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South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is not low-carb. Nor is it low-fat. The South Beach Diet teaches you to rely on the right carbs and the right fats-the good ones-and enables you to live quite happily without the bad carbs and bad fats. As a result, you're going to get healthy and lose weight-somewhere between 8 and 13 pounds in the first two weeks alone. Here's how you'll do it:

Phase 1: Banishing Your Cravings
Phase 2: Reintroducing Carbs
Phase 3: A Diet for Life.

Phase 1: Banishing Your Cravings

What you'll eat: During Phase 1, you'll eat normal-size helpings of meat, chicken, turkey, fish, and shellfish. You'll have plenty of vegetables, eggs, cheese, and nuts. You'll have salads with real olive oil in the dressing. You'll have three balanced meals a day and it will be your job to eat so that your hunger is satisfied.

Nothing undermines a weight-loss plan more than the distressing sensation that you need more food. No sane eating program expects you to go through life feeling discomfort. You'll be urged to have snacks in the midmorning and mid-afternoon, whether you want to or not. You'll have dessert after dinner. You'll drink water, of course, plus coffee or tea if you wish.

What you won't eat: For the first 14 days you won't be having any bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, or baked goods. No fruit, even. Before you panic: You'll begin adding those things back into your diet again in two weeks. But for right now, they're off-limits. No candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, or sugar for two weeks, either. No beer or alcohol of any kind. After this phase, you'll be free to drink wine, which is beneficial for a variety of reasons. Not a drop during the first two weeks, however.

Now, if you're the kind of person who lives for pasta or bread or potatoes, or if you believe that you can't get through a day without feeding your sweet tooth (three or four times), let me tell you something: You're going to be shocked at how painlessly two weeks will pass without these foods. The first day or two may be challenging; but once you weather that, you'll be fine.
It's not that you'll have to fight your urges-the cravings will virtually disappear during the first week. I say this with such confidence only because so many overweight people who have already succeeded on this program tell me so. The South Beach Diet may be new to you, but it has existed for several years-long enough to have helped hundreds of people lose weight easily and keep it off.

Phase 2: Reintroducing Carbs

How you'll change: After two weeks, you will be somewhere between 8 and 13 pounds lighter than you are today. Most of that weight will come off your midsection, so right away you'll notice the difference in your clothes. It will be easier to zip your jeans than it's been for some time. That blazer will close without a bulge.

But this will be just the noticeable difference. What you won't be able to see during those two weeks is how you'll have changed internally. You will have corrected the way your body reacts to the very foods that made you overweight.

There's a switch inside you that had been turned on. Now, simply by modifying your diet, you'll have turned it off. The physical cravings that ruled your eating habits will be gone, and they'll stay away for as long as you stick with the program. The weight loss doesn't happen because you're trying to eat less. It will happen because you'll be eating fewer of the foods that created those old bad urges-fewer of the foods that caused your body to store excessive fat.

What you'll eat now: As a result of that change, you will continue losing weight after the 14-day period ends; even though you will have started adding some of those banished foods back into your life. You'll still be on a diet, but if it's bread you love, you'll have bread. If it's pasta, you'll reintroduce that. Rice or cereal, too. Potatoes. Fruit will definitely be back. Chocolate? If it makes you feel good, sure.

You will have to pick and choose which of these indulgences you permit yourself. You won't be able to have all of them all the time. You'll learn to enjoy them a little differently than before-maybe a little less enthusiastically. But you will enjoy them again soon.

You'll remain in Phase 2 and continue losing weight until you reach your goal. How long it takes depends on how much you need to lose. People lose, on average, a pound or two a week in Phase 2. Once you hit your target, you'll switch to an even more liberal version of the program, which will help you to maintain your ideal weight.

Phase 3: A Diet For Life

This is the stage that lasts the rest of your life. When you get to this point, you'll notice that this plan feels less like a diet and more like a way of life. You'll be eating normal foods, after all, in normal-size portions. You can then feel free to forget all about the South Beach Diet, as long as you remember to live by its few basic rules.

The final change: As you're losing weight and altering how your body responds to food, a third change will be taking place. This one will significantly alter your blood chemistry, to the long-term benefit of your cardiovascular system. You will improve invisible factors that only cardiologists and heart patients worry about. Thanks to this final change, you will substantially increase your odds of living long and well-meaning you will maintain your health and vitality as you age.

You may start on the South Beach Diet hoping just to lose weight. If you adopt it and stay with it, you will surely accomplish that much-but you'll also do a lot more for yourself, all of it very good. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this diet can, as a fringe benefit, save your life.

Click here to visit the official South Beach Diet website

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