South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet is a popular weight-loss diet created in 2003 by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and first outlined in his best-selling book, "The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss." The South Beach Diet is a commercial weight-loss diet.
The South Beach Diet, which is named after a glamorous area of Miami, is sometimes called a modified low-carbohydrate diet. The South Beach Diet is lower in carbs (carbohydrates) and higher in protein and healthy fats than is a typical eating plan. But it's not a strict low-carb diet, and you don't have to count carbs.
The purpose of the South Beach Diet is to change the overall balance of the foods you eat to encourage weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. The South Beach Diet says it's a healthy way of eating whether you want to lose weight or not.
Why you might follow the South Beach Diet
You might choose to follow the South Beach Diet because you:
- Enjoy the types and amounts of food featured in the diet
- Want a diet that restricts certain carbs and fats to help you lose weight
- Want to change your overall eating habits
- Want a diet you can stick with for life
- Like the related South Beach Diet products, such as cookbooks and diet foods
Check with your doctor or health care provider before starting any weight-loss diet, especially if you have any health concerns.
South Beach Diet Diet Details
The South Beach Diet says that its balance of good carbs, lean protein and healthy fats makes it a nutrient-dense, fiber-rich diet that you can follow for a lifetime of healthy eating.
The South Beach Diet says that it'll teach you about eliminating so-called "bad" carbs from your diet. It uses the glycemic index and glycemic load to determine which carbs you should avoid. Foods with a high glycemic index tend to increase your blood sugar faster, higher and longer than do foods with a lower index.
The South Beach Diet also teaches you about the different kinds of dietary fats and encourages you to limit unhealthy fats, while eating more foods with healthier monounsaturated fats. The South Beach Diet emphasizes the benefits of fiber and whole grains, and encourages you to include fruits and vegetables in your eating plan.
A typical day's menu on the South Beach Diet
Here's a look at what you might eat during a typical day of the South Beach Diet:
- Breakfast. Breakfast might be an omelet with smoked salmon or baked eggs with spinach and ham, along with a cup of coffee or tea.
- Lunch. Lunch might be a vegetable salad with scallops or shrimp, along with iced tea or sparkling water.
- Dinner. Dinner may feature grilled tuna or pork paired with grilled vegetables and a salad.
- Dessert. The diet encourages you to enjoy a dessert, such as a ricotta cheesecake or chilled espresso custard.
- Snacks. You can enjoy snacks during the day, too, such as a Muenster cheese and turkey roll-up or roasted chickpeas.
The South Beach Diet says that you'll lose 8 to 13 pounds (3.6 to 5.9 kilograms) in the two-week period. It also says that most of the weight will be shed from your midsection. After two-week period, it says that you'll likely lose 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week.
Most people can lose weight on almost any diet, especially in the short term. Most important to weight loss is how many calories you take in and how many calories you burn off. A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week is the typical recommendation. Although it may seem slow, it's a pace that's more likely to help you maintain your weight loss permanently.
Losing a large amount of weight rapidly could indicate that you're losing water weight or lean tissue, rather than fat. In some situations, however, faster weight loss can be safe if it's done in a healthy way. For example, some diets include an initiation phase to help you jump-start your weight loss.
The South Beach Diet, while mainly directed at weight loss, may promote certain healthy changes. Research shows that following a long-term eating plan that's rich in healthy carbohydrates and dietary fats, such as whole grains, unsaturated fats, vegetables and fruits, can improve your health. For example, lower carbohydrate diets with healthy fats may improve your blood cholesterol levels.