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I'm thinking about doing Atkins, or should I do South Beach instead?

Looking to lose 15 pounds, well maybe 20.

Mon. Sep 5, 3:11pm

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my opinion: neither. eliminating an entire food group like carbs isn't practical. sure, you'll lose weight quick but it can put your body into ketosis (diabetic shock). i've hear south beach incorporates good carbs so if either, i would try that. good old fashioned cutting calories works too! good luck!

Monday, September 05, 2005, 3:49 PM

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Atkins isn't as unhealthy as it sounds - you get a certain number of carbs per day, and carbs like fiber and sugar alcohols don't count towards those carbs. The first two weeks, you're not supposed to have pretty much any carbs at all, to "jump start" the diet, but afterwards, you can start easing them in a little. It's rough though (and unhealthy) because you're not supposed to have fruits really at all - South Beach incorporates fruits and whole grains, so that's probably better.

I personally like the Zone - trying to get 30% of your calories from protein, 30% from fats, and 40% from carbs - but making sure your carbs are whole grains (wheat or 7-grain low carb bread, rolled oats, high fiber foods) and cutting out "whites" - white bread, potatoes, corn, crackers, cookies, sugar, etc. It's sustainable long-term, while Atkins and South Beach probably are not.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005, 8:33 AM

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From what I've read, South Beach sounds healthier.

I don't do either, but I try to avoid carbs late in the day. Mostly eat them in the morning, and try to have good (complex, high fiber) carbs.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005, 1:28 PM

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I agree that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is not by cutting out any food group. Weight Watchers has always worked extremely well for me...the basic principles are great. It's all about eating healthier, and not denying yourself the foods that you want, you just need to learn to eat in moderation. Serving sizes are key-you can eat healthy foods, but you can still go overboard. You get used to it pretty quickly, and it is easy to keep the weight off, because you get so used to it. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005, 2:13 PM

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going into ketosis is not a diabetic shock. I did atkins for a while since I am a type 2 diabetic it was easy. I lost weight quickly but gained most of it back. I have now lost 58 pounds with 30 more to go and the only healthy way to do it is less in more out. (less calories more exercise) I still eat a very low carb diet but I have to. I do eat brown rice, whole wheat pasta & breads and other healthy grains.

Friday, September 09, 2005, 12:49 PM

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I don't recommend either of those diets just because I have known people that have totally cut at carbs and as soon as they started hitting carbs again put weight right back on.

Friday, September 09, 2005, 7:17 PM

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I had very good results with Atkins. And you can eat carbs again if you truly follow the Atkins diet and reach the maintenance level. You just can't ever go back to sugar and unrefined white flours.

Saturday, September 10, 2005, 7:19 PM

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South Beach

South Beach is neither low carb or low is really just a healthy way of eating. Yes, the first 2 weeks cuts out carbs, but you can skip that phase. The diet stresses fruit, veggies, whole grains, lean meat and fish, and, thankfully, dessert. It does ask you to keep the glycemic index in mind when choosing foods, but making good food choices is part of any "diet". This really is a good lifestyle choice, and my doctor recommended it to me.

Certainly picking a plan to follow requires some homework on your part...there are valid suggestions from several of the plans out there today. Just take a look at the choices, decide what you think is the best for YOU, and get started! Good luck!

Sunday, September 11, 2005, 10:46 AM

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My mom just started Atkins, and after the first "phase" - the strictest, which is supposed to jump-start your diet, she's lost 6.5lbs! In 2 weeks! She starts the next "phase" this week, and will continue to lose weight, but more slowly. Then 2 more weeks, and the 3rd stage starts, which is probably more healthy because it reincorporates even more healthy carbs and is fairly sustainable long-term, and by the time she gets there, she'll probably have lost 10lbs in the first month! If you follow it to the strictest sense, you'll have fast weight loss at the beginning, and continued loss throughout.

Monday, September 12, 2005, 9:06 AM

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Thankyou for all of the suggestions!

I decided to check out weight watchers because I wouldn't have to restrict any foods. I kind of like that if I really needed it, I could have a peice of pizza. I'll keep ya'll updated!

