dieting

Lose Weight With Living Foods

Losing weight doesn't have to be boring when you focus on living foods. What does this mean? Simply by making sure your plate reflects a range of colors, you'll naturally create more balanced and healthful menus complete with a range of living foods.

What are living foods? They are re live, colorful, fresh and raw - fruits, vegetables and salads!

Let's Look At The Positives

1. Colorful foods have no preservatives and no added color!

2. Provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, water and trace elements.

3. Have a high water content - an excellent source of hydration for the body.

4. Are visually appetizing.

5. Their firm textures demand a good chew, so we eat them more slowly and feel full afterwards.

6. Are quickly and easily processed and assimilated by the body - less work for the digestive system.

7. Are safer - contain less undesirable man-made chemicals.

8. Are as nature intended (unlike processed, pre-packaged modern fast foods!)

9. Are pure energy - living food.

Consuming Cooked Foods

1. Heat destroys the vitalizing nutrients in colorful foods. So much so that sometimes, you may as well be eating cardboard for all the good it does your body!

2. The effectiveness of fibre in cooked fresh foods is reduced - vegetables that are floppy and overcooked pass through the body with a reduced 'cleansing' action.

3. If you cook vegetables, always steam them lightly and aim to retain their 'crunch'!

4. Cooked vegetables tend to turn out soft and therefore require less chewing, which means they are usually eaten more quickly, so are less satisfying.

5. Heat also destroys the enzymes in fresh foods, which are essential for digestion. This means the body has to tap into its own precious supply of enzymes to support the digestive process.

6. Heat also destroys the enzymes in fresh foods, which are essential for digestion. This means the body has to tap into its own precious supply of enzymes to support the digestive process.
 

What Is The South Beach Diet?

The South Beach Diet was developed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston to help his patients lose weight and maintain a healthy diet for a lifetime. It is designed in phases, like the Atkins Diet, with different eating recommendations in each phase. All phases have the same underlying philosophy, though. Weight loss and maintenance depends on establishing a balanced diet that avoids 'bad' fats and carbohydrates. 
  
The proponents of the South Beach diet claim that you can lose weight and maintain the weight loss without counting calories, weighing portions or depriving yourself of good-tasting, satisfying foods. This is accomplished by cutting out empty, high-carbohydrate foods like sugars, potatoes, rice and white bread. Each phase is specially designed to accomplish a particular goal. 
  
Phase I: Adjusting your Metabolism

In Phase I, you eat three meals and two snacks daily, eating until you are no longer hungry. The phase lasts two weeks, during which time your body will shed 8-13 pounds. 
  
These items are not allowed during Phase I: bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, baked goods, fruit, candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, sugar or alcohol
  
Phase II: Weight Loss

The aim during Phase II is to lose weight, with loss averaging 1-2 pounds per week. During this phase, you will gradually add the restricted foods from Phase I back into your diet, but you will eat less of them. The daily diet on Phase II should consist of: 
  
All the protein you want
Minimum of 4 1/2 cups of vegetables
Up to 3 servings of fruit
Up to 3 portions of starch
1 1/2 cups of milk/dairy (including yogurt) 
3 tbs. fat
  
In real terms, a typical menu for a meal on the South Beach Diet might include something like this: 
  
1 grapefruit
2 scrambled eggs mixed with Monterey Jack cheese and salsa
1 slice of whole grain toast
Decaffeinated coffee or tea, fat-free milk and sugar substitute if desired
  
The eating plan recommended by the South Beach Diet emphasizes low carbohydrate foods, restriction of sweets, processed starches, white sugar and 'unhealthy fats', and all the protein you want. It specifies minimum amounts of low carb vegetables to be eaten daily that are remarkably close to the recommendations made by the USDA and the American Diabetes Association. 
  
A key concept in the South Beach diet is the Glycemic Index. Foods are ranked on a scale of 1-100 according to their Glycemic index - the amount by which they raise blood sugar levels after meals. The focus of your diet should be on foods low on the GI level, such as yogurt, cucumbers and broccoli and whole grain cereal, while avoiding those high on the GI scale such as white bread, potatoes and pretzels. 
  
In addition to the above, the South Beach Diet offers the following guidelines: 

* Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water and other decaffeinated beverages per day (excluding fruit juices) 
* Limit your intake of caffeine-containing beverages to 1 cup each day
* Take one multivitamin and mineral supplement daily
* Take between 500 and 1,000 mg of calcium daily
  
Phase III: 

The lifetime maintenance plan is nearly identical to the weight loss phase, with more portions of foods allowed. 
  
Dr. Agatston cautions that patients being treated for diabetes, impaired kidney function, pregnancy or other chronic illness should consult their physician before embarking on any weight loss regimen.