Both the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet are quite popular and both are based on sound medical research.
The objective in both Atkins and South Beach is to change your eating pattern so that once the desired weight goal is reached; it can be maintained indefinitely with very little effort.
The approach is basically the same, but there are a couple of differences that can be noted between the two.
The initial two-week stage of both plans calls for a drastic reduction of carbohydrates in a person’s diet. This is meant to reduce the craving for sweets by ‘training’ the body to burn fat instead of sugar.
Once this is accomplished, many of the restricted or forbidden foods can be reintroduced into the diet, but consumed in much smaller quantities than previously.
One of the chief differences in the two diets is the South Beach emphasizes on the value of “good fats” where as the Atkins diet stresses a high protein, high fat approach in its long-term plan.
South Beach makes more of a differentiation between the saturated fats found in meat and monounsaturated fats from foods such as nuts and olive oil.
The Atkins diet recommends a variety of fats, and one much-publicized source is butter, which the South Beach plan strongly discourages. However, both programs encourage a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
The other obvious difference in the two plans is the way carbohydrates are measured.
With the Atkins diet, carbs are counted by the gram. With South Beach, they are measured by size and number of portions, which makes keeping track easier for many dieters.