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  #1   ^
Old Mon, Aug-06-07, 09:32
Samuel Samuel is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 1,200
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 200/176/176 Male 5' 8"
Progress: 100%
Default The Atkins Diet Vs The South Beach Diet

The Atkins Diet Vs The South Beach Diet
Monday, 06 August 2007

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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  #2   ^
Old Mon, Aug-06-07, 10:10
brobin's Avatar
brobin brobin is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 470
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 231/172/175 Male 70 inches
Progress: 105%
Location: Ontario

Funny, I don't count individual carbs, nor am I restricted to less then 20 carbs per day. I am pretty sure Atkins was clear that you progress towards the number of carbs you can handle, based on activity level, etc. He suggested the typical amount for weight maintenance would be around 50 carbs per day, from veggies and complex grains such as oatmeal.

The biggest difference between these diets is that South beach takes longer (it introduces carbs earlier) and South Beach is still sat fat phobic. Most people I know who did South Beach struggles due to the crappy low sat fat food choices leaving taste wanting.

I know several people who simply added sat fat backt to their diet (ala Atkins) and suddenly they lost more weight and were happy on low carb.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Aug-06-07, 11:19
mike_d's Avatar
mike_d mike_d is offline
Grease is the word!
Posts: 8,475
Stats: 236/181/180 Male 72 inches
Progress: 98%
Location: Alamo city, Texas

I have heard SB referred to as "Atkins without the weight loss." I lost well on it initially as it was a vast improvement over my high-carb fare and I was 60+ pounds overweight, but I stalled around 200lb. It was most likely a calorie or portion control issue.
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Aug-06-07, 12:35
deirdra's Avatar
deirdra deirdra is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,329
Plan: vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
Progress: 130%
Location: Alberta

I have heard SB referred to as "Atkins with hunger instead of satisfaction."
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Aug-06-07, 14:55
Judynyc's Avatar
Judynyc Judynyc is offline
Attitude is a Choice
Posts: 30,111
Plan: No sugar, flour, wheat
Stats: 228.4/209.0/170 Female 5'6"
Progress: 33%
Location: NYC


Both programs encourage people to eventually lose their cravings for carbohydrates.

Not true at all!! We, hopefully, lose our cravings for refined and highly processed or bad carbs...we eat plenty of fruit and veggies....some grain...all are carbs.

FWIW...I love SBD, obviously! I did have to tweak it to keep my weight loss happening but that happens to people on Atkins taught me what a portion actually is....I do eat some full fat yogurt now in maintenance and enjoy the full feeling from the sat fat.

However, I do keep very close track of how many fruits and starch servings I eat daily and this, IMO, is what is helping me to not see regain...that and avoiding flour 95% of the time!!

I'm curious why this is here and not in the plan comparison we have not had this topic too many times to count already.
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Aug-16-07, 16:17
lovemyvet's Avatar
lovemyvet lovemyvet is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 455
Plan: whole foods
Stats: 280/166/167 Female 64 inches
Progress: 101%
Location: So CA

Originally Posted by mike_d
I have heard SB referred to as "Atkins without the weight loss."

Not true at all as my weight loss shows.

I started out my weight loss journey doing very LC and frankly felt awful until I upped my carbs ala South Beach. I don't count my carbs but when I've logged into fitday it's generally around 150. I also go lighter on protein than many SBers because animal protein tends to make me feel ill when I eat very much.

Every body is different. Many here rail against carbs but my body needs healthy carbs or I can't function.
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