What is the South Beach diet?

Created by a cardiologist and then purchased by Kraft (who developed a full food line), the South Beach diet is based on the idea that Americans are carbohydrate crazy, and that the diet will wean us from carbohydrates and thus allow weight loss. The program restricts carbohydrates like potatoes, fruit, bread, cereal, rice, pasta, beets, carrots and corn for the first two weeks of the diet plan. You can only re-introduce very limited amounts of any of these foods, and certainly not all of them. You will be allowed to consume healthy fats (they are actually encouraged in portion controlled amounts) and you can eat “low-sugar” carbohydrates in moderation.

One particular component of the diet that appeals to consumers is the strategic snacking that is recommended. You are not asked to do meticulous calorie counting, but you do need to learn normal portion control and not gorge or binge, even on healthy foods. And the program has 3 phases: a 14-day induction diet which bans the list of carbs mentioned above, a “reintroduce certain carbs” phase and then your “final phase for life.” Many South Beach dieters re-do the first and second phase when they begin to gain weight after being on phase 3 for extended periods of time.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.