The South Beach Diet has taken the world by storm. Originally designed as a healthy eating plan for cardiac patients, this diet has proven to be a successful weight loss diet as well. The South Beach Diet fills a necessary void between low carb and low fat diets. It only eliminates bad carbs, or high glycemic carbs, and bad fats which are saturated or trans fats. Everything else is allowed. This leaves a large selection of the healthiest foods to build our menus around. Your choices will increase as you move through the phases of this diet, known as Phase 1 and Phase 2.
Phase I lasts for two weeks and limits carbohydrate intake to some extent. Fruit is not allowed but the good carbs in vegetables, legumes and dairy are eaten in moderation. The purpose is to put your body through a carb detox, which will help elimniate any carb cravings and make the rest of the diet easier. It also flushes the body of excess water, resulting in a weight loss of up to 13 pounds in two weeks. Water loss is usually temporary, but it will make you feel better, and will give you a much needed boost of inspiration when you step on the scales. During this phase, you can eat most vegetables, some low fat cheeses, and lean meats such as skinless chicken, or fish. You must exclude fruits, sugars, and breads, among other things. Phase 1 can be difficult to get through, because it is extreme. Fortunately, it only lasts two weeks, and you know good things await you. You will never appreciate something as simple as a strawberry as much as you will when you enter Phase 2.
Phase 2 begins the real diet. You will be able to add carbs (calories) back into your diet, though you must do this gradually. Dr. Agatston recommends we add one serving of carbs per day, for as long as we continue to lose weight. If we start to regain , or level off, then we should cut back until the loss resumes. You will still be limited in that you should not include sugar or other high glycemic carbs, such as white bread and white potatoes. You must also take care not to eat bad fats, as this can be very bad for your overall health. However, the list of acceptable foods is so long, that you will never run out of menu ideas. You stay on Phase 2 until you reach your goal weight.
You should never go back to your old way of eating, and should make a transition to Phase 3, which you will follow for the rest of your long and healthy life. Phase 3 involves adding enough carbs (calories) so that you maintain your weight without losing or gaining weight.