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What is the South Beach Diet?

By Stefanie Spikell
Updated May 17, 2024
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The South Beach Diet is all the craze these days. Folks are using it because it takes a completely different approach to weight loss. The diet is not based on low-carb intake or low-fat intake. Rather, it relies on a mixture of the right carbohydrates and fats.

The South Beach diet plan is implemented in three phases: banishing your cravings, reintroducing carbohydrates, dieting for life. In the first phase of the diet, you eat regular-sized portions of meat, chicken, turkey, fish and shellfish. You will also enjoy vegetables, eggs, cheese and nuts. You may have salads that use olive oil in the dressing and you will eat three balanced meals every day. The best news is this: you must eat until your hunger is satisfied. This is no starvation plan.

Along with three full meals each day, you may have snacks in the midmorning and mid-afternoon — and you should eat them, even if you do not feel like it. You will also get a dessert after dinner. For beverages, you may drink water, coffee or tea. The only foods you cannot eat during this phase are carbohydrates and sweets — including fruit. You won't drink any alcohol either, but you'll have wine once you get to phase 2. This may sound daunting, but truly, after the first day or two, when your body is cleansed of the sugars and carbs, you will not miss them. This has been shown to be true for many people.

In the second phase, your body chemistry will already have been changed and you don't have the cravings anymore and you will be able to slowly reintroduce some of your favorite foods. You'll be able to eat pasta, rice, cereal, fruit, some sweets — whatever you feel you want. You will have to be careful about which items you select and how much you eat, but you will be able to eat these things. Once you have reached your goal weight, you'll enter phase 3, where you will learn to maintain your weight.

In phase 3, you will eat normal foods in normal-sized portions and if you live by a few basic rules, you can pretty much forget about the idea of a diet because you will be eating in a new, healthy way. There is a silent benefit to this, as well. You will be significantly improving your blood chemistry, which will have a positive benefit on your cardiovascular system and make your cardiologist very pleased.

The South Beach Diet is grounded in solid nutritional theory and will surely help you live longer and enjoy life more.

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Discussion Comments
By bookworm — On Jul 09, 2008

This diet really works. The first few days I crave carbs, but after a while the cravings are gone, and of course in the second phase healthy carbs are reintroduced. Of course you have to be mindful, and follow the program.

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