The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet has been referred to as a “friendlier” Atkins diet as well as being called The Zone Diet with an Atkins appetizer. Does it matter what it’s called as long as it works? With more than 350,000 subscribers to their online weight loss program , it would appear it doesn’t matter what you call it. It seems to be working.

The South Beach Diet Review

Written by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a renowned South Beach cardiologist, The South Beach phenomenon was never intended as a weight loss program.

Rather, it was designed to help improve his clients overall health. One of the side effects turned out to be dramatic weight loss. Up to 50 pounds in a few months for some. The official website claims that it is neither a low carb nor low fat diet. I view it as a hybrid program. A combination of two very effective diets – Atkins and The Zone.

healthy fruits

Following The South Beach Diet, you begin at Phase I. At this point you are definitely eating a low carb diet. The first phase of South Beach is designed to quash any reliance or addiction to carbohydrates. It is, by far, the most restrictive of the three phases. Mercifully, it only lasts two weeks.

During this period of time you eat “normal” amounts of fish, meat, poultry, eggs, cheese and nuts while eliminating all grain products, dairy, alcohol, sugar, fruit and potatoes. The book claims that you can expect to lose between 8 and 14 pounds in this two week period.

How does it achieve such results?

By doing what all other low carb diets do…

Controlling blood sugar and insulin levels.

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After reading about The South Beach Diet, my wife and I took part in Phase I and I can tell you that it really was quite easy to follow.

The limited nature of the first phase actually produced a feeling of freedom in that we didn’t have to spend much time planning or preparing our meals.

We basically ate a variety of meats and veggies prepared in different ways. We did notice a reduction in cravings for sugar. My wife was pleasantly surprised by the fact that she was completely caught off guard by her period.

Normally, she suffers from a couple of days of cramps, bloating and irritability beforehand. This month, she never saw it coming. Thankfully I suffered no PMS symptoms (of hers) either. ;> )

As for the weight loss claims, as of this writing (after 2 weeks), my wife has lost 6.5 pounds and I have lost 5 pounds and .75 inches around my waist.

I should add that I modified the program slightly by adding a banana in immediately after my weight training sessions.

With that said, I experienced high levels of energy during my workouts and was able to recover quickly.

You will find the South Beach Diet different from Atkins in that Dr. Agatston recommends limiting saturated fats. More emphasis is placed on leaner cuts of meat and getting a healthy supply of Omega-3 fats.

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Apparently there are many people who are unaware that the Atkins plan has four phases, similar to South Beach Diet.

Unfortunately, most people only talk about the most restrictive first phase or induction phase of Atkins.

The second phase in The South Beach Diet allows you to add in nearly any type of carbohydrate you choose, albeit in limited amounts.

In addition to small amounts of your favorite carbs, you will most definitely add back in some fruit (the more fiber the better). The goal of the second phase is to continue your weight loss and a more moderate pace – 1 to 2 pounds per week until you reach your goal.

The third and final phase of the South Beach Diet is where this diet resembles other more moderate eating plans such as The Zone orThe Formula 40/30/30.

You enter the third phase once you have achieved your weight loss goal. This is where you enter the maintenance phase and shift from being on a “diet” to “eating healthy”.

You are free to add carbs back into your life in “normal” amounts (less than the amounts that got you into weight trouble to begin with).



Childhood Asthma


Your child is not feeling well. He is coughing at night. She has to stop and catch her breath whenever she plays outside in the snow. His colds seem to last for weeks. She wants to quit soccer.


What’s going on?

You wonder if it could be asthma and you make an appointment to see your child’s health care provider. Before you go, it is important to talk to your child about how he/she is feeling. It is essential that you both clearly describe the symptoms, figure out when they occur and what seems to trigger them. Also, be prepared to tell your health care provider everything that you have tried to improve the symptoms (including over-the-counter or alternative medications) and whether they seemed to help or not.

Asthma is caused by overreacting airways that cause airway swelling and muscle contraction. It is primarily diagnosed by a history of recurrent symptoms: coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest pain or chest tightness. Usually a trigger that sets off the symptom(s) can be identified and the symptom(s) subside when treated with a quick relief asthma medication. Triggers include colds/viruses, cold air, exercise, smoke, odors, animal dander, dust mites, mold, and cockroaches.

The right medicine for asthma

Asthma medications come in many forms. Talk with your health care provider about the pros and cons of different medication administration devices and which is right for your child. Options for children include the dry powder inhaler, nebulizer/air compressor, and metered dose inhaler, which is administered through a chamber with a oneway valve.

Because the correct administration technique is different for each device, it is critical that you and your child understand the proper technique required for each. Correct and consistent administration is necessary to get the medication into the lungs so it can work. Kids sometimes end up on more types or higher doses of medicine just because they do not take their medication properly or don’t think they need to use a chamber.

It is important to know all your child’s medications, just as you need to know your child’s symptoms and triggers: the brand and generic names of the medications, which is the longterm control medicine and which is quick-relief. Long-term control medications need to be taken daily in order to work to keep airway inflammation under control.


Quick-relief medication like albuterol may be taken before exercise and up to every four hours as needed (or as prescribed by your child’s health care provider). It is also important to keep track of how often your child is experiencing symptoms and how often your child is taking his/her quick-relief medication.

If your child experiences asthma symptoms and takes quick-relief medication more than twice a week, this is an indication that his/her asthma may be poorly controlled.