South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is a diet devised by American cardiologist Arthur Agatston, the prestigious Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach Florida.

It provides a food plan where you do not need to check the weight of the portions, but rather to control the glycemic index of foods, a parameter that measures the ability of a food to cause a more or less rapid rise in blood sugar level.
The scientific hypothesis is that the high-glycemic carbohydrates do rapidly raise the level of insulin, a hormone necessary for the absorption of sugars in the blood. The levels of this hormone, following a meal high in carbohydrates with high glycemic index, quickly reach a peak and then decreases just as quickly: the result is that within one hour from the meal our body hungry again, and we will be then taken to ingest more food, especially more sugars.

The South Beach Diet is therefore based on carbohydrate restriction and the choice of healthy fats are considered for our body, allowing you to eat foods allowed without strict portion control. This method aims to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, while reducing the risk of insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.

The diet includes 5 meals a day, namely the three main (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and two snacks, and as the only condiment allowed the extra virgin olive oil.

It articulates three phases:


The initial goal is to "detoxify" the body from carbohydrates: in the later stages some of these foods will reintroducts.
Phase 1) it has a duration of 2 weeks and provides the greatest weight loss, estimated to be 4 to 6 pounds. And 'the hardest step to follow, because it will erase all the carbohydrates and starchy foods. only the vegetables are tolerated with a very low glycemic index. Prohibited then bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, baked goods, but also fruits and some vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, onions, beets and corn. Completely eliminated even beer, wine or any other alcoholic beverage as well as any kind of sweet.

Sample menu of the first phase (2 weeks):

BREAKFAST: 2 scrambled eggs or omelette, a slice of ham, a centrifuged vegetable, tea or decaffeinated coffee with a little 'of skimmed milk and / or sweeteners.
SNACK META 'MORNING: a serving of lean cottage cheese or low-fat cottage cheese with celery and / or cucumbers.
Lunch: Large salad leafy green, turkey or lean fish fillet.
SNACK: a low-fat yogurt with dried fruit.
DINNER: chicken breast or grilled tuna with steamed spinach, lean cottage cheese with almonds.

As you see there are no portions with weights. And 'possible (as long as no exaggeration!) Eating portions favoring the sense of hunger until satiated, obviously only food allowed at this early stage (fish, shellfish, poultry and lean cuts of beef and veal, vegetables and salads with low glycemic index, low-fat cheese, eggs, and unsaturated fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts).


In the second phase the estimated weight loss is from 0.5 to 0.9 pounds per week. The second phase should be followed for the time necessary to reach the desired weight.
It provides for the gradual reintroduction ofstarches in the form of whole grains, low-glycemic fruits, legumes and possibly ½ glass of wine per meal.
Sample menu of the second phase (until reaching the desired weight):

BREAKFAST: toast with wholemeal bread, a slice of cheese and a ham, a centrifuged vegetable, tea or decaffeinated coffee with a little 'of skimmed milk and / or sweeteners.
SNACK META 'MORNING: a green apple with toasted wholemeal bread.
LUNCH: pasta or brown rice and a large mixed green salad, ½ glass of red wine.
SNACK: a low-fat yogurt with a choice of cereals.
Dinner: turkey breast or grilled salmon, boiled carrots, berries, ½ glass of red wine.


The third phase is the maintenance phase, allows the retention time in the weight reached because you should know which foods to choose not to gain weight, and should be followed for life.
E 'you can consume each day freely 3 fruit servings of grains and three servings and reinsert all foods trying to always favor those with low glycemic index.
In the case of weight recovery, you can start again from phase 1.

Important! Although not expressly prescribed by the diet, you need to drink a lot, at least 1.5 liters of water per day, even in the form of tea or tisane.

Merits of the South Beach Diet
The greatest value of the South Beach Diet is that it makes a clear separation between carbohydrates and "good" and "bad." The first are those complexes, associated with fibers, such as those found in whole grains, legumes, vegetables and most fruits. Carbohydrates invece "bad guys" are the simple sugar and foods that contain high quantities (sweets, biscuits, very sweet fruit, etc.).
Complex carbohydrates, rich in high satiating fiber, along with other foods proposed by the South Beach Diet prevents the occurrence of hunger pangs, that definitely helps you follow the diet.
The South Beach Diet also leads to consume only "good" fats, ie those mono and polyunsaturated (contained in olive oil, fish and nuts), eliminating saturated and hydrogenated ones, the most dangerous for the body and for the circulatory system .

Defects of the South Beach Diet
Phase I of the South Beach Diet is too restrictive and low in vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals. This could lead to a slimming unbalanced or to lose fluids and / or muscle mass. Like all unbalanced diet is contraindicated for diabetics, pregnant women and lactating women, children and adolescents, people with high blood uric acid levels or kidney failure.

For us it is very important to remember the following:

Any news or advice on diets or diets contained on the site shall be construed for informational purposes only. This information should never replace the personal advice of a dietician or nutritionist. Therefore, any decision taken on the basis of these indications must be understood as a personal and according to their own responsibilities. An indicative food program in fact, can not in any way a substitute for the medical choices, which is always the decision maker and the final charge.


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