What Is The South Beach Diet, How Does It Work, And How Effective Is It?

Question: What is the South Beach Diet, how does it work, and how effective is it?

Answer: The South Beach Diet is a lifestyle approach that limits carbohydrate and limits fat at the same time. It was a merging of the low-carbohydrate idea with the low-fat idea. It is an adequate nutrition approach, so you have enough protein, enough fat and enough energy supplied -- minerals and vitamins -- that your body needs.

The science is there to support the use of the South Beach Diet now out to about 3-6 months, although it's similar to the other low-carbohydrate approaches. So that it's something that I think is reasonable to use. We do use the lifestyle approach like South Beach in our clinics and find it very helpful.

The other part of the South Beach is that it has a little more carbohydrate than an early-Atkins approach, and so some people like the ability to have more variety in the diet. For some people, though, the South Beach Diet or a similar diet is not strong enough and they find that it will stop working after a while. And if you are particularly sick, have a sick metabolism -- type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome -- it just may not be strong enough.