|South Beach Diet|
The official South Beach Diet website pronounces that this is not the typical low-fat, low-carb diet. But that it is all about the RIGHT fats, and RIGHT carbs.
So the South Beach Diet allows you to eat foods such as meat, chicken, fish, shellfish, vegetables, eggs, cheese and nuts.
But not allowed (for the first two weeks called Phase One) are bread, fruit, rice, potatoes, pasta, sugar, alcohol and baked goods. And after that in Phase Two you can allow some of the healthier carbs, such as fruit and wholegrain bread. Followed by a maintenance phase when you’ve reached your goal weight.
The South Beach Diet aims to change your eating habits by getting you into good habits during the initial two-week restrictive diet. So that you no longer crave the bad foods.
The restricted nature of the initial two weeks generally does cause good weight loss, assisted by the lower kilojoule intake. The reasons for the popularity of the South Beach Diet are the potential amounts of weight loss during this first two weeks: figures of 8-13 pounds are quoted. Although some of this may be water loss initially.
The South Beach Diet was developed by Dr Agaston, a cardiologist whose goal was to help his chronically overweight heart patients get their diets under control, and combat insulin resistance, and prevent problems developing.
The South Beach Diet uses principles common to the others based around the Glycemic Index.
Possible negatives are the lack of emphasis on exercise, lack of portion size control, lack of alternatives for non-dairy dieters (especially during phase one), possible vitamin deficiencies caused by lack of fruit in phase one.
The South Beach diet comes under attack at Mercola, (which promotes the Total Health Program), because of concerns over mercury levels in fish, possible milk allergies, lack of clarity in distinguishing fats (in particular for allowing chips and french fries), for recommending aspartame and a lack of emphasis on exercise. Quite a strong article.
But overall it’s not a bad diet, especially if you start in Phase Two.