The South Beach Diet is hitting the diet world by storm, and for good reason! You can easily shed many pounds by following the rules outlined below.
Understand the glycemic index. The glycemic index (GI) is a way of measuring the amount of sugar in a food, both natural and artificial. The more sugar a food contains, the higher it is said to be on the glycemic index, or the higher its GI is. Foods that are high on the glycemic index slow down your metabolism (because they spike your insulin levels and put your metabolism out of whack). So the South Beach diet decreases your bad carbs, increases your good carbs, and makes sure you only eat good fats (yes, there is such a thing!). With this plan, your body's metabolism with become more regular and you'll notice major weight loss on the South Beach Diet.
Understand the different phases of the South Beach Diet. There are 3 phases in the South Beach diet - phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3. Each phase requires that you modify your eating habits slightly. Phase 1 is the ‘habit-killing' phase, phase 2 is the ‘weight dropping' phase and phase 3 is the ‘maintenance' phase. Here are the specifics of each of the South Beach diet phases.
Begin with phase 1. Phase 1 of the South Beach diet is the most drastic. It requires you to cut the bad foods out of your diet, cold turkey. You must stop eating the following foods for 2 weeks:
- Potatoes / chips
- Sugar / honey
- Flour / baked goods / cereal
- Regular dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt)
- Most oils (corn, grapeseed, peanut, palm, safflower, sesame, soybean, sunflower, coconut, and light/low-fat mayo)and fats (butter, lard, bacon grease, margarine, miracle whip, vegetable shortening)
I know - you're probably crying already at the loss of some of these foods which probably make up the bulk of your diet. But these foods keep your hips thick and your thighs wide, and so these foods need to be eliminated if you want to see changes in your bodily physique. There is good news though. You can still eat the following foods on phase 1:
- Lean protein (eggs / egg whites, seafood, skinless poultry, lean cuts of beef/pork, soy foods)
- Beans, nuts and seeds
- Low-starch vegetables
- Fat free and low fat dairy (minimal servings, if any, per day)
- Unsaturated fats (olive oil, canola oil, olives, avocados, flax seed oil, cooking spray)
- Certain condiments (full fat mayo in moderation, trans-fat-free spreads)
Phase 1 is the strictest of all the phases, but it's designed to be that way. It helps to cleanse your body and jumpstart your weight loss. It only lasts for 2 weeks, so you'll manage. (And you'll probably find that you don't even crave some of your favorite foods after a while during phase 1).
Continue with phase 2. Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet allows you to start eating some of your favorite foods again, including bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, cereal and fruit. However, it is important to do so in moderation and you must strive to eat only whole grain versions of these foods whenever possible. You can't add all of these foods back into your diet during phase 2, or your South Beach Diet efforts will be all for naught. Just add in a few, in moderation, that are healthier for you.
Continue with the phase 2 way of eating until you reach your optimum or desired weight.
Maintain your new weight in phrase 3. Phase 3 is the maintenance phase of the South Beach Diet. It's the least restrictive, and it is meant to become a permanent way of eating. During this phase, you are in charge of what you eat, but keep in mind what effect it will have on your insulin levels and therefore, your metabolism. If you find your weight climbing, go back to phase 1, cutting back on your carbs. With a little persistence and willpower, the South Beach Diet will be something good you can do for yourself that will keep you healthier and happier for the rest of your life.