Mediterranean Diet and the South Beach Diet

Good health and longevity interests people of all ages from around the world. As a result, the weight loss and fitness industries have been booming for years. There are so many diets that those seeking help with their weight loss or health needs don’t know where to turn.

Two diets that have become extremely popular recently are the Mediterranean Diet and the South Beach Diet. Here’s a detailed comparison of both diets.

Mediterranean Diet Explained

The Mediterranean Diet is often called “The Healthiest Diet in the World” because of its healthy weight loss benefits. Just as the name implies, the Mediterranean Diet has been enjoyed by people who live in the Mediterranean region, particularly Italy and Greece, for thousands of years and is now being adopted by many Americans and others around the world.

It is a diet low in saturated fat with healthy mono-unsaturated fats being provided through fish, nuts and olive oil. It features foods such as dried fruits, vegetables, whole grains, small portions of meat such as salmon, turkey, lamb, and tuna, and a small amount of wine.

The Mediterranean Diet is known for its many benefits such as help in the prevention of gallstones, breast cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, Lou Gehrig disease, high cholesterol, and other diseases.

South Beach Diet Explained

The South Beach Diet is a newer “no carb” type diet where carbohydrates are prohibited during the first phase of the diet, and then are slowly introduced back into the diet after two weeks. There are three phases all together, with the third being for maintenance. The focus is on lean meats such as chicken, turkey, shellfish, and fish as well as nuts, eggs, and low-fat cheese. The benefits are weight loss with a long-term balanced diet plan to help with weight maintenance.

How the Diets are Alike

The similarities of these two diets include eating restaurant quality recipes and promoting healthy monounsaturated fats. Both diets are low in unhealthy saturated fats. The unhealthy fats are found in cheese and meat. Both diets promote healthy foods. Both provide an avenue for fast weight loss with a plan for lifetime maintenance. Also, both diets offer online support and memberships for delicious diet recipes. For instance, Ayhan’s Mediterranean Menu Plans are available for those who want to change over to a Mediterranean way of eating.

How They Differ

With the Mediterranean Diet, alcohol (especially wine) is allowed in moderation. It is prohibited in the first phase of the South Beach Diet. The Mediterranean Diet is high in fiber while the South Beach Diet is low in fiber during its initial phase.

Portion control is the main focus of the Mediterranean Diet while the South Beach Diet restricts “what” is eaten by prohibiting certain fruits and vegetables. Another major difference is that those who adopt the Mediterranean Diet may order foods, dressings and seasonings online for their cooking needs. The South Beach Diet does not offer products such as these.

The South Beach Diet has only been around a few years while the Mediterranean Diet has been around for thousands of years. Studies have shown that those eating a Mediterranean Diet have less risk of major diseases and can even increase longevity.

In this comparison, we see that both diets offer health and weight loss benefits. However, the Mediterranean Diet appears to be better for long-term good health and has fared well in many studies.

Discover All About The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet, created by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston, is a safe and effective diet that differs from other diets in that it advocates not just a new way of eating but a new way of life.

The South Beach Diet puts an end to counting calories and it puts an end to portion control. The South Beach Diet also avoids putting people in a position where they feel like they’re depriving themselves from eating food that tastes good and satisfies them.

The focus of the South Beach Diet is on fats and carbohydrates, more specifically, the right fats and carbohydrates. With the South Beach Diet, you find that healthy carbohydrates and fats satisfy your hunger and feed you energy while eating the wrong carbohydrates and fats can actually make you feel hungrier than you were before eating them, causing you to eat even more and, as a result, gain weight.

The South Beach Diet works in 3 phases, dieters going through phases 1 and 2 sequentially, each for a particular period of time, then moving to phase 3 where they remain for the rest of their lives.

South Beach Diet Phase 1 – For two weeks certain forms of carbohydrates are restricted, based on their glycemic index (a measurement of their affect on a person’s blood sugar). Portion sizes for all other foods are normal. This two week period is the most intense and restrictive of the three phases. Foods emphasized in Phase 1 include chicken and turkey, fish and shellfish, vegetables with a low glycemic index (including salads with light dressing), low fat cheeses, eggs, and nuts. This is the period where drastic weight loss is usually noticed in a short time. This type of weight loss is not sustainable, however, which is why the South Beach Diet then promptly transitions you into Phase 2 where you can adjust your dietary patterns so as to achieve a more sustainable rate of weight loss without gaining back that initial poundage you just shed.

