The very popular South Beach Diet is often called a food lover's eating plan. For some, the low-carb eating plan is easy to follow, practical, flexible and effective.
Adherents say the diet is all about living well, feeling good, keeping hunger at bay, loving what you eat, while losing excess weight and keeping it off.
Many people credit the diet with helping to lower their blood pressure, blood glucose and triglycerides, increasing their HDL and helping to deliver a wide range of other positive health outcomes. However, for some others, the South Beach eating plan just doesn't work well.
What is the South Beach Diet?
The South Beach eating system has three phases.
The goal of Phase 1, which lasts two to four weeks, is to kick-start weight loss by eliminating food cravings.
Phase 2 is designed to deliver healthy, long-term weight loss. It lasts until the person reaches their target weight.
Phase 3 focuses on lifestyle changes that enable people to make the eating plan a permanent part of their lives. It helps people understand how to follow the South Beach eating plan every day to attain and maintain their optimal weight and enjoy the many health and fitness benefits it provides.
The South Beach Eating Plan may not work for you
Although millions of people say adopting the South Beach eating plan was among the most positive diets they ever tried and it has transformed their lives in many positive ways, the diet isn't right for everyone.
There are countless people who have gotten negative results from the South Beach eating plan. They say it's a fad diet and following it is very demanding, expensive and time consuming.
Some say it requires superhuman willpower, causes too much of a disruption in their lives eating that way and they have found themselves unwittingly lapsing back into eating a carb-rich diets and quickly gaining weight.
What The Diet Promises...
The creators of the South Beach system of eating promises it will help adherents lose lots of weight and keep the unwanted pounds from ever returning.
The diet promises to help people to learn how to eat right by giving them access to great tasting recipes that will allow them to continue enjoying food that they love while losing excess weight.
The creators of the diet say it's easy to follow, very effective in getting rid of the excess pounds that prevent people from enjoying an excellent quality of life and attaining and maintaining their optimal weight and good health.
Many people feel the South Beach dietary system has broken many of its promises. They say even while following the diet their energy still experiences the dramatic highs and scary lows they were promised it would eliminate.
They are still forced to endure hunger levels that often lead to overeating. Controlling portion size and with it their hunger continues to be a challenge.
Their bodies are still feel fatigued and hungry and they have the urge to eat again soon after eating the low glycemic index foods that were supposed to keep them satiated for longer periods and help them maintain an even energy level.
In the years since the South Beach eating plan was first introduced, people have identified many pros and cons of it.
While millions of people praise it highly, others say it's based on junk science and only works for the select few for whom low-carb eating works well with their bodies.
This has led many to abandon the diet and seek out other eating plans that work better with their metabolisms. For people who have the discipline and the digestive systems that are able to quickly adjust to the diet, their results are positively life altering.
South Beach Diet Pros And Cons:
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Cons Of The South Beach System
1. Uses The Glycemic Index
People on the South beach eating plan evaluate food based on the glycemic index. This indicates how blood glucose is likely to be affected by specific foods.
2. Very Restrictive First Phase
Many people lose interest in the South Beach eating model because of the many limitations it has on what can be eaten, how much and when during the first phase which can last up to 4 weeks. With no guidelines about the amount of carbohydrate people should eat, depending on the foods adherents choose, they can suffer 'carb crash'.
3. Not Enough Structure
For some people, the South Beach system doesn't provide enough structure in terms of guiding people on how to add carbohydrates back into their diet. The decision is left up to the individual. While this is very good in the long term, in the short term it can be somewhat difficult to handle. People who are not tuned in to the signals their bodies send are often not motivated or knowledgeable enough to learn how to identify and adjust to them.
4. Too Many Inconsistencies
There are several aspects of the diet people don't understand and don't seem to work well together. Many people wonder why in Phase 3 they are allowed to eat more saturated fat. They wonder why they are encouraged to count the number of nuts they eat, but are free to decide on what portion size they should have of low-carb food. Some also wonder why a high glycemic, highly processed form of wheat like couscous is recommended and included in so many recipes. Plus, many people find it confusing and sending a mixed message when several other high glycemic foods are included in the recipes and menus.
5. Confusing Glycemic Index Values
In the first South Beach Diet books the glycemic index charts show white bread having a value of 100. However, in more recent books it is glucose that has a value of 100. The values for many other foods have different numbers depending on which book you read.
6. Ketosis Risk Because Fruits Excluded In Phase 1
Fruits are a valuable source of essential vitamins including Vitamin C and crucial minerals like potassium. They also provide fiber which is very important to any diet. In the initial phase of the South Beach eating plan fruits are excluded and labeled as being 'bad carbs'. This is a major drawback and make some nutrition experts say people following the diet run the risk of developing ketosis. This is marked by dehydration, glucose body depletion, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and gastrointestinal problems.
7. Too Rapid Weight Loss
In the first phase of the South Beach plan, adherents are told they can lose as much as 13 pound in 2 to 4 weeks. Losing weight that rapidly is not recommended. Most fitness experts say to maintain good health it is not safe to have weight loss of more than two pounds a week.
