The new South Beach Diet is another low carb diet that is more tolerant of carbohydrates than harsher diets which attempt to cut them out altogether.
Type - Low Carb
Are special products required - No
Is eating out possible? - Yes
Is the plan family friendly? - Yes
Do you have to buy a book? - Yes
Is the diet easy to maintain? - Yes
So how does it work?...
This diet’s creator is a prominent Miami cardiologist who wanted to improve the life of his patients by creating a healthier low carb diet.
The New South Beach Diet is low carb, like the Atkins Diet, but it promotes the benefits of good carbohydrates and warns against the over consumption of fats and proteins. In other low carb diets, fat is often uncontrolled, potentially leading to high cholesterol levels.
The new South Beach Diet differentiates between “good” carbohydrates and “bad” carbohydrates. Bad carbs are highly refined or overly sugary, like white breads, potatoes, and white rice. Good carbs include whole wheat, brown rice, and whole grain pasta.
Bad carbohydrates (high on the glycemic index) cause a spike in blood sugar, while good carbohydrates are less guilty of this harmful characteristic. Spikes in blood sugar can cause insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes.
The author of the South Beach Diet gives tips for eating “bad” carbohydrates by reducing their glycemic impact through specific food combinations.
The diet plan has three phases which allow carbohydrates to different degrees. The theory behind the stages of this diet is that the first one will reset the way the body sees carbohydrates and gives it a chance to reverse insulin resistance. Carbohydrates are gradually reintroduced in the remaining stages until the body learns to deal with them properly.
The Diet Plan...
There are three phases to the new South Beach Diet. All phases include three meals plus two snacks per day and recipes for all meals and snacks. The structured meal plan is said to satisfy your hunger in a way as to eliminate carbohydrate cravings and uncontrollable snacking by not limiting portion size although a strict adherence to the restricted and allowed food lists must be attained.
Phase one lasts for two weeks, and its central feature is the complete elimination of carbohydrates. This includes all sugars, even in fruits. Alcohol is also forbidden. Lean meats, vegetables, eggs, and low-fat dairy are the basis of this part of the diet plan.
In Phase two, good carbohydrates are introduced slowly into the diet. This phase also lasts for two weeks and is based on the same foods as in Phase one, but you are also now allowed fruits and one single “forbidden” food of your choice (you could choose chocolate, for example).
Phase three of the new South Beach Diet introduces more good carbohydrates and more forbidden foods in strict moderation. This phase is meant to be maintained long term to keep a healthy weight, while the first two phases were primarily weight loss phases which can be repeated again further down the road for additional weight loss.
Is it healthy?...
The bottom line regarding weight loss on the new South Beach Diet is that it is very possible and the first two phases are good at getting results.
Eating lean protein and vegetables until full is a satisfying way to stay full on a low carb, low calorie diet. Though completely cutting out carbohydrates will be a struggle for many people, phase three is easier to maintain and making it through the first two stages just requires effort.
This diet is better than other low carb diets because the new South Beach Diet does not allow for unlimited consumption of fats and proteins, which increases cholesterol and can hamper weight loss. However the absence of fruit in the first phase is a very extreme measure.
Again, eating until you are full is a strength of this diet making it easier to follow than almost any other diet that requires calorie restriction.
The only drawback to the new South Beach Diet is that it may be a challenge for some people to stick to the recipes and resist the temptation to choose something easier but less healthy to prepare. The book has suggestions for eating out, which is useful; however, dedication to following the recipe plan is mandatory.
Flaws in the new South Beach Diet book include a lack of discussion about the importance of exercise. Exercise is important not just for weight loss but for overall health as well. Finally, there is no scientific proof for some of the claims in the book.
• Glass of vegetable juice
• Western egg white omelette, made with liquid egg substitute mixed with chopped green pepper, chopped red pepper, chopped spring onion, and grated reduced-fat cheese
• Chef’s salad of mixed greens topped with cooked ham and turkey, low fat cottage cheese, and 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
• Sugar free fruit jelly
• Grilled salmon with steamed asparagus and mashed potatoes
• Green salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing
• Virtually fat free fromagefrais flavoured with a few drops of vanilla extract and sweetened with a sugar substitute
• Reduced fat mozzarella cheese
• Celery stick with reduced fat cream cheese