I was pointed in the direction of the "South Beach" by my GP as my blood sugars were rising (I'm diabetic) and he thought it was worth a try rather than increasing the medication. I got the Supercharged book as I was told it explained the theory behind the plan as well as providing recipes.
Before reading the book my first thought was - just another Atkins/silly bikini diet but oh how wrong could I be. Firstly, it was not a good idea to call this a "diet". The word diet has come to mean something you go on then come off at a future date. Think of this as a way to get back to a good healthy way of eating. It's for life - not a quick fix to fit into your latest outfit. But it is something that will leave you feeling far healthier than before. I wish I had discovered it earlier in life.
Phase 1 lasts 2 weeks and is the most restrictive. It is not "no carbs" in Phase 1 but it is seriously restricted carbs. Where it differs to Atkins is it is also low on bad fats and the salt content is low too. The aim in the first 2 weeks is to rid you of the cravings for processed foods which we have all become too accustomed to, or in my case, to stabilise blood sugars. I also dropped 13 lbs in the first 2 weeks. Phase 2 you start to re-introduce carbs again. I wasn't craving chocolate in Phase 1 - what I longed for was a slice of seeded, wholemeal bread. That was the 1st carb I put back. First week of Phase 2 you add in 1 good carb & 1 fruit each day to your meal plan. The next week add another until you are up to 3 good carbs/3 fruits. If you stop losing weight just knock a carb out. In Phase 2 you lose 1 maybe 2 lbs a week - sometimes nothing. You just have to be patient and the weight will come off. I was already exercising more than required by the plan so didn't have to adjust that.
I agree with another review that it is a lot of cooking. I felt I was spending all day in the kitchen initially but there is a solution to this. Cook in bulk and freeze the extra for another day. I vacuum pack, seal and freeze in portions so if I cannot be bothered one day I have a home made, ready meal and I know exactly what is in it. Set aside a cooking day/half day to bulk cook - it makes life a lot easier. I would also point out that it is a lot of food each day! Others I have suggested the Beach to cannot understand why they are eating so much food but the weight falls off. Some days you have to make yourself eat. Again in my case the regular eating keeps the blood sugars stable.
As time went on I discovered it is all about making changes to what you eat. I still eat pizza - I just make my own with a wholewheat base and fresh veg, low fat cheese and seasoned with herbs. It tastes a lot better too. The longer you stick with it I found my tastes changed. Things I loved before now make me feel ill at the thought of eating them. I disagree with the review that said their shopping costs increased. When you add up the costs of the pre packed processed foods they are a lot more expensive than doing it yourself. Yes, maybe the first week may be a bit more if you don't already have some of the store cupboard staples but from there on making everything yourself is a lot cheaper. I too had tried low fat but it did nothing for my blood sugars until I discovered that "low fat" just meant something else had been added to give it flavour.
I still go out and I find it mostly quite easy to find Beach friendly food on the menus.
So, do not think of this as a diet - think of it as a healthy eating plan that works. 6 months on my weight has dropped 24 lbs, my blood sugar dropped from 9.2 to 6.7 and currently is around 5.8. Cholesterol dropped from 7.7 to 5 and the HDL/LDL ratio is the right way around now. I've had no Atkins-like side effects. Get organised, bulk cook and freeze and you won't find this way of life a problem.
Oh - should also add my diabetic meds have been halved now. I'm still diabetic but at least my blood sugar is under control now. May not work for everyone but it certainly worked for me.