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South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet menu

The South Beach diet is another meal plan that reduces and eventually restricts what are considered to be "bad" carbohydrates. While the South Beach diet menu leaves rooms for carbs that naturally occur in many vegetables, dieters are restricted from fruits, potatoes, bread, cereal, rice and pasta for at least the first two weeks of the plan. The diet and its meal plans continue in phases to monitor the types of foods you consume.

The South Beach diet focuses on the glycemic index (or sugar content) of the carbs you eat. The idea is to lessen blood sugar swings, which will even out your ability to burn fat and even reduce hunger.

South Beach Diet vs. Atkins Diet

The South Beach diet is often compared to the Atkins diet, and truly, the two are quite similar in their approach to the consumption of carbs. However, the South Beach diet is typically considered a more heart-friendly alternative to the Atkins diet. The Atkins diet encourages people to skip carbohydrate-laden foods in favor of protein and fat-rich choices, which may even include foods like bacon and eggs. On the other hand, the South Beach diet asks people to avoid carbs and, at the same time, promotes eating only healthy fats.

A Typical South Beach Diet Recipe

A typical south beach diet recipe focuses more on portion control than on content of the meal. You're invited to eat all kinds of different foods, keeping sugar and carbohydrate content in mind, but are encouraged to eat several small meals throughout the day, rather than taking three large meals.

South Beach diet recipes are divided into three phases, each which is meant to lead you into a long lasting lifestyle change that will help you maintain your weight and your health.

The first phase is the most restrictive and rules out all sugar-rich carbohydrates (sometimes called white carbs because much of the forbidden food is white). You also can't drink any alcohol in this two-week period. However, low-fat dairy products are allowed.

Phase two lasts until you have reached your goal weight and allows you to eat the foods forbidden in the first phase, just in small amounts. You're encouraged to continue to avoid the foods if possible, but if there are tastes on the restricted menu that you can't live without, you're invited to work small amounts into your diet.

The final stage is considered a lifelong commitment and asks you to continue eating smaller portions more frequently, keeping the lessons you've learned about sugar and carbohydrate consumption in mind.