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The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss Hardcover – Nov 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Press (Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579546463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579546465
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 2.8 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 929,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Arthur Agatston is a cardiologist and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He has served on committees of the American Society of Echocardiography, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society of Atherosclerosis Imaging, where he is a founding member of the board of directors. He was recently elected to serve on the board of directors of The American Dietetic Association Foundation.

Dr Agatston has authored over 100 articles and abstracts for scientific journals, including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the American Journal of Cardiology and the Annals of Internal Medicine. He has served as an expert consultant to the Clinical Trials Committee of the National Institutes of Health, and he has participated as a speaker, faculty member, and organizer of numerous academic cardiology meetings and symposia.

Along with his renown as a researcher, lecturer, and pioneer in clinical and preventive cardiology, Dr Agatston is best known publicly as the author of the best-selling The South Beach Diet.

Where It All Began
Raised on the north shore of Long Island, New York, Dr Agatston's father and grandfather were doctors, and Arthur Agatston knew from an early age that he also desired a career in medicine. After graduating from New York University School of Medicine and completing his cardiology fellowship at NYU, Dr Agatston elected to combine academics with clinical practice. He accepted a position at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, which was associated with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Where It's Led
Over the years, Dr Agatston's pioneering work in non-invasive cardiac imaging has resulted in computerized tomography scanning methods and measures that bear his name: the Agatston Score and the Agatston Method, which are used for screening coronary calcium and are recognized worldwide.

As a practising cardiologist, Dr Agatston did not set out to develop a weight-loss plan. But he did create what became known as the South Beach Diet in the mid-1990s to help his patients whose weight and blood chemistries were not improving on the standard, low-fat American Heart Association diet. His balanced approach became the basis for The South Beach Diet, his first non-academic book, which became an international best seller. Subsequent books published under The South Beach Diet franchise also became bestsellers in the US, including: The South Beach Diet Cookbook (2004); The South Beach Diet Good Fats Good Carbs Guide (2004); The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook (2005); and The South Beach Diet Dining Guide (2005). His next two books were The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook (October 2006) and The South Beach Heart Program: The 4-Step Plan that Can Save Your Life (January 2007).

Where It's Going
In 2004, Dr Agatston founded The Agatston Research Foundation for the purpose of conducting and funding original research on diet, cardiac and disease prevention. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the heart health and wellness of individuals through research, education, and prevention. His goal is to educate and empower both his patients and the public about healthy lifestyle choices and disease prevention, encouraging the practice of such prevention in America and throughout the world. In creating The Agatston Research Foundation, Dr Agatston is fulfilling a personal dream as he continues to 'change the way America eats'.

Dr Agatston lectures extensively on prevention both nationally and internationally and has served as a reviewer for major medical cardiology journals. In addition to his work with his wife, Sari, on the South Beach Diet and The Agatston Research Foundation, Dr Agatston maintains a cardiology practice in Miami Beach, where they reside. The Agatstons have two sons currently attending college.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The verdict is in: those simple carbohydrates 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, wholemeal bread, carrots--are actually evil. To avoid blood sugar surges, Agatston created a modified carbohydrate plan, recommending plenty of high-fibre food, lean protein and healthy fat and reducing bread, rice, pasta and fruit. 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 stabilise 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 organised. 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

