The South Beach Diet Review | 4/5 Good | MyFit

Rod Ferris December 24, 2011 1
  • Effectiveness
  • Adherence
  • Safety
  • Speed of Weight Loss

What is it?

The first stage of the south beach diet is to eliminate all starches, including alcohol and fruits. The authors of the diet say that 7-13 lbs. of weight loss can be expected in this two week stage. In the second phase, “good” carbs are reintroduced in the form of complex carbohydrates and fruit.

They also encourage wine with meals in this stage. The final stage of the south beach diet is simply maintenance. The authors assume the dieter will be able to make better decisions now in their meal choices.

Similar Celebrity Diets include the ‘Atkins diet’, ‘Zone diet’ and ‘South Beach diet’. Diets like these have one thing in common: they are high in proteins and fats and low in carbohydrates.

What are the benefits?

Fast weight loss can be expected due to a chemical reaction in the body when an inadequate level of carbohydrates are available during the initial phase of the south beach diet. This allows an individual to burn fat at a much faster rate than a traditional diet and exercise program, for around 6 months that is… any user of the south beach diet should incorporate complex carbs and fruits/vegetables as soon as possible to prevent dietary ketosis.

What are the negative aspects

Well, after a while of having very little carbohydrates available for exercise or daily activities the body begins producing ‘ketones’. These ketones are the leftovers from fats broken down in the body. With enough production of ketones the body starts to ‘store’ fat (a process called ketosis). In other words, that wonderful chemical reaction that gave you that great feeling of, “Oh wow, look how much weight I lost!” turns into, “Why am I gaining weight?!”.

The South Beach and Jenny Craig diet plans are lacking clinical evidence. As mentioned earlier, the biggest problem with all of these diets is simply ‘adherence’. In many of the randomized studies, drop-out rates were as high as 45%. And those that did manage to stay with the diet were not very strict in following the diet exactly as it requests.

Why is the dropout rate so high?

The south beach diet and like many other diets focus on adherence to their rules. Following nutritional rules is VERY difficult for anyone. Try to set clear goals when starting this type of diet and allow yourself to indulge on something that will curb your cravings. Simply starving yourself from the things you love will only lead to disappointment and starting another type of diet with more dangerous effects to your body.

MyFit Conclusion

Low carb diets are very effective in their early stages because of several reasons: satiety from fat and protein intake, a reduction in water weight and a chemical reaction to increase fat metabolism. If complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits are introduced very early on and maintenance and a properly following a set of clearly outlined goals for yourself are followed, the South Beach diet could be a very good diet to follow.






One Comment »

  1. Icebreaker1959 January 5, 2012 at 4:29 am -

    The author needs to do a bit more fact checking on Ketosis! See below….
    If the diet is changed from a highly glycemic diet to a diet that does not provide sufficient carbohydrate to replenish glycogen stores, the body goes through a set of stages to enter ketosis. During the initial stages of this process, blood glucose levels are maintained through gluconeogenesis, and the adult brain does not burn ketones; however, the brain makes immediate use of ketones for lipid synthesis in the brain. After about 48 hours of this process, the brain starts burning ketones in order to more directly use the energy from the fat stores that are being depended upon, and to reserve the glucose only for its absolute needs, thus avoiding the depletion of the body’s protein store in the muscles.