Everything You Need to Know About the South Beach Diet

Healthy Weight Loss

South beach weight loss plans promote a healthy diet on a low-carb high protein regime. It has been around for over a decade and is gaining in popularity due to the fast results of rapid weight loss.

However, it’s also been criticized for being highly restrictive, a major flaw that most users find hard to cope with. In this article we will cover all you need to know about the south beach diet plan.

The History of South Beach Diet Plan

Its founder Dr. Arthur Agatston created the south beach diet in the mid-’90s. After observing patients on the Akins diet he discovered that they were losing weight and belly fat while those placed on restrictive low-fat, high-carb diets were struggling to achieve similar results.

To help patients with overweight issues, Dr. Agatston formulated the south beach diet plan to help them lose weight fast and reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s a low-carb diet rich in lean proteins and unsaturated fats.

He used himself as a lab rat, per se, to test the efficacy of his invention and after seeing positive results begin prescribing it to his patients.

How does South Beach Diet Plan Work?

South beach diet plans occur in three stages, the first two stages are dedicated to weight loss while the last phase focuses on weight maintenance.

Phase 1

Duration: 7 – 14 Days

Phase 1 is a highly restrictive stage that lasts roughly 14 days. It is the hardest of all stages to overcome and you are half way through if you are successful with this stage. The restrictive stage helps to reboot the body system, radically enforcing a shift from the high carb norms to dedicated meals for weight loss.

Users are expected to loss 8-13 pounds on the average. This is achieved by consuming three meals a day mainly made of lean proteins, vegetables and small amounts of healthy legumes and fats.

Phase 2

Phase 2 is less restrictive than phase 1 and allows users to gently introduce higher carb meals in moderation. The duration lasts according to the user’s weight loss goals. On average, clients have reported weight loss of approximately 1-2 pounds per week.

Phase 2 allows all meals from phase one plus restrictive or limited portions of “good carbs” and fruits along with certain kinds of alcohols.

Phase 3

Phase 2 is meant to last for as long as it takes you to reach your target weight loss goals. Only when you have meant your target are you allowed to proceed to phase 3.  Popularly called the maintenance phase, there are no true limitations to the kinds of food you can eat.

However, you need to be very watchful of what you eat so that you do not slide back to been overweight. If you overindulge yourself you will need to return back to phase 1 for about a week before advancing back to phase 3.

What Kind of Food is Available on the South Beach Phases?

Phase 1 food types

Lean Proteins: The diet recommends consuming lean proteins in small portions and you are at liberty to return whenever you feel hungry again. Sample source of lean proteins includes but not limited to: lean beef, pork, lamb, skinless chicken, turkey breast, fish, shellfish, eggs and egg whites, soy-based meat and low fatty cheese.

Non Starchy vegetables: You are advised to consume about four and a half cups daily. At this stage all vegetables are allowed apart from a select few.

Legumes:  Legumes are limited to half a cup daily

Nuts and seeds: Recommended 28 grams daily. E.g. Cashew nuts, pecans, walnuts, nut butter, and flaxseeds etc.

Oils and fats: Only monounsaturated oils are encouraged e.g. Olive oil, canola and avocado oils

There are other sweet treats and light beverages allowed. Please refer to the website or book written by Dr. Agatston for a full list.

Phase 2 Food Types

Phase 2 food types include all food types from phase one including limited higher-carb meals which begins with one day servings of fruit and whole grain. After a couple of weeks into phase 2 you are at liberty to consume up to three servings of whole grains and starchy vegetables per day.

Choices are limited to the kind and amount of alcohol allowed in this phase.

Fruits: Consume 1-3 servings per day

Whole Grains: Up to 4 servings per day. E.g. Peas, sweet potatoes, yams, cereals, brown or wild rice, taro, popcorn etc.

In Summary

At the end you will be on maintenance for as long as is required, so be sure to watch what you consume. Lastly, ensure you keep a track record of your progress because your success rate can dramatically increase.

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