South Beach Diet Study

Topics: Obesity, Nutrition, Weight loss Pages: 5 (1579 words) Published: March 13, 2011
The South Beach Diet, which originated with Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist, began as a response to the growing rate of heart disease patients in the United States. He found that many of the fad diets were focused on high carbohydrates, which were not affecting the type of weight loss needed to reduce heart disease. The center, or heart of the diet, is focused on healthy lifestyle living, and maintenance around nutritional choices.

The South Beach diet focuses on three phases: Phase one is the kickoff to weight-loss; eliminating all carbohydrates. Phase two focuses on the re-introduction to carbohydrates; making healthier carb choices. Phase three is about diet maintenance and making healthier lifestyle choices.

With the brief overview explained, this paper will discuss the background of the diet, s sample of the diet and how it compares to the recommended daily allowances of proteins, vitamins and minerals, the ongoing maintenance of the diet, and finally whether this diet can be considered legitimate. Background

The South Beach Diet was designed by Dr. Arthur Agatston to help people to lose weight and reduce cases of heart disease related to diet. The goal of this diet is to help control cravings for bad carbohydrates by eliminating them completely from a person’s diet and then slowly reintroducing them. There are three distinct phases that are completed during this diet with the third phase being an ongoing maintenance phase.

In the first phase the dieter eliminates all carbohydrates. Nutrition comes from meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts and vegetables. The idea is to eat three balanced meals a day and also to eat enough to fill hunger needs. This phase lasts about 14 days and gives an expected weight loss of 8-13 pounds.

In phase two, the dieter starts to re-introduce carbohydrates back into the diet one product at a time. The individual also introduces foods that will not give into hunger cravings between meals. The dieter should still be avoiding starchy carbohydrate foods like potatoes, carrots, bananas, and honey. During this phase, a weight loss of about 1-2 pounds per week should be observed.

Phase three begins once the individual finds a desired body weight. This is the maintenance phase and more carbohydrates can be re-introduced; but sparingly. It is essential that the individual maintain a degree of self-control and does not consume high glycemic index foods. Appendix A provides a sample diet of the daily intake for a person on this diet.

It is the initial weight loss period that some people have shown concern about because it is mostly water-weight loss due to the removal of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates help water storage in your body and when this is removed you will also lose the water that is retained with it. When your body doesn't have enough carbohydrates to consume then it goes into a state of ketosis, which is dangerous and causes weight loss.

These fad diets have all claimed weight loss and also have potential side effects. None of them include regular exercise as part of the diet and so the nutrition requirements of an endurance athlete are not looked after; furthermore, none of these are suitable for any endurance athlete. The carbohydrate intake needed by an endurance athlete is not covered in the Zone, Atkins, or South Beach diets. Diet Maintenance

By phase three of the diet - which is the final phase - the dieter has already achieved his or her ideal weight. This phase is all about maintenance. At this point the dieter should be on a routine that is easy to accommodate. The diet does not count calories or contain strict portion sizes, but eliminates sugary carbohydrates.

According to Cindy Moore, RD, a director of nutrition therapy at The Cleveland Clinic, and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, the diet meets several of the criteria for a healthy diet. It does not leave out any major food groups. It is important to state that Moore warns...

References: Agatston, A. (2003). The South Beach Diet. New York: Random House.
Agatston, M.D., A. (2004), The South Beach Diet Cookbook. Pennsylvania: Rodale, Inc.
Angderson, C. (Winter 2005, Vol. 4). Fad Diets: The Skinny behind the Scam.
Retrieved May 12, 2007, from JPHAS: Journal for Pre-Health Affiliated Students
Mercola, J., & Vaszily, B. (2007). Twelve Reasons to Avoid the South Beach Diet.
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Sorgen, C. (2006). Dieting: Does Fad Equal Bad? Retrieved May 12, 2007, from CBS
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The South Beach Diet. (2006, June). Retrieved May 13, 2007, from WebMD website:
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