The South Beach Diet program is one of the slightly lesser known diets available today but that really doesn’t mean it’s any less effective than others. It was the brainchild of cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon in the 2000s who found it a good diet to follow for those adverse to low-fat diets that existed at the time.
Like some other diets, the South Beach Diet program has its own South Beach Diet phases; eliminate cravings and kickstart weight loss, lose steadily and maintain for life. This is like the basic plan followed by other diets which basically states lose some weight quickly, lose a bit more slowly, and then keep off the weight. Phase 1, eliminate cravings and kickstart weight loss, lasts for just 2 weeks. In this phase the diet helps you reduce your cravings for sugar and refined starches to get your weight loss started in style. Phase 2 is a bit more long term in that you lose weight slowly having already eliminated your cravings and finally phase 3 teaches you how to make smart food choices that allow you to keep off the weight for life.
One other major principle of the South Beach Diet program is the replacement of bad carbohydrates with good carbohydrates, and bad fats with good fats. The diet claims that hunger is not caused by carbohydrates but by particular carbohydrates that the body digests quickly and spikes the blood-sugar levels. It therefore helps you avoid these. The fats that must be avoided are trans fats and saturated fats and, of course, the plan removes these completely from your diet.
So what proof does the South Beach Diet have in terms of weight loss studies? Well, interestingly, 2 separate case studies were carried out over different time periods by two groups of scientists and they both found that people who followed this particular diet showed signs of appropriate weight loss.
One confusion some people have over the South Beach Diet is that they assume that carbohydrates are prohibited or at least severely reduced, as they might be in the Atkins diet. However, it doesn’t require you to do this at all, it simply requires you to eliminate your intake of certain types of carbohydrates and thus South Beach Diet meals are relatively easy and simple to find and prepare.