How Does The South Beach Diet Work?

Many people place the South Beach Diet among the “low-carb” diets like the Atkins Diet, but proponents of the South Beach Diet distance from that categorization. The South Beach Diet doesn’t attempt to lower your carbs, but to replace bad carbohydrates with another kind of carbohydrate. The South Beach Diet eliminates “bad carbs” and “bad fats” and replaces them with “good carbs” and “good fats”.

The South Beach Diet By Aurthur Agatston

The South Beach Diet was created by Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist and specialist in noninvasive cardiac diagnostics at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida. In fact, Dr. Agatston is the director of Non-Invasive Cardiac Lab and Mt. Sinai. Back in the Eighties, the doctor was not happy with many of the low-fat diets that had been proposed, because these diets led to dieters eating too many carbohydrates. This made it hard for dieters to stick to their dieting programs, because the introduction of shorts bursts of sugar heightened eating urges.

At the same time, Dr. Agatston believed diets like the Atkins Diet, which focused on eliminating carbohydrates but allowed dieters to eat too many saturated fats, would heighten the risk of heart disease. Because the “bad carbs” would raise the insulin levels in the blood, leading to a greater risk of diabetes and uncontrollable urges to eat. The South Beach Diet was his suggestion for losing weight in a healthier way. So how does the South Beach Diet work? Here’s the concept behind it.

South Beach Diet Explained


The South Beach Diet tries to lower your intake of “bad fats” or saturated fats, which contain too much cholesterol and could lead to heart disease. But instead of simply replacing fat consumption with carb consumption, the diet teaches dieters to eat good carbs, so they get plenty of fiber without the side effects.

Certain carbohydrates contain too much sugar. When this sugar gets in your bloodstream, it causes the pancreas to release insulin. This insulin signals the body’s cells to absorb the sugar, taking it out of your bloodstream. But if you send short bursts of sugar into your bloodstream over a long period of time, your cells become resistant to insulin. To compensate, your pancreas sends even more insulin into your bloodstream.

This causes an imbalance of insulin. If you get too much insulin in your bloodstream, it lowers your blood sugar level to unnatural and unacceptable levels. One, this increases your risk of diabetes. Two, low blood sugar causes irresistible eating urges called “cycles of hunger”. These would be in addition to your normal eating cycle, so dieters eating too many of the wrong carbohydrates would eventually feel the urge to eat between meals. The South Beach Diet balances your eating so that you don’t feel these urges.

That’s essentially the South Beach Diet. The next time someone asks you, “How Does the South Beach Diet Work?”, you can tell them. The South Beach Diet doesn’t eliminate carbs or fats; it simply introduces the right kinds into your body. Your body gets much-needed fiber. It gets the energy it needs, but eliminates the sugars that lead to uncontrolled urges to eat.