Published on April 16th, 2013 | by George Conte2
The SouthBeach diet and lifestyle plan
Designed by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston, this diet emphasizes on the “right” carbohydrates and the “right” fats. It is not based on calculating calories but its purpose is to control insulin levels so that the body can cleave sugars instead of storing them as fat.
This is an article series about the South Beach Diet. You can find all the articles below:
How does the South Beach Diet work?
When you eat carbohydrates, glucose levels increase in your blood. The pancreas realizes this and it is activated, producing insulin in sufficient quantity to remove sugars from the blood. Insulin “unlocks” the cells to accept glucose. Fortunately the pancreas can perceive how much insulin is needed for glucose to enter the cells. If sugars from a meal are released quickly then more insulin is needed. If sugars are digested slowly, insulin is released gradually. This is a crucial difference in regard to obesity: the ”fast” sugars are worse, the “slow” are better. When food sugars are absorbed slowly, the increase of blood sugar is gradual, and equally gradual is the reduction when the secretion of insulin starts. The slow decrease of blood sugar translates into less persistent desire for more carbohydrates later. This is the original basic goal of the South Beach diet, so it recommends low glycemic index carbohydrates, leading to a slow increase in the blood glucose.
The South Beach diet is divided into three phases. The first phase lasts two weeks and aims to eliminate the desire for all types of carbohydrates and to activate weight loss. The second phase goal is to obtain long-term stable weight loss leading to a healthy weight level. Then, the third phase is followed on the rest of your life to maintain the healthy weight level.
The goal of the first phase is to eliminate the desire for all types of carbohydrates, including fruits. After two weeks, the first phase has been completed, and the desire should have been eliminated. By eliminating the fluctuations in blood glucose caused by carbohydrates, the diet is becoming easier. Then, as “good” carbohydrates are added again in the diet it is less likely to lose control and stop following the diet. These types of carbohydrates that are allowed in South Beach diet are those who have a low glycemic index.
The First Phase – Elimination of desire and start losing weight
The first phase is strict and short since it lasts just two weeks. Two weeks is long enough to recover from the resistance of insulin that has been created because of the consumption of many “bad” (mainly processed) carbohydrates. The purpose of this phase is to stabilize the sugar in blood (which minimizes the desire to consume sugar), making it ideal for prediabetic and diabetic people, and for those who need to lose allot of weight. The main objective is to eliminate the desire for sugar consumption and refined starches in order to start losing weight.
At this stage it is not necessary to eat low amounts of carbohydrates as long as those that you consume are allowed (see tables below). The program of this phase allows large amounts of proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates with a lower glycemic index, i.e. foods needed by the body to satiate and put under control the sugar levels in blood. More specifically, the key feature of these two weeks is the consumption of foods rich in nutrients and fiber. The meals include lean protein, such as fish and other seafood, white meat from skinless poultry, and lean cuts of beef (vegetarians can consume meat substitutes, tofu, and beans). Also, vegetables rich in fiber, cheese with low fat, eggs, low fat dairy products and healthy, unsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, in avocado, at seeds, and finally in extra virgin olive oil and canola oil.
Although this is the strictest phase of the diet, every day has six different opportunities for food – three meals, snacks in the morning and afternoon and dessert after dinner. Thus, the diet claims that those who follow this plan will not starve. The South Beach diet does not ask to calculate grams or calories. Meals should be regular in size, enough to satiate hunger, but no more.
List of foods that you can consume at the South Beach diet phase 1:
|Sirloin||Chicken||All fish species|
|Beef tenderloin||Turkey bacon (2 slices per day)||All types of shellfish|
|Other lean cuts||Turkey breast|
|Pork||Calf||canned luncheon meat|
|Lean bacon||Leg Cutlet||Free of fat or low-fat|
|half pecans (15)||There is no limit unless otherwise instructed by your doctor||Canola|
|30 pistachios||Olive oil|
|20 small peanuts|
|1 tsp. Fresh Peanut Butter|
|Cheese (with low or no fat)||Spices||Sweets|
|Cottage cheese with 1-2% fat||Extracts (almond, vanilla, etc.)Low-fat margarine||Limit of 75 kcal dayGranite sugarless|
|Mozzarella||All sugar free spices||sugar free jelly|
|Parmesan||Black pepper, cayenne, red||Sugar free candies|
|Provolone||Horseradish Sauce||Cocoa powder|
|Ricotta||Powder chocolate sugar free|
|Cheddar||Sugar substitutes (e.g. stevia)|
|Cream cheese with low fat|
List of foods to avoid during the South Beach diet phase 1:
|Chest||Processed products||Baked ham with honey|
|Ribs||Chicken Wings and drumsticks|
|Other fatty pieces||Goose|
|Tomatoes (limited: a large tomato or 10 cherry tomatoes per meal)|
|Fruits (In phase 1 avoid all fruits/fruit juice) like:||Starches and carbohydrates (in phase 1avoid all starchy foods) like:||Dairy products (in phase 1avoid all dairy products) like:|
|Pears||Bread, all types||milk|
|Blackberries||Breakfast Cereals||Soy Milk|
|Apricots||Pasta, all kinds||Yogurt|
|Grapefruit||Rice, all kinds||Frozen yogurt|
Also in the first phase you should avoid Alcohol of any kind, including beer and wine.