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South Beach Diet

The description of South Beach diet ranges from highly appraisal, like “the newest and the best diet plan in our days”, to more conservative, like “updated version of the Atkins diet” and even to absolutely hostile, claiming it to be the “latest diet craze to come out of the States”.

Below I will give only some of the facts about this type of dieting without persuading people "pro" this plan (because there are enough marketing resources to praise the South Beach diet) or “contra” (because there is always someone, willing to put a spoon of tar into the pot of honey).

South Beach diet is developed by a cardiologist Arthur Agatson, who wanted to create a diet plan for obese patients with heart diseases and diabetes, though the diet itself is addressed to everyone, willing to loose weight and lower the blood sugar level.

The detailed description of the plan is given in the book “The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss”, which has become a year 2005 bestseller in the USA.

The diet has nothing to do with the curative sun or sand of Miami south beaches as well as with many modern and popular diets (including Atkins diet plan), based on claiming the carbohydrates guilty in all human troubles and problems, including but not limited to obesity.

Mr. Agatson offers truly democratic approach to the problem of overweight and obesity based on two main patterns: a) these states are caused by a complex of physical, mental and life-style factors; b) carbohydrates are not all bad, some of them are good ones.

So, the plan of South Beach diet has three phases:

Phase 1 – it is the strictest and obviously the hardest stage of dieting, lasting 14 days and resulting in 8-13 pounds of weight lost. You are not allowed to eat any carbohydrates (bread, cereal, rice, pastries etc), milk, full fat cheese, sugar and fruits. Instead you can enjoy skinless chicken or turkey, all types of fish, boiled ham, eggs and green vegetables.

This phase requires strong will demonstration, because the organism craves for carbohydrates. Do not think of alcohol as of unique means to solve any problem, because it is forbidden during the first phase too.

Phase 2 – this is where democracy begins. The participants can eat everything (or almost), but preferring good carbohydrates (pasta, porridge, whole-grain breads) and avoiding bad carbohydrates (cornflakes, white bread, jacket potato). Fruits, fat-free or low-fat milk products and even red wine are allowed.

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The main difference between good and bad carbohydrates lies in the speed of sugar releasing into the blood during digestion. Bad ones do that in a rapid way, forcing insulin to reduce it also rapidly. Good ones make it in a moderate and slow manner, avoiding insulin hits and reducing the hunger feeling for a longer time. Actually, this is the common ground of South Beach diet.

Expected weight loss during phase 2 is 1-2 pounds per weak till reaching the optimal weight.

Phase 3 – this phase is described as a “way of life”. You just enjoy living with principles of South Beach diet in mind. In case the weight begins to increase, you just repeat phase 2, or phase 1 in case of urgent necessity.

Finally, I should say that choosing a diet is a personal issue. It is like choosing a car – you do not have to understand how the engine and all the systems work, you just go and choose the one, which suites your likings and practical needs.


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