The South Beach Diet in a Nutshell

By: Lachlan Walker

Former President Bill Clinton made headlines when he lost a significant amount of weight using the South Beach Diet.

The South Beach Diet was created by a cardiologist in south Florida, Dr. Arthur Agatston, who developed the meal plan specifically for overweight heart patients. Agatstonís original book was released in April of 2003 and Agatston has released two cookbooks and a food guide since. The South Beach Diet is found in a book by Arthur Agatston, MD, called The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss.

This diet focuses on a healthy balance between carbs and fats - good carbs and fats. Highly processed foods like baked goods, sweets, and soft drinks will be off-limits.

Some have compared South Beach to Atkins, but the comparison is not really accurate. Agatston has specifically stated that South Beach is not low-carb. However, both diets do have a strict two-week introductory period. Agatston believes in a balance between good carbs and fats, but also believes in eliminating highly-processed foods such as baked goods and soft drinks from oneís diet. The South Beach diet guru says that decreasing bad carbs will enable you to metabolize what you eat more effectively and will improve insulin resistance which will, in turn, lead to weight loss.

The South Beach Diet is divided into three different Phases. All three Phases include specific allowable foods, meal plans, and recipes.

The first Phase, Phase 1, lasts for two weeks and is the strictest of the three. It is when you will limit the most carbs from your daily diet, including fruit, bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, sugar, alcohol, and baked goods.

Once you get used to cutting those "bad carbs" ... yes, it becomes easier. Dr. Agatston says you will become accustomed to eating the good carbs and fats and leaving the bad ones behind.

The theory behind Phase 1 is that there is a switch inside us that affects the way our bodies react to the food we eat (and makes us gain weight).

When the switch is on, we crave foods that actually cause us to store fat. According to Dr. Agatston, at the end of the first two weeks the switch has gone from the on to off position.

In phase 2 you can now you can start adding foods from the Phase 1 Foods to Avoid list. It's up to you which ones you re-introduce: bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, cereal, or fruit.

This diet gives you the freedom to cherry pick which of these foods you add back into your diet. While you can't eat them all (nor eat the ones you choose with abandon) they'll no longer be off-limits.

The key here is to re-introduce these foods in moderation and to not eat them as often as you were before.

Phase 3 is the final and least restrictive Phase of The South Beach Diet. Dr. Agatston says as long as you continue follow some basic guidelines, the diet has become your way of life and you'll continue to maintain your weight.

Supporters of South Beach say that it offers a proven approach to quick weight loss. They add that they feel healthier and more energetic as a result of following the program.

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Lachlan Walker has been a Herbalife Distributor for 5 years and has helped hundreds of customers to lose weight in all parts of Australia. He has numerous Herbalife clients to reach their weight loss goals and has helped one particular client to lose over 40 kilograms.

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