South Beach Diet and the Atkins Low Carb Plan.

Our Review:

The Atkins Low Carb Diet is based on eating very few carbs, and this is especially true during "Phase 1".  We believe that it's one of the strictest low carb diets on the market, especially during "Phase 1". 

There is no mistaking this program for anything other than a very strict low carb plan, since it only allows 80 carb calories per day during the first phase (20 grams of net carbs is approximately 80 carb calories per day)........and that's less carbs than you'll find in a large apple, since even a large apple has slightly more carbs than that. 

Phase 1 of the Atkins Diet is now listed as 'optional' -- but even if Phase 1 is skipped we still believe that the overall carb limitations make it a very strict low carb diet. 

This program is probably not for the faint of heart, since only truly committed dieters will probably be able to withstand Phase 1 of this program.

What about the South Beach Diet?

The South Beach diet is also a fairly strict low carb program (especially during the first phase).....though perhaps not as strict as the Atkins program.

...But it's our opinion that the South Beach plan is too strict (limits carbs too much) to be practical for everyday dieters -- especially during phase 1 with the severely reduced carbs and other rules forbidding many foods.

For example, we've observed that the higher carb foods (on the South Beach menu) are severely limited in portions during the first phase of the diet -- and this prevents a normal amount of carbs from being eaten during the first phase.  

In fact, most of the foods which dieters are allowed to eat in "unlimited portions" (during phase 1) are protein foods and super-low-calorie vegetables.

For example, the South Beach menu allows unlimited lettuce during phase 1 --- but yet it limits the portions of "tomatoes" and "onions" and "peanuts". 

Additionally, the "sweet snacks" which are allowed on the South Beach menu are limited to a mere 75 calories per day during phase 1.  

So even though the South Beach plan allows "sweet snacks" -- they are severely limited to just 75 calories per day........and that's less calories than a single large cookie contains. 

So although the South Beach program is not as strict as the Atkins diet, it's our opinion that both diets are fairly strict low carb programs -- and we believe that both plans will be fairly difficult to follow for average dieters who are not truly committed, especially during Phase 1.

Also.......both of these diets seem to have no "end" in sight -- since both the Atkins plan and the South Beach diet never allow dieters to return to a normal carb lifestyle (where carbs don't have to be closely watched). 

Both of these diets do gradually allow more and more carbs to be eaten as time goes by of course (as time goes by the rules are relaxed a bit), but even after 6 months dieters are still told to watch their carb intake to some degree each day, and both diets seem to require a lifetime commitment of some sort.

So it's a permanent lifestyle change which is required by these diets, and many dieters may find it difficult to never be able to enjoy their favorite carb-filled restaurant meals (which can be eaten completely "as served", and without any restrictions).

So overall we think that both diets are not very practical for average dieters who are not 100% committed to making huge sacrifices for the long term, since we believe that many people will find it difficult to modify their entire lifestyle permanently.   We therefore recommend against using the South Beach and Atkins programs for most people, for the reasons outlined above.

End of Review.

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