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South Beach Diet

Note:  This is a review.  Click here to visit The South Beach Diet Site.

The South Beach Diet has a great deal in common with The Atkins Diet. Both appear in my weight loss program reviews as they have thousands of followers. However, The South Beach Diet is promoted as a more “heart healthy” version.

This healthy diet plan was originally created by Dr Arthur Agatston, an American cardiologist, (not surprisingly from Miami, Florida) for his heart patients. His initial goal was to improve their heart health but soon found out that an unexpected benefit of the program was a great deal of weight loss. He realized that he was on to something, named the diet the South Beach Diet, and wrote a book which continues to ride on the best-seller list several years later.
  Philosophy

What is the idea behind this eating plan? The main focus is on removing certain carbs from your diet. Carbohydrate-rich foods like bagels, doughnuts, white bread and potatoes cause a rapid spike in blood sugar, resulting in the release of a large amount of insulin to take it to be absorbed. This causes blood sugar levels to drop rapidly, leaving you lacking in energy, craving more carbs and quickly feeling hungry so that you eat again. If this happens a bunch, you’re going to gain weight as a result of constantly overeating. In addition, over time the body becomes immune to the action of insulin and when this happens, your body becomes great at storing fat – especially around your middle! (we call that a “spare tire” where I’m from.)

The Program

The diet consists of three phases, which initially restrict certain foods and then restore them to your diet.
 

Phase 1
The toughest phase, it will last for two weeks. Here you must eliminate most carbohydrates from your diet including bread, rice, potatoes, fruit (No!!), and sugar.
During this phase however, you are allowed to eat a lot of protein filled foods including meats, chicken, fish, cheese and eggs. Vegetables are also allowed. (Yes!) Phase 1 is tough. However, many people will lose eight to thirteen pounds during these 14 days. In addition, according to Dr. Agatston, cravings for bad carbs should be eliminated by the end of this phase.

 Phase 2
The second phase of the South Beach Diet lasts until you reach your target weight, and is less restrictive than Phase 1. In Phase Two, carbs including most fruits, whole-grain cereals, pasta and low-fat milk are reintroduced. A healthy goal for weight loss during Phase 2 is the loss of one to two pounds per week. Chocolate and wine are also allowed in moderation!

Phase 3
This final phase begins after you reach your target weight. During 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 carbs should be gone.
Everyone will fall off the wagon occasionally with poor food choices, so Agatston recommends eating a piece of chocolate every now and then to satisfy your cravings.

Pros:

  • Health -this diet will help protect against heart disease by avoiding high fat and processed foods.
  • Weight Loss -You will lose weight. Most people lose 8-13 pounds during the first 14 days.
  •  Nutritious-this diet is high in vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.

Cons:

  • Convenience-Several of the meals in this plan can take a looooong time to prepare. So be prepared.
  • Expense-many of the foods on the diet can be expensive.

Conclusion:

I like this one a lot. I just wish that there was more emphasis on physical activity as well as the healthy diet plan. However, if you have the discipline to stay on the South Beach Diet, you may someday find yourself in a skimpy bathing suit on South Beach. It works.

Click here to visit The South Beach Diet Site.

About Joel Dreher