What is the South Beach Diet?


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The South Beach Diet, which has been said to be quite similar to other known diets, such as Atkins, Medifast, Paleo Diet, and Glycemic-Index Diet, was presented by Dr. Arthur Agatston in his book, The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss. According to Dr. Agatston, the South beach Diet is aimed to encourage weight loss through a well-balanced diet.

The South Beach Diet centers around the balance between good carbohydrates and healthy fats. The meal plan actually involves foods low in carbohydrates, high in protein content, and healthy fats. Essentially, this means consuming mostly vegetables, eggs, fishes, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean protein, and nuts.

The diet plan is made up of three phases:

Phase 1 takes 2 weeks to complete. It is designed to restrict cravings, kick-starting weight loss.

Phase 2 is purposely for creating a lasting, steady weight loss. It is recommended to stay in this phase until such time that a healthy weight is achieved.

Phase 3, often referred to as the Lifestyle Phase, allows you to maintain your new, healthy weight.

Food List: What You Can Eat

To give you a full grasp of what you are about to get yourself into, here's a list of what you are allowed to eat, the South Beach Diet style.


Only the following drinks are allowed in Phase 1: caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and team diet sugar-free sodas, soymilk, sugar-free powdered drink mixes, and low-sugar vegetable juices. However, caffeine must be limited to 1-2 cups a day.

Alcohol, such as light beer and red or white wine, can only be integrated into the diet during Phase 2.

Condiments and Sauces

Condiments and sauces that contain no sugar and saturated fats are allowed.

Dairy Products

Dairy consumption is restricted to sugar-free, fat-free, and low fat dairy products and cheeses, such as 1% milk, plain yogurt, etc.

Dairies with artificial sweeteners reinstated in the 2nd phase of the diet.

Fats and Oils

Monosaturated oils (like canola and extra-virgin olive oils), polyunsaturated oils, and monosaturated-polyunsaturated oil mixtures are most recommended in the South Beach Diet.

Foods with healthy fats, such as avocados, olives, vegetable oil spread, low-fat and regular mayo, and low-sugar salad dressings made with olive or canola oils are also allowed.


Whole fruits are only added, gradually, after Phase 1. This is because fruits are high in  natural sugar.

More sugary ones, like dates, figs, fruit juices, lychees, watermelons, pineapples, and raisins, are also restricted until you reach Phase 3.


Legumes are greatly recommended in the South Beach Diet.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are allowed  but in limited amounts.


Protein sources allowed in the South Beach Diet are those that are low in saturated fat. Therefore, this diet will consist mostly of lean meat, soy-based meat substitutes, etc.

Sweet Treats

Any food that contains sugar is not allowed in Phase 1. Even so, there are still sugar-free treats you can enjoy to satisfy your sweet tooth, like hard candies, popsicles, and gelatin.

On Phase 2, your options will already include dark chocolates and sugar-free or fat-free pudding.


Low carb, fiber-rich vegetables are permitted in Phase 1.

Other vegetables, such as carrots, green peas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash, turnip root, and yams, are only reintegrated in your diet at the beginning of Phase 2.

Beets, corn, and white potatoes, on the other hand, are only allowed in the 3rd phase.

Whole Grains and Starches

Absolutely no starches on Phase 1. Upon starting Phase 2, whole grains (barley, quinoa, brown rice, breads made with whole grains, pastas, etc.), cereals that are low in sugar, and starchy vegetables (sweet potato, pumpkin, and winter squash) can be added to your diet.


For the full South Beach Diet Review, please see link.

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