South Beach Diet Vs Atkins Diet

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South Beach Diet Vs Atkins Diet
By Valerie Kirk

Back in the seventies Dr. Atkins sparked a dieting movement with his low-carb method to eating, and faithful enthusiasts have been rejecting breads and sugars ever since. Since then the South Beach Diet has presented Atkins with a run for its money, proposing that it is unhealthy carbohydrates (not all carbohydrates) that keep individuals from reaching their perfect shape. The truth is that both diet programs have their pros and cons, and there are some important differences between them that you should definitely consider before making your choice.

The South Beach and Atkins Phases

Both South Beach and Atkins begin with a highly restrictive (almost no carbs) induction phase.

The induction phase for both diets consists of a rigid 2 week period in which carbohydrates are almost completely banned. You'll bid goodbye to spaghetti, breads, rice, sugars, as well as alcohol as you chow down on seafood, proteins, and a few select non-starchy vegetables.

Following the initial phase, healthy carbohydrates such as whole grain products and some fruits are gradually reintroduced in the 2nd phase. Individuals stick to the 2nd phase until their target weight is reached. The 3rd phase is a maintenance phase, designed to keep dieters from regaining the weight they had lost.


Both programs depend on recipes that contain animal and other fats, however South Beach emphasizes lean cuts of meats. Several physicians have voiced their worry on the high level of unhealthy fats consumed by Atkins dieters. Bacon cheeseburgers (sans the bread) as well as ham and cheddar cheese omelets could make carnivores seem like they've won the diet plan lotto, but an Atkins follower that chooses to use the protein rule as a reason to overindulge on high-fat food items isn't going to get a thumbs-up from their physician at their annual checkup.

South Beach requires a stronger focus on healthy fats-nuts, avocados, and olive oil. If you've got good levels of cholesterol and no history of cardiovascular disease, the rich foods permitted on Atkins will help you stick to the diet without feeling deprived. However, if your overall health is the main concern, South Beach can help you attain the nutritional balance favored by most physicians.

South Beach and Atkins Carb Restriction

Without doubt one of the most significant differences between the diet programs is how they restrict carbohydrates. Atkins requires more discipline in this area, requiring dieters to keep tabs on every single carbohydrate they ingest. Food choices are more limited on Atkins, which might be a hazard to food lovers that will get bored quickly. In comparison, on South Beach individuals may indulge in healthy complex carbs. Even some small desserts are permitted on South Beach, and for the sweet tooth set, this particular allowance helps individuals continue with the program and stay motivated.

Losing Weight Fast on South Beach and Atkins

If your curiosity about a low-carb diet plan comes purely from vanity, then you're most burning question is probably: Which diet plan can help me drop more weight? Both diet programs claim you will encounter an exceptionally significant amount of weight loss from the first two-week time period. South Beach claims you will shed an astounding 8 to 13 excess pounds over the first phase, while Atkins states you will probably shed as much as 15 pounds from the first two weeks. It has been our experience that dieters lose slightly more weight with Atkins in the first two weeks.

However, before your eagerness skyrockets, be aware: On both diets, industry experts indicate that much of the lost excess weight is actually water weight. With time your cells will rehydrate and the considerable weight loss individuals first experienced on these plans will unfortunately slow down. Nonetheless, this is no basis for you to become disheartened. Your weight loss will continue, albeit at a slower pace.

The Final Verdict

If you'd prefer a diet with firm guidelines and don't mind keeping track of carbohydrates, consider Atkins. You'll have more freedom to eat selected carbs on South Beach if you don't mind putting in some extra cooking effort (some of the recipes can be a bit elaborate). Whichever diet plan you decide on, keep in mind that adopting the program's specific rules is vital for losing weight.

To read the full candid account of exactly what you can expect on South Beach Diet, check out my South Beach Diet Review.

To get the deep dish on Atkins Diet, check out my Atkins Diet Review. Like everything on, it's free.

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