Is the South Beach diet plan worth considering in 2019?
No sugar, lots of fat, no dairy, carb with every meal, high protein, or vegetable soup only – you can name any food group and there’s a diet that claims it’s the answer to rapid weight loss to be replaced a few months later with the next great idea.
So how about the South Beach Diet? Is this another faddy and unrealistic diet plan, or could it have more depth and actually be worth doing?
To answer this question we asked leading nutritionist Natasha Daniels for her thoughts on this popular diet plan.
What’s the background?
The South Beach Diet has been around since 2003, and was designed by a doctor, cardiologist Arthur Agatson – two pretty credible snippets of information.
What is the basic principle of the South Beach Diet?
It’s a healthy eating plan designed to have you eat a well balanced range of food. Overall these foods are lower carb, and higher protein and higher in healthy fats; essentially it’s eating like Mediterranean people do.
Does it involve a lot of counting and weighing?
Nope. You don’t count carbs, or ban fats, you just choose the right types of both to eat.
The three stages/phases
The first stage lasts two weeks and is quite restrictive, but promises weight loss of between 8–13 pounds. You can feast on protein such as lean meat, eggs, cheese and seafood, tofu and nuts, as well as oils and avocado, and vegetables like broccoli, eggplant and spinach. However, you cannot have bread or other starchy foods, fruit, alcohol and high-fat dairy products.
In phase 2 you can welcome back some healthy carbs to your plate, with fruit, sweet potato, and whole grain bread, rice and pastas all being fine. Weight loss is expected to drop to a healthy 1–2 pounds a week.
Once you hit goal weight it’s on to phase 3, which is more of the same with the odd indulgence. You follow this for life to maintain your weight.
Is it worth doing?
Overall the answer would have to be yes. Although the first two weeks are generally quite challenging they are necessary to break the typical high intake of sugar in our everyday diet, and the rest of the diet is extremely straightforward.
The South Beach Diet is:
• Practical – you don’t need to buy lots of special food.
• Uncomplicated – no counting or weighing involved.
• Flexible – you can generally still socialize and eat meals out, or cook one dish for the entire family.
• Fine for all – it’s adaptable to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets.
• Productive – if this diet is followed properly then you should lose weight and keep it off.
• Approved – many doctors like this diet plan because essentially it’s a healthy eating guide.
• Supportive – if you want to connect to others or buy suitable ready meals and snacks there are options on the official website.
If you are ready to quit processed foods then the South Beach Diet is definitely worth doing. For more information os the diet, head over to Diet Dynamo to see their more in-depth south beach diet reviews.