Wednesday, 8 August 2007

The Atkins Diet Vs The South Beach Diet

If you are trying to lose weight or even if you aren't, you have probably heard of the two famous diets: the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet. The Atkins Diet was created by a doctor named Dr. Robert C. Atkins in 1972. He wrote a best-selling book entitled Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution that increased the popularity of the diet.

The South Beach Diet was started by a Florida cardiologist named Dr. Arthur Agaston in the mid 1990s. He wrote the best-selling book entitled The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan in 2003.


Structure Of Programs

The structure of both the Atkins Diet and South Beach Diet are very similar. Both programs include a 2 week initiation phase that severely restricts the type of food that participants can eat. Carbohydrates are slowly added in the second phase of both programs. Once participants reach their desired weight, they enter into what is called a maintenance phase. The long term plan involves eating normal portions.

Restriction Of Carbohydrates

Both diets also restrict the number of carbohydrates participants eat daily. They believe that carbs are the main cause of weight gain in individuals. Dieters following the Atkins and the South Beach Diet are recommended to avoid trans-fats whenever possible. In addition, they both differentiate between "good" and "bad" carbohydrates. Bad carbohydrates include highly refined foods such as white flour and sugars. Both programs encourage people to eventually lose their cravings for carbohydrates.

Individual Carbohydrate Levels

The two diets also promote finding the individual carbohydrate level that works best for each individual dieter. The creators of both programs believe that this level varies for each person.


Principal Causes Of Weight Gain

The Atkins Diet is a high protein and high fat program that focuses on the belief that weight gain is normally caused by the resistance to insulin. Consequently, participants are restricted to eating less than 20 grams of carbohydrates daily. The main goal is to encourage individuals to change from sugar-burning to fat-burning.

The South Beach Diet is a high protein program that works on the premise that excess weight is often caused by the number and types of carbohydrates consumed, especially carbs that are highly processed. Highly processed carbs cause a rise in a person's insulin level which results in higher cravings for carbohydrates. The main goal is to promote low-sugar carbs or ones that don't cause a person's blood sugars to rise or fall as quickly.

Type Of Recommended Fats

The Atkins Diet suggests people eat a variety of fats, including a healthy balance of Omega 6's and 3's. This program allows a higher number of saturated fats such as butter than the South Beach Diet.

The South Beach Diet recommends people each a minimum of saturated fats including eliminating items such as butter or dark meat. This program recommends the use of healthy fats such as olive and canola oil.

Carbohydrate Counting

Another difference exists in the manner in which the two programs deals with carbohydrate counting. Followers of the Atkins Diet must count all carbs that are digestible. This means counting every single gram of carbs daily.

On the other hand, the South Beach Diet does not place a limit on the number of non-starchy vegetables a person can eat. Followers of this program count carbohydrates by monitoring the size and number of portions which is easier than the Atkins' method. This diet promotes healthy snacking, rather than calorie counting. Dieters are advised to eat regular portions that are just large enough to satisfy their hunger.

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