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The South Beach Diet: A Doctor's Plan for Fast and Lasting Weight Loss Paperback – 7 Apr 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; 1st Trade Paperback edition (7 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755311299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755311293
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 23.2 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

Book Description

A diet proven to be good for your figure, your heart and your health

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was really enthused on reading this book and quickly tried it out - result 7lbs off after 10 days which is good but not as dramatic as I had hoped and, as I go into below, not as easy as I expected.
The best thing about this diet is that it's healthy. It was designed to lower cholesterol and other nasties in your blood, not to lose weight. But it does both.
It is a really refreshing look at diets and I think that it won't be a passing fad but the diet of the future. Lets face it, existing diets aren't working for the population as a whole - people are getting fatter. As he explains, some fat is good for you - like olive oil etc whereas processed carbs don't satisfy your hunger. The result is that restricting fat whilst consuming carbs isn't an easy way to lose weight. So here your aloud good fats and have to exclude bad carbs. Sounds pretty balanced to me.
For the first 2 weeks though you have to severely restrict your carb intake: no bread, biscuits, alcohol, fruit, not even cereal. Despite what he says this IS a low-carb time! As the book promised, I didn't really feel hungry during this phase but I did REALLY miss my carbohydrates. It's also difficult to keep up if you are away from home. Breakfasts were incredibly dull - bacon and eggs, quiche, omelette....all of which I like but started to get really sick of every morning. I even managed to go off lean steak in the evening because I was eating it so frequently. I lasted 10 days on this phase as I couldn't face a further weekend. If you start the diet, I'd recommend starting it before a weekend so that you come off it (2 weeks later) before a weekend and the tricky weekend days don't coincide with the tricky end of phase 1 days.
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By A Customer on 5 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
On this diet, which I've been on since May, I've lost 2 stone, never feel hungry - and I've lost the sweet tooth which was my downfall on all other diets I've tried! Dr. Agatston's diet works - it's a way of eating you can live with and not feel deprived: I recommend it to everyone.
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I came across the South Beach by accident, but it certainly appeared to be useful - do they all? Lose weight, 8 to thirteen pounds in two weeks, and lose it from around your waist. Too good to be true? I'd never been on a real diet so I thought it was worth checking out - I was sceptical. We (wife and me) were going to a wedding of some very special friends in two weeks time and we both wanted and needed to lose some weight. We bought the book, it has all sorts of encouraging stories, and so we gave it a bash. I also told a couple of people at work about it. We did stick to the diet, which wasn't all that hard to be honest. Ditching alcohol for a fortnight was a real, REAL challenge, but I was interested to see if I could do it - "I can do without drink, although I haven't done for a while..." - maybe you know the idea? First day - lost a pound, second day the same. And I kept losing it, although I had a couple of days when nothing much happened weight-wise. End of fortnight - 9lbs lighter, and from all the right places. Wife and friends at work lost more - typical. Went to wedding - lots (yes LOTS) of alcohol and good food. Weighed myself afterwards expecting to have put on lots of weight and I was not much heavier than the last day of the diet. We were going away the following week, so we stuck to phase one and continued to lose weight. Phase one is supposedly losing a chunk of weight fairly quickly, then phase two is slower weight loss to the weight you want to be, with phase three being 'stay at the weight you want'. It works. I doubt I'll ever be the person they'd want to quote in the book as I use the diet a bit haphazardly - I enjoy the meals, but with a glass of wine or two, or three.Read more ›
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Like new and very useful!
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I have done Weight Watchers, ediets, the cabbage soup diet (and many others), personal training twice a week and although I managed to shift half a stone I was stuck and not losing any more weight. I started this diet 5 days ago and I have already lost half a stone and I still have another week to go on the strict phase. This diet is very easy to stick to and unlike alot of diets the recipes are easy to follow and actually taste really nice. I highly recommend this book to anyone trying to lose weight.
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Format: Paperback
Follow this diet and the philosophy of food behind it, and you will always be the size you want. I lost a stone in the first two weeks during the 'strict' phase and then continued to lose weight steadily for a month until I had shed another stone while enjoying my food and drink immensely. I am now at my target weight and eating a healthier diet than I have ever done whilst still having naughty treats when I want them. All that and dealing with the food needs of two toddlers! Would recommend this to anyone committed to losing weight and eating healthily as a life choice.
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By A Customer on 1 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what the fuss is about this diet. As a modified low carb regime that encourages consumption of vegetables and fruits in moderation, this adds nothing to the admirable Clark diet (The New High Protein Diet) and is based on exactly the same scientific principles; the latter has the advantage of being written by a Brit, and so the recipes are based on products and measures that we're familiar with. If you follow the South Beach you'll definitely lose weight, but after reading it I just went back to New High Protein Diet, which presents it in a more palatable format for a UK audience.
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