The South Beach Diet: The Diet Plan

A specially designed combination of meals regimen with the recommendations on what food to consume and what to avoid is the thing that turns a usual daily eating routine into a diet. In fact, diet plan with all its rules, recommendations and recipes is the background issue of all the diets. The plan itself is the key point of diet success, provided that this plan promises tempting results, is understandable for people and easy to follow. Of course, the scientific background of the diet plan also plays an important role and adds many points to the diet rating.

The South Beach Diet seems to have all the features of a successful diet plan, because it is quite clear for understanding, it is rather comfortable to follow its rules and recommendations, and it is composed by a qualified doctor.

The South Beach plan is well organized; it defines fast and healthy weight loss as the major goal of the dieting and explains how exactly one can achieve the goal.

In general, the road of a dieter to his target weight consists of three sections, called diet phases.

The first phase lasts 14 days and it is the hardest part of the dieting way. To help people pass the phase 1 successfully the South Beach Diet offers day-by-day schedule with all the meals (the daily eating regimen includes three major meals, two snacks and one evening desert). Besides, the book on the diet gives detailed instructions on how to prepare the meals, suggested by the South Beach plan.

Though it is mainly due to the first phase recommendations that the South Beach is often compared to the Atkins with its strict banning of the carbohydrates consumption in the initial phase, there are many differences between these two diets. The initial phase of the South Beach does not require complete restriction of all the carbohydrates. It does not have to be low carb program if a dieter chooses good carbs (those with the lowest glycemic index).

On the other hand, since the food choices for the initial phase are limited, the diet author does not recommend staying at this phase for more than 14 days.

Below is a short guide to what foods are welcomed by the South Beach Diet phase one and what are not.

Foods to enjoy
Foods to avoid
Lean cuts Brisket, liver, fatty cuts, rib stakes
Cornish hen, turkey skinless Duck, goose, processed poultry
All types of fish and shellfish
Fat-free or low-fat cheese, milk and yogurt Edam cheese, ice cream, whole milk and soy milk
Asparagus, beans, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes Beets, carrots, corn, white and sweet potatoes
Almonds, cashews, peanut butter All fruits and fruit juices
Olive and canola oil All types of bread, cereal, oatmeal, rice, pasta, pastry

After the strict phase one, which acts like a cold shower for the whole organism, comes more liberal stage of the diet. Phase two is a time of slower weight loss (1-2 pounds per week in comparison to 8-13 pounds during the initial phase) and more democratic approach to food options. It is time to reintroduce some of the products, which have been a taboo for the previous stage.

So, a dieter may say “Hello” to most of the fruits (apples, apricots, blueberries, grapefruits, pears, plums and peaches), yogurt, bread (but it should be whole wheat or rye bread only), high-fiber cereals, pasta, sweet potato and rice. Here is good news: from now and on a dieter may enjoy chocolate and red or white wine, though without excessive diligence.

White bread, cookies, cornflakes, baked potatoes, bananas, fruit juice, honey, ice cream and jam still remain in the blacklist of the South Beach Diet.

A dieter should stay in the phase two until his target weight is achieved. After that comes the life long period of maintenance, when a dieter may forget about the South Beach Diet, but he should always remember its basic principles and never violate them.

The South Beach Diet neither white nor black lists of the foods for the phase 3 of the dieting. It is suggested that now a dieter himself may choose what is good and what is bad for him. In case a few excessive pounds of body fat return to the South Beach Diet follower, he is encouraged to repeat phase one in order to keep body weight under control.

The eating regimen for the phase of maintenance differs slightly from the previous stages of the dieting. The South Beach Diet recommends having three regular meals a day, without snacks, but with evening deserts. Though the diet does not give strict recommendations of food options, the book offers a wide variety of recipes to enjoy while staying in the phase 3 of the South Beach Diet.