When using a South Beach Diet food list, you manage to reduce carbohydrate intake. This is helpful both when losing weight and when treating diseases, such as diabetes or hypertension. The diet comprises three stages, and respecting the order of the stages and the foods recommended for each stage, will assure optimal results.
First Stage of the South Beach Diet
Unlike the Atkins diet, which allows intake of both unsaturated and saturated fats during the first phase, the South Beach diet focuses on consumption of healthy fats. The main goal of the first stage is to reduce the carbohydrate addiction that people usually have. Foods typically recommended during the first phase include:
Regular consumption of salads is recommended during the first stage, as long as you do not forget to add olive oil in the dressing. This type of oil contains unsaturated fats that are safe to consume. You should spread food intake over three meals each day. Snacks are allowed, and even recommended in midmorning and mid-afternoon, as long as they are based on healthy foods. Peanut butter, for example, contains 15 grams carbohydrates per servings, and due to its high calorie content, it should be avoided.
Regarding the beverages, the suggestions include:
Make sure, though, that you do not add any sweeteners to the last two. Alcohol should be avoided during the first phase of the South Beach diet, but moderated consumption of wine is allowed during the second stage.
Carbohydrates and sweets need to be avoided, but other than that, you have numerous foods to choose from. Using a carbohydrate counter is advisable during the first stage, as the intake must not exceed 30 carbohydrates per day.
Second Stage of the South Beach Diet
Once the first stage is finished, and you are no longer craving for foods rich in carbohydrates, you are able to reintroduce certain foods in your diet. Some examples of foods that may be consumed during the second stage include:
However, you need to pay attention to the number of servings that you eat, as well as how healthy these foods really are.
Third Stage of the South Beach Diet
During the final phase of the South Beach diet, you will learn how to maintain your weight. This stage promotes eating normal-sized portions of foods, and if you follow a few rules, you can follow this diet for the rest of your life. While the first two phases of the diet help you to get rid of the extra pounds and to reach the desired target weight, the last one focuses on maintaining the weight. If you start gaining weight again, you need to adjust the amount of consumed food, as well as the quality.
Even though you may eat anything you want during the last phase of the South Beach diet, certain foods are recommended:
- Whole grains in small portions
The foods from all three stages of the South Beach diet will change your blood chemistry and hence, will improve your cardiovascular system. As a consequence, the risk of heart diseases decreases considerably. Keep in mind, though, that this is only one of the benefits of low carbohydrate diets. South Beach diet should be the first choice among these dietary plans, as it has less restrictions.