The foods you eat–and the foods you avoid–can help you lose weight, according to the cardiologist behind the South Beach Diet. The author says that “bad fats” and “bad carbohydrates” cause people to gain weight. Therefore, making better food choices will help people lose weight. As a result, dieters need to know which foods to avoid while on the South Beach plan.
According to a review published by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the South Beach Diet has many healthful elements. Recipes offered in the South Beach Diet books feature fruits and vegetables, healthy whole grains, lean proteins and unsaturated fats. Most nutritionists recommend these foods as the basis for a healthy diet.
The South Beach Diet divides into three phases. In phase 1, dieters follow a strict diet for two weeks. The phase 1 food plan restricts many foods, including most fruits, breads, fatty meats, processed foods and starches. During phase 2, the dieter continues to lose weight but can eat a wider range of foods. Phase 3 continues the South Beach Diet plan into a lifetime maintenance program, with an emphasis on exercise and relaxed eating guidelines.
During phase 1 of the South Beach Diet, specific foods to avoid include:
1) Meat: fatty beef, veal, dark poultry, honey-cured hams
2) Vegetables: barley, beets, carrots, corn, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, peas
3) Dairy: ice cream, milk, yogurt
4) Grains: oatmeal, pasta
6) Processed foods: baked goods, crackers
7) Fruits and fruit juice
Later phases gradually add in fruits, vegetables, small amounts of wine and high-fiber grains.
The ADA states that food choices play little, if any, role successful dieting. Dietitians state that regular exercise and consuming fewer calories play the biggest role in losing weight.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Obesity Education Initiative suggests dieters lose 1 to 2 lbs. each week. Rapid weight loss during the first part of the South Beach Diet could exceed these safe guidelines.
Most dietitians recommend diets high in fruits and vegetables, which the South Beach diet eliminates during phase 1.
Two dietitians reviewing the South Beach Diet for the ADA indicated they would recommend the second and third phases of the diet to their patients. Concerns on the first phase center on the absence of many fruits and vegetables and the dangers of rapid weight loss. People who follow the diet through phase 3 will find balanced meal plans and sound exercise advice. Like other healthy eating plans, the later phases of the South Beach Diet may help reduce risk for heart disease, cancer and other diseases.