Pros and cons of the South Beach diet

The South Beach Diet is relatively simple. It replaces “bad carbs” with “good carbs” and “bad fats” with good “facts”.  “Good carbs” are unprocessed foods such as vegetables, beans and whole grains; and “bad cards” are processed foods as refined sugar and grain. The diet eliminates trans-fats and discourages saturated fats, replacing them with foods rich in unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acid. The diet plan was designed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston as an alternative to the low-fat diets advocated by the American Heart Association. Word of the diet spread and it quickly gained popularity as a means to lose weight.

beforeafterThere are three phases in the diet plan. Phase 1, which lasts 14 days, is designed to stabilize your blood-sugar levels and eliminate cravings for sugary foods and refined starches. It jump-starts the diet program with a rapid weight loss. Phase 2 lasts as long as it takes for you to reach your weight-loss goal. Your weight loss will be less rapid than in phase 1 as other foods are gradually re-introduced to your diet.  Phase 3 is a maintenance program with the aim of maintaining your weight and healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life.

Just as with all diet programs out there, there are pros and cons to the South Beach diet. Let’s take a look at three of the pros and three of the cons, starting with the pros.

Pros of South Beach Diet

1. Lose weight quickly. Most will call this a pro, but it can actually be detrimental as well. During the first phase of the diet, you will lose weight very quickly – and it’s these amazing results that often keep people going, even when following such a restrictive diet begins to get boring.

2. Complex carbs. The South Beach diet is great for regulating the insulin levels in your body because you don’t eat simple carbs but complex carbs.

Food3. Simple to follow. Unlike a diet program that requires you to count calories or food points, the South Beach diet doesn’t require any of that, making it simple to follow. The basis of the diet is you’re given a list of foods you can eat and you pick and choose from that.

Cons of South Beach diet

1. You may feel weak.  During the first few weeks of the diet when you restrict carbohydrates, one of the known side effects people have mentioned is that they feel weak. It’s nothing to be worried about, just rest as much as you can during the first few weeks of following the diet.

2. It is expensive. While it’s not nearly as expensive as some diet programs out there where you have to buy their food, it can be a bit on the expensive side. This is because protein is more expensive than buying the carbohydrates that you are probably used to eating all the time.

3. Loss of vitamins and minerals. Because the diet requires you to restrict carbohydrates and you can’t eat fruits (mainly in the first phase/introduction) you will lose vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Do consider taking a multivitamin while following the South Beach diet.

You should now have a better understanding of some of the pros and cons of the South Beach diet and be able to make an informed decision about whether this diet is for you.

A note of caution

Please note every effort has been made to include accurate information, but this is not a recommendation on this diet. Further research and the advice of a physician is highly recommended before starting this diet plan or any other diet plan mentioned on the Sage Vita website.

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