The South Beach Diet does not involve limiting consumption of one type of nutrients, such as low carb or low fat diets. Instead, the fundamentals of this diet involve choosing the right nutrients and learning to have a more balanced diet. Developers claim that dieters don’t experience any cravings or feeling hungry, in fact, they don’t even notice they’re on a diet. The idea behind this diet is to know what carbohydrates and fats to consume, to avoid not only weight gain, but other conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.
This diet offers something most other diets don’t: access to a wide variety of foods, thus preventing boredom and contributing to long-term success. The South Beach Diet can become a healthy lifestyle, not just a short-term diet to quickly lose weight.
This book includes the basics principles of this diet as well as recipes and shopping and going-out tips.
The basic fundamental of the South beach Diet is to reduce or eliminate foods with a high glycaemic index, most notoriously highly processed foods. This index measures how much the blood sugar rises after eating. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugary treats, are easily and quickly digested, immediately rising blood sugar whereas complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain bread, are digested slowly so the rise in blood glucose is not so noticeable.
In contrast to the Atkins diet, which eliminates all kinds of carbohydrates, the South Beach Diet recognises that not all carbs are detrimental to our metabolism and foods like fruit, wholegrain and dairy products are eventually allowed.Although, the South Beach Diet defends choosing foods with a low glycaemic index, there is no scientific evidence that this factor alone promotes weight loss. The way most people on a low glycaemic index diet experience weight loss is by eating foods that take a long time to be digested and therefore are less likely to feel hungry soon after a meal. Basically, indirectly, this diet results in a reduction in the number of calories ingested and therefore weight loss. It’s not been shown that people ingesting the same number of calories on a low glycaemic food diet have any advantage over people on a high glycaemic food diet.
Like the Atkins diet, this plan involves three stages with different characteristic and different allowed foods.
During the first phase, carbohydrates are eliminated including bread, potatoes and fruit. However, with the exception of processed carbs, most types of carbohydrates are slowly re-introduced in the second phase. Foods that remain in the prohibited list include sugary products, such as biscuits and cakes, and white bread, pasta and rice. It’s recommended that dieters opt for whole grain products. Some fruit and vegetables should also be consumed with limitations, including bananas, watermelon, pineapple, carrots and sweet corn. This stage will continue until the target weight is reached, when stage 3 can start. This a life-time option, with somewhat more freedom than stage 2, but certainly still restricting highly processed foods.
This diet was developed by Dr. Agatston, a cardiologist currently working in Miami. USA. In addition to his pioneer work in the field of cardiology, he also found the time to publish several books about this diet.
In the mid-90s, Dr Agatston realised that most of his patients with diabetes and cardiac conditions struggled to lose weight. Specifically for these patients not only to lose weight, but also to improve their metabolism, he developed a new type of diet, not based on calorie counting, but on the glycaemic index of different foods, known today as the South beach Diet. This diet worked so well that by 2000 it was being advertised locally and in 2003, Dr Agatston published his first book on this subject, “The South Beach Diet”. This was followed by many other books, including recipe books and tips for going out, amongst others. Today, with more than 23 million books sold, this diet is followed by millions of people all over the world.
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