drinking, they are allowed to drink some kinds of alcohol during this phase.

The expected weight loss for phase 2 will be about 1-2 pounds.

Phase 3

The person needs to maintain their weight once they achieve the goal weight, and that how the phase 3 starts.

This phase gives the person a few treats other than the strict meal plan that is based on the phase 2 foods. Just be sure to know how to limit yourself since this is the phase where you should already be maintaining your weight; and once the weight increases it will be a required to start all the way back to phase 1.

According to Dr. Agatston’s book The South Beach Diet Supercharged, the diet in general should be accompanied with regular exercise. In the book, he provided fitness programs that will perfectly fit each of the three phases.

Benefits of South Beach Diet

Other than being an effective weight loss diet, the South Beach Diet can also provide other health benefits.

However, since it is a diet; it’s best use is for weight loss purposes.

A lot of studies have already proven that diets with high protein content and low qualities of carbohydrates are indeed effective as weight loss agents. It is also thanks to the protein that contributes to the body’s metabolic rate by increasing the metabolism. Also, the protein are responsible for keeping up with the body’s hunger by making it feel full to avoid overeating.

Another benefit of the diet is about the low amounts of additional healthy carbohydrates that are said to be potential contributors for the continuous decrease in body weight, plus they may help the person continue the diet for a longer period of time.

Best of all, this diet was made by Dr. Agatston for the purpose of preventing the possibilities of getting heart disease. Healthy fats, such as those that are found in fatty fishes, nuts, some seeds, and the very healthy olive oil, are required to be consumed in the South Beach Diet; and they are the major players when it comes to boosting the heart health.

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