The Top 3 Low Carb Diet Reviews: South Beach, Atkins, & the Zone
The following low carb diet reviews present a hard, fast overview of the big three low carbohydrate diet plans in the market today. Click any of the links below for more details, statistics, as well as professional opinion regarding the specific diet you’re interested in.
The bottom line with the Atkins diet is that it’s a low, LOW-carb diet plan. Of all the low carb diet reviews on our list, Atkins gets the low-carb prize.
Yet the Atkins LOW-CARB banner often overshadows the diets generous allowance of saturated fats...and fats in general!
The diet keeps those carbohydrates at a bare minimum (between 20-40 grams of carbs daily). Don't worry it's redeeming quality is that during phase one fats make up a whopping 60% of your calories. Most diet plans are about half that percentage.
The Diet consists of 4 phases but dieters are encouraged to start at any phase depending upon their goals. Each phase starting with phase one gradually reintroduces a few more carbs into the diet. The goal is to transition your body through a process called “ketosis” whereby your metabolism burns fat stores for fuel instead of carbs.
The first phase lasts 2 weeks and will completely test your discipline. But your reward is an average weight loss according to most University studies of 8-12 pounds. The next two phases your weight loss slows to 1-3 pounds a week until you reach your desired weight. Phase 4 or the Lifetime maintenance phase is just you balancing your carb intake to maintain your new weight.
Short term, Atkins is tough to beat. Long term observation however, indicates dieters have a tendency to stray or altogether fall away from this diet. Look at South Beach for a more balanced, less demanding long term alternative.
Scientific research that validates any benefits or long term side effects of the low-carb, high-fat diet have yet to be performed. So many of the adverse claims surrounding the Atkins are usually overstated since they can’t be substantiated.
Click here for detailed Atkins Diet Reviews
South Beach Diet:
The South Beach diet has really picked up momentum over the Atkins diet in the past few years. More low carb diet reviews center around the South Beach than any other.
Dr. Agaston the cardiologist who designed the diet for his heart patients is adamant that the diet is neither a low-carb nor a low-fat diet! What else is there you ask? Well, instead South Beach restricts you focusing on foods that are either ‘good’ carbs and ‘good’ fats.
"If it's not a low-fat or low-carb diet than what else is there?"
South Beach (according to our low-carb diet reviews) seems more a hybrid of the Atkins diet. South Beach also takes the dieter through a series of phases. But in a more kind and friendly way compared to Atkins
South Beaches' Phase 1, unlike Atkins' merciless approach, focuses on eating ‘good’ carbs and fats. 'Good' carbs are those low rating on the glycemic index (GI). ‘Good’ fats are those of the unsaturated variety as opposed to saturated and trans-fats.
Weight loss is considerable within the first 2 weeks. Usually 12-15 pounds is the average claim. But it's a tough road to hoe. The last two phases like the Atkins diet reintroduce more carbs and fats as you get closer to your goal before you finally maintain your desired weight.
A few differences that make South Beach more attractive than the Atkins diet is first, you’re eating carbs. South Beach believes all carbs aren’t created equal. Atkins puts the squeeze on virtually all carbs (20-40 grams daily!) whereas South Beach only squeezes out those carbs we all know we shouldn’t eat anyway.
Bottom line is the South Beach diet offers a more convenient, flexible and more importantly a balanced long term solution that doesn’t raise a bunch of red flags. In fact South Beach has been dubbed the doctors diet due to the fact that it was not only doctor designed but often doctor prescribed as well.
Click Here for South Beach Diet Reviews, Statistics, and Professional Opinion
Our low carb diet reviews wouldn't be complete without the Zone diet. According to Dr. Barry Sears, former researcher and originator of the Zone diet, Getting into the zone begins by eating the correct ratio of macro-nutrients (Proteins, Carbs, and Fats) in the right doses so as to maintain healthy hormone balance.
The diet offers sound theory. By keeping your hormone levels in the zone your body returns the favor by burning fat more efficiently.
Don't talk to me about Ecosianoids, tell me what I can eat!
When Sears first introduced the “Zone favorable diet” plan many dieters found it difficult practically day in and day out. The frequent measuring and calculating each macro-nutrient every meal just led to an eventual falling away for most.
The Zone favorable diet consists of 3 square meals and 2 snacks daily. Each meal has a 40:30:30 ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats respectively.
Sears helped to deflect the measuring and counting stereo type by simply dividing your plate three ways. But as you delve further it get's "more interesting". Your genes, activity level, and your ever changing lean body mass all play a critical role in determining how much of each macro-nutrient you can eat to maintain zone living.
Your remember how the Zone diet swept the nation in popularity during the mid 90's. Celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sandra Bullock, Rene Zellwegger, Charlie Sheen, Ben Stiller, Bill Cosby, and Cindy Crawford all helped pull this diet mainstream.
Sears' Zone Diet is No Longer An A-List Diet Plan!
The Zone used to be considered the diet for the well to do or those who had both time and money to either quantify every macro-nutrient or instead have it delivered at around $50.00 a day. But the diet has evolved since that stereotype...it hasn't arrived but it's become more practical for real people.
The diet still maintains a large following as the diet has simplified somewhat with Sears' recent books. The principles haven't changed, however. Most can accept the diets theory in general but most don't want to hear about the virutues of ecosianoids super hormones.
Sears' has made eating out at sit down and fast food restaurants an option as well as affordable home delivery option through Chef's diet that's actually affordable ($15/day). Portion control is also less demanding especially when factoring your personal attributes.
There are no known adverse side effects long term. Aside from steady, healthy weight loss, testimonials continue to make claims of other beneficial side effects.
The most recurring remarks about the Zone (besides the practicality issue) relate to increased energy and mental productivity, freedom from cravings, and decreased blood pressure . Some even have deflected an encroaching diabetes condition.
Even with the improvements and the more balanced diet, many have elected to follow the latest low-carb diet plans discussed above. The Zone with all it's benefits can still be too scientific and restrictive in terms of calories.
Earlier claims have been that the Zone is merely a low calorie diet. Yet any diet initially needs to feel uncomfortable and restrictive to be effective.
Click here for more detailed low carb reviews of the Zone diet
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