The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is one of the odd fishes swimming in the treacherous waters of the international weight loss industry. Many people love it and are perfectly willing to swear by the good name of M.D. Arthur Agatston, while others find it hard to stick to the obligatory induction phase. The South Beach Diet belongs to the low-carbohydrates group of diets and has been derided as a fad diet, although its fans claim that it is not a fad diet and that it is, in any case, much more responsible and healthy than Atkins. Then again, not many diets manage to be less healthy than Atkins.

Dieters who choose the South Beach Diet can expect to see their food intake restricted to lean meat, seafood, eggs, low fat dairy products, nuts, vegetables (most of them, anyway), artificial sweeteners and a couple of carbohydrates of the low glycemic variety. During the first phase of this diet, the shock phase, most fruit and vegetables are still on the banned list, just like the rest of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, some people find it hard to cope with the low energy level, the fatigue and sometimes nausea that accompany this phase. However, it should be noted that not all dieters experience these symptoms. It’s all in our genetic make-up.

The bets part of this diet is the focus on removing simple carbohydrates (sweets, pasta, bread) from the diet and replacing them with the healthier complex carbohydrates from wholegrains and vegetables. The worst part is the marketing jargon that makes it sound like a fad diet and the tough first phase of the diet, which sacrifices the long-term healthy eating approach for an instant gratification technique based on the catch-all slogan “lose weight fast”. Any such approach will have the dieter lose a lot of water and not that much fat.

On the other hand, the second phase of the diet is a bunch of quite sensible eating advice and the recipes provided by the author are very good. There are also pre-packaged South Beach foods for those who lack the time or the inclination to cook for themselves. All things considered, the South Beach Diet is not a bad idea if one could clear away the hype and marketing lingo and focus on the healthy eating part and the good food choices. This information is something that should stay with you through the years if you’re looking to keep that weight from returning.

The GI Plan Diet : Glycemic Index

One of the most interesting ideas to take the dieting industry by storm is the Glycemic Index. The index was compiled in the early 1980s at the University of Toronto and is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates that break down rapidly during digestion and are easily converted to glucose have the highest glycemic indexes. Those who break down slowly and gradually release glucose into the blood stream have a low index. The low glycemic index means that the body absorbs less sugars and starches from foods which fall into this category.

The GI Plan diet is based on the idea that it is better to eat plenty of foods with a low glycemic index because the steady and gradual release of glucose into the blood will provide energy for a longer time while keeping the feeling of hunger at bay. Foods with a high GI will make you feel full for a short while, but the feeling passes fast and you find yourself reaching for something to eat long before the next meal of the day comes around. The second part of the GI Plan diet is to combine the original glycemic index with a ranking based on the calorie content of each food.

Like other diets, this one is split into several phases. The initial two-week phase is built around eating 17 points worth of food per day for women and 22 for men. The points are based on both the amount of bad carbs and calories found in food. One of the good things about this diet is the liberty granted to users. As long as you stick to the number of points, you can eat anything you want. The second phase of the diet is the longer one, because this is where the shedding happens. The number of points is raised to 20 for women and 25 for men.

The last phase of the diet begins once you’ve reached your goal and its aim is to maintain the weight achieved. This diet encourages the consumption of wholemeal pasta, wholegrain cereals, vegetables and fruits over white bread and donuts. Users can expect to lose up to 2 pounds a week on the average, although the first two weeks are known to cause a much more significant loss of weight. Again, this is not unique to the GI Plan, but the normal response of the body before the starvation mode kicks in.