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Enjoyed the South Beach Diet

by Jamie Boyster

I tried the South Beach Diet last summer and really enjoyed it. I was on it for about two months.

The first two weeks were pretty hard, because you can't eat anything with sugar or have any bread. I was hungry, and it was hard to fight those urges for sugar.

But the food was so great! Lots of Mediterranean flavors made it all worth while. You eat lots of fresh food and since it's so flavorful, it really didn't taste like diet food.

I couldn't really eat all that I wanted, like ice cream and bread, and that stunk, but there were no "special" foods I had to eat.

Eating out was okay, because there was always something on the menu that met the diet's requirements. I did cheat a little.

If you have time, then this diet is easy to stick to. For example, there is a lot of cooking and preparation involved, and so when I had the time I found it was easy to stick with. I would definitely do this diet again, if I had the time.

I have recommended it to others. It's just that with my busy and stressful lifestyle, I don't have the time to prepare the meals.

In addition, since I don't normally buy the types of foods in the diet (fresh veggies, fruit, lots of protein, lettuce, etc.), I found that it was a little costly. However, I did lose about five pounds and that was great!

Not every diet is for everyone, so I'm still searching for something easy.

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Note from Dr. Dan


Thanks so much for the information on the South Beach Diet.

Excellent point you make about the cost of food. Economics has a lot to do with the explosion of obesity worldwide.

Processed food is cheaper, and it is filled with starch (chips, macaroni) and fructose.

Highly nutritious food is more expensive. But you can save a lot by not eating out too often, and if you watch the portions and don't waste any food the costs should not be too bad.

And you'll be healthier and live longer.

Dr. Dan

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South Beach Diet DOES work

by Ginny
(Westchester, NY)

With the South Beach diet, it's important to read the book and understand how the body metabolizes food. With this understanding -- and the book is easy to read -- you can appreciate why you cannot eat certain foods.

I actually cooked for the family from the book and I had tremendous results. I lost 10 pounds over a three month period.

The main reason was giving up beer, not that I am a big drinker, but in the summer, at weekends, I regularly had a beer with a BBQ.

The Diet book explains how the body processes beer and why it hangs around your belly! So that was the first thing to go.

I adjusted by drinking cranberry juice with a splash of lemon juice and seltzer water, a great drink for the summer.

Giving up carbs in the beginning was really difficult, but I have discovered new favorites that I still eat regularly, even though I am no longer on the diet, such as using beets instead of boiled potatoes and cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes.

Hint: let the family know it cauliflower before they eat it, because it looks like mashed potatoes and it can be quite a surprise!

The diet overall is easy to follow, although it does become a little boring and some of the restaurant recipes call for many different ingredients. But like any diet, it introduces you to new ways of cooking food and alternatives, which you can incorporate into your diet forever.

The diet is also big on portion control, and being on the diet for a while taught me to eat smaller portions, which I still do now.

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Amazing South Beach Diet

by Sweetu
(Bangalore, India)

I had made a New Year resolution 5 years ago to go on a diet and lose that additional flab around my waist. I favored the popular South Beach diet.

In this particular diet you don’t have to calculate the grams of carbohydrates and is centered on the substitution of good carbohydrates and fats with the bad ones. The amount of calorie intake is not taken into consideration but you eat in small portions.

I was advised to restrict eating margarine, butter, ghee, fried items and fatty red meat but could eat lean meat, fish, egg white and different types of nuts.

Three phases were to be followed in this diet. The 14-day induction period restricts mainly carbohydrates like bread, rice, potatoes, and baked items along with alcoholic and carbonated drinks. This phase helped in significant weight loss.

In the second phase I was told to gradually have carbohydrate rich foods and could have all the vegetables except radish, carrot, potatoes etc. Fruits like bananas, currants, pineapple and watermelon are to be avoided. This phase was continued till I reached my desired weight.

The final phase advises you to eat healthy foods in normal portions and totally avoid unhealthy foods.

I being an Indian to give up rice and chapatti in the first phase was a nightmare. But to achieve something good you have to sacrifice something.

It is a good diet as it includes the food from all major groups and the restrictions are not too serious. I lost 7 kg of weight in this diet program. I am feeling light and active now.

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South beach when you live in the southwest

by Jonah
(Salt Lake City, UT, USA)

I tried the South beach diet with my wife about one year ago. We found the book at the Costco we shopped at, and the recipes looked great.

