Update: South Beach Diet Reviews: Does It Work?
Below are FAQ's including the latest South Beach Diet reviews and statistics of how this diet has been performing in recent years with it's newest updates and editions. Updated user and professional reviews are included.
How has the South Beach Diet plan recently performed?
In spite of recent dieting trends, the South Beach diet maintains a growing list of new subscribers especially internet based subscribers. The diets claim of 8 to 13 dropped pounds within the first 2 weeks of dieting may even be understated!
According to Prevention magazine, in one 12-week study of 40 overweight people, those who followed the South Beach Diet lost an average of 13.6 pounds. Members of the diet group also showed a great decrease in their waist-to-hip ratio as well as an improved ratio of good to bad cholesterol.
The study also showed that of the 40 members only one elected to drop out. Results showed the South Beach diet easier and more encouraging to follow compared to the other competition diets.
How will I like this type of diet?
If you like or absolutely have to eat specific types of carbs or fatty foods you may have trouble..at least for the first few days. According to Dr. Agaston, the renowned cardiologist who designed the South beach Diet, give your body a few days to adjust and those old carb cravings will “virtually disappear”.
After the first 2 weeks or phase one, you will have flipped a switch internally. According to Dr. Agaston you will have already corrected the way your body reacts to the very foods that used to make you overweight. Eventually you will be able to reintroduce those carbs back into the diet i.e. breads, pasta, rice, cereal, potatoes, fruit, chocolate etc.
Just not all at once!
So to answer the question most will like the diet...after your body adjusts those first few weeks The first 2 weeks are where most casualties occur. Getting to day 15 is critical to success. Most do quiet well thereafter.
If you don't like to calculate you'll love this diet. “South Beach is distinguished with an absense of calorie counts, percentage counts of fats, carbs, and proteins; or even rules about portion size.”
What's the theory behind the South Beach Diet?
In spite of what other
South Beach Diet reviews
say -- the diet isn't low-carb. Nor is it low-fat. Again, it's a diet that simply teaches you to rely on the 'right' carbs and fats.
What gets people overweight is simply eating the wrong carbs and fats (listed below) in excess. Bad carbs and fat causes insulin resistance whereby your body resists processing or burning the fuel, fat, and sugars you eat. Instead of burning carbs and fats your body stores it instead...typically around your midsection.
The theory is as you minimize (not totally eliminate) your bad carbs and fats from your diet studies have shown that insulin resistance starts clearing up on its own. And weight loss in those stubborn areas begins to also begins to improve.
That's why Dr. Agaston's diet promotes fat reduction predominantly around your belly, hips, thighs, and buttocks.
In a few days your appetite and cravings for bad carbs and fats will also decrease. Gradually your overall metabolism and blood chemistry is transformed leaving you with lower cholesterol levels, and an overall improvement in your heart health.
As it turns out Dr. Agaston's primary concern with developing his diet was to help his patients' heart health. What's commonly ommitted from other South Beach Diet reviews is the fact that the South Beach diet has actually one the best heart healthy diets available.
The South Beach Diet
offers forums and heart health testimonials to that end.
THE SKINNY ON WEB-BASED DIETING
"In a 2001 study led by Deborah Tate of Brown Medical School, participants who actively used interactive web tools — to get feedback from nutritionists, join online forums, submit food diaries, and track progress — lost an average of nine pounds over a six-month time period. The participants who logged in most often lost the most weight.
In comparison, participants who used the web solely as source
of information for their diets lost only 3.5 pounds in the same time period." 
What about Fat?
According to Dr. Agastons research it is true that all fats are not created equal. Like Carbs there are also 'good' and 'bad' fats too. Now, the diet doesn't exclude fats altogether. You'll rather focus on the 'good' fats.
The South Beach diet encourages those fats from the unsaturated variety. Fats found in salmon, trout, herring, avocados, olives, walnuts, and liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower are a few of what's good.
Bad fats are the high cholesterol causing fats such as beef, beef fat, veal, lamb, pork, lard, poultry fat, butter, cream, milk, cheeses and other high fat dairy products that you'll try to avoid.
However, bad fats aren't excluded entirely from your diet. You will reintroduce them back into your diet sparingly to give yourself a break now and then.
How do I follow the plan?
Most are finding success following the plan at southbeachdiet.com
as opposed to going it alone. As of March 2008 the site has a staggering 600,000 member subscriber base. The surge in popularity is due mainly to its affordability ($5 a week) with the first week free. By following the South Beach Recipes you'll save that in food costs alone.
Also, with that deep of a subscriber base the site offers experienced input from other users and dietitians. The site offers recipes, meal planners, weight trackers, discussion groups, online support for questions or motivation.
The plan is divided into three phases:
Phase 1 lasts for two weeks. You eat three meals a day. Each meal adheres to a strict low carb menu designed to quickly eliminate those cravings for 'bad' carbs and fats. It is tough but the reward in phase 1 is an average weight loss of 8-13 pounds.
