The Miami Diet, also called the South Beach Diet, was created by Arthur Agatson, a cardiologist. It places an accent on consuming proteins, good glucides, and good lipids. During the two-week long initial phase you eliminate a large number of lipids and glucides from your food intake. Projected weight loss is 9 to 13 pounds (4 to 6 kilograms). During the second phase, you reintroduce some previously banned foods. The goal is to lose 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week until you reach your ideal weight. The third phase is a stabilization phase. Here are some of the diet principles.

During the first phase you eat according to your habits. You are allowed three meals and three snacks daily. If you want a snack, hold dessert after the meal. You are the judge of the appropriate portion size. This diet comes with quite a long list of favored and forbidden foods for the first phase. While most vegetables may be consumed, fruits are forbidden during this phase. Bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and all alcohol are also out. In phase 2 all fruits are allowed as are bread, pasta, and rice provided that they are whole-grain. Dieters may enjoy one or two glasses of red wine per day with meals or just after the meal. Other alcoholic beverages and wine coolers must be avoided. In phase 3 you develop life-long eating habits. If you put back on lost weight you may return to phase 1 for a week or two.

An advantage of the Miami Diet is the reduced cholesterol and triglyceride level. It is efficient in the short term. But there are many forbidden foods. This can be a hard diet to follow.

Here are two sample menus:
Menu 1
(Phase 1) Breakfast: 150 milliliters (about 5 ounces) of vegetable juice. A mushroom and bacon omelet. Tea or coffee.
Lunch: Nicoise salad. 75 grams of skimmed curd cheese. Celery stalk with light melted cheese.
Supper: Cucumber salad. Fish on a skewer. Pumpkin puree. Almond cream with ricotta cheese.

Menu 2
(Phase 2) Breakfast: 50 grams of oatmeal. 150 milliliters of skim milk. 110 grams of strawberries. Tea or coffee.
Lunch: Greek salad. Skim milk yogurt.
Supper: Tomato salad. Rump steak. Steamed broccoli.

Some information in this article comes from a fascinating new book, La Bible des Regimes, written by Jenny de Jonquieres and published by Amerik Media. Her book describes over 80 diets and weight reduction programs. Each diet is presented with 5 menu plans, a detailed discussion of its advantages and disadvantages, and lots more. La Bible des Regimes is presently available only in French.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine French wine with the right foods. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website and his global wine website with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about and tasting organic and kosher wines.
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