Kickstart a Healthier Lifestyle

Consider a high-protein, low-carb and low-sugar option

This time of year, millions of Americans are making resolutions to lose weight. When it comes to adopting a healthy eating plan, it can seem like the options are endless. With new diet plans popping up seemingly every day, the process of choosing a plan that works for you and fits your lifestyle can be an intimidating one.

Many experts agree, however, that a diet high in protein and low in sugar and carbohydrates offers significant benefits. This was the foundation for the South Beach Diet, introduced 15 years ago by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston. Since its introduction, it has helped millions of people successfully lose weight, while its books became best-sellers with more than 23 million copies sold in print.

Now in its second year as a structured weight-loss meal delivery program, South Beach introduced an enhanced three-phase approach designed to burn fat, transform metabolism and boost energy, including a 7-Day Body Reboot to help break the sugar habit and South Beach Complete Shakes. According to the company, users can expect to lose up to 9 pounds and 3 inches overall in their first two weeks on the program.

Over-consumption of sugar, which can lead to diabetes and heart disease, is one of the biggest problems in many Americans’ diets, according to Agatston.

“Sugar, be it simple sugar or from refined carbs, should be avoided,” Agatston said. “In fact, I would say fats aren’t making us gain weight, sugar is. It’s not about eliminating fats and carbs, it’s about the quality of the fats and carbs you’re eating.”

To help break the harmful sugar habit, foods on the South Beach Diet provide 1 percent of calories from added sugars – significantly lower than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation, which suggests that no more than 10 percent of calories come from added sugars.

So what’s the easiest way to live a high-protein, low-sugar, low-carb lifestyle? The answer could be a weight loss meal delivery program, like South Beach. For many, meal prep is equally as intimidating as sticking to a New Year’s resolution. The time required for food shopping and meal preparation often prevents a person from sticking to his or her healthy lifestyle. A weight-loss meal delivery plan allows one to make smarter meal choices and eliminates nearly all prep time. According to South Beach, its program delivers fully prepared, delicious meals that make sticking to a healthy lifestyle simpler and more convenient.

For added convenience, the South Beach Diet Tracker App provides access to meal plans and recipes as well as support and counseling from trained weight-loss coaches and registered dietitians.

Find more tips and tools to begin the weight loss journey at (Family Features)

South Beach Diet

Make Kitchen Time Easier

Throughout 2018, you can create easy, healthy and delicious family meals by using time-saving recipes.

For example, these “Cook Once, Eat Twice” recipes from CanolaInfo start with pork chops that double as the base for lunch or dinner the following day.

“The more you cook your own meals, the more you can control portion sizes and ingredients,” said Manuel Villacorta, registered dietitian. “Knowing the right oil to use is essential. I like using canola oil to keep the flavors of your dishes intact due to its neutral taste and light texture. Plus, it contains high levels of monounsaturated fat and plant-based omega 3 fat, and is low in saturated fat. I use it regularly in my home kitchen and recommend it to my clients.”

For more time-saving recipes, visit

Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms

Servings: 8

  • 8          boneless center-cut pork loin chops (4 ounces each), trimmed of fat
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2          tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 12        ounces sliced portobello mushrooms
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2          tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons water
  • 2          teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1          teaspoon sugar
  • 2          tablespoons chopped green onions
  1. Sprinkle both sides of pork with pepper.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil. Cook pork chops 4 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 160 F.
  3. Reserve four pork chops in refrigerator to make Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches.
  4. In skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining canola oil; tilt skillet to coat bottom lightly. Cook mushrooms 4-5 minutes, or until tender and juices begin to release, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Place over pork chops; cover to keep warm.
  5. To pan residue, add vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and remaining salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until reduced to 2 tablespoons, scraping bottom and sides of skillet. Drizzle sauce over pork and mushrooms. Sprinkle with onions.

Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches

Servings: 4

  • 12        ounces crusty French bread, unsliced
  • 4          leftover pork chops from Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms recipe
  • 2/3       cup pepperoncini slices
  • 1          plum tomato, chopped
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4       teaspoon dried pepper flakes
  • 3          slices ultra-thin sliced Swiss cheese, cut in half
  1. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving 1/2-inch thick shell.
  2. Place pork on bottom half of bread. In bowl, combine pepperoncini, tomato, onion, garlic, canola oil, vinegar, oregano and pepper flakes. Spoon pepperoncini mixture and any accumulated juices on top of pork and top with cheese.
  3. Cover with top half of loaf. Press down firmly to flatten sandwich and allow flavors and juices to absorb. Cut filled loaf crosswise into four equal pieces. (Family Features)