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South beach diet is a very popular diet plan that teaches a patient a whole new way of the life and diet habits based on the balance of proper carbohydrates and fats. The diet is designed to let the patient live normally without eating the bad carbohydrates and bad fats. The main principle upon which the diet is based is that bad carbohydrates and fats make a person feel even hungrier, causing the food cravings, more eating and finally putting on weight. This diet promises 8 to 13 pounds of weight loss in just two weeks.

The history

The South Beach Diet was first designed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon. They designed a “heart friendly” alternative to low-fat diet plans such as Ornish Diet and Pritikin Diet. Back in the 1980’s these diet plans were strongly recommended to the patients by the American Heart Association to reduce cholesterol and prevent heart diseases. However, doctors found that the patients had problems to stick with this rigorous diet plan and there were some severe side effects involved. For example. Agatston’s new diet was established on a simple principle to replace bad carbohydrates with good ones, as well as the bad fats with good fats.

The principle

The diet is based on the principle that patient triggers its own hunger by taking bad carbohydrates. These kinds of carbs is the one that body digests quickly producing the high levels of sugar. The examples of bad carbs are refines sugars and grains. Instead of them South Beach Diet introduces good carbs such as vegetables, beans and whole grains.

Fats, however, do not contribute to patients hunger but they are associated with bad cholesterol levels and coronary diseases. This way, South Beach Diet substitutes trans-fats and saturated fats with unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acid. Meat and fatty poultry are, for example, replaced with lean meats, nuts and oily fish.

Phases of South Beach DietThe diet plan is divided into three phases. The first phase is designed to eliminate cravings and initiate weight loss. In this phase, which lasts for two weeks, patient eats three balanced meals and uses only extra virgin olive oil. Besides the regular meals, patient has snacks between them, to keep the blood sugar levels stable. In this phase patient cuts back from the bad carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, rice pasta, fruit, candies and sweets. By the end of this stage patient will lose 8 to 13 pounds in two weeks.

In the second stage patient should find out that his outlook on eating changes as the pounds go down. Some of the foods will be added back into the diet but in moderate amounts. This is a phase of consistent weight loss as losing weight slowly is healthier option.

Third stage is the last stage by which patient hits the target weight. This phase lasts till the end of the patient’s life and it should become a normal eating habit based on good and healthy choices. If the weight starts coming back, patient should just adjust the frequency and quality of food he eats.

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