If you’re thinking about starting the South Beach diet, you probably have a few questions. Does it work? What can I eat? How is it different from other low carb diets?
South Beach Diet Philosophy
The South Beach Diet, at it’s core, is a low carb/high protein diet with specific structure to help you adapt to the new eating plan. It was developed by Dr. Agatston, in the 1990’s, in an effort to help patients lose weight.
The diet is separated into three distinct phases lasting several weeks. Each phase has it’s own rules and list of food you’re allowed to eat and expected to avoid.
Duration: 2 Weeks
Purpose: Eliminate bad carbs
The initial phase of the diet lasts 14 days, and is commonly considered the hardest part of the diet. You can view this phase as a detox of sorts from processed food and high starch, high sugar foods.
This initial phase is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding. You can lose up to 15 pounds in the first two weeks if you follow the diet plan strictly.
See Also: 3 keys to rapid fat loss
Duration: 6 weeks
Purpose: Introduction of good carbs
While phase one is very strict, and you’re expected to adhere to a very limited selection of food, phase two begins to help you tailor the diet to your lifestyle. You’ll begin adding in low glycemic foods, and eating carbs several times throughout the day.
The introduction of good carbs is very progressive, increasing your carb portions each week until you reach the end of phase two.
Purpose: Long term maintenance
Phase three of the South Beach diet is your new long term meal plan, where you combine everything you’ve learned from phase one and two.
You’ll plan your meals avoiding the bad carbs from phase one, while introducing the good carbs from phase two. You’ll also learn how to plan meals and carb consumption to avoid regaining weight.
The final phase of the diet is no longer about losing weight, it’s for long term planning to help you keep the weight you lost from returning.
Related: Atkins for beginners
South Beach Or Atkins
If you’ve heard of, or even tried, the Atkins diet you’ll notice many similarities. Both have an initial phase of the diet lasting several weeks, considered to be quite challenging. Both are low carb, high protein variants.
The difference between the two diets is the introduction of certain carbs on the South Beach diet. Over time, you’re encouraged to increase your carb consumption on the South Beach Diet unlike Atkins.
If you’ve tried Atkins, and found it to be too challenging to maintain long-term, the South Beach diet may be a better fit for your lifestyle.
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