Basic Principles of South Beach Diet
The basic principle of south beach diet is to provide the body with healthy food and burn the stored fats as energy fuel.
The south beach diet comprises of the following three phases-
Phase 1 -
It is the strictest phase and lasts for two weeks during which all carbohydrates have to be restricted. The goal is to eat three balanced meals and two snacks per day. Scientifically, carbohydrates are essential for the storage of fat and when the body is deprived of this nutrient, fats are not stored but burnt to yield energy. This leads to fat loss. About 3.5 to 5.5 kg (8-13 pounds) can be lost in this phase.
Phase 2 -
This phase lasts until the desired weight loss is achieved. This phase involves gradual introduction of some of the food items that were restricted in phase 1. High fiber carbohydrates and low glycemic index foods are permitted in this phase. These foods raise the insulin levels in a milder way than simple, starchy carbohydrates. About 1-2 pounds of weight loss can be achieved per week during this phase.
Phase 3 -
This is the last phase and the weight maintenance phase. It is not time bound but is a way of healthy living and should be followed throughout the life to maintain a healthy weight. It can be started only after the desired weight has been achieved. If the weight comes back then one has to revert to phase 1.
Points to remember while on south beach diet-
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.
- Vitamin and mineral supplementation are necessary to provide the body with the essential nutrients. It is recommended that men and women below 50-years should take 500 mg of calcium which should be increased to 1000 mg for women aged above 50-years.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages. Caffeine containing beverages should be limited to just 1 cup per day.