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South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet is a popular commercial weight loss diet created in 2003 by cardiologist Arthur Agatston. Much like the Atkins diet, it is low in carbohydrates and high in proteins and healthy fats, and is sometimes known as a modified low-carb diet. Most people lose 8-13 pounds within their first two weeks.

Unlike some other low-carb diet plans, the South Beach diet is not 100% focused on cutting carbohydrates, and those following the diet don't have to stress about counting them. Instead, the diet focuses on changing the balance of foods that one eats to promote weight loss and general health. This focus on balance and wellness makes it a great healthy eating plan even if you're not trying to lose weight.

The South Beach diet uses the glycemic index to determine which foods should and should not be eaten. Foods that score low on the glycemic index increase blood sugar in lower amounts and for shorter periods than those higher on the index, and help keep the metabolism steady and reduce cravings. The diet gets even more craving-cutting power from its high fiber content, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer.

A strong emphasis is placed on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and incorporating exercise alongside dietary changes is strongly encouraged. The South Beach diet also encourages people to learn about the different kinds of fats out there, and to be able to distinguish "good" fats from bad ones.

Scientific Studies:

A 2009 study compared the South Beach diet to the Atkins and Ornish diets in terms of their effectiveness at maintaining a given weight. 18 participants tried each of the diets for 4 weeks, with a 4-week wait period between diets. Participants were weighed weekly and dietary adjustments were made when needed to help them maintain their desired weight. The South Beach and Ornish diets both led to significant reductions in LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and also provided other biological benefits that the Atkins diet did not.

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