The South Beach Diet
Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist, realized that most people gain the pounds back soon after they stop dieting. This made him create the South Beach Diet which should be able to help the person maintain his wanted weight. The program does not eliminate carbohydrates from the meal. Instead, it focuses on educating people on how to choose the correct food that contain carbohydrates. It is a great option for those who do not want to feel hunger and deprived because it allows all the meals and some snacks. In fact, snacks are considered important and should not be skipped. Feeling full instead of deprived and malnourished makes this diet program a success for a lot of people.
The diet has three phases. The first phase, allows one to enjoy “lean meats, chicken, turkey” and other delicious food for two weeks (The South Beach Diet, 2007, para. 3) but bans the usual sweets, rice or bread and desserts like fruits, alcohol and beer. The second phase allows the slow reintroduction of whole grains and some fruits back into the daily meal and goes on for as long as it is necessary to achieve the person’s ideal weight. The last phase is the rest of the person’s life because the dieter has learned to choose the correct food to eat to maintain his or her desired weight.
This diet is good because it “does not rely on high levels of saturated fat” and does not require calculation of calories and fats, and keeps one full because of the regulated intake of meals and snacks (The Right Chef, 2007, para. 5). It also encourages good eating habits that reduces the risk for heart disease and other sickness related to high cholesterol intake. However, the South Beach Diet can be difficult to do for those who are used to eating a lot of carbohydrates. The meals can also be very expensive and it takes so much time to prepare the menu.
The Zone Diet
The Zone Diet, created by Dr. Barry Sears, is one that requires lifestyle adjustments but is known to not only make people slim down. The diet also reduces risks for chronic diseases, slows down the effects of age and improves physical and mental performance levels. It is done by regulating food intake following a ratio of carbohydrates (40%), fat (30%) and proteins (30%) daily.
The Zone Diet seeks to control the production of insulin which is why it is also very beneficial to people with Type II Diabetes. It is based on the belief that carbohydrates produce insulin, “a hormone that tells the body to pile up nutrients,” and that too much insulin makes the body “convert carbohydrates into fat” (Zone Diet Info, 2004, para. 6). On the side, intake of protein tends to promote glucagon, a hormone that makes the liver release the stored carbohydrates. When this happens, the brain is tricked to send signals that the body has actually taken in enough energy and therefore makes one feel full. Therefore, replacing the usually overeaten carbohydrates with proteins will balance the effects of insulin and glucagon and result to weight loss.
However, there are disadvantages to this diet such as the elimination or reduction of other vitamins and minerals that are needed for other body functions. The meals are also difficult to follow because they are expensive and planning takes too much time that many busy people cannot afford. Keeping in mind the nutritional goals and weighing the food to ensure the correct proportions are tedious. Some also say that the rapid decline of weight can be accompanied by the rapid regain of pounds once the diet is stopped. It is hard for people who are used to carbohydrate intake to follow although some say that they lose the desire to eat carbs after the first two weeks of implementation.
The Fat Smash Diet
Celebrities are known to be very particular about their bodies and Dr. Ian K. Smith, known for VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club, has banked on this for the success of his Fat Smash Diet. One of the most basic ideas that make people attracted to this diet is that one can eat as many fruits and vegetables that they like throughout the plan. It basically believes that processed foods are bad for the body and that these need to be replaced by natural food. The premise is that chemicals found in processed food create an addiction to eating which make people overeat. Eating natural food will eliminate the cravings and thus allow a person to control his weight.
The “diet is a 90 day program that is broken down into four phases” (Rose, 2006, para. 1) called the detox, foundation, construction and temple phases. The detox phase is supposed to rid the body of toxic wastes that have been stored due to wrong food choices in the past. It consists of nine days that allow intake of only fruits, vegetables and limited portions of other natural food. The next three weeks are dedicated to the foundation phase which continues the focus on fruits and veggies with the addition of lean meat in the diet. The construction phase adds whole grains and a limited allowance of sweets for four weeks while the temple phase adds white rice, potatoes, beer and alcoholic beverages into the diet for as long as they are calculated based on a weekly period. The temple phase is supposed to continue on for life.
Although the diet claims to be very nutritious and realistic for busy people, it is still very difficult to follow because it limits a lot of the usual food found in the market. However, it has provisions for those who have a hard time following because it lets people repeat certain phases of the diet in case they slip up.
Dieting as a Way of Life
Most men and women are combating problems with their weight. Although there are those who are fortunate to have lean body frames, society has learned to look down on those who tend to weigh on the heavier side. Ideas like “slim is sexy” or “slim is healthy” is flaunted on and off billboards and television screens by models and personalities who are considered idols by many. This has victimized more women than men into falling for fad diets. However, being thin is not always equated to beauty nor is it always healthy.
Beauty should come from within. Many beautiful women have proven their attractiveness in so many other aspects of their personalities that have had no relation at all to their body frames. Oprah Winfrey has had her days of yoyo dieting yet it does not diminish her appeal to the public. Ella Fitzgerald can croon her way into anyone’s heart just as Queen Latifah can hold anyone’s attention so easily with her easy-going smile. Liz Taylor has grown quite a lot and yet has walked down the aisle far too frequently than most. Big bodies do not deter people from admiring women.
Health is wealth and yet many women have been getting sick because of dieting. In fact, nowadays, there are so many cases of anorexia nervosa, a psychological disease that makes women think that they need to get thinner even when they are already so malnourished. This disease claimed the life of a very beautiful and talented woman named Karen Carpenter. Being thin does not necessarily mean one is healthy because there is a possibility that the person lacks many of the nutrients needed to function well in society.
Fad diets have come and gone but the real issue is self-discipline when it comes to food intake. A well-balanced diet includes enough portions of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Whether fat or not, people must learn to eat the correct food so that they can get all the necessary nourishment needed to live a disease-free life. In the first place, the reason why people are getting obese is because of eating processed and highly-fat food that are not only easier to prepare but are also more tasty compared to healthy food. Technology has also given focus to the value of comfort and this resulted to less exercise for most people. A truly healthy body is one that eats a regular amount of the needed nutrients and has adequate exercise. Just following a balanced diet based on the food group pyramid and enough physical activity should be enough to help most people in attaining their desired body figure.
Diet programs are there to aid everyone who needs to slim down yet these are not so easy to follow and may cause more health problems than benefits if not prescribed by one’s personal doctor. The best ones also cost a lot. Although not all diet programs recommend regular exercise to be included in the process of losing weight, all agree that it could speed weight loss faster. Many of these programs also advise a lifestyle change that require a different preference in food selection which may not always really sit well with social setting and cultures.
The best way to really live a good life is to get enough physical activity and follow the food pyramid that has been reiterated time and again in science classes throughout a student’s academic life. Knowing one’s strengths and finding confidence in these also help to give people a proper perspective on their total image. Diet programs are there to help us get what we want but the truth is we already know what should be done. We just have to implement what we know to get what we want.
The Right Chef – Immuno Laboratories. (2007, June 21). Rating the South Beach Diet:
Advantages and Disadvantages. Retrieved June 20, 2007, from http://www.
Rose, Tracy. (2007, April 07). Extreme Fat Smash Diet: Lose Weight Fast with Dr. Ian Smith.
Retrieved June 30, 2007, from http://diet- trends.suite101.com/article.cfm/extreme_
The South Beach Diet. (2007). About the South Beach Diet. Retrieved June 30, 2007, from
Zone Diet Info. (2004). Retrieved June 30, 2007, from http://www.zonedietinfo.com/