Phase 2 allows you to reintroduce those off limit foods in phase one back into your diet. You'll still be on the diet, but if its pasta you love you can eat pasta. If it's chocolate go ahead and eat chocolate. You are just restricted from eating them all at once. Again you will still be losing weight just not as aggressively as in phase one.
Phase 3 is the phase you graduate to that should last the rest of your life. At this stage your eating habits should be altogether different.
What you can expect is a new blood chemistry and cardiovascular system. (This was actually Dr. Agaston's original intent with his patients). You'll be eating normal foods, normal portions without even having to use the South Beach diet if you so choose.
The diet consists of three meals daily with snacks in between. Only a few basic rules are to be followed for ongoing maintenance.
How much and how soon?
The South Beach diet reviews have found jaw dropping claims of 20-40 pounds of weight loss in 2 months. Most testimonials claim losing on average 13 pounds within two weeks (phase 1). After which time the plan is more balanced introducing foods you previously craved but less often than you used to eat them. Throughout the next 2 phases of the diet you lose weight on more of a gradual basis.
What are the Pros of the South Beach Diet?
First is almost immediate gratification of weight loss. Again, the diet has proven an average of 8-13 shed pounds when consistently followed within the first 2 weeks. But what's better is it gets easier, much easier after that not harder like most diets.
Also, no tricks or gimmicks. Just a balanced common sense eating plan consisting of good carbs and fats that can easily be maintained for life.
Also, what most don't realize is the diets flexibility. It is definitely a practical diet for busy people. If you experience the diet you'll find no tricks, calculations, counting, or portions to figure. You don't have to be super careful all the time about what you eat.
Also dishes are simple, easy to make. No precise combinations or complex menus. You do get snacks between meals. The type that you can throw into your back pack or pocket book and eaten on the run.
What are the Cons?
Ask anyone and they'll tell you the first 2 weeks of carb deprivation can be torture. If you only follow the book you will seriously lack the support and tools found at the website to help you persevere and overcome spells where you need motivation and encouragement.
What are the South Beach Diet reviews from professionals or doctors?
South Beach Diet reviews found this diet commonly referred to as the "doctors diet". Since not only was it founded by doctors but supported as well.
Most experts tend to agree with adhering to a diet rich in good complex carbs especially those found on the Glycemic Index. A recent appraisal from expert registered dietitian Heather Reese gave the diet high approval stating that South Beach:
“..emphasizes a diet high in complex carbohydrates, lean protein sources and unsaturated fats. With the exception of the initial phase, it outlines a well-balanced diet that includes foods from all food groups.”
What do they say regarding South Beach's longevity?
The South Beach Diet also provides guidelines for healthy eating during the maintenance period instead of leaving you to sink or swim. This is a very important step in weight control because without a maintenance plan you are likely to regain the weight – which wasn’t easy to lose in the first place! But as hard as weight loss is – many people find weight maintenance to be even more difficult. This diet gives you tools to make weight maintenance more manageable.”
On the flip side most doctors and dietitians agree with the diets overall balance and flexibility yet show concern regarding the diets strict 2 week phase of low carb dieting during phase one. Phase one excludes most carbs and fats that most people eat which could be difficult to sustain.
And of course experts unanimously agree that any diet promoting more than 2 pounds of weight loss per week is unhealthy. Yet South Beach does so long term -- just not intially.
How is the South Beach Diet different from the Atkins Diet?
South Beach is almost a hybrid of the Atkins diet. It starts off like Atkins but goes a different direction thereafter. Dr. Agaston eliminated one of the primary causes of obesity by permitting good carbs while minimizing the bad carbs.
The same would be said for fats as well. Not all carbs and fats are created equal. This is a marked contrast to the Atkins diet plan whereby you virtually eliminate carbs altogether leaving you to exist strictly on fats and proteins.
Both diets have equal merit yet South Beach provides for more flexibility and balance with food selections. But even more important, South Beach (unlike Atkins) deemphasizes saturated fats.
Since Dr. Atkins designed his diet plan, current research shows that consuming high-fat meals over time contribute to plaque build up in the blood vessel walls. Over time that can lead to a heart attack! According to Dr. Agaston such findings were not known then as they are now.
South Beach Diet Reviews with Directions
Clearly most will have a better chance at achieving sustained weight loss with the South Beach Diet. Reviews from users tend to concur as well. Any hang ups from my experience have come in phase 1. But the cold turkey, low-carb and low-fat restriction phase is just that...a short phase, thankfully, and not something permanent.
The average 13.6 pounds of dropped weight during the short phase should help to encourage and sustain the weary. But if you're not committed-- those first 2 weeks of readjusting your cravings will do you in.
Those who graduate from phase one will begin to focus (not exclusively) on the 'right' fats and carbs. Enter the GI or Glycemic Index -- which ranks all carbs according to their effect on our blood glucose and insulin levels. (Something their website explains in detail)
The diet offers a balance so it is a long term solution. It offers flexibility for those on the go. It's practical in that you have no calculations or a select list of foods to choose from. It also offers adequate support and tools to keep you motivated towards your weight loss goals.
Other similar diets to consider: