The South Beach diet, which honestly I can’t figure as to why it’s called as such, was composed by Cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston in around 2003 along with dietitian Marie Almon. The main purpose was for Dr Arthur to help his patients improve their lipid parameters. The common diets at the time, which were also approved by American Heart Association focused on them being low fat, high carb. However, as the doctor rightly observed, his patients struggled to lose weight on a high carb diet, whereas people on Atkins (a low carb, average fat diet) lost around 5-6 kilos in the first 2 weeks of them following the diet. However, the high fat allowed in the diet, specifically with no restriction on the kind of fat led to the creation of the South beach diet, which is roughly based off the Atkins model with the inclusion of what can be termed as the ‘good fat’.
HOW THE DIET WORKS?
The diet is divided into 3 phases
- Phase 1 – Lasts for 2 weeks during which all sugars, fruits, and most carbohydrates are avoided. No alcohol, including beer and wine, is to be consumed during this phase.
- Phase 2 – The weight loss phase, lasts as long as the dieter doesn’t reach the desired weight goal. During Phase 2, “good carbs” (with a low GI) like whole-grain breads, whole-grain pastas, most fruits, and some treats are re introduced in the diet.
- Phase 3 – is nothing but the maintenance phase after reaching the target weight. The idea is for the participant continues to make healthy food choices and make a lifestyle change.
In the next part, we’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of the South Beach Diet, and why you may wanna do it or not.