I have struggled with weight for a long time, perhaps not all my life, but I needed a solution. I never thought that a diet could help me and that it would just end up being bad for my health.

My health didn't end up being the problem. Arthur Agaston's book mainly focuses on eating the fruits of the sea.

The reason why this diet can be very difficult is because where I live, lobsters and crabs and such are very, very expensive.

On my wage, I couldn't afford to eat the food he was telling us to. The diet ended up being a flop, but now my wife and I do have a couple of recipes that taste good and aren't TOO expensive.

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Note from Dr. Dan


Economics play a big part in weight loss.

The healthier foods tend to be more expensive. This is the reason the US government food pyramid is constructed the way it is. Cheap foods are placed at the bottom.

This is also partly why the processed foods are made the way they are. Potato chips and corn chips are cheap. America produces about 46 billion pounds of potatoes per year and about 11 billion bushels of corn.

On the other hand Copper River salmon sells for $45.00 per pound.

And when you want to experience the South Beach Diet in a restaurant? Well, lobster at Quinn's on South Beach will set you back $48.

Dr. Dan

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South Beach Diet is Great For Baby Weight

by Angela
(Brattleboro, VT)

At the recommendation of some of my friends, I decided to try the South Beach Diet. After having my son, I really had a hard time getting rid of all the weight I put on during my pregnancy.

I was concerned that it'd be hard to make a diet work with my busy schedule, but I figured it was worth a try.

The early stages of the South Beach diet were very difficult for me. I felt like I had to put so much planning into all of my meals, and I often had to make separate meals for myself.

Eating out was difficult as well, as I felt like I always had to cheat on the diet a little bit. Near the end of the day, I was often very hungry.

Once I got into the more relaxed parts of the diet, things got much easier. There were less foods I had to eliminate, so I could relax more and not focus on what I was eating so much.

It was pretty easy to just buy groceries that just stuck to the plan. I actually felt like I saw better results during this part of the diet then I did early on.

Right now, I have lost all of my baby weight and then some. I'm still on a very relaxed version of the South Beach Diet, though I do cheat on special occasions.

I would recommend the South Beach Diet to a friend, but I'd recommend they just skip phase one outright. I think it's too much work for not a lot of results, and it was too tempting to quit and binge on unhealthy foods then.

Once I got into phase two of the diet, it was a huge success for me. I'd suggest it to any other moms trying to lose a little weight.

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South Beach Worked For Me

by Erik Gajewski

I tried the South Beach Diet several years ago. I bought a South Beach Diet book at Target and followed the plan for several months.

The diet did work and was very easy to follow. The diet was not complicated at all.

After one month I had dropped 10 pounds and this was with very minimal exercise. What I do like about the diet is that you are able to eat almost all vegetables.

The hardest part of the diet was no bread or rice for 2 weeks. This was so hard for me since I crave rice and bread, but after the first week was able to not crave them anymore.

My daily diet consisted of the following: Breakfast was an omelet. Snack was a few nuts, cashews or almonds. Lunch was normally a salad with a dash of dressing. Dinner was a piece of chicken with tons of vegetables.

Of course the only beverages during the first two weeks were either water, tea or black coffee, absolutely no alcohol.

I believe that if I had continued the diet I would have lost more weight. I think that by writing this article I will consider doing the South Beach Diet again to drop some extra pounds.

I think that I just became lazy when I got back from vacation and that is why I did not continue with the diet.

I have also read that there have been many upgrades to the South Beach Diet book and there is 7 day trial on the website, so hopefully I have the motivation to get started.

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Note from Dr. Dan


To a large degree food causes its own cravings. If you eat some chocolate one evening, you're likely to crave chocolate the next evening at the same time.

So when you sort of "break the spell" with a week or two of avoiding the sugary, refined carbohydrate foods -- including excessive amounts of bread and rice -- it makes it easier from then on out.

Dr. Dan

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Close To Target Weight With South Beach Diet

by Jim Leavens
(Charlotte, NC USA)

I have always been one on the heavy side. I've tried various plans (halfheartedly) that included diet and exercise regimens.

No diet plan was ever a good fit for me, and I found myself often preferring not eating anything rather than following a book or plan that involved schedules, counting and limited decisions, etc.

