The South Beach Diet
- 12 Months ago
The South Beach Diet, sometimes called as a modified low-carbohydrate diet, has been popular for over a decade. This diet is low in carbohydrates and emphasizes on lean proteins, unsaturated fats and low glycemic index carbohydrates. The purpose of the South Beach Diet is to change the overall balance of the foods you eat to encourage weight loss, without hunger, and by following a healthy lifestyle. But, this diet is criticized for being a restrictive "fad" diet.
The South Beach Diet runs in 3 phases:
Phase 1 sounds very much like Atkins Diet with normal quantities of meats, olive oil, lots of vegetables, cheese and nuts. No carbohydrates for the first 15 days; so this means no bread, pasta, rice, wheat, sugar, sweets, cookies, pastries, alcohol or fruit. Phase 1 comes with a vegetarian option as well where meats are replaced with pulses, legumes and soy foods. This phase is high protein and high fat only. The diet claims that one can lose about 4 to 6 kgs in that time.
The negative aspects of Phase 1:
1. Most of the initial weight loss is usually water.
2. A nutrition supplement might be required to make sure that the body doesn't get nutrient deficient.
3. A sudden decrease in carbohydrates, particularly sugar and other high-calorie foods, which are so much a part of the diet these days, can to some extent explain the weight loss.
4., Piling on animal proteins and fats will only increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.
5. This can become monotonous, if followed regularly.
Phase 2 reintroduces carbohydrate foods but rather slowly to prevent weight gain. Bread, pasta, rice, cereal, chocolate and fruit are brought into this phase. This phase lasts till the target weight is reached, which could be a long time. Weight loss expected is up to 1 kg a week, which sounds reasonable. However, if one gets stuck at a particular weight, one needs to go back to Phase 1 again. Phase 2 might be more nutritionally balanced but requires patience to reach the target weight.
Phase 3 is called "diet for life" where "normal" foods are allowed in "normal" quantities for maintenance of the lost weight. Yet, some foods that are higher on the glycemic index are not allowed in this phase either, and this is not based on fact. Foods like tomatoes, carrots and onions which were earlier restricted in the first two phases are now allowed.
The South Beach Diet has evolved over time and now recommends exercise as an important part of your lifestyle to boost metabolism and help prevent weight-loss plateaus. It encourages light exercises like walking during phase one and high intensity exercises in phase two and three.
Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets are often effective in achieving weight loss. These type of diets not only reduces belly fat and insulin levels, increases metabolism but also alters hormone levels, so that you feel fuller and less prone to hunger pangs. But, being highly restrictive in carbohydrates and certain types of fats, such diets also poses potential risks like ketosis, which can lead to an array of adverse symptoms including nausea, headache, fatigue, bad breath ("keto breath"), dehydration and dizziness.
So, always be mindful and opt for a healthy, balanced nutritious diet to achieve your weight loss results.