Overview of the South Beach Diet Gluten Solution Program

The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution Program is an extension of the original South Beach Diet. It is designed to help you figure out whether you have a sensitivity to gluten and to teach you how to make the best food choices for better health if you do turn out to have some degree of gluten sensitivity. It will also show you how to become gluten aware, while helping you lose weight, get fit, and feel better.

The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution Program isn’t an entirely gluten-free diet, nor is it a low-carb or grain-free diet. Like the original South Beach Diet, the Gluten Solution is designed to help you make healthy lifestyle changes, including eating a diet that features lean sources of protein, healthy unsaturated fats, low-fat dairy, and nutrient-rich, high-fiber carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. That’s right: good carbs, even for the gluten sensitive.

There are plenty of healthy, gluten-free whole grains containing fiber and other important nutrients that won’t trigger symptoms in gluten-sensitive people. Additionally, the Gluten Solution Program gives you the freedom to experiment with foods and beverages that do contain gluten, so you can determine how much gluten you can tolerate. And don’t worry, we simplify matters by giving you comprehensive lists of all the delicious Foods to Enjoy and Avoid on Gluten Solution (GS) Phases 1 and 2, along with suggestions on how to reintroduce gluten gradually into your diet after being gluten-free for four weeks!

A note of caution: If you have gluten-related symptoms, celiac disease should be ruled out by your doctor. Additionally, if you’ve ever been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, such as thyroiditis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, or lupus, you should also get tested for celiac disease. If your tests are negative, give the South Beach Diet Gluten Solution Program a try to see if it helps you feel better.

Gluten Solution (GS) Phase 1

If you have more than ten pounds to lose and experience cravings for sugar and starchy foods as well as symptoms of gluten sensitivity, you should begin the program on GS Phase 1. During the two weeks on GS Phase 1, you won’t be eating any wheat, barley, rye, or products made from these grains, and you’ll do your best to avoid products containing gluten additives, such as certain types of soy products, imitation crabmeat, and blue cheese. In fact, as with the original South Beach Diet plan, you won’t be eating any grains at all, or fruits for that matter, because we want you to get the blood-sugar swings that cause your cravings under control. The good news is that this Phase is especially rewarding because you’ll be losing weight fairly rapidly and your gluten-sensitivity symptoms will begin to diminish. After two weeks on GS Phase 1, you will enter GS Phase 2.

Gluten Solution (GS) Phase 2

If you are entering GS Phase 2 from GS Phase 1, you will remain gluten-free for a total of four weeks (which includes the two weeks on Phase 1). Now, you can begin to reintroduce gluten-free starches as well as fruits over the next 14 days, working up to a daily maximum of three servings each. Your weight will continue to drop steadily, although more slowly than on GS Phase 1. After a total of four weeks of being gluten-free, you’ll gradually reintroduce some healthy gluten-containing starches, swapping them for the gluten-free starches, and see how you feel. This is how you determine your level of gluten tolerance.

If you have fewer than ten pounds to lose and no cravings but do have gluten-sensitivity symptoms, you can begin the Gluten Solution Program on Phase 2 and stay gluten-free but not grain-free for four weeks. Because you don’t have a lot of weight to lose, you can start by having three gluten-free starches and three fruits the first week and continue to be gluten-free for a total of four weeks. If you don’t continue to drop pounds steadily, cut back on the number of starches and fruits. After 30 days, you can begin to swap in healthy gluten-containing starches for the gluten-free starches, and then see how you feel. This is how you determine your level of gluten tolerance.

If you have no weight to lose and no cravings, but are experiencing gluten-sensitivity symptoms, you can do a Modified GS Phase 2.
This means you follow our GS Phase 2 plan and eliminate gluten for four weeks to see how your body reacts, but you won’t have the limitations on fruits and starches that are suggested for those who have weight to lose, and you can enjoy the foods on GS Phase 2 that we suggest you eat only rarely. At the end of four weeks, you can begin to experiment with adding some gluten-containing foods and see how you feel. You will know quickly if a food triggers symptoms. If you start to lose weight, add more healthy foods to your diet; if you start to gain, cut back on the starches but not on the healthy vegetables and low-fat protein.

Gluten Solution (GS) Phase 3

This is the maintenance Phase of the Gluten Solution Program. You have achieved your healthy goal weight, you know what triggers your cravings and/or your gluten-sensitivity symptoms, and you know how to make the right choices for you. You have become gluten aware, not gluten phobic, and you know that no food is absolutely off-limits, unless you say it is.

Enjoy your new gluten-aware healthy lifestyle!

For more information, order Dr. Agatston’s book, The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution, and order his new book The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution Cookbook today.

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