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Which diet is right for you? 13 plans explained

South Beach Diet

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South Beach Diet

Created by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon, the South Beach Diet is the happy medium between low-fat diets and high-protein diets — although it ultimately leans more toward the protein-happy side of things. It is based on the premise of replacing "bad carbs" (like refined ones) and "bad fats" (like trans fats) with "good carbs" (like whole grains) and "good fats" (like omega-3). That said, carbs such as potatoes, fruit, bread, cereal, rice, pasta, beets, carrots and corn are forbidden at first, and some are discouraged forever.

Like many diets, the South Beach Diet comes in phases, this time three of them. The first phase bans all sugars, processed carbohydrates, fruits and some higher-glycemic vegetables as well. By the third phase, the dieter will have mastered the foundation and be able to maintain the diet changes and weight loss indefinitely.