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All About Diets: What is the South Beach diet?

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Quick Answer

When searching for a diet plan, dieters have a plethora of choices. One popular choice is the South Beach Diet. This diet is a low-carbohydrate diet, detailed in a best-selling book.

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South Beach Diet Background
The South Beach Diet was invented by a cardiologist named Arthur Agatson in 2003. It is detailed in his best-selling book. The diet is a modified low-carbohydrate diet. It is also a high-protein diet that utilizes healthy fats. Unlike other low-carbohydrate diets, carb counting is not necessary on the South Beach Diet.

Candidates for the South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet is ideal for dieters who like the types of food that are allowed. These dieters enjoy a restricted carbohydrate diet. Dieters who want to change their eating habits and find a lifelong eating plan should try the South Beach Diet. Most of the foods found on the South Beach Diet are conducive to a healthy lifestyle. For example, the diet utilizes lean proteins. Health experts recommend lean protein versus fatty protein.

Low Glycemic Carbs
The South Beach Diet does not feature so-called bad carbs. Bad carbs raise the glycemic index and increase blood sugar. Rather, the diet features low carbs with which glucose is released to slowly into the bloodstream. Low-carb foods have a low glycemic index.

Good Fats
Dieters learn about using good dietary fats on the South Beach Diet. Highly saturated fats are extremely limited on this diet, whereas their healthier monosaturated counterparts are highlighted.

Fruits and Vegetables
Besides fiber, fruits and vegetables are encouraged on this diet. It is important to note that fruits are not eaten at the beginning of the diet. Rather, they are integrated after two weeks on the diet.

Exercise
The South Beach Diet recommends exercise for a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise increases metabolism and guides a dieter through weight loss plateaus.

South Beach Diet Phases
Phase 1: This two-week phase kicks off the diet and aims at helping dieters eliminate cravings. This diet targets starch and sugar cravings to jump-start initiation into the plan. Most of these types of food are cut out at this phase of the diet.

Phase 2: At this phase, dieters add fiber-rich foods back to their diet and eat foods such as whole-wheat brown rice, whole-grain bread and whole-wheat pasta. This is the longest phase of the diet, where dieters remain until they have lost all desired weight. Weight loss is steady over time, which can be an effective way to maintain weight loss.

Phase 3: This is the maintenance plan of the diet, wherein dieters learn how to eat healthily for the rest of the lives. They continue following aspects of Phase 1 and Phase 2 but have no restrictions on eating except to do so in moderation.

The South Beach Diet is a model of a healthy way of eating. It is structured in the first phase to kick off weight loss and to continue that weight loss in the second phase. In Phase 3, dieters learn to maintain their weight loss and apply the nutrition concepts they have learned to their everyday eating for the remainder of their lives.

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