Thursday, January 14, 2010

The South Beach Christmas Diet: in this season of plenty, the expertbehind the best-selling diet reveals how to lose weight while stillindulging in treats.(diet news).


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We already know what you're thinking: Who wants to start a slim-down plan now? With all the holiday parties--the endless array of desserts and festive drinks--it's six solid weeks of total temptation. There's no way you'll drop pounds, right?

Wrong, says Arthur Agatston, M.D., the Miami Beach cardiologist behind the best-selling South Beach Diet. And you can do it without limiting yourself to the vegetable platter all season long. For Redbook readers, this in-demand diet doctor has tailored his eating program to the delicious goodies you'll face. The best part? Follow his tips and you could drop more than eight pounds in two weeks--and begin 2004 a dress size slimmer. How's that for a gift that keeps on giving?

Say good-bye to cravings!

The South Beach Christmas Diet is a success for two reasons: One, it's flexible enough that, in a manner of speaking, you can have your fruitcake and eat it too--with a few sensible limitations. And two, unlike unrealistic fad diets that are easy to break, it sets you on the road to an overall healthier way of dealing with food. "South Beach is not just a diet, it's a lifestyle," explains Agatston. The program falls somewhere between the low-fat and low-carb diet debates, with the principle that not all fats are bad and neither are all carbs. Here, the South Beach basics:

* Control your carbs. Banish simple carbs (like potatoes, rice, pasta, and the simple sugars in fruits), but still eat plenty of complex ones, such as vegetables and whole grains. Simple carbs cause your blood sugar to rise quickly. "The faster your blood sugar goes up, the faster it plummets," explains Agatston. "And it goes lower than it was before, which sets you up to crave more bad carbs. When that happens, you always end up taking in more calories over the course of the day."

Those bad-for-you starches (e.g., the bagel platter at a holiday brunch) have what's called a high glycemic index, the number assigned to every food that indicates how quickly its digestion results in a rise in blood sugar. But when you stick to foods with a low glycemic index, your blood sugar remains steadier, keeping cravings at bay and the pounds dropping off.

* Enjoy same fat. Normal-size servings of lean meat, chicken, and fish are a staple of this diet. However, you cook with heart-healthy fats such as olive oil and use only low-fat dairy products like yogurt and reduced fat cheese.

* Follow a three-step plan. The South Beach Christmas Diet is divided into three phases. In Phase One, you cut out bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, and, of course, candy, sugar, and other junk foods. What does that leave you? Quite simply, meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, eggs, low-fat dairy products, and some good-for-you fats like those found in avocados and nuts. After the first two weeks, you'll most likely have weaned yourself off simple carbs that cause those dreaded spikes and dips in blood sugar. Agatston explains that once you've broken the cycle, your body will simply not crave them anymore.

Next comes Phase Two, when you'll begin to add back some carbs, such as whole-grain bread and pasta, brown rice, and sweet potatoes, while still steering clear of the no no "white stuff" (sugar, white potatoes, wheat pasta, and white rice). Fruit is also OK now; however, not all types have the low-glycemic green light. A rule of thumb: Tropical fruits (e.g., bananas, mango, pineapple, and papaya) are high-glycemic. You stay in Phase Two as long as it takes to reach your goal weight.

Finally it's on to Phase Three, which is where the "lifestyle" part of the diet comes in. The idea is that you've incorporated the South Beach principles into your daily life and have learned to make healthier food choices. So to get back to that much-maligned brunch bagel, in Phase Three you're allowed to occasionally indulge if you'd like, but you probably won't want it, because you know it'll make you feel hungrier sooner.

South Beach holiday hints

Can't find the South Beach picks from the everyday menus below at your holiday celebrations? No problem! You can still take this diet on the party, circuit by trying the following tips. What if you give in to temptation and go overboard on a few occasions? "No big deal," says Agatston. "Just return to Phase One for a week or so."

Cocktail-party pointers

* Go nuts! Your first stop at a cocktail party--especially if you've shown up hungry--should be the bowl of nuts. No kidding: "Nuts are low-glycemic, so if you eat them before other foods, you'll lower the average glycemic index of the evening's meal," says Agatston. This means your blood sugar will rise more slowly and you'll feel fuller longer. That said, nuts are still high in fat and calories, so keep your intake to a handful.

* Meat me at the buffet. See a tray of Swedish meatballs, or even cocktail weiners? Head there to stack a few on a plate for nibbling. Meat--since it's low-glycemic--gets a green light on the South Beach Diet. Just skip the sauce and pop the buns off the hot dogs.

