The South Beach Diet is created by cardiologist Arthur Agaston in Miami and dietitian Marie Almon. The original purpose of the diet was to prevent heart disease but in early 2000s Dr. Agatston’s own patients discovered that the diet also meant weight loss. The discovery spread very quickly and gained popularity.
The founders of the South Beach Diet discovered that if you eat too much of the “bad carbs”, found in foods with a high glycemic index (GI), you will create insulin resistance and won’t be able to process fat or sugar properly. They also learned that “bad fats”, such as saturated fat and trans fat, increase the risk of having cardiovascular heart diseases. This is why Dr Agaston and dietitian Almon, developed a diet that focuses on “good carbs” (carbohydrates) and “good fats”.
Foods with low GI are referred to as “good carbs”. Unsuaturated fats represents the “good fats”. “Bad carbs” (foods with high GI) and “bad fats” (saturated and trans fats) are held at a minimum in the South Beach Diet. If you eat “bad carbs” that has a high GI you will feel hungrier, which may cause you to eat more. Since you won’t get hungry for snacks with the South Beach Diet, it’s a perfect diet for anyone who wants to lose weight.
The general guidelines for South Beach Diet are as follows:
Replace “bad carbodhydrates/carbs” (high GI), with “good carbs” (low GI)
Replace “bad fats” saturated and trans fats, with “good fats” unsaturated fats
The South Beach Diet has three phases. In all phases of the diet, Dr. Agaston recommends minimizing consumption of “bad fats”.
The first phase of the South Beach Diet lasts for two weeks and is the strictest of the three. In this phase you will limit most carbs (carbohydrates) from your daily diet, including fruit, bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, sugar, alcohol and baked goods. There is a switch inside of us that affects the way our bodies react to the food we eat (and makes us gain weight). When the switch is on, we crave foods that actually cause us to store fat. After the two weeks of the first phase the switch has gone from the on to off position, so you will have corrected the way your body reacts to food.
In phase 2 of South Beach Diet you may start adding foods that you were not allowed to eat during Phase 1. The key here is to re-introduce these foods in moderation and not to eat them as often as you were doing before.
Phase 3 is the final and least restrictive phase of the South Beach Diet. As long as you continue to follow the general guidelines, you will continue to maintain your new weight.