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The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston

The South Beach Diet

The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss

by Arthur Agatston

Title Details

Abridged Edition
Running Time
2 Hrs. 17 Min.
User Rating
  4.1  Stars Based on 4 ratings


The verdict is in: those simple carbs we've been living on are killing us. For good health, we've got to get our blood sugar under control and stop the incessant cravings. Or so says Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of The South Beach Diet. The first half of the book details the science behind the diet. Most of the explanations revolve around why things you thought were healthy—-orange juice, wheat toast, carrots—-are actually evil. To avoid blood sugar surges, Agatston created a modified carbohydrate plan, recommending plenty of high-fiber foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats, while cutting bread, rice, pastas, and fruits. Major differences from other diets include a lack of concern over portion size and a serious indifference to exercise. Feeling full while on a diet is a beautiful thing, but it seems odd that a cardiologist buries his exercise recommendations in a solitary sentence.

The last half of the book covers his three-stage plan; daily diets are mixed with recipes, some of which are from South Beach restaurant chefs. The most restrictive period lasts just two weeks, enough time to stabilize your urges and lose a few pounds; stage two adds fruits and a handful of other carbs, while stage three is meant to last the remainder of your life, with occasional lapses for white bread or birthday cake. While the diet is sound, the book could be better organized. The first half mixes scientific study with anecdote in a seemingly random way, while the mix of meal plans and recipes can be confusing. Still, the recipes are varied and tasty, and you'll never feel deprived, unless you currently happen to live by bread alone.

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Reviews & Ratings
User Reviews         Rate this title  

A healthier alternative to Atkins...
Reviewer LOLJPB
 February 17, 2006
General Content: The South Beach Diet has become very popular in recent months. It appears to be a more sensible, healthier version of the low-carb diet popularized by Dr. Atkins. I’m happy to see its success and am encouraged that it seems to be substantial and easier to follow than just a typical fad diet. Having said that, I don’t think the South Beach Diet is perfect. In my opinion it still encourages the consumption of too much meat and dairy. If South Beach were modified to encourage a reduction through the use of soy proteins, more nuts, beans and legumes, etc., I’d say it might be the closest thing to the best diet going.

Although South Beach is solid as a diet, I thought the content of this audiobook left a lot to be desired. If you’re looking for a detailed description of how to go on the South Beach Diet, you won’t find it here. There are some descriptions of typical meals but nothing complete enough to get a person going on the diet. I’m guessing that the book contains this information but it seems strange it wouldn’t have been included on the audio version of the book. Instead, some of the information that is included doesn’t seem particularly relevant. For instance, a rather lengthy story is included about how the South Beach Diet became popular. If you’re listening to this book you probably care a lot less about that and a lot more about the diet itself. In some ways the book seemed like a promotional tool for the diet rather than an informational one.

So while I liked what content that was included and do think highly of the diet itself, I wasn’t a huge fan of this audiobook. And I am surprised that an unabridged version isn’t available, given the huge success of the South Beach Diet book. If you’re planning on doing South Beach you’ll probably need to pick up the book in addition to this title.

Audio-Specific Content: I listened to the abridged (two CD) version of this book. As alluded to above, I thought the abridgement of this book was mediocre. More information about the details of the diet should have been included. Also, the audio quality of this recording wasn’t. The first two thirds of the book seemed to have been recorded at a very low volume and I had to turn my CD player up to its max volume just to listen.

More Details

  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: T003244
Available On
Audio CD
2 Discs
2 Tapes