What is a South Beach Diet?
Are you tired of following diet plans that involve bland food, as well as a restriction of almost everything in it? Do you get de-motivated and leave such a diet midway, and still think of ways to lose weight?
If yes, then this might just sound like a dream diet plan for you. The South Beach Diet, created by cardiologist Arthur Agatston in 2003, this diet does not aim to just make you shed the pounds off quickly, but also motivate and help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle all throughout.
Named after a popular area in Miami, the south beach diet is ideally a commercial diet for weight loss. It is low in carbohydrates, or carbs, and rich in protein and healthy fats. Since it is low in carbs, you don’t have to eliminate the entire thing out of your diet plan, it will just restrict the intake. In addition to that, on this diet you don’t need to count the intake of carbs constantly.
Generally, when people follow diets, they get short-term results, as they completely eliminate food stuff from their system, leading to a great loss.
Also, they almost immediately eliminate fats and carbohydrates from their system that aren’t good, such as sugar, rice, as well as bread.
However, once they are back to their usual eating routine, they pile on as quickly as they had lost. Keeping that in mind, this diet was created so that one does not have to subtract everything from their diet, and just focus on eating healthy.
When it comes to food stuffs, we have a “good” and “bad” for each type. Likewise, we have good and bad carbohydrates, and good as well as bad fat.
This diet promotes and encourages good carbohydrates and fats that would help you shed weight in a much healthier way, thereby letting you incorporate it in your daily life as well. Also, you get to eat desserts!
The plan spreads out into THREE phases, the duration of which would vary from person to person, considering factors such as the amount of weight to be lost. The diet, however, become less restrictive as you would progress through the stages of the plan. Results have shown that one can lose 8 to 13 pounds in two weeks once they start following the diet.
In order to kick-start the diet plan, it is necessary that you eliminate all the sugary, starchy foods and the cravings for it. Keep in mind that this phase is one of the toughest, as it puts a restriction on almost everything. There are very few things that are allowed to be consumed. Also, you will have to cut out carbohydrates of all sorts in these two weeks. You would have to focus on eating lean proteins all the time, along with salads, soups, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Have almost 2 cups of milk (low-fat), and about 4 and-a-half cups of vegetables every day.
Also, for desserts, you may have something like a ricotta cheesecake so as to be consistent with the diet; however, take it in proportion. Also, snacks such as a turkey roll-up is also allowed.
Phase 1, as mentioned earlier, might be tough, but it is this phase wherein you lose most of your weight. You will notice that the unwanted fat from your stomach, thighs, and calves would be visibly lesser, and your body structure would be a bit shrunken.
However, you will notice that after phase 1, your craving for sugar and starchy foods would be much lesser than the usual. In case you need to lose a lot of weight, or if you’re obese, then you must stay on phase 1 for a longer period than the usual two weeks.
The second phase of this diet acts as a breather for people, as the intake of items here is a bit more relaxed than the amount that was allowed in Phase 1. Also, out of the three phases, this phase turns out to be there for the longest duration. Foods such as whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, fruits, some more vegetables, brown rice, and other such food stuffs are now allowed to be consumed in this phase. Also, in this phase, you add back some of the weight that you drastically lost due to the intake of other food. Ideally, you must stay in this phase till the time you don’t attain your goal weight. However, do keep a watch on what you are eating, because if you consume too much carbohydrate or fat, chances are that you might just pile on a lot more that what you had actually thought you would.
Once you have attained the desired goal in phase 2, you now come down to phase 3. Phase 3 is all about maintaining yourself and the weight. Here, there aren’t really any restrictions, however; the key concept here is to eat everything in moderation, and to keep a watch on what is going inside your body. Phase three basically helps you in maintaining the weight as well as maintaining a lifestyle of eating healthy. When it comes to your diet, you must try having at least 3 pieces of any fruit, and about 3 servings of starch. Apart from that, it is recommended to incorporate the “good fats” such as two tablespoons of olive oil.
In case you feel that you are piling on again, then don’t fret! Just switch back to Phase 1 and you’ll see the pounds shedding off like before!
However, there are certain things which you should not do while you’re doing the south beach diet:
Don’t eat foods that make you gain weight
What happens a lot of times is that due to lack of carbs in our body for the first two weeks in Phase 1, we tend to grab all the carbohydrate-filled food in Phase 2 and at times even end up eating more calories than we were supposed to.
Therefore, start the intake of your carbs slowly, and decide as well as keep a watch on what and how much you are eating.
Never give in to cravings
Definitely one of the biggest mistakes you must avoid! Anything, be that a workout or a diet, can really get on to you right in the beginning. A lot of times, you would crave for your favorite chocolate, or that yummy piece of bread. But DO NOT give into those temptations! Giving in to your temptations would only mean that your diet would not have the desired outcome.
Avoid staying in Phase 1 for a long time
Isn’t phase 1 possibly the best phase? Losing weight in phase 1 is amazing, as you lose nearly 8 to 13 pounds in just two weeks! However, do not overdo it, and once you’ve achieved lost a bit, move to phase 2, as it wouldn’t be healthy to deprive your body of carbs completely. Also, following the same diet routine would make it a bit monotonous, and eventually, you would start cheating a bit. A biscuit here, a slice of bread there, and soon you would be binging again. Therefore, it would be better if you would switch to Phase 2 and start losing weight in a slower, healthier way.
Don’t ignore the other benefits
The most obvious benefit of this diet is that you lose weight and follow a healthy diet. But apart from that, there are many bodily benefits that are associated with it. For example, you feel more energetic throughout the day. Apart from that, if a person suffering from high blood pressure follows the diet, they would see that by the time they end phase 2, their blood pressure levels start getting stabilized.
Therefore, it’s a great diet for those who suffer from blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems.
Don’t starve yourself
Another thing that one must completely avoid is starving themselves during the diet. A common misconception amongst people with regard to diet is that a “Diet” would mean eating really less or nothing at all. However, this is a myth! A diet never suggests eating really less or nothing at all; in fact, a diet tells you to keep yourself full throughout the day. The only point that comes forward in a diet is the What factor- what to eat, and what to avoid.
Therefore, in this diet, one must not completely stop eating, or eat just one meal through the day. They must eat whenever they feel like. However, they must be careful of what they are eating, and in what quantity are they consuming.
The South Beach Diet has many benefits credited to it than just one.
Listed below are some of the main advantages of this diet:
Helps you lose weight faster
Imagine losing up to 13 lbs in just two weeks! Yes, that’s the biggest advantage this diet does for you.
Encourages you to follow a healthy lifestyle
By the end of Phase 1 itself, you will realize that you no longer have the temptation to eat that cupcake, or just have half the loaf of bread! Due to the two weeks of controlling and eating healthy, you would realize that it’s better to eat healthy, and ultimately, your temptations would curb down.
Simple and easy to follow
Unlike other diets wherein you have to keep measuring the amount of food you have taken, or the calories you’ve consumed, in this, you don’t need to keep track of either. However, you just need to make sure that you don’t over-feed yourself with too much of carbohydrate/fat.
Overall, this diet is super-amazing for all those of you who wish to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Unlike other diet fads, this one doesn’t simply promise losing weight, but instead promotes and inculcates a habit of healthy eating as well as a healthy lifestyle amongst those who follow it. Also, keep in mind that it’s not just the diet that would work wonders; you must also keep yourself hydrated through the day, and also include some form of exercise into your daily routine so as to lose your weight and maintain that amazing body of yours!