I Tried South Beach Diet. Here Is My Honest Review
I am on a serious diet testing bender as of lately, and today it’s South Beach Diet’s turn. I have tried Nutrisystem, South Beach Diet, and Medifast so far and can say a lot about each one of them. Every one of those diets has something positive and definitely some negative points, but today let’s focus on South Beach Diet.
What is South Beach Diet?
The diet was created by a Miami area cardiologist Dr. Agatston who was concerned about his overweight patients and their struggle to lose weight. He believed that our bodies need good carbs and fats, low calories, lots of lean protein and veggies, and smaller portions. His book became a bestseller in 2003 and then the diet meal delivery service followed to a great success.
Overall the diet is very similar to Nutrisystem and Medifast. It delivers meals that are ready-to-eat and frozen, dieters can choose between a few plans, and it is low on the glycemic index, but one main difference is that South Beach Diet doesn’t eliminate all fat and encourages supplementing with veggies and fruit a lot more than others.
But let’s take a look at it deeper and from the beginning:
I signed up for all these diets not because I am overweight, but because I want to have a backup for my home-cooked meals, a little way to reset my body, because who doesn’t need that once in a while, especially with all the holiday indulgences? Finally, I would like to have healthy snacks handy and ready-to-eat meals for days when I have no time for elaborate home-cooked meals.
I am a cook from scratch kind of gal, and that is hard to reconcile with all the frozen microwavable delivered diet food, as it turns out. This aspect is the hardest for me; I simply don’t think I could go for weeks and months just with this delivered food day in and day out.
Overall South Beach Diet looks and sounds very legitimate and I believe it really works. I love the fact that it’s simple and dieters don’t have to do any calorie counting, cooking, and thinking. All they have to do is make up their mind, get this diet, stick to it, and see the pounds come off.
South Beach Diet is designed to work in stages of phases. The first phase is the strictest and the hardest because it takes some strong will to change the lifestyle and overhaul the diet to go from whatever calories you consume to just over a 1,000 per day. But this step is essential for weight loss, which comes off fast. Seeing is believing, and dieters definitely see the results during those first two weeks. During this stage people stick to low calorie, lean protein, and healthy fats diet, supplemented with their own veggies. Dieters don’t get many carbohydrates and can’t touch fruit, juice, starches, whole grain, sugar, and alcohol.
Second stage introduces some good carbs and fruit. This stage lasts as long as needed to reach the weight loss goal. Dieters don’t experience rapid weight loss, but instead they have 1-2 pounds come off every week.
Third and final stage is a lifelong way of healthy eating and active lifestyle. Hopefully by this time dieters have learned how to eat healthy and don’t want to go back to how they lived before.
As I mentioned above, my mission was never strict following of this diet or any other, I just wanted to see what it is, and by trying various foods I can say I now know how it works and would it work for me.
I ordered some samples of South Beach Diet foods. I got them all with a coupon and saved 20% off, which I liked very much, as this plan is not very cheap, especially when it would be only for me, separately from my family, who need to be fed regular diet. In fact, South Beach Diet with snacks could set you back by over $300 per month.
I ordered some frozen breakfast muffins, bars, non-frozen dinner and lunch entrees, and also got a bonus palm tree laminated tote bag that was on a small size.
I like the fact that my order came quickly and part of it was packed in Styrofoam box with dry ice to stay cold, and another part in a separate box. I didn’t like that some items in the Styrofoam box were to be kept frozen, while others didn’t need to be frozen. I only saw a couple of items there that didn’t mention keeping frozen and assumed that they all are that way, so kept them all room temperature. Then I accidentally noticed that some said to keep frozen and now think that I might’ve gotten some muffins spoiled, but on the other hand, how can you get a muffing spoiled? Some clear directions would be nice.
Packaging seemed solid, but the big Styrofoam box is not recyclable. All meals are wrapped in individual plastic wraps, again, not recyclable.
I have to admit that I didn’t try all the meals yet, but I tried a few. They are all edible, but not a single one was a wow:
- Mushroom Parmesan Soup with Chicken – 210 calories, 12g of fat, 18g of protein – one of the best, but small
- Cheeseburger soup – 230 calories, 14g fat, 18g protein – good taste, thick, a little too salty
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar – 210 calories, 8g fat, 15g protein – way too sweet, but filling. I had to drink water with it to overcome the sweetness
- Tropical Coconut Almond Bar – 210 calories, 3g fat, 8g protein –sticky, nutty, too sweet, great for on-the-go snack if you have water handy
- Dark Chocolate Ricotta Muffin – set of two – 190 calories, 65mg cholesterol, 13g protein – extremely dry, mild taste, good with raspberries and tea
- Blueberry Ricotta Breakfast Muffins - set of 2 – 200 calories, 70mg cholesterol, 13g protein – very flavorful, but dry, helps if you eat them with blueberries
- Creamy Cauliflower & Chicken – 240 calories, 13g fat, 5g fiber, 19g protein – filling, thick, pleasant taste
As we can see from these short descriptions, all foods were edible, but either too sweet or too salty for my taste. Others might feel differently about this matter. I imagine all those meals and entrees would be normal tasting for people who buy frozen foods from grocery stores. I like low calories and abundant protein in all of them, but not the taste.
In conclusion, I can eat South Beach Diet meals from time to time, but I would have huge trouble eating these foods all the time. I suppose veggie and fruit supplementation would help, but home cooked food is irreplaceable for me, until my kids are in college and I am totally lazy to cook, that is. On the other hand even in that case I would not like to eat frozen and dry foods like that all the time.