The Advantages and Disadvantages of the South Beach Diet

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Perhaps one of the most popular and enduring weight loss programs there are is the South Beach Diet. American cardiologist Arthur Agatston developed this fad diet. The South Beach diet is comprised of high fiber, low sugar, and high protein foods. The diet program is based on the theory that overeating can be regulated by controlling one’s weight and portions. To keep the body balanced, the South Beach Diet recommends low sugar, high fiber foods that will fill you up without causing a spike in the blood sugar level.

The diet is comprised of three phases. The first phase is designed to eliminate cravings and jumpstart weight loss. The second phase is designed to achieve long-term weight loss results. The final phase is making better food choices for lasting weight management. This phase is just a continuity of the first and second phases.

The Advantages of the South Beach Diet

Promotes Better Diet and Lifestyle Changes

The South Beach diet requires the elimination of saturated fats, excess sugars, and sodium from the diet. The program promotes better diet and lifestyle changes to achieve a slim physique. The South Beach diet’s meal plan features a balance of lean protein, healthy fats, and nutritious grains and vegetables. It promotes healthy eating, free from processed ingredients.

Banishes Cravings

It’s true, the South Beach diet significantly minimizes cravings because the menu contains foods that do not cause a spike in the glucose level. Studies show that intense cravings are typically caused by plummeting blood sugar level. If the blood sugar level is steady, you won’t feel intense cravings that could lead to mindless grazing. Any food that contains simple carbs (carbs that cause a spike in glucose level), is restricted from the diet. These foods include white bread, white rice, white pasta, cookies, cakes, and pastry.

Faster Weight Loss

The South Beach diet promotes weight loss by eliminating fattening foods from the diet. Some dieters experience a total weight loss of 13 pounds during the first phase alone. Some health experts attribute the weight loss to the program from the decrease of saturated fats in the diet.

Easy to Follow

The South Beach diet is very easy to follow because the meals are very easy to whip up at home. There’s no need to purchase special supplements, replacement shakes, and other products to achieve weight loss. The program also permits occasional cheat days.

The Disadvantages of the South Beach Diet

Excludes Fruits

It is very rare for fad diets to exclude fruits from the program. After all, fruits are a part of a healthy diet. But the South Beach diet excludes fruits from the meal plan. In fact, certain fruits are categorized as “bad carbs.” Although considered safe, South Beach diet restricts too many carbs in the diet, which could lead to weakness, fatigue, and dehydration.

Will not Lead to Permanent Weight Loss

South Beach diet does not provide lasting weight loss. Once you go back to your normal eating habits, you are likely to gain back all the weight you lost. In addition, there is very little evidence that supports the efficacy of the South Beach diet. The patient sample conducted to prove Dr. Agatston’s claims was not large enough to yield conclusive results.

Does not Promote an Active Lifestyle

South Beach diet depends on carb restriction to facilitate weight loss. It does not promote a fit, active lifestyle at all.

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