There are different reasons why people gain extra weight: poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle, bad eating habits. Sometimes obesity is caused by health issues, like slow metabolism, hormonal imbalance, etc.: in these cases it’s pretty difficult to lose weight without medical help. But in other cases only willpower and persistence are required to do that. It’s not easy to stick to a diet, but getting healthy dietary habits is even harder. However, there is a means helping dieters to keep to healthy nutrition and thin down; moreover, it’s not dangerous or extremely restrictive. It’s the South Beach Diet, developed to promote a natural and persistent weight loss.
What is it?
The program was designed by a cardiologist A. Agatston from Florida. His showed great responsibility, persistence, and care, taking various factors, including patients’ preferences into account. And like any responsible doctor, he tried it himself beforehand. The South Beach Diet appeared in early 2000s and was aimed at people suffering from obesity or heart issues. Soon it became popular among people willing to get a slim body. So, half the state population with extra pounds hase tried it. Today the program has developed into a delivery meal service: you just place an order, and dishes are delivered to your doorstep: fast and simple.
This nutrition plan is not only about dieting; it’s more about healthy lifestyle adding to weight loss. The program doesn’t include accurate calorie count. The daily ration includes 3 meals, 2 snacks, and 1 protein dessert. It’s not particularly restrictive, and you can keep it however long you choose; no bad consequences for the state of overall health are likely to appear.
Basic principles of the South Beach Diet
The general idea of this nutrition plan is to substitute bad transfats and carbs with good ones, make the right choice of products, and stay away from unhealthy food.
The basic principles are as follows:
- In first 14 days of dieting you shed about 8-14 pounds, depending on the body weight in the beginning. The lower it is, the less pounds you shed.
- The menu consists of vegetables, fish, eggs, poultry fillet, wholegrain bread, nuts, and some other ingredients.
- Arthur Agatston doesn’t recommend excluding carbs entirely. You actually should choose carb products with low GI. They help maintain normal blood sugar level and feel full for longer.
- The quantity of fats also plays a critical role when you aim to thin down. But saturated transfats are to be replaced with monounsaturated ones, for example, avocado, olive oil.
- If you have to shed less than 10 pounds, you need to skip the first step and go right to the second.
- Each step is easier than the previous one.
How does it work?
If you choose this nutrition plan, it would be well if you understood how it acts. During the first stage, the body weight lowers at a fast rate. The reason is that you lose a lot of liquids. If the body doesn’t get enough sugar during the first step, it starts to empty its own pool. Carbohydrates are stored in the body in the form of glycogen. As far as glycogen is present in the form of sugar dissolved in water, after the stores are empty, only water remains in the body. It leaves the body with urine.
If you preferred unhealthy foods before starting the South Beach Diet, youк body is clogged with extra liquids. You’ll lose extra amounts in the beginning. It means that some weight will be gained again when during the last stage you consume enough water and sugar.
Is the South Beach Diet safe?
Not all diets are innocent. Often people who wish to lose pounds start keeping to a diet with too severe restrictions. For example, some dieters are sure that all carbs and fats are bad for them. And they avoid eating them at all costs, not realizing that such ignorance ruins their health. Any diet should be well-balanced. The South Beach Diet is just the case. Created by a medical doctor, it is quite safe for dieters if they accurately follow the instructions. Also, don’t forget that is has been aimed at helping people suffering from heart issues, so it is rich in nutrients and other helpful ingredients. The dietary plan includes three stages; each one has its own restrictions and recommendations.
- It’s the shortest one and lasts for 2 weeks.
- It’s the most difficult stage for most dieters due to severe restrictions.
- Completing it makes your blood sugar level be better controlled.
- Most dieters undergo it quite easily thanks to the feeling of being full. As it occurs, keeping ordinary diets is difficult for many dieters because they feel hungry too often.
If you desire to achieve weight goals, you need to follow certain recommendations:
- You should consume big amounts of protein.
- Your menu should include vegetables, salads, legumes, eggs, defatted dairy products, 2 teaspoons of ‘good’ fats: nuts, olive oil.
- You can’t consume fruits, starchy foods (pasta, rice, bread), sugary foods; alcohol is also restricted.
