This diet is a low carb diet that has been created to help aid rapid weight loss with no hunger.
Not only that but it promotes heart health and has been popular for over a decade.
Although, it has been criticized to be another “fad” diet that is too restrictive.
What is the South Beach Diet?
Dr. Agatston created this diet in the mid-1990s and only began selling it to people when he tried it out for himself and saw the results.
Once Dr. Agatston began selling to customers, they saw the same results. Weight loss and the loss of belly fat.
How does the South Beach Diet work?
There are three different phases included in this diet; two for weight loss and three for weight maintenance.
Phase 1 lasts 2 weeks.
Due to the fact this phase limits grains, fruit, and other high-carb foods, it is considered the strictest. It limits these foods to help decrease blood sugar and insulin levels, reduce cravings and stabilize hunger.
You can expect to lose anywhere between 8-13 pounds (3.5-6kg) of body weight during phase 1.
You will be consuming three meals a day that will consist of lean protein, non-starchy vegetables and a small number of healthy fats and legumes.
You will be able to consume two mandatory snacks a day, but it is preferable if they are a combination of vegetables and lean proteins.
You should begin this phase on day 15 and continue it until you achieve your goal, so it could be a good few weeks.
You should expect to lose, on average, 1-2 pounds (0.5-1kg) per week during this phase.
Every food from phase 1 is allowed in phase 2, but you need to limit your portions of fruit and “good carbs”, which include whole grains and certain types of alcohol.
You will advance to phase 3 once you’ve achieved your target weight.
Phase 2 guidelines should be the basis of your new lifestyle, but you can add the occasional treat and no food is really off-limit.
If you do find yourself putting weight on again, then you should return to phase one for a couple of weeks before returning to week 3 again.
It is also recommended to do regular exercise with the three phases of this diet.
Foods you can include are:
- Lean beef, pork, lamb, veal and game.
- Buttermilk, low-fat milk, plain or Greek yogurt, kefir, and soy milk, limited to 2 cups (473ml) per day.
- Skinless chicken and turkey breast
- Low-fat hard cheese, ricotta cheese, and cottage cheese.
- Fish and shellfish
- Eggs and egg whites
- Turkey, bacon, and pepperoni.
Consume a minimum of 4 1/2 cups of non-starchy vegetables daily. All vegetables that are not allowed are beets, most types of winter squash, carrots, white potatoes, corn, peas, turnips, and yams.
Limit legumes to a 1/3-½ cup per day, cooked unless otherwise noted.
Nuts and seeds should be limited to 1oz (28 grams) per day.
Oils and fats are limited to 2 tbsp of oil per day. Monounsaturated oils are encouraged.
The benefits of the South Beach Diet include (most importantly) its ability to produce weight loss without hunger.