Created by Dr Agatston in 1999, the South Beach diet is designed to provide patients with recipes to avoid or combat the development of heart disease and coronary problems.
It also assists with helping people to achieve weight loss. Notable celebrity dieters that use the South Beach diet include Bill and Hilary Clinton. It is operated on the concept that consuming carbs leads to weight gain.
Having said that, the South Beach diet doesn't completely eliminate the intake of carbohydrates. Instead, it separates them into good carbs such as wheat breads and other foods with a low Glycemic Index and bad carbs such as biscuits, pasta and potatoes or those with a high Glycemic Index.
The South Beach diet also divides food into good fats (monounsaturated) and bad fats (saturated). Dieters have three balanced and healthy meals every day. Snacks are allowed too so you can enjoy some of the tasty varieties available to liven up your eating habits.
There are three phases to this diet. Firstly, the strictest phase of the diet which lasts for 14 days and in which no carbs are allowed. In this initial phase, the dieter has average sized portions of lean meats, such as chicken and fish. Other allowed foods include cheese, eggs vegetables and nuts. Secondly, in this lenient phase, some of the prohibited foods are reintroduced so that the diet can begin eating high fibre, good carbs. This phase continues until the dieter reaches target weight levels. Thirdly, in this weight maintenance phase, the aim is to continue permanently and to maintain sustainable weight control indefinitely.
This plan promotes rapid initial weight loss and helps to improve eating habits whilst assisting with the stabilisation of blood sugar and insulin levels. Much of initial weight loss however is water caused by the restriction carbs. Weight is replaced as soon as carbs are reintroduced. People who dislike or are unable to consume dairy products tend to notice that this diet has a distinct lack of options for them as many snacks are dairy based.
Currently a very popular program it is a low carb plan - but not as low as Atkins. Worth a look.