South Beach Diet Phase 2 – Here many of the carbohydrates that were forbidden in Phase 1 are incrementally introduced back into your diet. The desired effect of Phase 2 is to get yourself to a place where you lose between1 and 2 pounds each week, a rate of weight loss than you can easily sustain until you achieve your body’s individual “healthy weight” (generally best determined by your Body Mass Index and percentage body fat to muscle mass). Phase 2 lasts as long as it takes for you to reach your desired weight.

South Beach Diet Phase 3 – Now you begin to establish the balanced diet you aim to maintain for the rest of your life, so long as weight remains where it is. Should you start to gain weight again, you can simply go back to one or both of the earlier phases until you get back to where you need to be.

The South Beach Diet is not a starvation diet. In it, you eat 3 satisfying meals per day plus 2 snacks in-between meals. Your meal plans are not set in stone, so you can still enjoy variety and spontaneity in your diet.

Studies of the South Beach Diet have shown that it not only helps people lose weight, but it increases their “good cholesterol” (HDLs) and decreases their “bad cholesterol” (LDLs) levels, while also improving their levels of insulin.

Atkins and South Beach Diets Compared

Low-carb diets have been in the market for quite some time now. Two of the most common these days are the Atkins and South Beach Diet.

Beginnings
Both were developed by medical doctors (cardiologists) who — according to reports — were trying to help Americans lose weight given their high carb diets.
Atkins Diet was the first to be developed and is thus, the more popular. It was developed by the late Dr. Robert C. Atkins as early as the 1972 but became more widely popular — despite the oppositions — in the 1990s.

Dr. Arthur Agatston, also a cardiologist but from Mount Sinai Cardiac Prevention Center in Miami Beach, Fla., is known as the father of the South Beach diet. His work came a lot later through his book: “The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss” published in 2003.

Similarities
Both popular diet plans advise dieters to avoid carbohydrates and follow stringent steps to ensure that the significant weight lost during the program does not come back.
Both start with the so-called induction phase where the body of the dieter is “trained” for the routine.

Both diet plans come with suggested food lists where dieters can mix and match foods to suit their tastes. Of course, like other diet plans, both plans advise dieters to stay away from food not included in the lists.

Among the “dont’s” in Dr. Atkins’ list are fruit, bread, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and some dairy products except cheese, cream, and butter.
Aside from fruit, bread, pasta and vegetables, South Beach dieters are also advised to stay away from potatoes, cereal, rice, and corn, especially for the first two weeks of the induction or introductory period. After this period, these can be slowly re-introduced into the body, albeit in smaller amounts.

Both diet plans have a lifetime “maintenance” phase where hopefully dieters will be so accustomed to either plan that they hardly recognize that they are dieting at all.

Differences

While both diet plans restrict carbohydrate intake, the South Beach diet is said to be more forgiving by not totally eliminating carbs. It distinguishes between “good” and “bad” carbs and even “good” and “bad” fats. South Beach encourages intake of “good” carbs and fats.

Low-sugar carbs with low glycemic index are “good” carbs under the South Beach plan. Food rich in fiber are also recommended.
Atkins’s diet routine helps the body to burn fat instead of carb. The goal is to help the dieter achieve good health.
Atkins’s diet plan involves four phases while the South Beach plan has three phases.

In both plans, the introductory stage aims to condition the body for some changes to prepare for the program.
In Atkins diet, the body is trained to burn fat instead of sugar to help curb the cravings for sugar and break addiction to some foods.
In South Beach diet, the initial phase involves cutting on high-carb foods, which can be gradually re-introduced in small amounts in the next phase. In this case, South Beach debunks myths that this approach prevents dieters from getting healthy mix from all food groups.

Atkins dieters go through the next following phases: ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance.
The last two phases of South Beach diet are called re-introduce the carb and diet for life.
What’s key in the maintenance phase in Atkins is to keep portions of food at small amounts.

Atkins diet guarantees no hunger deprivation because its long-term goal is healthy diet.
South Beach’s promise is a “change in the way of eating,” with the dieter not recognizing at all that he is on a diet.

Summarizing the Diets

Atkins Diet
Developed by cardiologist Dr. Robert C. Atkins in 1972, with his “Diet Revolution”, a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.
The program focuses on a low-carbohydrate diet.

