Among the most popular forms of dieting is the South Beach diet, developed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston of Miami, Florida.
The South Beach diet is always confused with Atkins Diet, which is a low-carbohydrate diet. The South Beach diet highlights the consumption of "good carbohydrates" (high in fiber) and low in glycemic index. The South Beach diet was developed for patients with heart problems to lose weight without risking ketosis. The weight loss was a side effect which turned out to be beneficial and this encouraged many people to try South Beach diet.
According to the South Beach diet theory, highly processed carbohydrates are quickly digested which makes insulin level to shoot up. Once the carbohydrates are all used up, your high insulin level makes you crave more for carb-filled foods.
The South Beach diet is based on the observation that Americans are carb crazy, which is also the reason for the induction phase. In the first two weeks, dieters attempt to eliminate bad carb such as grains or fruits. After this phase, grain-based foods and fruits are returned to the diet with the concentration on foods with low glycemic index.
The South Beach diet also emphasizes the difference between good and bad carbohydrates, and good and bad fats. Good carbohydrates have low glycemic index which means that they are slowly digested and absorbed. The South Beach diet bans unhealthy fats such as saturated fat.
Finally, the South Beach diet stresses a permanent change in one's way of eating. The South Beach diet suggests whole grains along with large amounts of vegetables, with sufficient amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, plus Omega-3 oils. The South Beach diet discourages eating of overly refined foods such as flour and sugar.
According to experts, the South Beach diet met the criteria of healthy diet which is a good thing. The bad thing is the induction phase wherein dieters lose weight due to loss of water. Losing a large amount of water can disturb one's electrolyte so if you're following the South Beach diet, it would be better if you work closely with a doctor.
According to Dr. Agatston, South Beach diet is neither a low carb nor low fat diet but the restrictions placed in the induction phase cut big time the carbohydrate and fat intake of dieters. The good thing about the South Beach diet is that it teaches people on the right foods to eat to cut the risk of heart problems and high cholesterol as well as help them lose weight. The South Beach diet is a long, tedious journey towards perhaps a drop dead gorgeous body. But more than phases of losing weight, the South Beach diet is a way of life.