The South Beach Diet is one of the most popular diets out there right now. In the nineties, Dr. Atkins low carbohydrate diet, also known as low carb, made a big comeback when research showed that over a twenty year period, it was low carb dieters who kept their weight off the most.
People who had followed Dr. Atkins way of eating since the seventies when his book was first published were compared to other weight loss groups such as Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous. Even though people began to shy away from fats in the eighties, some people had continued to eat fats and less carbs. The study was looking at which group managed to keep the weight off in the long term. People who had followed Dr. Atkins low carb eating plan came out way ahead. It was after the results of this study that low carb dieting made a huge comeback. The book was re-released with updated information and became a bestseller.
Shortly after this big comeback, The South Beach Diet book was published. Many people who were on Dr. Atkins low carb approach but were having trouble with it decided to try The South Beach Diet. Many found it similar to Dr. Atkins' approach but easier. The South Beach Diet does not cut out the consumption of carbohydrates as drastically as Dr. Atkins. As a matter of fact, from the beginning of the third week, people on The South Beach Diet can start eating most fruits. Fruit is high in carbohydrates but they are considered good carbs.
The South Beach Diet is not a low carb diet per se. It actually encourages eating what it considers to be the good carbs. The book explains what the good carbs are. The diet is divided into three phases. Phase one is a two week period in which the dieter's intake of carbohydrates is almost nil. In the second phase the good carbs are re-introduced slowly. These are most of the fruits and whole grains. The third phase is a life long maintenance phase which is how one should eat always. In that sense it is a diet in the right sense of the word. It is not about deprivation and feeling deprived which could lead to yo-yo dieting. In The South Beach Diet, as is the case with other lower carb diets, certain foods are not recommended ever such as refined sugar, white bread, refined white rice, and pasta made with refined flour.
The South Beach Diet was written by Dr. Agatston. But now The South Beach Diet is not only a book. It is trademarked and they have an impressive website. It is easy to join and free. Members on the website have access to interesting articles, tips and pointers, people's testimonials, etc. Followers of The South Beach Diet can gain much useful information and inspiration on this site. For example one can read what has appeared in the press about The South Beach Diet. There are also interesting medical articles. Perhaps the most useful part of this website is the support and motivation section.
One of the things that The South Beach Diet claims to do is to regulate insulin. Apparently some diabetics are able to reverse their diabetes on this eating plan. It also apparently can lower cholesterol. Some studies are still on-going. Dr. Agatston clearly states on his website that some of the research findings are still pending. In the meantime, overweight people who are following this eating plan are losing weight in record numbers.