The Program has 4 phases:
1. induction phase (train the body to burn fats instead of carb)
2. ongoing weight loss
3. pre-maintenance
4. lifetime maintenance

South Beach Diet
Developed by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston of Miami, Florida, who in 2003, published the book “The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss”.

The program distinguishes between “good” and “bad” carbohydrates, and “good” and “bad” fats.
Take in “good” carbs and fats.

The program has 3 phases:
1. 2-week introductory or induction phase (strictly no carbs)
2. re-introduce the carbs
3. diet for life

Author: David Teeth
Source: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/health/article_2749.shtml

The South Beach Diet

There are many ways to lose weight and the most popular one involves eating more of proteins and fats with a little carbohydrates in between. A good example of this is the South Beach Diet, which has been proven to be good for the heart and body.

For those who have never done it, this is done in stages. The first part is done over a 2-week period and the person will refrain from eating food such as bread, potatoes, baked foods, fruit and the consumption of any kind of alcohol. The individual may have an occasional serving of low fat yogurt or milk.

When the individual’s stomach has adjusted, it is time to bring in some of those that were taken out back into the diet. These include tomatoes, fruits and onions.

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If the person is able to do this properly after another two weeks, the third part will basically be making sure that the current diet does not change. Those who are able to stick to the program as written in books and other related literature will be able to lose weight in no time.

Does this require exercising to help in losing weight? People who have been interviewed have claimed that this is not needed to get rid of those extra pounds. This is because the body will be forced to burn more calories because of the limited intake.

There was a time that the South Beach diet was not that popular among vegetarians since the individual will have to eat meat in small servings. There have been changes and people may now take advantage of this regimen.

There are cookbooks and other related information on the Internet that the person can make at home to be able to lose 8 or more pounds just like regular people.

The number of pounds that an individual can lose will vary. This really depends on the individual’s genetics since there are people who are fat and thin. It is best to consult a doctor first to make sure that this type of diet is safe for the person to try.

If this kind of diet doesn’t work, the person should not worry. This is because there are still others out there worth trying that can help the individual attain the desired weight. If at first the person succeeds, one should not give up and try again.

Foods To Avoid On The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is a plan that is set for right carbohydrates and right fats for a healthy life. Many considered it as the “big thing” in the series of diet fads today. However, as the number of people who consider the South Beach Diet as a popular diet from different parts of the globe, many people are still not aware about the foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet.

So what then are the foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet?

Before knowing the foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet, one should first know the overall concept of the South Beach Diet. So generally, the South Beach Diet is specifically divided into three different phases. Each phase has its own distinction and limitation. However, knowing the foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet requires a great focus on the phase one of the diet. Why? It is for the reason that the foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet are largely found here.

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The phase one of the South Beach Diet is considered to be the strictest phase of the diet. Perhaps, it is for the reason that there are so many foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet. So among the foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet specifically on the phase one are beef rib steaks, honey-baked ham, breast of veal, all yogurts, ice cream, milk including whole, low-fat, soy, and full fat cheeses, beets, carrots, corn, yams, fruits and fruit juices, all alcohol. It is also necessary to remember that aside from those foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet, there are also some sorts that are included in the foods to avoid in the South Beach Diet and these include all starchy foods such as bread, cereal, oatmeal, matzo, rice, pasta, pastries, baked goods, crackers, etc.

As you will notice some of the foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet are really carbohydrates. These mentioned foods are considered as foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet for so many reasons. One of the big reasons is that the theory states that once weight decreases, the followers of the diet begin to metabolize carbohydrates properly and the longing for carbohydrates will consequently disappear. It is also important to know that another version of the such reason for having those foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet is the goal that is to eat three balanced meals a day, and to eat enough so that the dieters don’t feel hungry all the time, and the expected weight loss during the phase one of the diet is eight to 13 pounds.

On the second phase the foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet then reintroduced back into the diet, so in this phase up to the last phase, the presence of the foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet are not at all a necessity. However, if we will look at the overall principle and rules of the South Beach Diet, we can see that the South Beach Diet advises those looking to lose weight to be aware of such foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet. The logic for these foods to avoid on the South Beach Diet holds that the fat are replaced with carbohydrates, and are therefore still fattening.