Item description for The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss by Arthur Agatston...
Outline ReviewThe verdict is in: those simple carbs we've been living on are killing us. For good health, we've got to get our blood sugar under control and stop the incessant cravings. Or so says Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of The South Beach Diet. The first half of the book details the science behind the diet. Most of the explanations revolve around why things you thought were healthy-orange juice, wheat toast, carrots-are actually evil. To avoid blood sugar surges, Agatston created a modified carbohydrate plan, recommending plenty of high-fiber foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats, while cutting bread, rice, pastas, and fruits. Major differences from other diets include a lack of concern over portion size and a serious indifference to exercise. Feeling full while on a diet is a beautiful thing, but it seems odd that a cardiologist buries his exercise recommendations in a solitary sentence.
The last half of the book covers his three-stage plan; daily diets are mixed with recipes, some of which are from South Beach restaurant chefs. The most restrictive period lasts just two weeks, enough time to stabilize your urges and lose a few pounds; stage two adds fruits and a handful of other carbs, while stage three is meant to last the remainder of your life, with occasional lapses for white bread or birthday cake. While the diet is sound, the book could be better organized. The first half mixes scientific study with anecdote in a seemingly random way, while the mix of meal plans and recipes can be confusing. Still, the recipes are varied and tasty, and you'll never feel deprived, unless you currently happen to live by bread alone. --Jill Lightner
For years, cardiologist Arthur Agaston, M.D. urged his patients to lose weight for the sake of their hearts, but every diet was too hard to follow or its restrictions were too harsh. Some were downright dangerous. Nobody seemed to be able to stick with low-fat regimens for any length of time. And a diet is useless if you can't stick with it.
So Dr. Agaston developed his own. The South Beach Diet isn't complicated, and it doesn't require that you go hungry. You'll enjoy normal-size helpings of meat, poultry, and fish. You'll also eat eggs, cheese, nuts, and vegetables. Snacks are required. You'll learn to avoid the bad carbs, like white flour, white sugar, and baked potatoes. Best of all, you'll lose that stubborn belly fat first!
Dr. Agaston's diet has produced consistently dramatic results (8 to 13 pounds lost in the first 2 weeks!) and has become a media sensation in South Florida. Now you, too, can join the ranks of the fit and fabulous with The South Beach Diet.
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Arthur Agatston, MD is a cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He has authored numerous books and scientific articles and speaks widely on clinical and preventive cardiology at academic cardiology meetings and symposia. He is frequently quoted in the media on diet and health.
Arthur Agatston currently resides in Miami Beach, in the state of Florida.
Reviews - What do customers think about The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss?
This "diet" works for me! Jun 11, 2008
My wife and I have been on this diet for nearly 8 weeks now. In that time I have gone from 242 pounds to 208. I have been very good at following this diet with one small exception while eating out. My wife has had less success, but she is close to her target weight and had much less to lose than I did.
I believe the author does a good job describing the diet, the logic and science behind it and how the diet has evolved. It is interesting that weight loss for the patients on this diet was a bit of a happy side effect. The primary intention was to get patient's blood sugar and cholesterol levels in control. With diabetes in my family, as well as my wife's, this got our attention. We didn't realize what we were doing to ourselves with our earlier eating habits.
By itself, this book is only a start. I found it necessary to do more reading and looking at other cookbooks (including SBD cookbooks) to increase the variety. However, everything needed for the first few weeks is included. The knowledge gained by reading this book is enough to make healthy choices at the grocery and in restaurants.
As others have stated, this is not a "diet" as much as a lifestyle change. I have found that our food bill has increased somewhat, especially at first. We tried many new recipes and they often had ingredients that weren't in our pantry. This is not a complaint! We have discovered some wonderful new meals as a result of having our horizons opened. Some of those meals are in this book.
For your convenience, there is a Phase 1 diet plan already designed for you. The meal plan includes all the recipes for the meals and snacks. We tried this plan, but for two people it wasn't all that convenient. We spent a great deal of time preparing food - our evenings were consumed with cooking dinner, eating and preparing lunch and snacks for the next day. The included plan does a poor job for using leftovers and simplifying the food preparation. I believe this is due to the author attempting to provide more variety. After about a week, we abandoned the prepared plan and adopted our own version that fit our time budget. For this reason, I give this book 4 stars instead of 5.
For anyone heading down this weight loss path, I highly recommend a sugar substitute called Stevia. It is an extract of a plant that is very sweet and is sold in health food stores. Unlike the other chemical substitutes out there like Splenda, Nutrasweet and Saccharin, Stevia is a natural product that has been used for three decades in Japan with no reported side effects. The jury is still out on Splenda. There are different companies that produce Stevia extract, with different results. The best I have found so far is NuStevia No Carb blend. Good luck!
South Beach Works Jun 1, 2008
I really like this book. I found that by making just a few of the suggested changes, I lost 6 lbs within the first 2 weeks. For me, cutting the carbs is the right choice. I have not tried the "2 week crash" in the book. I don't know if I can completely give up the carbs I love. I have cut back on breads, pasta, etc. and now use "Splenda" for most things instead of sugar. It works. I feel better and have more energy. I'm also exercising a little more. South Beach works for me!
South Beach Diet works miracles! May 27, 2008
I went on the South Beach Diet in November 2005. In one year I went from weighing 280 lbs to weighing 215! My cholesterol went from 221 to 141,and my blood pressure went from 150/100 to 117/77 (with NO drugs). Also I lost 6 inches around my waist. It went from 42 inches to 36.As of May 2008, I currently weigh 212 (at 5' 11') and am trying to work my way to 195 now.I own all of the books and am one of the biggest advocates of the diet. I would recommend this book to anyone!
Lost the 10 pounds I needed to lose May 19, 2008
I wasn't obese or even "fat" before I started the diet, but I had a gut that I wasn't too proud of. The gut wasn't even that bad, but I wanted to lose it. I bought this book and set a target weight loss of 10 pounds.
The first phase was tough because I am not used to a no-carb diet. I kind of got sick of steak, chicken and salmon easily, as well as balsamic vinigarette (however you spell that). The recipes are pretty good and give a lot of taste with very little to choose from.
After the first week and a half, I lost the 10 pounds I aimed for and now I am happily in the 2nd phase and I still cheat every couple of days.
I find that this diet pushes more "control" over what you eat. Although I am 2nd phase, I have had fries a couple of times, but in very small quantities and I don't feel guilty and I don't feel hungry either.
This diet also got me to start using more spices in what I cook. Now I have about 3 different spices on my steak or burger just for the fun of it.
I think I am going to stay in "phase 2" for as long as possible because I feel very comfortable in it. If I "cheat" once in a while, I think I;ll be fine. I lost the weight and I am keeping it off (so far).
I highly recommend this diet plan if you need to change your eating habits and want to shed a few pounds at the same time.
Easy to follow diet outline Apr 8, 2008
This a great, easy to follow diet that doesn't feel like a diet. It's more about food education than it is weight loss, but the weight loss happens.