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South Beach Diet

For balanced and healthy living

The South Beach diet gets a bad rap for being just the "heart healthy" version of the Atkins Diet, but while the two programs do have similarities, they are hardly the same. Created by cardiologist Arthur Agatston, MD, this diet promotes the eating of healthy fats but bans the consumption of the "bad" (trans or hydrogenated) fats and keeps low-sugar carbs (which have less of an effect on the body's blood sugar levels) in the diet as well.

Rules and Phases – What You Can and Cannot Eat

The South Beach diet menu looks a little different depending on which phase of the diet you're on. South Beach Diet Phase 1 will jumpstart your body's weight loss and has a pretty restricted menu. This phase lasts a total of 14 days and high-sugar carbohydrates (like those found in bread, fruit, rice and refined sugary products) are strictly prohibited. What you can eat are loads of vegetables, lean proteins like chicken, fish, turkey or beef and even olive oil. The idea is to eat until you are no longer hungry – bear in mind that this means you should be satisfied, not full.

South Beach Diet Phase 2 is a little more well-rounded. During this period, slowly start adding low-sugar carbohydrates back into your diet (like fruit or a high-fiber whole grain). This phase is marked by careful attention to your body's reactions to carbs. Lethargy and dizziness are signs that the carbs you've chosen are too high on the glycemic index. If you start to gain weight, reduce your carb intake to one or two servings a day.

The South Beach diet food list is not as limited as it appears to be and there are many delicious South Beach diet recipes to be found. A Phase One meal should contain a serving of lean protein, one or two servings of vegetables or beans, some kind of healthy oil and a serving of dairy. A Phase Two meal should have an added serving of a low-sugar carbohydrate. A Phase One breakfast might include an egg and veggie scramble (cooked in olive oil) with a side of lean ham and a small glass of 2 percent milk.

How does the South Beach diet weigh in?

The South Beach diet plan emphasizes the consumption of vegetables, whole grains and lean protein and doesn't radically eliminate all carbs, so it fits a healthy lifestyle and promotes safe weight loss.

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