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So, what is the South Beach Diet? The South Beach Diet seems to have been around for ever, however it became popular as recently as the early 2000’s. It was created by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon as an alternative to the low fat, low carb diets popular at the time. It was originally designed for cardiac patients, but its popularity soon spread to the general dieting population.

So, ‘ rel=’dofollow’>what is the South Beach Diet? The South Beach Diet seems to have been around for ever, however it became popular as recently as the early 2000’s. It was created by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon as an alternative to the low fat, low carb diets popular at the time. It was originally designed for cardiac patients, but its popularity soon spread to the general dieting population.

The South Beach Diet introduced the good carbs, bad carbs concept. Agatston realized that people struggled with conventional low fat diets, and compensated by eating high carb foods, especially sugary food which give an instant rush. However, the body also compensates by overproducing insulin, which creates a feeling of hunger (as well as over time potentially causing problems with diabetes). In fact, it was very hard to lose eight on a simple low carb low fat diet.
The diet also uses the good fats, bad fats concepts, eliminating trans fats and saturated fats found in meat and many manufactured products, and replacing it with unsaturated fat, for example, olive oil instead of lard in cooking.

Agatston studied work on diabetes, and he evolved the concept of a diet where complex carbs such as those found in whole grains, fruit and vegetables could be eaten even in the early stages of a diet.

The South Beach Diet, which is now a proprietary brand, has three stages. During the first two week stage, the diet is designed to allow the body to adjust to a new eating regime. The second stage is the weight loss stage, and can go on for as long as desired. The third stage is the maintenance stage, which is designed to go of for life.

During all stages of the diet, the dieter, rather than following a strict regime, is encouraged to understand how the body works, and to eat accordingly. The diet emphasizes whole grains, nuts, fruit, vegetables and lean meat, but there is room for treats, such as unlimited beer and lager to celebrate Oktoberfest – Agatston is a German. Generally alcohol is prohibited on the South Beach diet, apart from limited amounts of red wine, but the “Oktoberfest exception” has been used to allow for occasional celebratory occasions. Some people make exceptions for holidays like St Patrick’s Day when people often like to take a drink or two.

People like the South Beach Diet because it is a set of rules, rather than a set of limits. Quantities are not specified, although some foods, for example white bread and white rice, are completely prohibited. This lack of structure suits some people, but not others. The diet is undoubtedly a healthy one, and not too difficult to follow. It offers up balanced nutrition, and is reasonably varied.

There has been some criticism of the first phase of the diet which it is thought by some may throw the body’s electrolyte balance out, but in general the South Beach Diet is accepted as a reasonable and healthy way of eating which can definitely help with weight loss if understood and followed correctly.

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