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The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss [Paperback]

Arthur Agatston
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (505 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 14 2005 The South Beach Diet

Developed by noted Miami cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston for his patients, THE SOUTH BEACH DIET became a national phenomenon-because it works. It's not low fat. It's not low carbs. It teaches you to use the right carbs and the right fats to change your body chemistry to burn fat, help reduce your cholesterol, and help prevent metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes). As a result, you'll lose weight quickly and safely.

Dr. Agatston's plan allows you to eat the foods you love-meat and fish, cheese, healthy oils and nuts, vegetables, and the right carbohydrates and sweets. There's no mandatory exercise, and you're never left craving more food. Structured in three simple phases, this may be the easiest diet that you've ever tried.

PHASE ONE: Say goodbye to bad-for-you "goodies"!
Your cravings will disappear...and so will eight to thirteen pound.

PHASE TWO: Your stomach is visibly smaller and favorite foods are back on the menu!
Your body is burning calories, not storing them!

PHASE THREE: The stage that lasts the rest of your life-normal foods in normal portions.
You will keep your ideal weight...and maintain your health and vitality.

With recipes and meal plans for each phase!

"The real value of the book is its sound nutritional advice."

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The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss + The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook: 200 Delicious Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less + The South Beach Diet Supercharged: Faster Weight Loss and Better Health for Life
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From Amazon

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The South Beach Diet is not low-carb. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a diet book whose plan is to get you to lose weight by limiting your carbohydrates- essentially another low-carbohydrate diet. It has 3 phases where your carbohydrates are severely restricted at first, and then re-introduced.

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!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Michael L. Johnson Feb. 29 2004
This is a very good book. Much of the book is composed of recipes and the recipes are very good. Will you lose weight??? Definitely!! I have had numerous patients who have lost anywhere form 25 to 80 pounds by following a low-carb diet.

As a practicing chronic pain specialist for the past 21 years, I have found that chronic pain patients who have followed a low-carb diet are better able to manage their pain. Please be aware that this is my personal observation as a clinician and there is no scientific evidence to support my observation that I am currently aware of. My theory is that the nerve cells or neurons and the neurotransmitters or chemicals that allow nerves to communicate are composed of proteins. When a chronic pain patient consumes a lower carb/higher protein diet, they are increasing the impulses or frequency of firing of the neurons or nerve cells. Increased impulses equals less pain!
Dr. Michael L. Johnson author of "What Do You Do When the Medications Don't Work--A Non-Drug Treatment of Dizziness, Migraine Headaches, Fibromyalgia, and Other Chronic Conditions".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IS THAT ALL THERE IS?? July 21 2003
Just got this book and gave it a quick read. Most of the info is jammed into a few chapters. The rest of the book is recipes and the meal plans for stages one to three. I was disappointed that there was not more emphasis on phase one. Although I did start the diet today! It looks to be quite similar to the Lindora weight loss plan or the Suzanne Sommers Somercize plan where you include vegetables in the low fat, heavy protein plan. The good news is that Dr. Agatston's credentials are very impressive. The info about when and how to eat various types of carbs and fats is a nice addition to any dieter's repetoire. Although he warns against staying on stage 1 for more than 14 days some of his endorsers (included in the book) say they did stay on stage one for months. Several of the recipes look like they are keepers such as the spinach cups and the ricotta desserts. Might be worth the price just for those and of course for motivation for the next round in the fight on fat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth your money! July 14 2004
By Dizziey
Like many people, I have tried many different diet programs and nothing seems to work. I have heard about this book from the newspaper and decided to read more about the diet before jumping into it. Seeing the positive results of so many people and that the book seems to make sense, I decided to give it a try. In fact, I had a pre South Beach Diet phase (Phase 0.5?). I cut down on carbohydrates gradually and once I am sure what type of meals I can prepare, I started my Phase 1. I think it works for me this way as it would be extremely difficult for someone who eats tons of carbs daily to none at all.
In Phase 1, I eliminated all carbs from my daily meals. However, I cheated a little with fruits because I have hemorrhoids and constipation problems. I think it is crucial to tailor the diet to your own needs and not follow everything strictly. Not to mention, I didn't feel like having Metamucil daily. I also had occasional coffee. Regardless of that, I loss about 9 pounds during Phase 1. Now I am on Phase 2 and I still plan to eliminate most carbs from my diet but less strictly compared to Phase 1.
I think it is crucial to get the book even though there are many websites out there with advice, suggestions and other things.
It's important to get the entire picture before starting out the diet. In addition, the book comes with plenty of recipes and meal plans which would be helpful. The hardest part for me is deciding what to eat daily (besides salads) and the book is a great resource for me. The first few days are the most challenging as the tendency to give up is high but after surviving that, it will be much easier. This is not an easy diet plan but to me, it is one of the easiest compared to others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I saw this guy interviewed on FoxNews and it sounded oh, too good. Don't count calories, worry greatly about portions, just avoid this list, eat this list.
I was hooked! Three phases with first of two weeks for 8-13 pounds! Are you kidding? Couldn't believe it until two weeks later, there I was, eleven pounds lighter and feeling so much better! No more afternoon drags and energy up! No cravings. The water consumption is vital, and at least 2 liters daily!
Phase Two is demanding as it requires careful attention to diet consumption correlated with scale monitoring so that the slow, steady decline down to the desired weight might be achieved.
My blood chemistry has also done the big turnaround, which to most of us is the true blessing of this diet.
To supplement this, I would recommend a good low-carb cookbook, such as the one I really like: Good Carb Cookbook by Sandra Woodruff.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review
Michael O'Connor

I enjoyed this book as I have tried this diet before and was confident it would work. Read more
Published 2 months ago by michael o'connor
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for South Beach Diet Fans!
This book is a must have for South Beach Diet Fans!
Great guide, easy to follow and read.
Highly recommend.
Published 7 months ago by BlondeOzGal
1.0 out of 5 stars Of course it's not the healthiest, but it works
I have put a one star, to reach the people looking for the bad reviews in evaluating something, as I do. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Corpfi
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to follow
I really enjoyed this book. it was very easy to follow, it gives you all the information you need with the meal plans set out for you, and the receipe's.
Published 13 months ago by Satisfied customer
4.0 out of 5 stars diet book
Good I was hoping it was more recipes than instructions, but there were enough to satisfy me. so that's all right.
Published 14 months ago by Wendy Michaels
5.0 out of 5 stars Very beneficial book
It is a worth reading book. By following the instructions, I lost 8 lbs in the first week . The recipes are easy to follow.
Published 18 months ago by Lily Leung
1.0 out of 5 stars The South Beach Diet
I was so disappointed when I received this book.
One would need a magnifying glass to read it.
I was so looking forward to this book but will now have to purchase another... Read more
Published on March 13 2012 by Chris
3.0 out of 5 stars Get something original instead
The South Beach Diet is just a refreshment of someone else's idea (Dr. Atkin's New Diet Revolution). Read more
Published on Dec 5 2006 by Handmade Christmas Cards
4.0 out of 5 stars New Aleternative
There must be something about The South Beach Diet that makes it so popular. However, I think that we in North America, while chasing the perfect body, forgot about what really... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2006 by David
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This was the only diet that worked for me! I lost 20 lbs in 10 weeks, all without exercise! I gained an incredible amount of energy and regained my fast paced metabolism. Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2006
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