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Introducing the South Beach diet

Food quantity restriction in your South Beach diet

The diet starts out with a lot of carb intake restriction in Phase One, which lasts two weeks. After that period, the South beach diet becomes progressively less restrictive and selected foods are allow back into your menu.

The south Beach diet structure

Dieters are encouraged to eat three meals and three snacks daily. Beyond that meal frequency, after the first two weeks, there is virtually no diet structure. No measuring or weighing of food, and no counting carbs. There are suggestions for adding carbs back in, but a lot is left up to the individual to manage the progression of weight loss.

How hard is it?

Very easy to learn. There are lists of foods to avoid and to “enjoy” and you eat what you want within those lists. The South beach diet is  composed of two diet foods lists. The first diet list is of approved diet foods, the other list the prohibited foods, those with high fat or high carbohydrates level that will slow weight loss.

South beach diet steps:

Phase 1 lasts two weeks, and excludes most carbohydrates from your menu, including all fruits, most dairy products, and most sources of saturated fat. Phase 2 lasts until the dieter has completed weight loss and has reached his or her ideal target weight. Ideal weight can be measured and found in several ways. Either by using the BMI index. The BMI index is a straightforward calculation. The Body mass Indicator formula, as well as the Ideal weight charts can be found here. These tools will help find the weight goals based on your height and stature. Finally phase 3 of the south beach diet is about weight maintenance. Carbohydrates are progressively added  to your meals and introduced in your weekly menu during.

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South Beach diet Phase 1

This step is certainly the most restrictive. You are  introduced
to foods which are low in saturated fats – these foods are to be emphasized and foods high in saturated fats avoided throughout
the South Beach diet. Additionally, sources of carbohydrate are severely restricted – no fruit or grains are allowed, or most dairy products.

What to eat

Lean protein sources (eggs and egg whites, seafood, remove skin from poultry, lean cuts of beef and pork, soy foods), fat free and low fat dairy products (limit milk/yogurt to 2 cups per day), one serving beans, low starch vegetables, small amount of nuts (you have to count them), “good fats” (not saturated), some low carb condiments and beverages. Nothing else, including fruits and alcohol. See list of appropriate vegetables below

Step 1 length and objective

The first step should last no less than 2 weeks in order to ensure fast weight loss and to subside that normal carb craving and to modify your metabolism so as to better handle carbs the carbs it does receive. This is a diet basic, the carb cravings need to be in check before moving on to the next diet phase.

Recommended low carb vegetables list:

 * Sprouts * Greens – lettuces, spinach * Hearty Greens - collards, mustard greens * Radicchio and endive * Herbs - parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary * Bok Choy * Celery * Radishes *  Broccoli * Cauliflower * Cabbage * Mushrooms * Avocado * Cucumber * Peppers * Summer Squash * Scallions or green onions * Asparagus * Bamboo Shoots * Leeks * Brussels Sprouts * Snow Peas * Green Beans * Tomatoes * Eggplant * Artichoke Hearts * Fennel * Onions * Squash * Carrots * Turnip
* Water Chestnuts * Pumpkin

High carbohydrate Vegetables to avoid

# Beets # Carrots  # Corn # Parsnips # Peas
# Plantains  # Potatoes # Winter Squashes

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South Beach diet phase 2

Carbohydrates are slowly and carefully added to the South Beach diet. Weight loss slows to a recommended 1-2 pounds per week. Dieters figure out how much and what types of carbohydrate they can eat and still feel good and lose weight.

What you should be eating

The south beach diet recommendation is to first add one daily serving of a carb rich food previously forbidden. A low glycemic fruit such as berries or grapefruit is suggested. Dieters monitor their body’s response to this carbohydrate intake, particularly in regards to carb cravings. If all goes well they add another serving the following week to the menu (perhaps a serving of a whole grain), and continue in the same way. If at any point they get a negative reaction they try a different food, with a lower glycemic index.

Step 2 length and objective

You need to stick to this phase until your required or ideal weight is achieved. You will gradually expand your food choices and learn to make better menu decisions. You should then continue to lose weight at a steady pace and finally continue eating just enough carb foods to stop the cravings and avoid putting on some of that weight back on.

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South Beach diet phase 3

Once dieters have have reached their ideal weight, they proceed to Phase Three, where the variety of foods is liberalized still further and weight is maintained. The change from Phase Two is not very great, however, weight loss and weight maintenance need to stay a permanent concern in order to fend off carbohydrate cravings and improper menu selection.

What you should be eating

In the original book, Agatston says that the knowledge gained in the first two phases will guide eating  and menu selection and that “there is no food list for Phase Three”. However, the Good Fats Good Carbs Guide has lists of food with codes as to how often they are “allowed” in each phase. Essentially, the recommendations tend to be that a few foods (with either more carbs or saturated fat) can be eaten somewhat more often, but otherwise it’s very similar to Phase Two.

Step 3 length and objective

Basically, it's a continuation of the end of Pre-Maintenance, where the carbohydrate level "balance" is found - the most carbohydrate that can be safely eaten without gaining weight. One of the goals of the Atkins diet plan is to have the dieter understand the daily carb intake and to stabilize menu preparation. The worst thing for weight is irregular eating habits of random full meals and snacks. By inducing regular meal preparation and consistent daily menus, the carb balance or dietary equilibrium becomes a healthy way of life in the pursuit of this ideal weight.

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