Hi Buffy! Check out the Stickies on info on getting started.. Planning is key!
Here are some of the differences between Atkins and SBD..Comparing oranges to apples
1) Fats: Atkins does not make a distinction about the type of FATS consumed... Trans and Sat Fats are discussed in the SB book and are to be kept at a minimum . "Good Unsat Mono and Poly fat consumption are encouraged within reason. (There is a guide to limits -see the Stickies section.)
2)Carbs: Atkins - There is no distinction between Carb types and the effect of them on your health. Atkins limits all carbs including vegetables and whole grains. With SB consumption of good carbs are part of the healthy eating plan .Pretty much unlimited green veggies and legumes, --and as you move to Phase 2, adding more veggies... (in general root vegetables are limited as well as corn) and adding in Whole grains like sourdough, wheat, oats--(essentially unprocessed/whole foods) are allowed on South beach -not on Atkins.
Atkins: provides for very limited vegetables and carbs in general - and Whole grains are not discussed at all.
3) Southbeach "focus" on lower GI load foods to stabilize body production of insulin in order to control and maintain a level of insulin in your body -doing so, you do not have the sugar spikes in your blood that contribute to feeling "false" hunger..
Atkins: maintain very low carb intake to promote the body release of fat to use as fuel and place you in ketonesis.
4) Southbeach: Discusses and promotes eating low sat fat lean cuts of meat..
Atkins: no discussion on meat types
The staples of Atkins: eggs, cheese, meat -- minimal grains,fruits and veggies
SBD: eggs. LF cheese, dairies, and meats, whole grains, most fruits and veggies.
All diets work if you stick with them.. the thing is :what can you adapt to as a lifestyle What is healthy for you? What can you do long term?
What works best: hmm: everybody is different.. What "works best" is what you can do for a life time.. I personally did Atkins and gained 7 pounds in 2 weeks .. my husband lost 7. I didnt feel good, and I knew it was not for me as a way of eating for a lifetime.
My advice . Get the South beach book, read it, see if it makes sense to you. Your weight loss may be slower.than Atkins ..but it works..and it to me promotes a healthy balanced way of eating for life.