What is the South Beach Diet?

South Beach Diet Super Charged
South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is an eating plan developed by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist based in South Florida. The diet is divided into three Phases during which dieters eat lean protein, nutrient-rich carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats. An exercise program is also a key part of the South Beach Diet.

What Is The South Beach Diet?

The South Beach Diet is a weight loss and healthy eating plan that many people have used successfully to lose weight and improve their health.

On the diet, you reduce your intake of bad carbs, like baked goods and soft drinks. You increase the amount of protein, healthy fat, and good carbs. 

The diet is divided into three phases. Phase 1 is the strictest phase and lasts for just two weeks. During this phase, many dieters lose weight quickly because their intake of carbohydrates is greatly restricted. During Phase 2, dieters begin to add in healthy, nutrient-rich carbohydrates and during Phase 3, dieters transition into a more relaxed, lifelong plan for healthy eating.

In order to properly follow the plan, you use food lists that are listed online and in each of the South Beach Diet books. These lists tell you which foods to avoid and which to incorporate into your meals. You can easily create your own menu using foods from these lists. There are also a number of recipes included in the plan.

South Beach Diet History

The creator of The South Beach Diet is Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist based in Miami, Florida.

In the mid-1990's, Dr. Agatston designed an eating program to help his patients lose weight. The diet was the basis for his first book, The South Beach Diet, which became a best-seller.

Since the publication of the first book, The South Beach Diet has gone through many changes and many new South Beach Diet books, products and online programs have become available.

The South Beach Diet SuperCharged was published in  2008 and includes a South Beach Diet exercise program.

South Beach versus Atkins

The South Beach Diet is often compared to another popular diet called Atkins. Atkins was also developed by a doctor and involves a low-carb eating style. As a dieter who has tried the South Beach Diet and the Atkins diet, I can compare the eating styles and the diet experience. The comparison might be helpful to you if you are searching for a diet.

Sometimes the South Beach Diet is referred to as a kinder or less-strict version of Atkins. But South Beach is actually a little bit different. Both Atkins and South Beach require you to go through an introductory two-week period. In Atkins the first stage is called Induction.  In the South Beach Diet the first part is called Phase 1.

Just like the Induction phase on Atkins, Phase 1 of South Beach is very strict. The foods that you are able to eat are quite limited.  But during the last two Phases of South Beach, you are able to relax a bit and eat more carbohydrates and enjoy indulgences every now and then.

Both Atkins and the South Beach Diet include maintenance programs for long-term health and well-being.

Should You Try The South Beach Diet?

If you are ready to change your eating style for life, then the South Beach Diet might be right for you. But if you are looking for a short-term quick fix, I wouldn't try this diet. It is likely that you will lose a lot of weight during Phase 1 - the hardest phase of the diet. But the pounds aren't likely to stay off unless you graduate to Phase 2 and then Phase 3.

If you are considering going on The South Beach Diet, buy the book or borrow it from your local library. Read about the eating plan, scan the food lists and evaluate the exercise program. You can also check out all of the South Beach Diet Guides at About.com. If you think you are reading to change your food habits for life, then give the plan a try.  Many dieters have been successful on plan and you can be one of them.

Continue Reading