Is the South Beach Diet Beachworthy?
What makes a diet “South Beach”?
The South Beach diet was created by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a “Preventive Cardiologist”, who developed the low-fat weight loss approach as a benefit to protecting your ticker. He lived in Florida, but really other than that this diet has nothing to do with Will Smith, Gloria Estefan, or LeBron James.
It was more of a marketing gimmick to get you excited about looking like someone living on South Beach. I don’t know if that is a motivational thing to you, but that was the thought process.
So what is the south beach diet? It is similar to the Atkins diet, only in the fact that it also operates in phases. Otherwise it is the pretty different in principle.
Phase 1 is actually somewhat similar to Atkins. It is a 14 days long period. A follower is supposed to eliminate dark fatty meats, dairy, and carbs like fruit, white flour products like pasta, rice and bread. You also avoid fruit juices and alcohol. Instead the initial south beach diet food menu consists of seafood, lean meats, high-fiber vegetables, low-fat dairy, and unsaturated fats like avocadoes and nuts. This is the phase where rapid weight loss is supposed to happen. It should also help to eliminate cravings and addictions.
In Phase 2, you reintroduce foods of your old way of eating such as fruits and whole-grain breads. You are encouraged to stay at Phase 2 until you have reached your weight loss goal at this slower pace.
In Phase 3, essentially your maintenance phase, you are not deprived of any foods. Pretty much, anything goes – until you begin to experience cravings in which case you must bump back down to Phase 1 or 2. You can binge every now and then, but when things start to go south, then you go back to phase 1 or 2 depending on how your body responds. Again this is a process that allows you to test the boundaries of your body.
What Will I Be Giving Up in the South Beach Diet?
The focus of the South Beach diet is all about avoiding saturated fats, sugars, and white flour. They want you to avoid any cuts of meat with a high fat content such as prime rib, skirt steaks, and any dark meat. They would also like you to avoid bacon – unless it’s Canadian. I guess they like the Canucks. As we established, this is only required in the first phase.
While riding the Phase 1 train you should also avoid any full-fat cheeses and dairy, white flour, and of course all types of sugar (soda, honey, jams, jellies, etc.). In Phase 2, you should continue to avoid bread in the form of bagels, white flour, oatmeal and sugar. They want you focused more on whole grains. It is also suggested to avoid beets, corn and white potatoes because of the high glycemic index levels.
In the paradise that is Phase 3, you don’t have to give up a thing or at least limit the stuff you know you shouldn’t eat to maintain your weight.
What Do I Get?
The type of meal plan of south beach diet foods suggests is 3 meals per day plus 2 snacks and a dessert. They do not encourage or require any kind of point or calorie counting. They of course pimp their own line of edible food products as the perfect way to support getting “South Beach Skinny”. I don’t know if that is really a great thing, but I get where they are going.
What Else Should I Know?
The only main difference between the South Beach diet and the Atkins diet is that the South Beach diet bans unhealthy fats specifically, supports whole grains, and doesn’t count grams of carbs. South Beach also only encourages low glycemic index carbohydrates, which is similar to Atkins and Paleo. South Beach has also created their own line of diet snack bars with drool-inducing flavors like: “Chocolate Peanut Butter” and “Whipped Chocolate Almond”.
What’s the Skinny?
The South Beach diet plan isn’t a bad choice. I can speak from personal experience with this south beach diet review that you can lose weight and get in solid shape. I like their approach on sugar, white flour, and tinkering with the diet to figure what works best for you. I am not a big fan of their inclusion of whole grains and dismissal of fats. We talk about this quite a bit at this site. Fat can provide a lot of health benefits and that includes even some saturated fats. Grains generally are going to cause gut irritation issues that makes it questionable to include in your diet.
We travel across the Atlantic Ocean to our European friends to check out the Mediterranean diet.