South Beach Diet

What They Say: “Dr Agatston, a leading American cardiologist, originally created the South Beach diet for his heart patients. While his main aim was to improve their heart health, he discovered that as a side effect of the diet they also lost significant amounts of weight. He claims this isn’t a low-carb or low-fat diet – instead it focuses on eating the ‘right’ carbs and the ‘right’ fats. In fact, the South Beach Diet is based on the GI Diet. In practice, the diet severely restricts carbohydrates in the first two weeks, before gradually re-introducing those with a low glycaemic index. Plus it recommends swapping saturates for unsaturates.” – from

My Experience: The diet is broken into “phases” much like Atkins.  In phase 1, which lasts two weeks, you are pretty much denied all carbs. In phase 2, “good” carbs are reintroduced and it lasts as long as it takes to lose all the weight you want to lose. Phase 3 introduces all sorts of food back into your life and in theory you should be able to stabilise your weight for life. In theory.

Realistically, one of the best and worst things of the diet is that you eat until you have had enough. You stop when you’re full. Sadly for most obese folks, we don’t get to BE obese if we have the willpower to stop eating when we’re full. Any diet which gives the dieter carte blanche to judge for him or herself when he/she needs to stop eating is generally not good for the severely fat.  If we had that power, we wouldn’t need fad diets, after all.

As for me, my disregard of satiety was my let down. Sure, I’d had “enough” and “enough’s as good as a feast” as Mary Poppins told us. But my brain has never quite registered “enough” as anything less than feeling as though I might explode.  And even if you’re eating nothing but celery, if you eat ENOUGH of it, you’re going to gain weight.

ISMe Rating: 7/10 – a good lifestyle change, but not a diet.