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The South Beach Diet™ by Dr Agatston, a U.S. cardiologist, is fairly similar to the GI (Glycaemic Index) Diet.

It bases its theory on the notion that carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels and the hormone insulin. If you get a large rise in blood sugar, by eating things like pasta, white bread, potatoes etc. your body then releases a large dose of insulin to deal with it.

That in turn makes your blood sugar levels drop quickly and therefore you feel hungry again, often resulting in eating more, therefore gradually (or not so gradually!) gaining weight. It is also possible over time that you become resistant to insulin.

The South Beach Diet is designed to stop such swings in blood sugar level and claims that you may lose up to a stone in weight in the first couple of weeks. This is possibly due to the fact that for the first two weeks almost all carbohydrates are banned (but you are still allowed a few low glycaemic vegetables) thereby making your calorie intake very low. It also claims that most of the weight will come off from around your middle.

The diet is done in three stages.

The first stage is a two-week period, mentioned above, mainly eating lean meats, fish and monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil).

Stage two you start eating low GI carbohydrates, which includes most fruits, wholegrain foods and skimmed milk. The expectation on this stage is that you will lose one to two pounds per week.

At goal weight you start stage three, when the variety of food becomes broader. At all stages you eat three meals and several snacks each day.

You may start on the South Beach Diet hoping just to lose weight. It suggests that if you adopt it and stay with it, you will surely accomplish that much—plus all the benefits of a healthy diet and a thinner body. Are you ready to lose weight and get healthy?

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