South Beach Diet
CELEBRITY FANS: Bill Clinton, Oprah, Bette Midler
WHAT’S INVOLVED: Similar to the Atkins, this diet is all about balancing certain food groups. In particular it limits carbs and forbids certain foods such as potatoes, bread, cereal, rice, pasta and carrots for two weeks. After which you can reintroduce the foods but in smaller portions. Unlike Atkins you don’t need to count or weigh your carbs, but you will need to monitor your food and only eat carbohydrates and foods with a low Glycaemic Index (GI). Low-GI foods don’t cause the blood’s sugar level to rise and plummet quickly, so you don’t feel hungry as quickly.
YOU WILL NEED:
- Cardiologist Arthur Agatston’s book, The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss, may help
- A Glycaemic Index book to help you establish the GI content of your food
VERDICT: There are many benefits to this diet. By lowering your sugar levels the chances of diabetes are reduced. Also, as carbs are reintroduced, the diet is easier to maintain for the long-term and will not leave you hungry or wanting for more. However, the potential side effects include excessive flatulence, bloatedness, hypoglycaemia and constipation. Ryan Penny, Clinical Nutritionist and Conditioning Coach for The Wellness Brothers, offers his advice: “This seemingly mixed ‘Atkins and ‘low-GI’ diet aims at eating the ‘right’ fats and the ‘right’ carbs. Starting out with an Atkins-like approach for the first 2 weeks, the diet follows on with a second part that moves in the direction of the low-GI approach. It tends to be a programme well-tolerated by most people and certainly has helped a number of people lose weight. As with most diets though, it is the sustainability difficulty that tends to be the downfall. Unless the plan is accompanied by a shift in mindset and a desire for a new way of living (for good), then this programme will offer little more than a short trip ‘south’ on the yo-yo pattern weight loss that so many people are familiar with. But hey, if your goal is simply lose the extra pounds to look good on the beach for a couple of weeks, this might just be the one for you.”
Have you tried this diet? If so, let us know what you think in the comment box below.