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South Beach Diet

Dr. Agaston teaches you how you can get a South Beach body.

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QUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • Established: 1995
  • Founder: Dr. Arthur Agatston
  • Headquarters: Miami Beach, Florida
  • Accessibility: Online, Books
  • Diet Type: High protein, Low carb
  • Gender: Male and Female

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If you're looking for a diet plan that has grown wildly popular over the past few years, gives your eating habits a dramatic makeover, and shares the name of one of the world's favorite beaches, then the South Beach Diet is for you. Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist, created this friendly contrast to other prohibitive weight-loss plans and offers a chance to achieve success where you might have previously failed.

The South Beach Diet differs from its low-carb competitor Atkins, in that it restricts saturated fats, which are linked with health problems like heart disease and high cholesterol. It promises that cravings for sugars, sweets and other carbohydrates will disappear as you go along because the diet is supposed to keep blood sugar levels maintained.

The South Beach Diet has three separate phases in which you'll wean yourself away from certain foods and incorporate other South Beach Diet "friendly" foods. The diet promises that you'll lose 8-12 pounds in the first two weeks as long as you adhere to the guidelines.

  • The South Beach Diet supports a clean way of eating that is void of refined sugars and trans fats
  • Its emphasis on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and heart-healthy fats is an eating plan that is full of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids
  • Support from the medical science community
  • Thousands of satisfied clients
  • Updated its research in the 2008 release"South Beach Diet: Supercharged"
  • Has a maintenance plan
  • Named #5 in the Best Commercial Diets by US News, 2011
  • Research shows that unless you're diabetic, sugar levels actually remain stable even if you eat a sugary candy bar
  • Many South Beach Diet food products contain sugar-alcohols, which may hard to tolerate
  • Not very vegetarian friendly
  • Its elimination of sugars, certain fruits like bananas and other carbohydrates make it difficult to maintain
  • Science behind Dr. Agatston's assertions about certain foods and their ability to raise blood sugar levels or put on weight is inaccurate
  • Original plan doesn't offer much for exercise guidelines

A sampling of feedback and experiences shared by our community.

I am eating really satisfying food, which is a real treat, and consistently losing weight. Most importantly, Phase 1 has largely eliminated my sugars cravings, and that is a great relief! It's an amazing, healthy food plan. - Arlayna 5/28/11

Unless you are severe obese you are not going to loose as much weigh as the diet promises. I lost 2 pounds in the first week. It is really hard with no carbs at all. The cravings DO NOT go away. It just gets worse. I didn't cheat at all. I have to loose 20 pounds. My cholesterol is high and the dctor suggested the diet. I literally dream with carbs and I think that I would have lost the same with a different diet not soooo restrictive. - Tiredofdiets 2/1/11

A real quick success story. A coworker and I started the plan in February, he 2 weeks before I. As of today I am down 120lbs. He has reached his goal and is down 135lbs. I did not introduce an exercise plan untill I reached my first 100. The first 2 weeks suck, but once you break the cravings, everything becomes routine. - William 10/21/10

This is the healthiest eating plan I've ever seen. Tons of vegetables even in Phase 1, many of which provide vitamin C. There is meat, veggies and fudgesicles from the beginning and the short 2 week elimination of grains and fruit is a challenge the first few days, BUT any change of habit is. - Bree 8/22/09

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Other videos

South Beach YouTube Channel

South Beach Diet Meal Plan

South Beach Diet Workout


The first phase lasts for two weeks and has you remove starches like bread, pasta and rice, potatoes, fruits, milk, yogurt, honey and baked goods. Sugars are completely eliminated. During the first phase of South Beach, you'll enjoy three balanced meals and some snacks that should include lean meats and fish, eggs, low-fat cheese, fresh vegetables, beans and nuts.

Phase two of the South Beach Diet will allow you to slowly re-introduce fruits, whole-grain breads and pastas. You'll choose just one carbohydrate and include that in one meal each day for one week. You are encouraged to wait a few days and if there are no noticeable effects, introduce one more healthy carbohydrate. Continue this until you're able to successfully have two or three healthy carbohydrates each day. Phase two will continue until you meet your goal weight.