Monday, September 12, 2005, 3:15 PM

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I just typed South Beach in the search because I wanted to know what people were saying about it and I saw this. I'm surprised....Atkins is really a healthy way to go?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005, 8:32 AM

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Weight Watchers Works

I agree with the post about Weight Watchers. Everyone knows that the best way to lose weight is to eat a well balanced diet, watch your portions and get some exercise. I shy away from diets like Atkins because they deny the body basic ingredients it needs to function properly. As a quick fix, they're fine, but I haven't met too many people who have succeeded in keeping the weight off. Weight Watchers, on the other hand, trains you to eat healthier and keeps you balanced. Even after I lost 40lbs and stopped considering myself a member, I continued to use the basic ideas I learned from Weight Watchers, and now a year later, the weight's still off.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005, 2:41 PM

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Neither - Especially if you exercise regularly

The kinder gentler South Beach might provide more carbs, but if you do a lot of cardio (running, spinning, biking, tennis) you will crash without enough healthy carbs to fuel your workouts. I lost 80#s on WW and have kept it off. Moderation and calories in vs. calories out are the only 2 rules that hold true, IMHO.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005, 5:55 PM

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my boyfriend and i loved south beach

we don't really think of it as anything other than eating healthy (though some people love giving it a label of "south beach" since they feel like they're really doing a program instead of just being moderate) since it's, in stages 2 and 3, basically exactly what most doctors have been saying to do for years. the first stage helps you kick the sugar habit so that you don't crave it so much anymore, and after that you start to realize that, if you first just try to eat your 3C or so of veggies, then add in fresh fruits, dairy, and proteins, you're too freakin' full to want anything else by the end of the day! i'm a vegetarian, too, so the whole foods aspect appealed to me - if you're eating "real" food, you're already moving in the right direction. can't pronounce it? don't eat it.

another benefit is that you take weight off in the middle right away and see quick pound results which can be a great motivator - rarely an indicator of long-term success, but a very good way to keep you on the right track. it builds confidence.

the first four days or so were terrible - we were both so cranky, but then, energy through the roof. and sex drive :) plus, going out to restaurants, you never have to haggle over what to order or declare "i'm on a diet," (which, in my family, opens you up to a world of nagging and whatnot) -- you already know what the good choices are and can order pretty easily and everyone just thinks, "huh, she eats really healthily. maybe i should try that..."

the final thing i'd point out about it is that it kept me from being so damn worried all the time. they flat out say, if you're really craving ice cream? eat some of the damn ice cream! if you try to go, oh man, i really want chips, but fake yourself out with hunks of celery, you're just going to fall off the wagon hard core, rather than indulge yourself with a bit of what you really want, and then stay on track after that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006, 12:57 PM

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It's perfectly fine to cut out a group of food such as dairy, meat, or grains, but that kind of depends on your internal chemisty- I know many people who have done so and are in BETTER health, than before. (ever notice dairy famers, ranchers, and farmers have lobby groups...)

Eat enough leafy greens, and you don't need the calcium in milk. Eat enough leafy greens, and you don't need the fibre from grains. For those who have a hard time digesting meat, you can get protien from nuts and legumes.

People assume that by cutting out a food group, you are eliminating nutrients from your diet, and it isn't always true.

If calories in v. calories out was the easiest, healthiest way, obesity wouldn't be epidemic, nor would all the related health problems. (Does losing 20 pounds control your blood sugar, does it lower your cholesterol, does it increase mental clarity? uh, no. What you eat will change those, but when your focus is on calories, and not the nutritional value of your food, your health problems don't go away. Being fat doesn't make you unhealthy- being fat is often a symptom of being unhealthy. And when a selling feature of a diet is you can have pizza (which few of us make ourselves, so we're talking mass produced, preservative laden, "food"- do you know what's in that deli meat??) I question it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006, 1:36 PM

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I reccomend south beach because u only eliminate the carbs and sugar for the first 2 weeks, then introduce them slowly back into your diet. this helps you get a better idea of how they affect your body to help you make good food choices all the time. For example, after eliminating carbs for 2 weeks, then you notice u get bloated after eating a footlong white bread sub, this will motivate you to cut down on the bread or eat it at a time when you're more active. The main reason I wouldn't do atkins is because the founder of atkins died of a heart attack..things that make you go 'hmmmmm?!'

