South Beach diet Review
The South Beach Diet was created
by a highly respected cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston, to work with
the body and not against him.
The diet is associated to the
low-carbohydrate diets group. It’s not a traditional low-carb
diet and adheres to more responsible and healthier approach than
Atkins’ diet. The opinions about the diet are varies from
hard to follow to the obligatory introduction phase to the best there
One of the things that
contributed to the diet popularity is that many restaurants have
included Zone diet meals in their menu.
Theory behind the diet
The diet is promoted as one
which differentiates carbohydrates and fats as good ones and bad one.
When the dieter chooses to follow the South beach diet he learns which
are the right carbohydrates and fats and which are not.
What is South Beach Weight loss rate?
the theory behind the diet when one consumes bad fats and carbohydrates
the felling of hunger appears sooner and causes to more food intake.
When right ones are consumed the dieter stays full for longer period of
time and it’s expected to achieve 8 to 13 pounds lose in just
Foods in the Diet
The food intake in the South Beach Diet is restricted to lean meat,
seafood, eggs, low fat dairy products, nuts, vegetables (most of them,
anyway), artificial sweeteners and a couple of carbohydrates of the low
How the diet is structured?
South Beach Diet is divided to 3 phases:
- "The shock" phase last 2 weeks. Normal
size meals of meat fish, eggs, nuts, plenty vegetables, reduced fat
cheese, low fat yogurt. There are some snacks and deserts. Most fruits
and vegetables are restricted.
Some of the dieters find this stage hard to follow because of a low energy
level, tiredness feeling accompanied with nausea. The good thing is
that not all dieters feel those symptoms and it’s perhaps on
a genetic level.
The good part of this diet is replacing of the simple carbohydrates as
sweets, pasta and bread with healthier complex carbohydrates as
wholegrains and vegetables.
The worst part is that in order to achieve fast weight loss healthy and
long term consuming approach is abandoned.
The second - Sensible eating habits and advices, introduction to right
carbs: wholegrains and most of the fruits, some indulgences become
allowed. The phase last until weight loss goal is achieved. The recipes
of meals provided by the author are very good. For dieters who suffer
from lack of time Pre-packaged South Beach food are available.
The third - "The Maintenance" phase. The diet plan
becomes more like lifestyle instead of diet plan when the dieter
continues to take good consuming choices.
The South Beach diet pros and cons question is vividly debated by both sustainers and detractors. There are solid arguments in both directions. And here are some:
South Beach Diet Pros
South Beach is a healthy diet (the diet was originally designed for preventing and reversing
heart disease, and weight loss is the very pleasing side-effect):
It recommends prevalent consumption of foods containing heart-healthy unsaturated fats
(mono and polisaturated ones) in the detriment of the saturated fats and trans fats.
It encourages complex carbs consumption and banns simple carbs, thus helping the
regulation of the insulin level and the body response to food.
Also, it is based on eating low GI foods which discourage the consumption of junk-food
(white bread, sugary cereals and sweets).
It is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein, and it doesn't omit any
major food groups (during phase 2, 3).
Cravings disappear due to the restriction of refined or highly processed carbohydrates such
as white bread, pasta, cakes, and cookies, which are quickly digested and leave you feeling hungrier faster. Lean
protein and healthy fat are more filling.
Weight loss is fast. During the South Beach
diet phase 1 you can lose up to 13 pounds. In a comparative study of South Beach Diet and American Heart
Association Diet the results were in favor of the South Beach Diet. Thus, dieters on South Beach experienced a
spectacular weight loss, a decrease in waist to hip ratio, a dramatic decrease in triglycerides, and their good
to bad cholesterol ratio improved more than the AHA group.
It's easy to follow. It does not imply counting calories, tracking points, or measuring
your portions. It is not too limiting, all food groups are allowed (in Phases 2 and 3). The diet is fairly
balanced after the initial strict phase. It also permits occasional indulgence plus the food is delicious!
You won't get hungry. Dieters are encouraged to eat regular portion sizes and healthy
mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks.
South Beach Diet Cons
Insufficiency of scientific data on the South Beach diet ï¿½ there is only one study that
Dr. Agatston conducted with some of his own patients, but it was not a long-term study and the patient-sample was
not very large. Dieters should be monitored long term, as high protein intake makes the kidneys work harder and
strip the body of calcium.
Phase 1 is the most restrictive and has
Ketosis might occur due to the lack of carbs resulting in fat burn, and thus its effects
of weakness, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, dizziness, glucose body depletion, dehydration.
The fruit lack results in loss of vitamins and minerals.
Eliminating all carbohydrate-rich foods during this phase will also cut out some other
good sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals. (e.g. wholegrain breads and cereals are rich in fibre, B vitamins
and iron, and milk is an excellent source of calcium and zinc).
The rapid weight loss is not recommendable. Some nutrition experts say that it is safer to
lose no more than 2lb a week for good health.
South Beach diet seems to be expensive: protein is more expensive than carbs.
The recipes are very complex and time-demanding.
For those that are accustomed to carb-rich diets the South Beach diet is very demanding.
It requires a great deal of willpower. There is the danger of lapsing back into the old eating habits.
It was said that the beneficial effects on blood lipids and insulin resistance are due to
the weight loss, not to the change in caloric composition.
There is the risk for compromised vitamin and mineral intake (that is why supplements are
recommended), as well as potential cardiac, renal, bone, and liver abnormalities overall.
South Beach uses the glycemic index to make food choices, which can be inaccurate. The GI is variable with: the
way of cooking, ripeness, particle size and many other factors. It is also established for specific foods eaten
The absence of any significant mention of exercise.
The lack of options for people who don't like or can't eat dairy products. (many snacks
are dairy-based, yet the diet bans soy in the first two weeks).
To summarize it all, The South Beach Diet
is quite a good and safe diet plan which thought 3 phases
prepare the dieter to a healthy lifestyle and the eating habits
changes. After this diet plan the dieter needs to motivate himself to
adhere to knowledge about good and bad food and continue to make good
choices for better long term weight maintenance.
Valuable information got during
The South Beach Diet is something that should stay with the dieter
through the years if he wants keep shaded weight from returning.
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