You'll begin the maintenance, or third, phase of South Beach once you've met your goal weight. It's here that you'll put to practice all that you learned in phases one and two.

The book and [website][1] offer many South Beach-friendly recipes. There is also a complete line of South Beach Diet foods that can be purchased in your grocery store from cereals to frozen meals. But many of the nutrition bars and snack items contain artificial sweeteners, which have been known to induce gastrointestinal problems.

If you become a member of the South Beach Diet web site, you will have access to specific meal plans for each phase of the program. You will also have access to a daily menu that you can customize to meet your specific tastes. The meals are only suggestions, but help give you some ideas to keep things fresh. Due to the first phase of the program being only two weeks, many of the recipes you will find for the South Beach Diet are for phase two of the program, which you stay on until you reach your goal weight. Below is a sample day of eating on the South Beach Diet during the second phase of the program:

  • Breakfast – Greet the Sun Breakfast Pizza; coffee or tea with low-fat or nonfat milk and a sugar substitute; Vegetable juice cocktail
  • Snack – Spicy Nut Mix
  • Lunch – Crisp Green Salad; Whole-Wheat Pizza Margherita
  • Snack – Veggies with Cilantro Pesto Dip
  • Dinner – Grilled Salmon; Edamame Salad; Baked Tomatoes with Basil and Parmesan; Mixed Field Greens Salad
  • Dessert – Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

The South Beach Diet encourages you to incorporate a regular exercise routine as part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Exercise not only helps you lose weight faster, but it can also make you feel healthier, stronger and more energized.

Working out not only helps you get past weight-loss plateaus and lose weight faster; it can also make your heart stronger. Dr. Agatston recommends that that you do at least 20 minutes of interval walking every other day of the week.

The South Beach Diet website features numerous articles and tips on how to fit in fitness into your daily routine regardless of how busy you are.

The updated version of the South Beach Diet called South Beach Diet Supercharged offers a fairly detailed exercise plan. The fitness plan works on areas of the core, cardio and strength and flexibility. All of these areas are important to shape a fit and healthy body. Online members will automatically have access to the Fitness Club which includes:

  • A daily walking routine
  • Hundreds of Pilates-based core movements including pictures and step-by-step videos
  • Exercises for every level from beginner to advanced

Simply incorporating the fitness program along with the South Beach Diet will allow you to tone your abs, boost your energy and help you break through plateaus.

See the South Beach Diet Supercharged review


Common questions asked about the South Beach Diet by our community. Click each to see the full answer

What is the cost of the South Beach Diet program? - Mary 7/5/11

What kinds of food can you eat on the South Beach Diet? - Yoga Jim 2/21/11


You must wonder if the South Beach Diet is just another marketing attempt to motivate folks who are desperate to lose weight? With its strong assertions and its complete line of food products hitting grocery store shelves everywhere, makes you question how much of its appeal is fact or fiction? The truth is that any diet that cuts calories will help you lose weight. The South Beach Diet is no different.

It's encouragement of eating vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats is admirable. Its elimination of white sugar and refined carbohydrates is equally laudable albeit challenging to follow. And many people have had a lot luck losing weigh following the South Beach Diet. But the South Beach Diet itself has some scientific flaws and many nutritionists would argue that its promise of losing 8-12 pounds in 14 days is a bit aggressive and may not be able to stand up against the test of time.

But if you've got a lot of willpower and don't mind knowing that you might be buying into another fad diet, then this might be just the diet for you.

