The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss Paperback – Apr 14 2005
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The verdict is in: those simple carbs we've been living on are killing us. For good health, we've got to get our blood sugar under control and stop the incessant cravings. Or so says Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of The South Beach Diet. The first half of the book details the science behind the diet. Most of the explanations revolve around why things you thought were healthy-orange juice, wheat toast, carrots-are actually evil. To avoid blood sugar surges, Agatston created a modified carbohydrate plan, recommending plenty of high-fiber foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats, while cutting bread, rice, pastas, and fruits. Major differences from other diets include a lack of concern over portion size and a serious indifference to exercise. Feeling full while on a diet is a beautiful thing, but it seems odd that a cardiologist buries his exercise recommendations in a solitary sentence.
The last half of the book covers his three-stage plan; daily diets are mixed with recipes, some of which are from South Beach restaurant chefs. The most restrictive period lasts just two weeks, enough time to stabilize your urges and lose a few pounds; stage two adds fruits and a handful of other carbs, while stage three is meant to last the remainder of your life, with occasional lapses for white bread or birthday cake. While the diet is sound, the book could be better organized. The first half mixes scientific study with anecdote in a seemingly random way, while the mix of meal plans and recipes can be confusing. Still, the recipes are varied and tasty, and you'll never feel deprived, unless you currently happen to live by bread alone. --ll Lightner --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Despite the glitzy title, this is one of the more appealing diet books among the new "anti-carb" programs. Agatston, a doctor based at Miami Beach's Mt. Sinai Medical Center, found that his patients not only were unable to stay on various popular diets but their cholesterol and blood sugar levels remained dangerously high after trying these plans. The doctor chose to alter his own diet-first avoiding all carbohydrates and fruit and then reintroducing these foods in moderation. Feeling better and losing weight, he then consulted a nutritionist to modify his strategy to devise a sound method for his patients. The South Beach diet begins with a somewhat restrictive two-week program, generally producing a weight loss of from eight to 13 pounds. The initial phase may be difficult for those who crave bread, pasta and fruit. But there are still choices, and snacks (cheese, hummus, vegetables) are a necessary part of the diet. People shouldn't feel hungry on this part of the diet, stresses the author. The second phase offers somewhat more choices, including whole wheat bread and other selected carbohydrates. Agatston advocates combining the "bad" with the "good." For example, take whole wheat bread and dip it into olive oil, rather than using butter. Eat a very small amount of pasta with lots of vegetables, meat and healthy oils. Complete meal plans along with simple recipes comprise roughly half the book. Of course, there's no perfect diet that works for everyone but the enthusiasm of the conversational tone and the inviting manner make the book more appealing than many other diet tomes.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have personally read three controlled trials comparing low carb diets to your regular calorie restricted diets that were published in scientific journals. The results? Low carb diets produce more weight loss during the first 6 months, but at one year follow-up, both groups had lost THE SAME amount of weight.
Therefore, it really doesn't matter which diet plan you choose, the South Beach diet or your standard low calorie diet, because if you can stay on either of them for a year, you'll lose the same amount of weight. To that end, then, the South Beach diet is a fairly healthy diet plan and a good one to choose from- but the bottom line if you want to lose weight is to cut your calories with ANY diet plan and absolutely stick with it and make it a part of your lifestyle.
Readers who can't seem to stick with a diet plan long enough to see results might also want to check out The Sixty-Second Motivator. Good luck!
Because of her endorsement, I bought the book and read it myself. To be quite honest, while I agree with most of the concepts presented in this book, the diet itself is not entirely for me or my husband. Mostly, I just don't like the food. In addition, when I actually made a shopping list based on the first two weeks of the diet, I realized that I couldn't afford it. It would have nearly tripled my grocery bill.
I'm still happy that I bought it and read it. There are some wonderful low-cal/low-carb/low-sugar recipes that I enjoy. It also gave me a good insight to how our body processes sugars, and which foods to avoid and why.
My husband and I follow many of the concepts of this book, just not the strict diet plan presented. My diabetic friends however, rave about this book. It has helped them to lose weight, decrease their cholesterol count, and generally feel better.
My weight before starting SBD Phase 1 was 152. I am 5'4" and want to weigh about 135. I followed Phase 1, eating only food from the allowed list. That's basically lean meats, low or no-fat cheese, eggs, veggies, nuts. It was fairly easy to stick to - especially because I could have nuts or cheese as snacks. Grilled fish, lean steak, some veggies and I had a dinner that I enjoyed. Eggs for b'fast. The purpose of Phase 1 is to end your cravings for sugar and carbs. It did that for me.
At the end of Phase 1, I weighed 144. A loss of 8 pounds.
Then, we went on vacation in Europe for 4 weeks. I tried to eat healthy foods but also had a small ice cream almost daily. Because of the diet I made much better food choices than I normally would have, although I also had pasta and bread (and the ice cream). I had fresh veggies, veggie soup, salads and fruit often, and meat when we could afford it. At the end of 4 weeks, I had lost 5 more pounds. I'm at 139 now and on Phase 2.
This is better than I have ever done on a 'diet' before, especially considering the 4 week vacation. I'm feeling very healthy and am loving being a 'normal' size again.
I am ignoring some of the information in the book (like the GI Index) as it makes things confusing and it's not necessary to understand it. I follow the food lists and find that I can make a wide variety of meals that even my husband will eat. I'm not finding myself focused on food all day. The internet has some great support groups for this diet. I can eat in restaurants with no problem.
I have high cholesterol, so am hoping to see that come down. That would be the best news of all.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoyed this book as I have tried this diet before and was confident it would work. Read more
This book is a must have for South Beach Diet Fans!
Great guide, easy to follow and read.
I have put a one star, to reach the people looking for the bad reviews in evaluating something, as I do. Read morePublished on Sept. 23 2013 by Corpfi
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