cover of The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss

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

Author: Arthur Agatston
DietKnowledge comment: The must have book for South Beach
Avg. user rating: 3.76
List price: $24.95
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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. --Jill Lightner

Reader Reviews

"Easy to follow and I saw results immediately"

Rating: 5 stars
I've always been intimidated or annoyed with diet books -they are sort of like reading manuals, which I also hate. But this book is concise and really easy to follow, and the fact that the diet is so restrictive and unambiguous in the first two weeks makes it easy to stay on track. They key is that you are allowed to each as much as you want as long as you stay away from the sugars and the refined-foods carbs. But, you still end up eating a lot less than you used to because you aren't hungry. I can't say that at first I wasn't finding it hard to resist a huge pile of pancakes, but I was losing about a pound a day and that is an amazing motivator. Also I found that my energy level for my cardio workouts was down at first. I'm a victim of the high tech world and I've gained 25 pounds in the last six years. I'm going to South Beach in a few months, which was a great motivator to loose weight, and I'm achieving amazing results with this book. All my pants were loose on my after the first four days - it's like after all this time my body is saying "thank you!" for eating right and is rewarding me with rapid weight loss. This is a healthy diet that encourages the consumption of food in a satisfying quantity in its most natural state - not overly processed or refined or sugary. It's the type of food we are meant to be eating.

"The end of the bland diets"

Rating: 5 stars
I have been on so many diets that worked only to a degree but were so limiting in food choices that I couldn't wait to get off those programs.Also tried Slim Fast, but stopped when I found out that it was just low calorie sugar and give me the results I wanted, although I did lose weight.South Beach is like a modified version of Atkins which I also used with success. Unlike Atkins The South Beach Diet is also ideal for those who can't eat a high fat diet.I lost 8 lbs. my first week and noticed skin belemishes went away. So far, am down 20 lbs. in three weeks and feel great!

"I lost 20 lbs in 3 weeks and it was easy!"

Rating: 5 stars
The South Beach Diet may very well become the diet of the future and not just a trendy diet of the present.

This is not another fad diet or a ripoff of Atkins. It does compare to Atkins in that it provides more than just the minimal amounts of protein prevalent in so many other diet regimens and results comparable to Atkins with the added bonus of being lower in fat.

The addition of oils gives the skin a luxurous glow and prevents hunger. Oils are also typically devoid in most diet regimens.

My favorite recipes are the Balsamic Chicken, Savory Chicken Saute, Grilled Steak with Tomato Relish and favorite dessert is Mocha Ricotta Creme.

I have always loved mayonnaise and glad to see that this plan allows Mayo to be used liberally.

The Phase 1 Plan was so easy to stay on. I was never hungry and my energy soared!

On Phase 2 I am enjoying such delights like Mediterranean Chicken Salad and Portobello Pizza, Oatmeal Pancakes for breakfast, Poached Salmon Spinach Salad for Lunch and Stir Fry Chicken and Vegetables, Easy Chicken in Wine Sauce and Salsa Chicken for Supper along with other delights such as Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with a White Bean and Oregano Salad, Broiled Sole in Light Cream Sauce and Italian Style Spaghetti Squash.

And the best part is that this is a lifestyle program. The Phase 3 plan allows menues that are delicious and healthy like Moroccan Grilled Chicken and Savory Shrimp over Wild Rice and desserts like Chocolate Sponge Cake or Chocolate Stuffed Steamed Pears.

This diet plan alloes liberal amounts of eggs, beef, poultry, seafood, pork, veal, lunchmeat, cheese, nuts, tofu, fats (oils from canola and olive oil), spices and seasonings and sweet treats.

You'll also find out which foods to avoid including certain types of beef, poultry, pork, veal, cheese, vegetables, fruit, starched and carbs and certain types of dairy products.

I was delighted to see that someone with credibility finally came forward and exposed that eat only the egg whites and throw the yolk away. Dr. Agatston explains that the whole egg contains nutrients and the yolk contains good cholesterol that can neutrilize the bad cholestorol. The yolk also contains lecithin, a noted fat burner.

All in all, I am very pleased with the South Beach Diet. I look better, feel better and am healthier than I have been in years (I am 55 years young--prior to This program, Iwas 55 years old and felt like I was in my 70's)

If you want a program that delivers, give the South Beach Diet a try. You'llbe glad you did. I know I am.