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The South Beach Diet Comes Ashore

Apr 7, 2008
There seems to be no end to the measures people will go to in order to lose weight. The South Beach Diet is a relative newcomer to the scene, but follows its predecessors to some extent. Like its cousin the Atkins diet, South Beach was created by a medical doctor. A cardiologist named Arthur Agatston. His practice is based in Miami Beach, Florida. This is also where the name of the diet originates.

As with other diets, the South Beach lifestyle incorporates exercise and other changes in order to best affect weight loss. Dieters follow three phases. The first phase is the strictest. And the hardest to stick to. In the 14 days of this phase, dieters are being reprogrammed to avoid certain foods. These "forbidden" foods include potatoes, fruit, bread, cereal, rice, pasta, beets, carrots, and corn. The point is teaching the body to burn fat instead of sugar for energy. This sugar-burning process is why people crave sugar. And starches. While the first phase is very hard to follow, it also leads to the greatest weight loss. Some people can lose up to fourteen pounds in the first two weeks. In particular, the fat around the midsection will begin to decrease.

Phase Two of the South Beach Diet is easier than Phase One. Some forbidden foods are allowed now. They are incorporated slowly. Other starchy/sugary foods are still discouraged. Phase Two isn't given a timeline. Some dieters will need more time to re-train their bodies than others. Once dieters have learned to control sugar cravings, they will be entering Phase Three. This phase is more a lifestyle change. It has no real discernable end. Dieters ready for this point in the program have been successful. They have learned how to lose weight. And keep it off. They have learned to let go of their cravings. They now know how to determine a healthy food from one that isn't.

What makes the South Beach Diet different from, say, the Atkins diet? They are both low-carb diets. They both encourage dieters to eat certain foods. Foods that have a low Glycemic Index (aka GI index). This means that they don't cause blood sugar to rise or fall quickly. The South Beach choice doesn't require dieters to count calories. Or carbs. It encourages eating certain types of fat. These "healthy" fats differ from saturated fats.

The South Beach Diet has become very popular among dieters. Those who are looking for a good alternative to the Atkins diet are flocking to this low-carb choice. Like many other newer diets, food companies have jumped on the bandwagon. Kraft now has a line of foods out that promote the tenets of the South Beach lifestyle. These foods are packaged in meals. They are readied for easy purchase and consumption. And dieters are taking them home. This diet in particular has created a stir among people who wish to lose weight but don't want to give up their favorite foods. The South Beach lifestyle simply requires the dieter to think: Are the foods I'm eating good or bad? Do they have healthy or unhealthy fats? Once the veil of cravings has been lifted in Phase One, living a South Beach life is quite easy.
About the Author
Jason Hulott is Director at UK Diets Online, a service that provides information about all the major UK diets systems available, healthy eating and diet information. Visit now and take advantage of our special deals with Weightwatchers
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