Diet Program Review: The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet was developed by the cardiologist, Arthur Agatston, who was practicing in the Miami, Florida area at the time. The diet first appeared in a book published by the Rodale Press titled “The South Beach Diet.” This diet emphasizes eating right, becoming healthier, and claims to create a weight loss of ten to fifteen pounds in as little as two weeks.

The South Beach Diet works in phases. The first two use a specific timeframe and the third phase is used for life. With this method, you stop weighing food portions, stop counting calories, and stop feeling that you are being deprived of great-tasting foods. With the South Beach Diet, you eat three normal-sized meals and two snacks each day. The meal plans are designed to be flexible so that you can eat a variety of different foods.

The negatives of this diet is that the carbohydrate restriction in the first two weeks requires tough willpower and may leave you feeling weak and tired. You also may not be getting an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals in phase one because this phase does not emphasize the five fruit and vegetable servings that your body needs. Eliminating all carbohydrate foods during this phase means that you will be selling yourself short on quality fiber, iron, B vitamins, zinc, and calcium.

Nutrition experts generally favor diets that are based on the Glycemic Index. The South Beach Diet only requires serious willpower for the first two weeks and it can seem very restrictive at first. Losing up to fifteen pounds in such a short period of time is very unhealthy. However, once you get past the first phase, there are fewer dietary restrictions than with most other diet programs. No major food groups are eliminated and this diet follows the basic principles of eating healthy with the end result of providing you with plenty of nutrients that you need to stay healthy.

Zach Bashore
April 27, 2006

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