After a short period of time I would give up on the "diet of the week" and resume the unhealthy eating habits that were both easy and comforting.

About a year ago, my wife and I decided to try yet another "Fad Diet" called South Beach Diet. It had been around for awhile and the press was good. So we bought the book and tried it out for two weeks.

As with any low-carb diet, the first two weeks are always hell. The most carbs you can consume are about the equivalent of what you can get from eating a toothpick.

After the initial two weeks -- of readjusting how much our body should be requiring/requesting for food -- the next part of the plan was much easier.

Good-for-you foods tasted better, and we actually craved fruit and vegetables over chips and sweets. After a month on the diet I had lost 20 lbs and the wife had lost 15lbs, and this is all without any added exercise.

It has been a year now, and we are both still (mostly) following the South Beach maintenance (lifestyle change) phase. We both have much more energy and are starting to look around for a good exercise program.

We are close to our target weights (both 100+ lbs overweight when started) and can confidently say that South Beach has helped us to change our own lives.

Change still begins with you... PERIOD. No one and No thing can do it for you. But the support is there should you be ready to change your lifestyle.

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A Surprise From The South Beach Diet

by Linda
(Rhode Island)

About 6 years ago, almost everyone I knew was trying the Atkins diet. People were walking around with logs of salami and munching on beef jerky like it was going out of style.

I knew I didn’t want to try any diet that adjusted my way of eating that much so I dismissed Atkins. A friend of mine suggested the South Beach diet, claiming it was very close to Atkins as far as quick results, but a healthier way to go.

I decided to try it. I wasn’t considered overweight by any means, but I did want to get in shape and lose some extra pounds.

I bought the book and followed the diet faithfully. No cheating was involved. The food allowed was actually quite good.

I could eat things like steak and eggs but had to give up my favorite carbs. Having “normal” meals made the diet fairly easy to follow, and I could even create some unique desserts so I wouldn’t feel denied in that area.

I also never had that hungry feeling many new dieters experience.

After only one month on the plan, I started feeling lightheaded almost every day. Some days I came close to passing out.

As it turned out, I was having hypoglycemia problems, due to the lack of sugar in my diet. Unfortunately I had to quit the plan immediately.

Not everyone will develop the problems I did, and for that reason I would recommend this diet. It’s easy to stick to because the book teaches how to make life choices, and how to still enjoy food at restaurants and on special occasions.

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South Beach helped my diabetes

by Lori
(morelia, michoacan, mexico)

I tried the South Beach diet after being diagnosed as a candidate for diabetes. I decided I needed to do something.

I wanted to lose weight and reduce my glucose levels at the same time. My mother was diabetic, and she was eventually put on dialysis.

The dialysis procedure and the medication takes a toll on women, more so than men. I did not want to go down that same path.

I followed the guidelines and added walking to my regime. At times, I was unable to follow the exact menu with the exact food items, so I substituted similar items.

It did not work overnight, but within a year and a half I lost about 75 lbs. My blood sugar levels have been normal for 4 yrs and all the doctors I have seen after the diagnosis are in awe.

Currently, my A1C tests are better than individuals who have never had a problem with their glucose. To this day, I follow the basic tenets of the diet.

After 5 yrs, I have only gained back 7 lbs, and that is because I am currently out of the country, consuming native foods.


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Note from Dr. Dan


Great job on losing the weight and regaining your health.

You say, "dialysis procedure and the medication takes a toll..." A lot of people have a sort of naive viewpoint of medication and medical procedures. They think that the medicine will make them healthy again.

But it just doesn't work that way. Medicines can be useful when there is no other alternative. But clearly it's far better to help your body regain its health naturally, as you have done.

And many more people could do this if they would make a few simple changes before their health deteriorates too far.

Dr. Dan

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Happy South Beach Bride

by Katie
(Portland, OR, USA)

My fiancee and I did the South Beach Diet's Phase One for one week prior to our wedding. We didn't have a lot to lose. We just wanted to look our best.

I thought it would be very hard, because I normally eat a ton of bad carbs, but it was actually pretty easy after the initial shock wore off.

I was never hungry because the diet has you eat several times a day. The foods you eat are high in protein and fiber so you always feel full.

They are all foods you can buy at the grocery store -- you don't have to subscribe to any programs or eat weird prepackaged meals.

