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South Beach Diet Diary

Does it work for walkers?

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Updated June 07, 2007

The South Beach Diet is the newest craze. Developed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston, MD, it is based on re-educating the palate and body to appropriate carbohydrates and fats. In doing so, it lowers the bad cholesterol and in many cases reduces body fat.

In Phase One of the South Beach Diet, all starches and chief sources of carbohydrates are eliminated for two weeks. The dieter has free rein with lean meat, reduced fat cheese, unsaturated fats, and non-starchy vegetables. In Phase Two, small amounts of carbohydrates are reintroduced, with an emphasis on whole grains and continued elimination of processed carbohydrates such as white flour.

Why I Chose the South Beach Diet

I was forced to stick with lower walking mileage while healing up from iliotibial band syndrome. I had been maintaining a steady weight with no set diet, but it was time to change. My husband and I bought a gas grill in June and had been grilling most meals. I could see that it would be easy to adhere to the South Beach Diet for dinner - I could have the grilled meat and grilled vegetables while not being much tempted by my husband's baked potato or rice. I wouldn't buy any good bread, which is my temptation.

If I were able to continue my long-distance marathon walking training, I would not use Phase 1 of this diet. Carbohydrates are needed by endurance athletes. But for those who are walking 2 hours or less at a time, this diet should be OK so long as you drink plenty of water before, during, and after your walk. Carbohydrates are reintroduced after the first two weeks, making it a bit more acceptable for endurance walking.

For breakfast, the program recommends lots of omelets and frittatas, which I enjoy and which are quick to make. For lunch, a salad with some chicken or turkey which I often take anyway. For snacks - my favorite, string cheese. All of this sounded easy enough and in line with my favorite foods, sans the bread and chips and crackers and energy bars I often relied on for a quick snack.

Besides convenience, I am also very concerned over family history of diabetes and I have wanted to eliminate the trans-fat from my diet. The South Beach Diet sounded like a good education program to get me into healthier eating patterns.

Information and Support

The chief information on the diet comes from buying The South Beach Diet (compare prices). I also joined South Beach Diet Online for $29.99 for the first six weeks. The online version allows easy printing of menus, recipes, and shopping lists, and has a message board for support and interaction.

Next Page: Day Zero and Day One

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