Is the South Beach Diet safe during pregnancy?

To answer this question, you need first to understand the basics of the South Beach Diet.  This diet teaches you to use the “right” carbohydrates and fats while avoiding the “bad” ones so that you lose weight, decrease your risk of cardiovascular problems and lessen food cravings.  The idea is that when you eat bad carbohydrates and fats you are hungrier and more prone to overeat, leading to weight gain.  Over time you learn to control your blood sugar levels and eat less because you are less hungry.

The South Beach Diet is based around three phases.  The first two phases are to be kept for a specific timeframe and the final one is a maintenance phase after you’ve lost the weight that you want to. In Phase 1, which lasts 2 weeks, all carbohydrates are restricted. This is the strictest phase of the diet.  During Phase 2, some of the “good” carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, sweet potatoes, brown rice, pasta and fruit may be slowly reintroduced to your diet.  This phase lasts until you reach your goal weight.  Phase 3 is a maintenance phase and is designed to be followed for life.  By the time you reach Phase 3, the South Beach Diet should feel more like a way of life than a diet; carbohydrates have been reintroduced to your diet, but cravings for bad carbohydrates should be gone.

The South Beach Diet books recommend that you start in Phase 2 if you are pregnant.  It is also important to discuss any diet change with your physician, as she will be familiar with the particulars of your medical and pregnancy history.  If you doctor approves the South Beach Diet, you should begin in Phase 2.  Many physicians do not recommend losing weight at all during pregnancy.

Sometimes constipation can result as a side effect of the South Beach Diet.  Because constipation can be a complication of pregnancy as well, you should be certain to include enough dietary fiber (10-15 grams) in your daily meal plan, as well as consume at least 6 8 oz glasses of clear liquids each day.



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