About the Author

Arthur Agatston is a Medical Director at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Florida. He has an oustanding international reputation in cardiology, and regularly contributes to many leading American journals. He lives in Miami with his wife and two children. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Aug 2005
Format: Paperback
Don't be put off by the name, it's not just another one of those 'nibble a celery stick and you'll be in a bikini in 1 week' diets.
This is a serious diet created by a cardiologist (in conjunction with a nutritionist)to help his patients, which happened to also help them lost weght.
I loved the meal planner, found I could do it (even as a non-meat eater) and didn't have the dreadful cravings or lose interest like with those 'points counting' diets.
You have 3 meals a day, snacks in between (hoummus, fruit, peanut butter, nuts etc) but fundamentally are reducing your carb intake. I'm on week 7, have lost 17lbs and loving it.
I'd recommend it to anyone provided they are willing to give it a try!
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Jun 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you have never read a book about healthy eating, you will find The South Beach Diet to be a helpful resource for outlining what we know now about healthy eating. Dr. Agatston is a cardiologist and has made sure that his suggestions will make you more heart healthy. He does a fine job of summarizing what we know about how the body absorbs food and develops healthy and unhealthy reactions. The discussion of insulin resistance syndrome is especially good. In this area, I compared the book to Sugarbusters! and found The South Beach Diet to be more helpful.
If you have read many books on dieting, you will probably be most interested in the idea of dropping all high glycemic foods for two weeks as a way to start a diet.
The book also has reasonable goals for your diet. The key innovation is to get off essentially all high glycemic carbohydrates for two weeks. This helps your body stop having problems with creating too much insulin too frequently. I thought that approach was a fine innovation. Nice job!
The book is less good at providing specific daily diets to follow. The ones in the book look tasty and interesting. They have two drawbacks: Expensive ingredients and lots of preparation time. But they do make the point that you can eat foods that you will enjoy while starting a diet. The book would have benefited from having some daily suggestions that are inexpensive and easier to prepare.
You can, of course, just follow the advice of what foods to avoid and probably get similar results. But that will require more imagination in creating new menus that many dieters may find frustrating.
One of the strengths of the book is that there are lots of recipes from top chefs so you will certainly get a nouvelle cuisine sense of what can be accomplished from the book.
Read more ›
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85 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 2 May 2003
Format: Hardcover
The diet is very good - I went from 15stone11 to 14stone11 in 2 weeks & plan to continue. This is not very difficult, although the lack of carbs did leave me feeling a bit tired on a couple of days. Buy the book & stick to the diet. I know I feel much better for it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H Donnelly on 26 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My partner and myself tried this and it DOES WORK. We both lost 3 stones (42 pounds) in weight and we have kept the weight off for over a year. It's harder for the first two weeks but I couldn't believe that I had lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks so it gave me the impetus to continue. I've never been slimmer, healthier, fitter or more active. Don't think about trying it - DO IT !!!!!!!!!!!
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69 of 82 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Dec 2003
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book. I have been on lots of diets and have never found one I could lose weight on. I even gained when I went to Weight Watchers. I have lost 1½ stone so far on this one, but not just that, I am diebetic and I have found that on this diet my blood sugar levels are much better. I have lent the book to a friend who is a doctor and she has bought ten copies for her surgery. I also lent it to my diebetic nurse who has so far lost 9 lbs.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By a teacher on 30 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a diet book whose plan is to get you to lose weight by limiting your carbohydrates- essentially another low-carbohydrate diet. It has 3 phases where your carbohydrates are severely restricted at first, and then re-introduced.

I have personally read three controlled trials comparing low carb diets to your regular calorie restricted diets that were published in scientific journals. The results? Low carb diets produce more weight loss during the first 6 months, but at one year follow-up, both groups had lost THE SAME amount of weight.

Therefore, it really doesn't matter which diet plan you choose, the South Beach diet or your standard low calorie diet, because if you can stay on either of them for a year, you'll lose the same amount of weight. To that end, then, the South Beach diet is a fairly healthy diet plan and a good one to choose from- but the bottom line if you want to lose weight is to cut your calories with ANY diet plan and absolutely stick with it and make it a part of your lifestyle.

Readers who can't seem to stick with a diet plan long enough to see results might also want to check out The Sixty-Second Motivator. Good luck!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "kelly_shestheone" on 19 July 2005
Format: Paperback
I have tried so many diets and finally I have found one that works!
It's tough in the first two weeks (very restricted), but I lost 9lbs (as promised!). And then it it's a diet that you can stick to and still have a life!
I still drink alcohol (only wine), and eat tasty food in good portions.
All in all, I find this book a God send. After the first two weeks my eating habits have changed but not drastically, but my weight loss has had a marked improvement.
You will not be disappointed!
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