Shape Up People!!! : South Beach Diet



The Mirror (London, England); 8/2/2004


THE South Beach diet has taken the US by storm. Over five million slimmers including Bill Clinton and shapely actress Kim Cattrall already follow the plan.

Why? Because not only does it aid weight loss but it also banishes sugar cravings and boosts energy levels.

The diet works by reducing insulin production in the body. “Too much insulin leads to weight gain,” explains Dr Arthur Agatston, the creator of the South Beach plan.

“By cutting starches and sugars out of the diet, you stop sudden peaks in blood sugar that lead to too much insulin being produced.”

“When this happens sugar cravings that lead to overeating stop. You also trigger fat loss, particularly around the stomach where insulin deposits fat.”

But South Beach isn’t a no-carb diet like Atkins.

“South Beach focuses on eating the best carbs,” says Dr Agatston. “During the first two weeks these are mainly vegetables, but there’s no limit to the amount you can eat.”

Eat anything from the What You Can Munch list (below right).

No starchy carbohydrates like rice, bread, pasta or potatoes allowed.

No fruit for these two weeks.

No dairy products except low-fat cheeses allowed.

Don’t weigh or measure meals. Eat until you’re full, but not stuffed.

Eat snacks. They boost your metabolism aiding weight loss and reducing cravings.

Don’t skip fats like olive oil.

If you want a dessert, have sugar-free jelly, or a little low-fat ricotta cheese (mix with cocoa powder or vanilla extract).

You’re allowed up to 75 calories of any sugar-free boiled sweets a day.

Using these rules, you can eat anything you like and expect to lose 8 to 13lbs in two weeks. But we’ve made things easier for you with our exclusive Shape Up plan

based on Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet, which you can use for a week, or repeat for a 14-day programme.



Low-fat spread 63p

256g half-fat mild cheddar pounds 1.12

270g Patros feta cheese in brine pounds 1.25

12 economy fresh eggs 79p

200g cottage cheese 23p

200g 6% fat (extra light) soft cheese 79p

60g grated parmesan pounds 1.19

125g mozzarella ball 85p

170g reduced fat humous 75p


400g punnet cherry tomatoes 89p

1kg standard size tomatoes 88p

2 cucumbers 98p

Bag of celery 79p

2 romaine lettuces 89p

1 round lettuce 32p

500g bag mixed peppers 99p

250g green beans 79p

1 large aubergine 69p

Bag of spinach 99p

250g button mushrooms 75p

1 lemon 17p

Broccoli head (340g) 37p

3 garlic cloves (only one needed) 39p

Cauliflower 49p

Economy pack of 5 avocados 99p


Twin pack (2x 200g) John West tuna 68p

Roast turkey breast 5 slices pounds 1.19

4 economy skinless chicken breasts pounds 2.99

6 rashers unsmoked back bacon 99p

110g fresh peeled prawns 99p

105g can pink salmon 49p

325g lean steak pounds 1.95

150g (5 slices) lean ham pounds 1.69

1 fresh salmon steak (200g) 98p


500ml Pura 100% rapeseed veg oil 37p

100g pack almonds pounds 1.09

2 x 1 litre tomato juice pounds 1.18

170g tub of salsa 75p

1 small can (215g) chick peas 25p

250ml reduced fat mayonnaise 42p

Total cost: pounds 34.98 Cost per day: pounds 4.99


Day One Day Two

BREAKFAST: Glass of tomato juice. 1 egg scrambled with low-fat spread

SNACK: 1 chunk of half-fat cheddar

LUNCH: Salad of celery, cucumber and cherry tomatoes topped with canned tuna

SNACK: 1-2 slices of turkey, spread with mustard rolled-up in lettuce leaves

DINNER: Grilled chicken breast served with peppers and aubergine roasted in olive oil. Large green salad.

BREAKFAST: Lean back bacon served with grilled tomatoes and mushrooms

SNACK: Humous with slices of green, red and yellow pepper

LUNCH: Greek salad of feta, cucumber and tomato topped with olive or rapeseed oil and lemon

SNACK: Cottage cheese with cucumber slices

DINNER: Stir-fry of prawns with mixed vegetables

Day Three

BREAKFAST: Small glass of tomato juice. Omelette made from 1 egg, 2 whites, a little half-fat cheddar or low-fat, extra-light soft cheese and some onion

SNACK: 15 almonds

LUNCH: Tinned salmon served with a bed of lettuce, celery, cucumber and green pepper. Top with lemon juice.

SNACK: 1 chunk of half-fat cheddar

DINNER: Grilled lean steak, served with cauliflower mashed with soft cheese and green beans.