8. Serious Health Risks
Some health care professionals say basing food choices on the glycemic index is fraught with dangers of inaccuracies and runs the risk of compromising the intake of essential vitamins and minerals. A foods glycemic index can change based on its size, ripeness, the way it is cooked, if it's eaten alone and many other factors. Compromised vitamin and mineral intake can potentially cause cardiac arrest, renal problems and bone and liver abnormalities.
9. More Scientific Data Needed
The scientific data supporting the South Beach diet is insufficient. The information commonly cited is based on a single, small, short-term study conducted by the diet's originators on their own patients. To get more accurate results that can be extrapolated upon, larger, more long-term studies need to be conducted. Issues like the impact high protein intake has on the work rate of the kidneys and whether it strips too much calcium from the body needs to be monitored and studied more carefully.
10. Little Mention Of Exercise
Another shortcoming of the South Beach plan is it doesn't make any significant mention of exercise. Most effective, reputable, weight loss programs acknowledge in order to take weight off and keep it off in a healthy manner, a person should use a combination of diet and regular exercise. Medically guided weight loss is the way to go. Contact Us
Pros of the South Beach System
There are a number of pros and cons people experience when they adopt the South Beach eating system. Let's take a look at some of the pros.
1. The South Beach Plan Is Simple
Adherents do not have to weigh or measure their food, nor are they asked to count calories. They simply choose any food contained on the list and eat it. This takes some of the complexity and guesswork out of the diet.
2. Low in Saturated Fats
The foods recommended on this low-carb diet have a relatively small amount of saturated fat. Most nutritionists agree eating only a minimum amount of saturated fats when following a reduced carb diet is the healthiest option. ?
3. Encourages Individuals To Experiment
One of the reason so many people like the South Beach eating plan is because it encourages people to experiment with different types of foods and see what effect it has on their bodies. This is particularly helpful when they add carbohydrates. People sensitive to carbohydrates can monitor their carb cravings to identify what foods and how much of them trigger cravings.
4. Its A Healthy Diet
Originally designed to prevent and reverse signs of heart disease, the diet recommends the consumption of lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Weight loss was considered simply a very pleasing side-effect.
5. It Recommends Eating Heart-Healthy Unsaturated Fats
People following the diet are encouraged to eat foods that contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats and eliminate foods with trans fats and saturated fats from their meals.
6. Promotes Consuming Complex Carbohydrates
Another high point of the South Beach eating plan is that it encourages people to eat a diet high in complex carbohydrates while staying away from simple carbs. This helps to regulate the insulin level in the body and how it responds to the food they eat.
7. Discourages Eating Junk Food
The South Beach dietary system recommends adherents eat foods that have a low Glycemic Index. It also discourages the consumption of sweets, sugary cereals, white breads and any other type of junk food. People are encouraged to eat from all the major food groups.
8. It Makes Food Cravings Cease
Food cravings cause many people to gain unwanted and unhealthy weight. Following the South Beach eating plans makes those cravings disappear. It does so by eliminating cakes, cookies, pasta and white bread from adherents food choices. Those foods are digested very quickly and leave people feeling hungry again almost immediately. The lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates in the diet make people feel full longer. Diets are good, but Medi-Weightloss is better. Contact Us
9. Quick Weight Loss
Following the South Beach eating plan helps people to lose weight very quickly. During Phase 1 of the diet, people can lose as much as 13 pounds in just two weeks. In a study that compared people on the American Heart Association Diet to people following the South Beach plan, people following the South Beach plan showed significantly more weight loss, reduced waist to hip ratios, reduction in triglycerides and a bigger increase in good versus bad cholesterol ratios than the group following the American Heart Association plan.
10. Permits Occasional Indulgences
Once the strict initial phase is completed, people on the South Beach eating plan have a fairly balanced diet that is not too limiting and allows adherents to occasionally indulge in the delicious foods of their choice.
11. Not A Starvation Diet
People on the South Beach eating play rarely complain of being hungry. They are encouraged to eat healthy snacks in the mid-morning and afternoon with regular sized portion.
So how do I decide?
Professional weight loss guidance is always the best route to take when pursuing a diet that helps you drop pounds fast. Before investing time and money into any one dietary theory or program, contact a skilled professional for advice. Medi Weightloss is physician-supervised and individualized based on your unique needs. If you want to see real, sustainable results, it pays to work with a weight loss expert. When you partner up with a physician, you’re able to track more than just pounds lost. Our medical professionals can do lab work to see if the diet is having a negative impact on your health. If losing a few pounds is the ultimate goal, there may be better solutions than going on a fad diet or significantly restricting your intake of certain foods as a way of managing weight. Paying close attention to factors including your personal medical history, age, race, gender, lifestyle choices, and family size can make a real difference in what type of diet you should go on. Working with a physician at Medi Weightloss provides you with professional weight loss guidance and a support system with a vast amount of medical knowledge. They can help guide you in the direction of the right diet to meet your individual needs.