See the Official South Beach Diet Website


View About South Beach Diet Slideshow

7 Weight Loss Plans Fit for Fall

The Cost of Losing 20 Pounds


About the South Beach Diet at WebMD

South Beach Diet Recipes

South Beach Diet at Wikipedi

South Beach Diet Review at Mayo Clinic

South Beach Diet Contact Information
Common Misspellings

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(Page 1 of 7, 137 total comments)

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Im not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later. All the best abebgbdceada

posted May 12th, 2014 4:34 am

Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog! degfcaeeccda

Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog! degfcaeeccda

posted May 11th, 2014 6:35 pm

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I've been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks, I'll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site? aggccbkcdfdc

posted May 1st, 2014 7:35 pm

Rebecca Fore Hayes


I like the diet itself, but don't sign up for online site. It is deceptive and they bill you for months (nonrefundable) if you have trouble canceling within 7 days (it clearly states 8). The contend that the entire amount is non-refundable, but if you complain enough you might get $30 back. Go to SparkPeople instead.

posted Apr 30th, 2014 2:09 pm



This is a very healthy plan that can be followed easily for life (...if you don't forget the goal is "healthy" when you're with your friends). Those who have the most to lose will see the greatest weight loss in Phase 1.
This is why it's important to track inches. In 1 1/2 weeks, I only lost 3 pounds, however, I lost 1 1/2 inches off my waist. As promised, that quickly I noticed a positive difference in the way my clothes fit. I am back to the first phase because I felt good, looked good and began overeating and not exercising. The failure was definitely not with South Beach. At my age, I will always have to be vigilant about the types and amounts of food I eat. It's just real life in the Middle Ages.
After a time, this plan is so simple because if you eat just the healthy foods: fruits, vegetables and lean meat, you will never count another calorie. Your tastes will adapt rather quickly to the new foods. You won't like the bloated way the refined carbs make your face look and your body feel. Any time you strive to change life long habits, it is an effort. This is worth it.

posted May 6th, 2013 2:21 pm



I absolutely love this diet! Easy to follow. 9.8 lbs lost in two weeks. I went with this diet because I have hypertension, and this will lead to a healthy heart. Can't wait to see even more results!

posted Dec 12th, 2012 10:35 pm



SAVE YOUR MONEY and buy the book or print what you need from the site during the trial. NOT WORTH IT.

posted Jun 6th, 2012 5:54 pm



How Not To Get A Migraine On the South Beach Diet? I love the South Beach Diet and have tried it many times. I am ready to jump back on it but I always get horrible migraines about 3 days into it, and they take forever to go away. I know its the sugar withdrawal, but does anyone have any ideas on how to stop the migraine from happening in the first place? I would really appreciate it. :)

posted May 28th, 2012 12:35 pm



I lost 3 lbs the first week and nothing the second week. I am eating a yogurt or two a day, but sticking to everything else...other than a vodka once in awhile....thought it would be better than this. I haven't be able to excercise though, and am wondering if this is why.

posted May 23rd, 2012 7:21 pm



My mum has to get her blood glucose levels into a normal range so she doesnt get put on insulin. she is obese (her goal is to lose 1kg a week, so 15kg in 3 months). We have been on this diet for 3 weeks now. her BGL is now 7.6 after food (sugary almonds the cheater), compared to her fasting BGL of 10.8mmol/L. She's lost 3kg. I have not lost weight but I have lost and 2 inches off my hips (but that is food alone). Her health has already started to improve. and she is no longer feeling the draining effects of diabetes despite the lack of wheat based carbs.

posted Oct 17th, 2011 11:42 pm

gonna lose it


South Beach Diet--will I lose? I'm on day 6 and haven't followed the book day by day precisely, but also haven't eaten any of the "foods to avoid". At times, I've felt weird, sort of light-headed, irritable, low energy. I grab a handful of almonds or some type of nuts or eat a teaspoon of peanut butter and this usually helps. I'm missing fruit and bread. I ordinarily eat healthy, no fast food, creamy sauces, fatty things-- and have never struggled with weight. About 6 years ago, I steadily began to put on the pounds and have gained 40 lbs over these years. I'm 47 and wearing a sz 14, feeling frumpy and middle aged. Not ready for this! So I'm going to stick to it but I'm hoping that I will lose on this diet. Will give updates and appreciate the feedback here. Thanks!