Day Four

BREAKFAST: 2 scrambled eggs and grilled mushrooms

SNACK: Celery sticks and cream cheese

LUNCH: Slices of low fat mozzarella, tomato and pesto. Large green salad

SNACK: 1-2 slices of chicken or turkey spread with salsa and wrapped around 2 slices of avocado

DINNER: Red pepper stuffed with low-fat cottage cheese and baked until soft. Large green salad.

Day Five

BREAKFAST: Lean ham, half-fat cheddar, cucumber and celery. Glass of tomato juice

SNACK: 15 almonds

LUNCH: Turkey spread and salsa filled with sliced avocado. Green beans and tomato slices

SNACK: Low-fat humous with cucumber slices

DINNER: Grilled salmon steak, green beans and grilled mushroom and spinach.

Day Six

BREAKFAST: Tomato juice. Poached egg, spinach sauteed in olive oil, grilled bacon

SNACK: Celery sticks and cottage cheese

LUNCH: Salad of spinach, cherry tomatoes and canned chick peas, slice of turkey

SNACK: Cottage cheese with cucumber slices

DINNER: Grilled chicken breast, grilled tomatoes, served with a large green salad

Day Seven

BREAKFAST: 1 egg yolk and 2-whites omelette with cheddar, asparagus and mushrooms. Tomato juice

SNACK: 2 slices of ham, mayo, pepper slices

LUNCH: Caesar salad: lettuce, dressing and parmesan. Grilled chicken

SNACK: 15 almonds

DINNER: Steak, cabbage sauteed in olive oil, broccoli, green beans.

What you can munch

Lean cuts of beef Skinless chicken or turkey

Lean ham, bacon or gammon All fish and shellfish

Low-fat cheeses including cheddar, edam, parmesan, mozzarella, cottage cheese Nuts Eggs Tofu

All vegetables except carrots, peas, pumpkin, corn, parsnips, beetroot.

Healthy fats like olive oil or rapeseed oil Any spices

Dr Arthur Agatston, the creator of the South Beach plan, answers your questions

Q It sounds so easy – what do people find hard about the plan?

A People can feel a little weak for the first few days, sometimes due to caffeine withdrawal (coffee and tea aren’t recommended on phase 1), which will fade after a few days. But the most common problem is people not eating enough. You should never feel hungry on South Beach. If you do, increase your portions. Some people also suffer constipation – you can avoid this by adding a fibre supplement to your diet. And drink plenty of water.

Q Does this plan put me into ketosis like Atkins does?

A No. Ketosis only occurs when you completely deplete your body’s carbohydrate stores. You are taking in enough carbs from the vegetables in the plan to prevent this. This is important, as while your body can burn your fat stores for energy in ketosis, your brain needs sugar.

In ketosis, the brain gets sugar from the muscles, meaning you lose lean muscle tissue which results in your metabolism slowing down.

Q Is the South Beach diet safe?

A The safety of the main two principles of the diet – eating wholegrain carbs over sugary ones and choosing essential fats instead of saturated ones – are not disputed by dieticians.

Phase 1 is a strict diet but it’s only designed to be used for two weeks.

After this you focus on eating a healthy, varied diet that’s full of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains and is low in saturated fat and sugars. The food is both healthy and enjoyable.


Kim Cattrall

As well as following the South Beach diet, Kim Cattrall’s secret to staying slim is going to the gym and really working. “At the gym I do about an hour and really sweat,” she says. “I train myself and do cardio-vascular, light weights and stretches.” She also advocates drinking lots of water (not fruit juice), avoiding sweets, fatty meats and wheat, but not depriving herself. “I say ‘if I have this tonight then I shouldn’t have something tomorrow’,” she explains.

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton lost 35 pounds of his post-White House podge on the South Beach diet and when asked about his weight loss secret, said: “No beer”. But he’s also reported to have given up junk food and has been working out with a German personal trainer.

Bette Midler

The Stepford Wives star Bette Midler owes her recent weight loss to the South Beach diet and cutting out all bad carbs including white bread and sugar. “The funny thing is some days the weight just falls off,” she says. “Three days ago I was 116 pounds and now I’m 113 pounds.”

Nicole Kidman

Bette’s Stepford Wives co-star Nicole Kidman is also said to have followed the principles of the South Beach diet, but claims her secret to looking good is more about wearing sunscreen, moisturising her skin and eating pies and chocolate!

Oprah Winfrey

As well as being a big fan of the South Beach diet, Oprah Winfrey believes exercising is essential if you want to lose weight. As a result, the TV host has worked with an inspirational exercise physiologist Bob Greene and claims: “It’s not about dieting, it’s about changing your life.”

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