South Beach Diet Honest Review
What is South Beach Diet?
This program was created by Florida-based cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston in 1990’s. He was observing patients who were on Atkins Diet and losing weight while those on low-fat, high-carb diets were not successful. Atkins diet allowed for high amounts of saturated fat, especially bad for people with heart conditions, and restricted fruit and grains. The goal for the doctor was to create a diet that would be friendly to diabetic and pre-diabetic patients and help them lose weight without heart issues or high blood pressure.
His South Beach Diet is rich in low-glycemic-index carbohydrates, lean proteins, and unsaturated fats. He tried this diet himself first and then started recommending it to patients. Dr. Agatston published the South Beach Diet book in 2003 and it became a world-wide bestseller. He claims that not all carbs and fat are bad; you just have to choose the right products for weight loss and lower cholesterol.
Everybody should benefit from eating healthy carbs and fats, lean protein, low fat dairy, and fiber to fight off cravings all day. The main goal is to stop being a dieter and instead become someone who practices healthy lifestyle. The plan is easy enough to work for busy people and all picky eaters.
How does this diet work?
It has 3 different phases, 2 for weight loss and 1 for weight maintenance. Let’s take a look at all three:
It lasts for 2 weeks. It starts out strong and limits the intake of fruit, grains, and foods with high carbohydrates. This decreases blood sugar, and helps curb hunger. Most people lose 8-13 pounds during these two weeks. They are encouraged to eat in intervals and never wait until hunger strikes. Having something to eat every 3-4 hours should keep followers full and away from overindulging.
Dieters eat three meals per day that include lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fat and legumes. There are also 2 daily snacks with lean protein and vegetables, and one dessert to reward a good day.
The main goal of this stage is to reset the body, teach it to burn fat, ramp up metabolism, and reduce cravings for sugar and starch. This first phase will see the biggest weight loss rapidly and such result will encourage people to stick with the plan, which is of vital importance for a long run.
- Lean meats
- Poultry breast
- Turkey bacon and pepperoni
- Meat substitutes from soy
- Low fat cheese
- Low fat dairy
- Beans, peas, lentils, soy beans, hummus
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive, canola, macadamia, and avocado oils
- Vegetable oils
- Avocado, margarine, low-fat mayo, salad dressings, olives
- Sugar-free sweets
- Broth, herbs, vinegars, milk substitutes
- Coffee, tea, sugar-free sodas, vegetable juice
What foods to avoid:
- Fatty meats and poultry
- Butter and coconut oil
- Whole milk
- Foods with sugar
- Honey and agave nectar
- Fruit and fruit juice
- Starchy vegetables
This phase lasts much longer and can be followed as long as the desired weight goal is achieved. Most people lose 1-2 pounds every week. Patients follow the same diet as in the first phase, but are also allowed more fruit, “good carbs” from grain, and even some alcohol.
This stage is crucial for learning how to change one’s lifestyle for the rest of future. Healthy habits will form during this time and the benefits will be well-understood through feeling better and improving health. And that is in addition to stable weight loss every week.
This last phase is the longest, it’s like a maintenance plan, where it is advised to follow the diet from 1 and 2 phases, but also nothing is truly off limits anymore. By this stage, healthy lifestyle should be the norm and long term solution. If people start putting some weight back, they are advised to get back to 1 and 2 phases to take back control.
The first book and the follow up South Beach Diet Supercharged both include many healthy recipes with simple and affordable ingredients. The second book emphasizes the benefits of exercising and has some fitness plans.
South Beach Diet is a simple and easy to follow plan. It has been witnessed time and time again how high-protein and low-carb diets produce great weight loss results without making followers suffer from hunger. Protein increases metabolic rate and helps modify hormones that signal hunger. Low-carbs help people to maintain this diet for long periods of time and not feel like fasting, which would be not sustainable for a long period of time.
People love this diet because they don’t have to get on a special frozen meal plan or just drink shakes, like some other diets have them do. They don’t have to count calories or worry about percentages of fats, carbs, and protein in their daily meals. Everything is simple and uncomplicated. The meals are easy, fresh, come in normal sizes, and don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Many “fad diets” are impossible for families with kids and end up being impossible to maintain for non-single dieters. South beach Diet is definitely sustainable and can be beneficial for kids too. After all, we all would like to form some healthy eating habits for our kids’ future. And nothing is better than an easy to follow example at home!
South Beach Diet offers some prepared meals and snacks for sale, but you don’t have to buy them to see results. The diet is also friendly for vegetarians and vegans. Gluten-free options are easy to come by because carbs are discouraged.
Fatty fish and leafy greens help fight inflammation, while eggs, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil are good for the heart. Meal planning and cooking is easy with this diet and South Beach Diet book, so most people have little trouble staying on track.
Are there any cons?
Just like with everything good in life, there are a few drawbacks:
- restrictive fat intake
- not enough calcium, which might lead to osteoporosis for women
- soybean oil and safflower oil might be harmful due to very high omega-6 concentration that is linked to heart disease
- coconut oil is not allowed, but it aid in weight loss and is good for the heart
- not all saturated fat is bad – fish is very beneficial for heart and overall health
What else should followers know?
This diet can help you save money if you shop at farmers’ markets, buy food in bulk, use coupons, and prepare simple meals. It is easy to modify of some guidelines don’t work for you.
South Beach Diet Online is a great place to find information about how to track your weight, make tasty recipes, customize meal plan, find out what to eat while going out, and meet likeminded people in the community of followers.
Membership costs $4 per week, but the first week is free.
Is this diet sufficient for a long run?
The diet is pretty liberal and allows its followers to eat healthy unprocessed foods, vegetables, and high-fiber carb staples. You can avoid processed oils that this diet allows and instead go for extra virgin olive oil, avocado or macadamia oils.
The most important thing is that the diet works for you and is easy to stick with for a long time. Most followers have little trouble sticking with this one, thus it definitely is a good one. The Mediterranean approach to healthy eating will help you lose weight and most importantly, keep it off, especially if you incorporate some fitness into your daily life at least 3 times per week.
Finally, in addition to losing weight, you will be able to prevent not only heart disease, but also diabetes, some cancers, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Often times these health benefits are more important than just physical appearance and weight loss. If you think you are ready for such lifestyle change, you should definitely give South Beach Diet a try and eat the way you were recommended by doctors all your life.