Atkins and South Beach Diets Compared
Low-carb diets have been in the market for quite some time now. Two of the most common these days are the Atkins and South Beach Diet.
Both were developed by medical doctors (cardiologists) who — according to reports — were trying to help Americans lose weight given their high carb diets.
Atkins Diet was the first to be developed and is thus, the more popular. It was developed by the late Dr. Robert C. Atkins as early as the 1972 but became more widely popular — despite the oppositions — in the 1990s.
Dr. Arthur Agatston, also a cardiologist but from Mount Sinai Cardiac Prevention Center in Miami Beach, Fla., is known as the father of the South Beach diet. His work came a lot later through his book: “The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss” published in 2003.
Both popular diet plans advise dieters to avoid carbohydrates and follow stringent steps to ensure that the significant weight lost during the program does not come back.
Both start with the so-called induction phase where the body of the dieter is “trained” for the routine.
Both diet plans come with suggested food lists where dieters can mix and match foods to suit their tastes. Of course, like other diet plans, both plans advise dieters to stay away from food not included in the lists.
Among the “dont\’s” in Dr. Atkins\’ list are fruit, bread, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and some dairy products except cheese, cream, and butter.
Aside from fruit, bread, pasta and vegetables, South Beach dieters are also advised to stay away from potatoes, cereal, rice, and corn, especially for the first two weeks of the induction or introductory period. After this period, these can be slowly re-introduced into the body, albeit in smaller amounts.
Both diet plans have a lifetime “maintenance” phase where hopefully dieters will be so accustomed to either plan that they hardly recognize that they are dieting at all.
While both diet plans restrict carbohydrate intake, the South Beach diet is said to be more forgiving by not totally eliminating carbs. It distinguishes between “good” and “bad” carbs and even “good” and “bad” fats. South Beach encourages intake of “good” carbs and fats.
Low-sugar carbs with low glycemic index are “good” carbs under the South Beach plan. Food rich in fiber are also recommended.
Atkins\’s diet routine helps the body to burn fat instead of carb. The goal is to help the dieter achieve good health.
Atkins\’s diet plan involves four phases while the South Beach plan has three phases.
In both plans, the introductory stage aims to condition the body for some changes to prepare for the program.
In Atkins diet, the body is trained to burn fat instead of sugar to help curb the cravings for sugar and break addiction to some foods.
In South Beach diet, the initial phase involves cutting on high-carb foods, which can be gradually re-introduced in small amounts in the next phase. In this case, South Beach debunks myths that this approach prevents dieters from getting healthy mix from all food groups.
Atkins dieters go through the next following phases: ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance.
The last two phases of South Beach diet are called re-introduce the carb and diet for life.
What\’s key in the maintenance phase in Atkins is to keep portions of food at small amounts.
Atkins diet guarantees no hunger deprivation because its long-term goal is healthy diet.
South Beach\’s promise is a “change in the way of eating,” with the dieter not recognizing at all that he is on a diet.
Summarizing the Diets
Developed by cardiologist Dr. Robert C. Atkins in 1972, with his Diet Revolution, a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.
The program focuses on a low-carbohydrate diet.
The Program has 4 phases:
1. induction phase (train the body to burn fats instead of carb)
2. ongoing weight loss
4. lifetime maintenance
South Beach Diet
Developed by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston of Miami, Florida, who in 2003, published the book The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss”.
The program distinguishes between good and bad carbohydrates, and good and bad fats.
Take in good carbs and fats.
The program has 3 phases:
1. 2-week introductory or induction phase (strictly no carbs)
2. re-introduce the carbs
3. diet for life
David Teeth is a personal trainer, nutritionist and dietician with years of experience in dieting. David is a full time writer for’, ”)
atkins and south beach diets compared