Diets That Work

Spavelous Weekly Spa Magazine

<< Page 14 >>

Top Diets


South Beach Diet


A well known cardiologist from South Beach, Florida developed the now famous South Beach Diet™ in response to his dissatisfaction with the low fat, high carb diets of the day. Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist, was frustrated with the lack of dieting success his patients were having, and suspected it had a lot to do with the diets that were available. He understood the chemistry behind nutrition and knew that there needed to be a fresh approach to dealing with fats and carbs in the diet, and so the South Beach program was born. Dr. Agatston states that the South Beach Diet™ is “Not just a diet, it is a way to eat for life.” His philosophy involves learning to not so much eliminate carbs, but choose the right carbs such as whole grains, fruits and veggies. He also states that we must choose the right fats, like olive and canola oils, and choose lean sources of protein like fish and chicken.

The diet is formulated on the premise many of us are addicted to carbohydrate foods. The doctor goes on to theorize that highly processed carbs get digested too quickly, causing insulin levels to spike, and further fueling hunger for all the wrong foods. The three phased South Beach Diet™ accomplishes a break in this cycle, promising to help the dieter control the food they take in, both in terms of portion size and choices.

As one would expect with a franchise so large and well-established, the website is extremely professional, and very well done with many offerings. On-line club members may receive recipes, exercise tips, weight-loss tools, and access to on-line dieticians, live-support and a newsletter. The thumbnails are clear and easy to use and customer support information is clearly posted. There is an on-line store where users can purchase books, tapes and even South Beach clothing. Any and all information desired related to the diet is available through the website which was bright, colorful, fast and fully functioning.

Diet Keys

The South Beach Diet™ is divided into three phases. The first phase is the toughest because it is the one that attempts to break all the bad habits we have accumulated. During this two week period, pretty much all carbs are restricted including bread, fruits and veggies and grains. This part of the program requires strict discipline and a real commitment to the plan. On the plus side is the reorienting of the body back to a healthy state and the stabilization of blood glucose levels, a particular bonus for anyone with diabetes or in a pre-diabetes state.

South Beach Diet

The second phase reintroduces some carbs back into the diet – but this time it is the right carbs. Gone are the simple carbohydrates like cake, cookies, candy, sodas and most bread. The diet replaces them with fruits, veggies, and whole grains. The right fats are introduced as well. No more fried foods, butter, and cream. These are replaced by olive and canola oils, and some nuts. The dieter remains in this phase of the plan for as long as it takes to get to goal weight.

The third phase of the program is the maintenance section and is the diet you will live with. A few more foods are reintroduced but by now the program looks less like a diet and more like a lifestyle. Blood sugar is stabilized and normalized and foods are consumed based on the glycemic index.


The South Beach Diet™ book. The diet may also be followed on-line for a cost of $5.00 per week, billed quarterly. At the time of this review, the on-line program was being offered free for the first 7 days. This trial flips over into the regular billing cycle unless the program is cancelled via phone call to a customer service representative. This is a typical program and pricing is compatible with several other popular plans now being offered on-line.

Some items can be hard to find and when you do find them, they tend to be a little on the expensive side. Search for health foods stores that carry the brands you need and if you can’t find them, you can request your local grocery store carry the items. They are usually pretty good at filling the requests of customers, and you will probably find that you are not the only one requesting the items mentioned in the book.



  • Focuses on portion control and better food choices
  • There's a welcome emphasis on whole grains, fruits and vegetables that is often lacking in many low-carb diet plans.
  • The South Beach Diet encourages three balanced meals plus snacks if necessary, and allows a lot of flexibility in food choices.
  • The author, cardiologist Arthur Agatston, encourages eating all the types of foods known to prevent heart disease, including nuts, monounsaturated fats such as olive and canola oils, soy products, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.


  • The glycemic index is used to encourage the consumption of certain types of grains, fruits and vegetables. Major U.S. health associations such as the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association do not endorse using the glycemic index for weight control or in planning menus for people with diabetes. Eliminating some healthy foods just because they have a high glycemic index number doesn't make sense for every person.
  • Some people may follow Phase I for long periods of time (although this is not recommended), which can cause deficiencies of several nutrients including fiber and calcium.
  • Some people experience fluctuations in weight as they move between phases. Although this is normal, it can be frustrating and disheartening.


Diet Summary

In an industry of crazy crash and fad diets, The South Beach Diet™ stands apart as a logical, sensible, safe and effective weight loss program. The diet was created by a doctor and is based on sound nutrition and chemistry. Although somewhat restrictive initially, the diet quickly balances the body, eliminating excess fat and stabilizing blood sugar levels, and then moves on to reintroduce healthy carbs and fats back into the diet. The developer does not consider this a diet as much as a life-long eating plan, and those who stick with it will emerge healthier, happier and much thinner. An on-line program allows dieters the choice of being part of a dieting community, or they can choose to buy the book and follow the plan themselves. The South Beach program has fully evolved to include several incarnations of books and tapes, the on-line plan as well as a host of ready to eat foods available in the grocery stores. However you decide to use this plan we totally endorse it as an extremely healthy way to accomplish weight-loss.


Question or Comment ? 

Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter |  Forward To Your Friends

<< Page 14 >>

Disclaimer: Information on this web site was gathered from many sources in public domain such as published books, articles, studies and web sites. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss your health conditions and treatments with your personal physician.


Newsletter Archive  |  Home | Spa World | Spa TV | Spas Finder | Spa Deals | Spa Shop | Member | Spa Blogs | Contact Us | Advertising With Us