Pros and Cons of the Atkins and South Beach Diets

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Pros and Cons of the Atkins and South Beach Diets


People consider many factors when choosing a diet: what best suites their needs, how it fits with their body type, and what the diet entails, are all aspects taken into account. The Atkins and South Beach diets are plans that take different approaches in style but end up having similar results in the end. Atkins serves to eliminate carbohydrates and focus on more protein-enriched foods; this idea sells because it offers a way to lose weight fast. The South Beach diet on the other hand is a method that takes a more balanced approach; it aims to teach people about the good carbohydrates and the good fats versus the bad. Because these diets have both pros and cons, it is necessary for dieters to weigh all aspects of each program equally and choose the diet that will be most effective for their body type and lifestyle.

In the Atkins plan, dieters are instructed to eliminate starchy foods such as potatoes, corn and pasta, and they are told to stay away from complex carbohydrates like fruits, grains and breads. The participants are instead encouraged to consume, within reason, meats, eggs, cheeses, oils, and other protein-rich, fatty foods (Harper, 1). From these steps comes one of the most influential points that cause dieters to choose the Atkins plan, the fact that there is a potential to lose weight fast. The reason behind such a rapid weight loss, however, is because of the core principle of the Atkins diet. It states that by limiting carbohydrates in a four-phase process the body is forced to burn its stored fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates, thus losing stored weight quickly (Harper, 1). The problem with this plan is the fact that once carbohydrates are added back into the body, there is a likely chance that the weight will be gained back immediately, because the body will burn carbohydrates before it will burn fat. This idea is one of many involving the pros and cons of the Atkins plan in comparison to diets similar to it.

Another reason why so many people choose the Atkins plan is because dieters are allowed to consume good-tasting, fatty-foods, during the induction phase of the diet. However, as tempting as these food options may be, the end result shows an increase in cholesterol that is proven to have a negative effect on the heart and body as a whole. Furthermore, another aspect of the Atkins diet is the fact that it is proven to generate weight loss, however, the drawback is that the loss is only for a short amount of time, and not easily maintained. The likelihood of losing the weight and keeping it off is something that researchers are still trying to show as a possibility (Harper, 1). But there are alternatives to the Atkins plan, the most common of which is Dr. Arthur Agatston’s South Beach diet.

While Atkins serves to eliminate almost all carbohydrates and replace them with foods high in fat, the South Beach...

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