We had scrambled eggs with Canadian bacon for breakfast most mornings.

Lunches consisted of huge salads with cheese and lots of nuts.

Dinners were marinated pork chops, salmon, chicken, etc. with lots of yummy veggies on the side.

We were even able to snack and eat dessert every night. The South Beach cookbooks really helped give us creative meal ideas so it didn't get boring.

We did have to stay away from fast food restaurants but the results were worth it! I lost 5 pounds and he lost 8 that first week and it was all belly flab.

Everyone said we looked great and we felt great too. Surprisingly, the weight has stayed off even though we've introduced many (not all) carbs back into our diet.

I will absolutely be doing this diet again any time I have a special event coming up or to help lose baby weight when we start our family.

I have recommended South Beach to several coworkers and friends and they too have had great results. I wish I would have discovered the South Beach Diet sooner!

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South Beach Diet Living

by Tonya Malcom

For years I had been overweight. I tried various methods for a solution and not many of them worked. My weight was around 394 lbs. and I was tired of the weight and my appearance.

That's when I reached out and decided to try the South Beach diet. It was a bit difficult at first, trying to abide by the book's rules to resist junk food indulgence, but little by little progress came.

During the first 3 months I lost 12 lbs. so I continued the program for another 5 months. After that there was a loss of 30 lbs.

The process was accompanied by compliments and a noticeable difference.

One of the most challenging parts was staying within the program's guidelines on a regular basis. My diet included healthy snacks with 1-2 specified main courses during the day.

The South Beach diet recommends mainly organic and low calorie foods. The food quality also aided with the process. Balancing my favorite "good" foods while reshaping my taste patterns became a learned technique.

My results kept me involved. I was able to lose pounds in a manageable way.

I even referred others to the program. A few that I referred for the diet were also were successful, though they were not as consistent at times as I was.

Towards the end of the diet there is an occasional allowance for regular foods outside the set restrictions. That seemed to work well enough.

I probably would resume the diet and maybe for an extended time, because there's nothing to lose except weight!

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The South Beach Diet really works.

by Rodrigo Duarte
(San Salvador, El salvador)

I have always struggled with weight. Since I was 10 years old my weight has fluctuated.

The day that I went into the bathroom, stepped on the scale and saw the number 310, I knew that I had to do something to fix it.

That week I went to the doctor and he told me that I have pre-diabetes, so he recommended exercise and diet.

My mother bought (also that week) the south beach diet book, so I gave it a reading. From the moment I started with the first page I knew that that was the right diet for me.

I have been on the south beach diet for 1 year and a half. At first, the phase 1 plan was a little tough but seeing the fast results kept me fighting.

The good thing about this diet is that I didn't feel hunger. The bad thing is that at phase one, you can feel a bit drowsy or sleepy, but if you combine it with exercise that feeling will be gone for good.

One of the advantages of this diet is that you can create your own meal plan. You just need to follow some simple food rules, like not eating carbs.

And if you go out, you can order low-carb food and still stick to the diet. At the end I lost 100 pounds in a period of a year, and I've managed to keep the weight off.

I would definitely recommend it, because it's easy and fast to lose weight and also prevents and cures sugar-related illness, since my pre-diabetes is gone.

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Great results from the South Beach Diet

by Dylan
(Atlanta, Georgia USA)

My wife and I both decided to try the South Beach Diet. My wife has polycystic ovary syndrome and often has thyroid issues, both of which make losing weight a real problem.

I had no excuse. I had just packed on 20 extra pounds over the previous few years.

In any case, since a carb restricted diet is recommended for women with PCOS, we decided to try South Beach.

For the first week or two, the South Beach Diet is extremely carb restrictive. You cut out all refined sugars, all fruits and all grains, leaving basically meat and certain vegetables.

If, like me, you are used to eating tons of sugar, this stage will make you feel miserable. I had a migraine headache for three days straight. After that initial adjustment period, however, I started to feel wonderful.

Like most other diets, you are instructed to eat five to six times a day. Three normal meals, two snacks and a dessert. After the initial stage, you are allowed to add certain fruits and whole grains back into your diet.

I did notice almost immediately that my body started working better. I was full after eating a small meal and was starving if I did not eat the next one on time.

The big thing, of course, was that we both lost a substantial amount of weight. I lost about 20 pounds, which was exactly what I needed. My wife lost about 40 pounds, which was just amazing given her medical conditions.

