Lately I’ve heard a lot of talk that diets are not the way to lose weight and get in shape. It is absolutely correct that we need to exercise, to burn more calories than we take in. Yet to discount several diet trends is a mistake.
I’m in decent shape and do something daily, whether it’s riding a bike to school with my son in the morning, using the elliptical walker, or cranking on the free weights while watching the Sci-Fi channel. Yet for years, my weight has been slowly creeping upward.
About a year ago my wife discovered the South Beach diet, and it has changed the way we purchase food and what we eat. For the media to discount the importance this has made on our family is shocking, because it not only works, it has changed our complete outlook.
For starters, I’ve realized you have got to change your lifestyle and just get active. Every year that slips by makes it so much harder to get on track.
South Beach is a diet that teaches you the value of low carb or “good carbs,” and good fats. As you discover what’s really in pasta, white bread or rice, you start to see that the food we are sold contributes to the problem. Overly processed foods lose nutritional value and provide sugar energy, in the form of carbohydrates.
South Beach starts you on a two week crash course that greatly limits carbs. Not only does this help you kick the carb habit, but it’s during this stage that you really lose weight. But the goal of the diet is to help show you how many carbs you take in and point out better substitutes. After this period of time, recommended foods increase and viola, you’re on track to better, more healthier eating. We’ve each lost about 10 pounds.
Not meant to stay in this first phase, the idea of the diet is that you, now armed with better habits and knowledge about what you should be buying, can now just live your life. This kick start is enough for many…but others return to carb-filled habits and wonder why the diet has failed them.
Developed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston to help control blood sugar with his cardio and diabetic patients, his plan soon achieved recognition because it simply works.
Amazon.com, in its editorial review of The South Beach Diet, says, “The verdict is in: those simple carbs we’ve been living on are killing us. For good health, we’ve got to get our blood sugar under control and stop the incessant cravings.”
So while I have to agree with what I see on TV, there’s more to the equation. If you want to lose weight, you definitely have to burn calories. Start slow, go for walks and build up to something more fun. Change up the routine and keep things fresh. But take a good look at the foods you buy and consider reading the South Beach Cookbook, a favorite in our household.
Eric is not a nutritionist, just someone who learned and lost from his experience.
Online visit: South Beach Diet™. You’ll find hundreds of recipes and 24-hour help.