* Choose cheese. You're in luck if your host has provided low-fat varieties. But if not, remember that hard cheeses, such as provolone, are generally lower in fat than soft ones, like Brie or Camembert. And instead of crackers, pair cheese with pears, apples, or grapes if you are past Phase One. Or reach for whole-grain crackers or toasts, and avoid white bread and breadsticks.

* Veg out. "Raw veggies are a good option because they're high in fiber--even higher than cooked versions of the same veggies--so your body takes longer to digest them," says Agatston. Just go easy on the dip or skip it altogether.

* Shrink your drinks. Avoid beer--it's like white bread in a bottle--as well as high-glycemic eggnog and hot buttered rum. Instead nurse a glass of red wine. And never drink on an empty stomach. Food delays the absorption of alcohol. Getting even a little tipsy lowers your inhibitions, making you more likely to steer your way back to the buffet even if you aren't hungry.

Best brunch bets

* Get crackin' (eggs, that is). "If there is au omelette station, request a vegetable omelette and eat it with Canadian bacon or ham if you like," says Agatston. These choices contain plenty of filling protein and are leaner than regular bacon, which is composed mostly of fat. Eggs are almost always a good bet--just steer clear of fried or scrambled eggs, since they may contain whole milk and butter.

* Go fish. Brunch favorites such as smoked salmon and lax are smart choices--just forgo the bagel, of course. Instead pair them with an omelette.

* Get a berry boost. If you're past Phase One, you can nibble off the fruit plate. Just opt for berries: They have more skin compared with larger fruits, so they have more fiber, which is found mostly in the skin. This helps offset the high sugar content in fruits.

* Pick a winning waffle. Skip the pancake stack drowned in maple syrup; a whole-grain waffle topped with berries (if you're past Phase One), however, is an excellent choice.

* Limit alcohol. Don't drink anything mixed with fruit juice (which contains all the sugar of fruit but none of the fiber). A Bloody Mary is a better bet than a mimosa, since orange juice is so sweet. Stick mainly to sparkling water with just a splash of juice or to coffee or tea.

Dinner-party dos

* Fill up on fiber. Pop a fiber supplement, like Metamucil, right before you go to a party. It mixes with the food in your stomach, slowing down digestion. Eating a tossed salad with some raw vegetables thrown in or a bowl of whole-gram cereal before you leave can provide a similar effect.

* Let yourself eat cake! Don't skip dessert if you love it. Just practice the South Beach dessert rule: Go slooowly and practice moderation. Really savor three bites of chocolate cake and stop there. Have a couple of rum balls, and then make sure to steer clear of the platter. Or split a slice of pecan pie with your husband or a friend; you'll find that it takes less than you think to satisfy yourself. One fabulous post-Phase One dessert: a couple of chocolate-dipped strawberries.

* Roll with it. If you just can't keep your hands out of the bread basket, you're better off--surprisingly--dunking the one piece you choose in a little olive oil than you are eating it solo. Why? "Fat taken with a simple carbohydrate slows down how quickly that bread turns to sugar," says Agatston. For the same reason, if you must have a baked potato, add a dollop of sour cream. Even though the extra fat has slightly increased your calorie intake, since you've avoided the sharp spike in blood sugar from the plain potato, you'll feel more satisfied in the long run.

* Treat yourself to meat. At most dinner parties, your host will serve a main dish that's either meat or fish. "As long as you don't load up on sauces and gravies, any meat is OK, even if it's a little fatty," says Agatston. Of course leaner cuts--white-meat turkey instead of dark meat and filet mignon over ground beef--are healthier.

* Skimp on side dishes. Many options are loaded with simple carbs (think mashed potatoes and stuffing). If there's a big tossed salad, dig in--just skip the croutons. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower are best because of their large amounts of fiber. Most vegetables are fine, except for those few that have a high glycemic index, like corn and green peas.

South Beach everyday menu

For the days when there are no parties on your schedule, stick
to the standard South Beach plans below. If you do, you'll be
better able to afford little splurqes on celebration days.