posted Jun 11th, 2011 12:33 pm


I've struggled with my weight all of my life and have prayed for a way to stop yo-yo dieting. I know it's unhealthy and fear it's doing great harm to my body. I actually had a dream that I believe was inspired by God to try the South Beach diet. I am currently on day 7 and have lost 6.5 lbs! I haven't had any cravings for sugary foods but eat a tasty fudgesicle every other night or so just so I won't feel deprieved. I love the fact that it has a maintenance phase and look forward to reaching my goal weight of 145 lbs and wearing my shorts again this summer! Stick to it guys! We're all in this together :)

posted May 30th, 2011 7:56 pm

Arlayna Alcock

I am eating really satisfying food, which is a real treat, and consistently losing weight. Most importantly, Phase 1 has largely eliminated my sugars cravings, adn that is a great releif! It's an amazing, healthy food plan.

posted May 28th, 2011 12:56 pm



Just started Phase 2 yesterday and I am happy to report that I have lost 9 lbs and almost 3 inches off my waist. Wow! Can't think of of a better motivation to keep it going!

posted Apr 17th, 2011 11:30 pm

Big Al


you know what they can't call me big al anymore because i have lost 150lbs on the south beach diet. just kiding! i havn't started yet but it sounds like a good idea so i am going to try it.

posted Apr 14th, 2011 8:52 am



I am on day 6 of phase 1. I have not cheated and have exercised daily (at least a walk). The first 3 days sucked! I was craving sugary carbs and felt like my energy took a dive. It has become easier each day. I'm losing the cravings and not wanting to eat shortly after my meals. I feel so much lighter and am regaining my energy. Eat beans to prevent constipation (not the canned sugary kind). I will update at the start of phase 2. Good luck to all!

posted Apr 7th, 2011 12:27 pm

Missy Vee

I need help or a jump start and SBD worked for me a couple of years ago, so I started back on the diet yesterday. I was so full from the food that I'm eating my dinner from yesterday today for my lunch. My thing is sticking with the food preparation. I have 20 lbs to lose. It's SBD or blood pressure meds. I'm sticking with SBD.

posted Mar 30th, 2011 11:42 am



It's very interesting

posted Mar 24th, 2011 9:19 am



I started this diet last Monday, and it is now a week later and I have lost 6 lbs. I have not had any cravings. I exercise a bit every day, but I had been doing that before and had not seen weight loss like this. It definitely is working for me, I cannot believe I am actually losing weight. I'll give you an idea of what I have been eating: Breakfast: scrambled eggs (3), and cottage cheese..... lunch: Cold meat (turkey), sliced tomato, some avocado.... supper: Meat loaf and greek salad.... dessert: sugar free jello.... or yogurt..... I am not following it truly that strictly and am kinda going off by eating yogurt that has fruit in it... your only supposed to eat plane.... anyways, it is working for me because I didn't really have carb cravings before.. rarely ate bread or pasta because it just made me feel heavy and tired...... so that part wasn't hard.. the hard part is the sugar for me... so having something like sugar (jello) it beats the craving for me... and i love cottage cheese.. i could eat it all day... eggs kinda get boring... add some hot sauce. GOOD LUCK ALL you can do it!!!

posted Mar 14th, 2011 9:09 pm


I have followed the SB diet carefully for 10 days, and I have not lost a single pound. It sounds like I'm the first person ever to not succeed.

I'm 5'2" and 135 lbs, 29" waist. My goal is fairly modest. I just want to reach the middle of the normal weight range, or 115 lbs. Ideally, whenever I decide to have a baby, then I'll have some room to grow without getting overweight.

I do intense cardio for an average of ~45 min at least every other day (as I have for the past several years), and I am in the beginning stages of training for a triathlon. I ate pretty healthy before, but in an attempt to reduce fats and exercise a bit more over the past few months, I think I increased my carb intake a bit too much. So I started the SB diet. It was rough for a few days - really messed with the female hormones and menstrual cycle. I'm counting calories, too, and I'm limiting the fatty foods. I usually stay below 1400 cal/day. That makes it pretty restrictive.

I feel like I'm doing everything right. Why can't I lose any weight?? So frustrating.

posted Mar 14th, 2011 12:44 am


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