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 3:37 PM

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i'm anti-atkins . . any diet that restricts certain fruits or vegetables because of their carb content and allows insane amounts of bad fats like those from bacon and cheese and high fat salad dressings seems unhealthy to me! Sure you will lose weight, but how will your arteries look afterwards?

south beach may be a little better but why not see a nutritionist instead who can help map out a healthy eating and exercise plan for you?

good luck!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 4:31 PM

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I agree that cutting out food groups is not a good ideal. I also believe that when we deny ourselves foods, we crave them all the more. restricting what we eat is not the best way to go about it.... the best plan is to reduce calorie intake, and increase exercise. eat the foods you like, in moderation, get plenty of exercise and drink lots of water.
"DIET" is a four letter word... it's better to adopt a newer, healthier way of life, which will include how you eat and how you burn it off.

take a look at Jorge Cruse, 3 hour diet plan. very sensible!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 4:59 PM

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I like the South Beach diet, since I can do it without major changes to my lifestyle. I don't follow it exactly (I think that low-fat Laughing Cow cheese is the worst thing I've ever tasted), but I try to increase my vegies and almost eliminate carbs. I've lost 3 pounds on it over the last month. I had tried just decreasing my overall food intake previously, but that didn't work for me.

I've done the Atkins before, but after 4 days on the first stage, my muscles were incredibly fatigued (it felt like I hadn't slept for a day). Therefore, I wouldn't recommend it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 5:14 PM

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well the wishy washy all food is fine approach doesn't work for me. Fact is some foods have no nutritional value and aren't worth eating. "Moderation" doesn't apply- some things can be consumed as a RARE treat- not as a regular-yet-moderated part of my intake.

I think people need to start looking at the quality of the food they eat, and not the calorie content. Quit thinking of food as a reward, think of it as what it is- fuel and nutrition. Now this doesn't mean I never have a handful of doritos- but it means I've had them on only 4 occasions this year. Why? Because I'm too busy eating things that actually help my body, instead of things that simply give me a little high cuz they taste good.

And once you cut out enough of the junk you don't miss it, and you don't even enjoy it that much. I

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 5:19 PM

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Oh you will definitly lose weight with either, probably South Beach is the better of the two, however, I can guarantee (99%) that after you lose the weight you will gain it all back............most people can't stay on those diets for a long time. You should think life time eating habits, with good fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, a well rounded plan, and working out.............those short term fixes never work for the long term............

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 5:45 PM

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I agree with the poster above...

I lost 10 pounds on the South Beach diet about 1 1/2 years ago, but gained it all back once I started adding carbs back into my diet.

However, since December I have lost 25 pounds just by counting every calorie, eating lowfat foods, fruits, and veggies, and exercising 3-5 days a week. I am still counting calories, and so far I'm maintaining!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 5:53 PM

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Good for insulin resistance

For anyone with blood sugar problems (prediabetic, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, syndrome X, etc), South Beach is a very smart choice. I workout for 60 minutes a day, half of that cardio and the other half weight training with significant weights. Because of my insulin reistance, I can work out like that while consuming very little carbohydrates. I gain weight (because of the resistance) eating whole grains and fruits. This is the only way I can drop weight. However, you do have to be careful. If you have high blood sugars and get a sudden drop, even if it is not considered hypoglycemic, you may feel shaky. My trainer knows about my diet and condition and I never lift without her spotting me. By all means, if you have any medical condition, you've heard it before...consult your health care provider before making any changes.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 6:01 PM

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good old fashion counting calories works great, and as long as you stay within your range you don't have to restrict a food group...more likely that you can stick with it FOREVER....loosing weight involves changing your lifestyle and eating habits forever, not just till you get to your goal. i learned that the hard way, fad dieted and gained 15 more pounds then my orignial start weight when i left the diet.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 5:12 PM

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you gained the weight when you quit the diet... hmm... sounds just as effective as calorie counting. Any diet only works as long as you stay on it. But some are more nutritionally sound than simply counting calories...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 5:56 PM

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My doc told me that in regards to Atkins, South Beach and other diets, they work because you are lowering caloric intake more than anything else.

I've found that I have gotten healthier by walking and eating smaller portions. I don't cut out much except that I try to stay away from processed or fried foods, to eat more home-cooked meals, and more fruits and veggies.

I'm losing weight slowly, but I don't feel deprived and I'm not getting any sugar highs or lows.

Then again, I can't drink diet pop (not that I want to) because of the aspartame giving me severe migraines.) I choose not to drink regular pop because of the sugar and chemicals. 90% of the time, when I drink, it's water.

When I eat out, I drink water with a lemon slice vs. any kind of pop, tea or coffee. (Think about it--Water is usually FREE, not only am I saving calories, I'm also saving cash at $2 minimum for a glass of pop.)

I have had a friend on Atkins who developed pains in her kidneys because she wouldn't listen to my advice and she drank mostly diet pop vs. water. I kept telling her to increase her water intake, but every time she was drinking something it was a can of diet pop....She has since dropped Atkins and has realized how bad it was for her body--She was very foolish and continued to stay on the "starting phase" because she saw the pounds melting off.