Breakfast: Snack: Lunch:

PHASE ONE * 1/4 to 1/2 cup * 1 part- * chef's salad
liquid egg skim moz- with olive oil
substitute, zarella and vinegar
scrambled cheese to taste
* 2 slices of stick
Canadian bacon
* tomato juice
* coffee or tea
PHASE TWO * vegetable-juice * 1 apple * a open-faced
cocktail with roast-beef
* 1 poached egg 1 Tbsp. sandwich
* 1 whole-wheat peanut
English muffin butter
* coffee or tea
PHASE THREE * * 1 orange * open-faced
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup ham-and-
liquid egg swiss-cheese
substitute, sandwich
scrambled * 4 oz nonfat
* 2 slices of sugar-free
Canadian bacon yogurt
* 1 slice of * 1 apple
* coffee or tea

Snack: Dinner

PHASE ONE * raw vegetables * chicken breast
with hummus * steamed snow peas
* salad greens with
balsamic vinaigrette
PHASE TWO * 4 oz nonfat * stir-fried chicken
sugar-free with vegetables
yogurt * salad greens with
olive oil and vinegar
to taste
PHASE THREE * * grilled fish
* grilled asparagus
* oven-roasted potatoes
* salad greens with
olive oil and vinegar
to taste

* There are no snacks in Phase Three because the meals are larger.

South Beach Christmas menu

If holiday parties make following the everyday South Beach
Diet challenging, eat as closely to the standard menus as
possible--then make the simple holiday-meal substitutions below.

Instead of
breakfast, a If you go to a
midmorning holiday dinner, have
snack, and Mid- your usual
lunch, have afternoon breakfast, lunch,
this: snack: and one snack, plus:

PHASE ONE * eggs Benedict * 1/2 cup * skinless roasted
(skip English low-fat turkey
muffin) cottage *oven-roasted
* smoked salmon cheese * salad greens with
* coffee or tea with 1/2 balsamic
* tomato juice cup vinaigrettee
chopped * 1 glass of red
tomatoes wine
and * 1 handful of mixed
cucumbers nuts
PHASE TWO * 1 cup berries * 1 handful * prime rib or
* omelette of peanuts London broil
* coffee or tea M&M's * sweet potatoes
* 1 Bloody Mary * green beans with
cocktail almonds
* 1 glass of red
* 1/2 slice of
PHASE THREE * omelette with * 1 handful * baked ham
vegetables of mixed * rice pilaf
* smoked salmon nuts * salad greens with
* 1 Bloody Mary * 1 melon balsamic
cocktail wedge vinaigrette
* coffee or tea * 1 glass of red
* 3 Christmas

South Beach smart picks

Think you have to give up all your guilty food pleasures? Not
so on Agatston's plan. Below, he explains why some versions
of your favorite treats are better than others:

If you
crave Worst option: Best option: The reason:

potatoes white sweet White potatoes spike
potatoes potatoes your blood sugar,
whereas sweet potatoes
have lots of digestion
slowing fiber.
a burger the fast-food homemade A fast-food burger,
variety beef burger served art a doughy
on whole-grain white bun with ketchup,
bread or a is loaded with starch
sourdough and sugar. A plain beef
roll burger on whole-grain
is fine. Why is
sourdough OK? The
acidity in the dough
works like fiber,
slowing digestion.
salad "diet" olive oil and So-called diet dressings
dressing dressings vinegar mask their lack of fat
with lots of sugar.
Olive oil on salads
gives you a dose of good
fat, and the acidity
of vinegar (or lemon
juice, if you prefer)
is another, good
digestion-slowing aid.
pasta ordinary whole-wheat Regular spaghetti has a
(durum pasta with high glycemic index.
wheat) veggies, or But if you eat
spaghetti meat-filled whole-wheat pasta
ravioli (especially topped with
veggies), digestion is
slowed. Meat ravioli
are even better, in
South Beach terms.
a candy jelly beans peanut Candies like jelly
or snack M&M's beans, though fat-free,
are pure sugar. A small
handful of peanut M&M's
are more likely to
satisfy you, and at
least the peanuts have
some nutritional value
to them.

Looking for more delicious meal plans and great tips for how you can keep your weight down this season--and in the new year? You can find The South Beach Diet at

Source Citation
Schipani, Denise. "The South Beach Christmas Diet: in this season of plenty, the expert behind the best-selling diet reveals how to lose weight while still indulging in treats." Redbook Dec. 2003: 40+. InfoTrac Pop Culture eCollection. Web. 14 Jan. 2010. .

Gale Document Number:A124792588

Disclaimer:This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care. USA, LLC*get the best of the bestPersonalized MY M&M'S® Candies(Web-Page) (Album / Profile)
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