The only down side is that the diet can be a little difficult to stick to. It is not overly restrictive per se. It is just that a lot of the foods you really crave are not allowed. As a result, it can get easy to cheat, even though the diet overall is a successful one.

All in all, I recommend the South Beach Diet wholeheartedly. It will work for you, and it will work quickly so you do not get discouraged too easily.

Good luck!

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South Beach Diet -- New Years Resolution

by Sucheta

I tried the South Beach Diet last year. I had made a New Year resolution to go on a diet and lose those extra layers around my waist.

In this diet you don’t have to count the grams of carbohydrates. It is based on the replacement of bad carbohydrates and fats with the good ones.

It is easy on calories and you do need to watch your portion sizes. I was advised to ban unhealthy fats like margarine, butter, ghee, and fatty red meat but could eat lean meat, nuts and fish.

There are three phases to be followed in this diet. The 14-day induction period bans bread, rice, potatoes, and baked items along with alcoholic drinks. This phase helps in significant weight loss.

In the second phase I was slowly introduced to carbohydrate and could have all the vegetables except those growing underground like carrot, potatoes etc. Fruits like bananas, raisins, and pineapple and watermelon are to be avoided. This phase is continued till you reach your target weight.

The final phase is that where you eat healthy foods in normal portions. It was little difficult for me as an Indian to give up rice and chapatti in the first phase.

If you have a sweet tooth then the intake of sugar is also forbidden. Weight loss is seen in the first phase itself but with water loss, which results in electrolyte imbalances. You may feel dehydrated.

I was pretty satisfied as I could lose 3-5 kg in the initial 14-day period. It is also good as it includes the food from all major groups.

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South Beach Diet -- Who doesn't love meat?

by Tonia
(Georgetown Ky)

I was intrigued by South Beach Diet and the whole carb thing when it first started. I hesitated for years.

Then finally I started this diet with my husband. After all, who doesn't love meat?

We started the 2 week fast, and then settled in to the diet. I bought cookbooks, 3 in total, and found a good support group online and a great recipe site.

I must admit we did lose weight, however I was not prepared to eat vegetables as much as the diet intended and I got burned out fast. I wasn't hungry on the diet but I started struggling.

We stayed on course for a good 5 months. Then my best friend got married and we traveled to Michigan.

I warned her ahead of time to please have something I could eat, which she did, but I went off my diet and in one weekend -- yes, I said one weekend -- and I gained 12 pounds back!

I really hadn't eaten anything bad for me, just some normal everyday things. But it upset me so bad to have gained that much back.

I experimented for 2 weeks. I stayed strict on the diet and I lost weight.

Then I went off the diet ate exactly 900 calories of food each day that wasn't on the diet for 3 days and gained back 8 pounds!

I know a lot of people have had success with South Beach, but myself I would not chose to follow the diet again.

There are so many options to chose from now from the brand. Maybe if they had been around then it would have helped things.

Snacking wasn't the problem. There are are wonderful snack foods for South Beach, especially the whipped cream fudgecicle peanutbutter dessert that was awesome I still eat that not even on the diet!

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Note from Dr. Dan


Your story makes a good point. It's hard to lose weight -- and keep it off -- with a diet that doesn't include the regular foods that you enjoy.

Dr. Dan

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Wonders Of South Beach Diet

by Rochelle

Five years ago I came from a two-month vacation in the US. I was at my heaviest at 135 pounds.

I was desperate to get my post-vacation weight to 115 pounds so I researched new diets.

My friend and I stumbled upon a flier offering a South Beach Diet Program where they provided the meals for two weeks. I decided to try it.

I was hesitant at first because it might not work and it was expensive too, but it was worth a try.

I started the program. I hated the food at first but after two days I got used to it. I followed the meals strictly.

I did not weigh myself again until the last day of my diet. Many people noticed that I was losing weight, but I didn't believe them at first.

The last day of the program came and I weighed myself for the first time after 2 weeks and I actually lost 15 pounds. I was only 5 pounds away from my ideal weight.

I didn't even have to go to the gym.

South Beach diet was effective for me. I was very happy with the results and now five years later, I currently weigh 110 pounds.

I kept the weight off by sticking to my strict South Beach Diet. I do have a cheat day though.

I hope that SB Diet will work for you too.

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