The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet

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The South Beach Diet is an eating plan designed for life. The basic principle is carbohydrates are restricted in this diet, although good carbs are allowed. Developed by cardiologist Arthur Agastston, this diet features three stages. First you start with a severe induction phase to get you accustomed to eating differently. Once this is completed, you start changing your overall eating habits. If you make it through this stage, a long-term eating plan is offered.

Unhealthy fats are banned on the South Beach Diet, but healthy fats are strongly recommended. With this eating plan, carbohydrates are analyzed in terms of their sugar content. Any carbohydrate which has a low glycemic index is allowed on this diet. A low glycemic index means consumption of the food will not result in blood sugar level fluctuations.

With this diet, you don’t have to measure portions or count calories. Moderation is the key to success. Eat just enough to satisfy your hunger and stop. Although this may take some getting used to, the results will be worth it in the end.

Benefits of the Diet

The South Beach Diet offers a healthy eating plan which eliminates trans fats and refined sugars. An emphasis is placed on vegetables, fruits, fats which are heart healthy and lean proteins. When you follow this diet, you will get plenty of essential fatty acids along with vitamins and minerals. Thousands have made use of this diet with great results, and the medical science community has backed it. A maintenance plan is incorporated so, when the weight comes off, it stays off.

Drawbacks of the Diet

One problem with this diet is its lack of exercise guidelines. It also eliminates certain fruits such as bananas, making it hard for some to follow. The elimination of sugars and certain other carbohydrates are another area that many have problems maintaining for an extended period of time. This diet does not easily accommodate vegetarians, and some cannot tolerate sugar-alcohols found in many South Beach diet foods. Sugar levels do not change either, unless you are diabetic, when you eat a candy bar laden with sugar.


Many dietitians and nutrition experts believe this to be a good diet for the masses. It encourages healthy eating and most can lose weight when following the South Beach Diet. Care must be taken though to ensure that, during the first two weeks or severe induction phase, you don’t become shaky and weak due to a lack of carbohydrates. This concerns health experts as this may be too much weight to lose in a short period of time. You will find that you need to have a lot of willpower to make it through these first two weeks.

In addition, you must realize that much of the weight loss you see during the severe induction phase is water. This can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. Work with your doctor to ensure you do not risk your health during these two weeks. You may need to see a dietitian to customize the diet to meet your individual needs.


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