- Drinking protein cocktails before meals will do you good.
- You should eat slowly, chew thoroughly.
All these principles and restrictions are not particularly hard to follow.
It has no time limit: you need to observe it until you reach your dream body mass. It is necessary that you gradually prepare to go back to normal dietary habits. So, you’ll get more freedom, and the dishes recommended are more variable and delicious.
Recommendations are as follows:
- You add complex carbs to the menu: wholegrain bread, brown rice, pasta made from hard wheat, fruits.
- Every day you should consume 3 fruits and 3 starchy products.
- You should have snacks only when you do feel hungry.
- You are allowed to drink 150 ml of wine, no more.
- It’s recommended to keep an active lifestyle and do some light exercises.
The last step to the slim body has no time limitation. It implies a return to a normal ration, but unhealthy products will be replaced with healthy food. Phase 3 actually becomes your normal lifestyle.
The recommendations are:
- You’re recommended to consume 3 fruits per day.
- You’re suggested to have 3-4 meals daily.
- The last meal is to be had 2-3 hours before going to bed.
- Healthy fats are to be limited to 2 tablespoonfuls (vegetable oil, nuts).
- Stay away from fast-food, alcohol (only a glass of red wine is allowed), pastry.
What are the effects?
Sticking to the recommendations, you may expect a noticeable weight loss. Normally dieters lose 8-14 pounds during first 14 days. At the second stage, you’re unlikely to shed pounds that fast, but a lot depends on your following the dietary principles and on your energy level. It’s considered not perfectly safe for the body to thin down so fast for long. But as the first stage of the South Beach Diet doesn’t take long, it’s not going to harm you. Still, if you notice any ketosis symptoms, like nausea, dehydration, and fatigue, you should immediately see your nutritionist or GP.
Although the initial weight loss is caused by liquids loss, the rate depends on the quantity of calories your body gets and spends. And a good tip for those who decide to try the South Beach Diet: be responsible in keeping it, but don’t treat it as a miracle that will help you instantly. A number of diets seem to be ineffective only because dieters constantly check their body weight or measure waist. This particular plan doesn’t demand counting calories, so you don’t need to be fixed on the achievements.
The South Beach Diet vs. Atkins
In fact, they have much in common. Atkins diet is a bit more structured, it demands counting carbs, while the latter has a bigger variety of products. Both plans have 2-week long initial stage, so you can actually try both nutrition programs and decide which one suits you better.
The major disadvantage of the South Beach Diet is a lesser quantity of fiber in the menu, especially on the Stage 1. It may cause some digestion problems. They are normally not serious and soon disappear. Also, if you keep to the stage one recommendations for too long, you’ll have a higher risk of getting gallstones. People suffering from kidney or liver failure, peptic ulcer, cholecystitis, hepatitis, and pyelonephritis should by no means observe this diet: it can cause even more serious health issues in this case. Pregnant and breastfeeding women have to avoid it as well. Also, before starting a new diet it’s always recommended to consult with your nutritionist beforehand.
How to buy it?
You can buy all the required products in a grocery shop or in a supermarket. But a faster and simpler way is to have it delivered to your doorstep by an online order. The cost depends on the dietary plan you choose and on your gender: for men it’s a bit more expensive, as they need bigger amounts of food to keep energetic. You don’t pay for shipment; the 4-week supply will be based on the stage you are on.
Reviews and conclusion
Shelly P.: ‘I didn’t know it was possible to order a certain diet and get the full set of necessary products! It’s very simple, and it saves my time and efforts. Moreover, I get thinner and healthier, thanks to it. A great idea!’
Samantha K.: ‘I’ve been fighting with extra weight for 5 years. But with this dietary plan I’ve already lost 8 pounds – in two weeks. Now I’m feeling much better and ready to go on.’
John D.: ‘I didn’t expect much of it, but the results are significant, even after first weeks. I do believe this nutrition program is working for me.’
The South Beach Diet is a great solution for those willing to become thinner. It’s natural and safe, and what is more important, it teaches and encourages people to eat healthy normal food. No wonder, it’s so popular among the dieters all over the world.