Now, she is trying to increase her exercise and to watch what she is eating. Her weight is changing slowly, but it is changing! I encourage her to walk every day if she can... :-)

I don't really count calories as much as just being aware of what I'm eating. I also bought the Calorie King book to help me visualize how truly bad some of the food is that I might want to put in my body--even if I'm not counting calories, I can make a healthier choice! :-)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 11:55 AM

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I think everyone should find what works for them . Research is key and what works for one person may not work for another. I have tried many different diets and South Beach was recommended to me by my doctor . I also sat with a dietician and went over what I was eating prior to beginning this journey. I have lost 58 pounds my cholesterol went from 260 down to 175 and I feel great. Also I do eat CARBS just the right ones. I love this program . My best friend and close aquaintances have tried this program and some had nothing good to say. I just think its preference and what works for some people doesn't always work for others.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 12:54 PM

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-thread hiijack-
listen to your stomach... try and stay around a neutral point where you neither feel hungry or full (as in almost stuffed.) - Check out that book Intuitive Eating... I tell ya what... I feel great- no pressure, no guilt... I am eating less- supeficially you might call it all mental. Seriously listening to your stomach and what it is really saying- and give yourself permission to eat whatever, whenever, and howmuch ever you want while honoring what your stomach is telling you.
-end of thread hiijack....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 2:27 PM

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Have you considered the Weight Watcher CORE Plan? It allows one to eat ONLY healthy carbohydrates and unlimited CORE foods. I hear it is really effective!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 3:01 PM

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South Beach for sure. You don't eliminate any food groups just bad carbs and bad fats. Only the first 2 weeks you elimated carbs and it stops your cravings for bad things, then you add good carbs gradually. Trust me it works! Buy the book it is a quick read.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 3:48 PM

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Atkins' death

Not that I am a fan of his diet or anything, but I did want to point out that Atkins did not die of a heart attack. Instead, he died in a really bizarre way. There was a snow storm in April (which does not happen too often here in NYC) and while he was walking to work, he slipped on the ice and ended up dying of head inuries that resulted from the fall. He was 72.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 10:38 PM

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Ketosis and Ketoacidosis

Two different metabolic processes which leave ketones in the bloodstream. Ketoacidosis is a major marker for adult-onset diabetes, and anyone eating more than 80g of dietary carbs (not fiber or sugar alcohols) who registers on a ketostix test should see his doctor immediately. Ketone presence for lo-carb eaters is a marker of fidelity to the eating plan, and not per se a marker for dysfunction.

That said, lo-carb is decidedly not for everyone - but if it works for you, South Beach is a great way to transition from pure weight loss to a lifetime plan. Lo-carb is not a magic wand, you still need to log, watch portion size, weigh, and keep your activity up - but for those suited to it a lo-carb eating plan will maximize your results.

Monday, October 09, 2006, 11:52 AM

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Passing on rumors as if they were fact is a logical fallacy

Atkins died when they pulled the plug on him, he was in a vegetative state after sufferiing a blow to the head from a fall when he slipped on some ice.

Snopes is a very good source for objective information.


Thursday, November 09, 2006, 5:38 PM

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If all you want to lose is 15-20 lbs. Just drink more water, cut out the soda and pre-packaged foods and stop eating out, and exercise for a couple weeks.

Just eliminating excessive sodium from your diet will cause you to lose about 10 lbs. in water weight.

Thursday, November 09, 2006, 5:43 PM

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I think it is safe to say that 99% of Americans eat more carbs than they need, and whether or not weight loss is a goal, it makes sense to cut back every now and then. All diets make sense to some degree and my advice is try all approaches and see how your body responds. The experimentation might open your eyes to new eating habits.

Sunday, December 17, 2006, 10:50 PM

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Ketosis is not diabetic shock. Please get facts straight before making such statements. People may believe you

Thursday, January 17, 2008, 10:04 AM

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I prefer fat smash. Well the maintaince phase at least. I dont eat anything white. no white bread, no white rice, no white sugar, no white potatoes. Basically no sugar and only whole wheat breads and pastas and it works great! The pounds are just melting off.

Thursday, January 17, 2008, 10:21 AM

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south beach or atkins

I'm still trying o figure it out. The South Beach Diet seems easier to do if you're into a balanced diet, and Atkins seems better if you just want to eat steak all day. You don't have ketosis on South Beach, which is a bonus.


Sunday, January 04, 2009, 5:08 PM

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