Reviews for South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is one of the most recent additions to the world of healthy nutrition. It was developed by Arthur Agatston, Arthur Agatston M.D., a cardiologist and director of the Mount Sinai Cardiac Prevention Center in Miami Beach, Florida. Initially developed to help lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, it was discovered to cause weight loss as a side effect.

This diet is based on the theory that highly processed carbs such as bagels and other baked goods initiate a cycle of overeating. Those morning muffins or croissants, like other carbs, are digested quickly, increasing levels of insulin. Excess insulin further induces cravings, making you reach for an extra muffin. When this process repeats over a long period of time, your body becomes more efficient at storing fat. Therefore, by constantly overeating, you gain weight.

The goal then becomes to monitor that carb intake. This diet gets the job done through a three-step program.

The South Beach Diet step one: cut bread, rice, potatoes and pasta from your menu for the first two weeks. Candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, sugar and alcohol are also not allowed. The first few days will be challenging, but it will get easier. Broccoli, cabbage, eggs, cheese, nuts and vegetables are allowed. You can enjoy normal-sized lean meat, poultry, and fish. In other words, it is all about healthy carbs and good fats.

The average dieter experiences a weight loss of about eight to 13 pounds at the three-week mark. When this occurs, you can continue with step two of the diet plan: slowly re-introducing prohibited food groups. An average weight loss in this second phase is one to two pounds per week. You stay in this stage until you reach the desired weight.

Step three: maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. In this phase, you try to maintain your ideal weight. This stage lasts for the rest of your life; it is not a diet as much as a way of life. Should your weight begin to climb, you repeat the South Beach phase 1 or phase 2.

Even though the initial stage of this diet is high-protein and low-carb, it is less strict than Dr. Atkins. Agatston warns dieters to stay away from saturated fats such as butter and bacon, and shift to monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids. South Beach is, generally speaking, an elaboration of the Atkins diet.

The drawback of the South Beach Diet is in phase one: meal restrictions. The dramatic weight drop experienced in the first two weeks occurs because of a high water loss caused by carbohydrate restriction. It is best to seek the advice of a professional dietician or your doctor before undertaking this program.

On the other hand, the one or two-pound weight loss per week experienced in the second phase is generally recommended by most nutrition experts. Participants lose weight, lower their cholesterol, reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes, and eliminate cravings without feeling hungry. The diet is also rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein, and it doesn’t omit any major food groups. Proponents of the diet also like it because:

  • it is a long-term solution;
  • it is affordable;
  • it is not complicated to follow, and
  • it promotes food choices beneficial for those with heart problems.

The South Beach Diet works and is a reasonable weight loss plan that appears to be safe and effective.


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