The delicious, doctor-designed, foolproof plan for fast and healthy weight loss, called South Beach Diet, joined the vast variety of eating regimens and nutritional programs in 2004. In spite of the tough competition among the existing diets, the South Beach program attracted attention of many overweight people with its clear and trustworthy tips on weight loss and shortly became the #1 New York Times Bestseller.
The diet was developed by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a successful cardiologist from Miami, who contributed a lot to the development of heart computerized tomography. From the very beginning of his medical career, Dr. Agatston was also interested in eating programs, which could improve the cardiovascular health of his patients. After he found all the existing diets unsuitable or ineffective, he composed his own eating plan, based on the most recent scientific research in the field of nutrition.
The South Beach Diet belongs neither to low-carbohydrates nor to low-fat diets. It is a well-balanced eating plan, which promotes consuming all the food types. At the same time, the key point of the diet is that it differentiates good and bad carbohydrates and fats. Processed and sugar-rich carbs along with the saturated and trans fats are considered to be the major culprits of obesity.
The South Beach Diet aims rather at teaching a dieter how to choose healthy foods, then at restricting consumption of some food types, limiting meal portions or requiring a dieter to count calories.
The initial 14-days stage of the South Beach Diet is the strictest period of dieting, resulting in rapid and effective losing of about 8-13 pounds. The following stages are more liberal to most of the foods, still providing about 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week, until a person reaches his target weight.
The South Beach Diet is, undoubtedly, an easy and very understandable program to follow. It is based on the sound, medically proved principles, promoting eating lean proteins, vegetables and whole grains. Besides, the diet is beneficial for cardiovascular health.
It is the initial period, restricting practically all the carbohydrates, which raises a lot of critical questions. Some of the diet opponents say that the South Beach helps lose water, not the excessive body fat. The South Beach Diet offers a detailed description of the daily eating regimen; however, some of the meal recipes (e.g. Smoked Salmon Frittata or Chicken-Pistachio Salad) are quite expensive and difficult to prepare.