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South Beach Diet

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

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

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

south beech diet, Southbeach diet, Sobe, SBD, South Beach, South Beech Diet, South Beach Deit, southbeach diet,

Related Diets: Atkins Advantage, Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet Supercharged, Low-Carb Diet, Sugar Busters!

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(Page 3 of 7, 137 total comments)


I started this diet last week and absolutely love it. I use to be at the appropriate weight for my height, but then during the summer I didn't keep up with the calories/fat/carbs and took vacations and ate out a whole lot more than I normally would. So, I gained about 15 pounds. I got the cookbook and started the diet and so far lost 3 pounds, which is really encouraging for the first week. I also started back at going to the gym (something else I slacked off on this summer) I have about 12 pounds to go. I know I got it with this diet. =)

posted Aug 21st, 2010 5:16 pm


I've always been up and down with my weight. Family Reunion came around this year and I had to follow a diet plan I knew would shed the pounds. South Beach. I've followed this plan three years ago when I lost 50lbs. I must agree with everyone that the foods are expensive...but the weight feels good coming off. However, I started off weighing 198lbs before the reunion. In a month time I dropped down to 175lbs. It feels great. *Another twenty-five more pounds to go. Thank you South Beach Diet,!.

posted Aug 13th, 2010 1:07 pm


So i started the SBD and today is day 3!!! its actually really hard not to eat the bad food that i love especially when im at work. Everyone at my work loves to go out for lunch and eat pasta, pizza and so on. But there has not been any change in my weight yet.... hopefully i will see a change by day 7. I am doing this because i am getting married in 2 months and im giving it one last go!. Cross your fingers for me people!!! any advice?!?!?

posted Aug 13th, 2010 12:13 pm


I've tried the South Beach diet in the past and lost 30 lbs over a three month period. I almost have given up on losing weight, but I decided to try the South Beach diet again. I started the South Beach on July 12th and have only lost 5 lbs. I know carbs are not good for women over 50, they seem to trigger appetite and somehow I retain water. I'm going to stick with the South Beach diet and not give up, even though it promises that you will lose 8-13 pounds in the first two weeks. I know that promise came through when I was younger. The 5 lbs weight loss vs 13 lbs weight loss, shows me what I am up against. I am grateful to even lose 5 lbs and not gain 5 lbs. I will check back in two weeks to give an update.

posted Jul 22nd, 2010 10:43 am


I've lost two stone (13lbs in the first ten days), the weight loss is great but the best part is that I have not felt hungry since day one and my energy levels are amazing. I lead a busy 'city' lifestyle and travel frequently, the increase in energy levels have saved both my sanity and schedule!! I also genuinely do not crave carbs or sugar anymore. fantastic diet, a little will power in the early stages is required though!

posted Jul 4th, 2010 10:41 am

Margaret Forst

The foods on the diet are very expensive. The recipes are for 4 persons. As an individual everything must be reduced to feed one person. I bought the book but find it difficult to use because each day of phase 1 calls for different foods and small amounts of items cannot be purchased. If you work and need to prepare the foods it takes too long. I am unhappy with the diet!

posted Jun 14th, 2010 8:03 am

Bob Pure

Two weeks in I lost 16 pounds and am already noticeably sleeker. Belt moved in two notches. Collar now comfortable with a tie on. Brilliant.

I have been a carb junkie but I am not really missing them now 18 days into this diet.

I am ramping up an exercise regime starting today , I feel confident in this now I have lost some initial weight. I am very happy with this diet so far !

posted May 25th, 2010 1:21 am


South Beach is not a FAD diet nor is it a low carb diet. While there may be discussion on how valid the glycemic index is in weight reduction, I have found in avoiding high glycemic foods I have been able to stop cravings and hunger generated by sugar spikes.

I have just celebrated my 3rd year on South Beach and it has helped me change my lifestyle into choosing foods that are better for me. I was suffering angina, High blood pressure and low energy. All this things have disappeared due to my new lifestyle.

The South Beach Supercharged book does indeed have a huge exercise componant in it and acknowledges that exercise as a daily lifestyle is equally beneficial, not only in burning calories but in toning core muscles.

The Phased approach also helps one understand that falling off the wagon one meal or one day is not failure and lack of willpower. It is life. Things happen. What is important is to have a plan that will work during all those unexpected stressors.

There are always those looking for a quick fix but if you seek support on any of the South Beach website forums they will tell you to expect 1-2 Lbs loss per week. The first phase may be the largest loss in a week l, but much of that is usually water loss.

What I have also found interesting is that the principals of the South Beach Diet are basic principals that folks now from Dr. Oz to Bob Green are expousing. It is becomming the new language of healthful dieting designed for long term results.

posted May 18th, 2010 12:22 pm


I've been following the South Beach strategy for 7 months now and have lost 44 pounds. More importantly to me, my blood sugar is now normal. I have cut all but whole grains from my diet, do not eat sugar and rely on protein, whole grains, fruit and veges. I feel great and healthier than I have in years. I also exercise doing lap swimming most days of the week.

I think SB is a sound and healthy eating plan that I know I can stick with for life. And thanks to SB, that life will be healthier and hopefully, longer. :-)<

posted May 17th, 2010 9:23 am


I'm 53 years old and first started the Glycemic Index diet. I lost 8 pounds in 2 weeks. Then I stalled for 3 weeks. I decided to try the South Beach diet and in the first week I lost 8 pounds. I feel like I'm flushing all the bad stuff out of my system. I think I'm getting my metabolism back on track and it feels great.

posted Feb 28th, 2010 12:25 pm


i love this diet i find it easy 2 follow and i dont think the foods 4 this diet is expensive like some people siad ive went from 242ibs to 226 in the last 3-4 weeks i havent gianed anything back even on those off days i had i followed this diet before about 2 babys ago lol and lose 50 pounds and kept it off untill i gained most of it back do to being now iiam back on it and ive been very successful though all the stress and bizziness in my life i have 4 kids and they even like some of the phase 1 meals i think south beach is great 4 the whole family....

posted Feb 3rd, 2010 5:29 pm

Milo's Mom

I have stuck to Phase 1 of the diet, pretty much to the letter, for almost three weeks and I've lost all of 6 pounds. I don't exercise enough, but only 6 pounds?? I'm 5 feet tall, 53 years old, and 20 -25 pounds overweight. I am also sick of the sight and smell of eggs and chicken, and going broke -- I lost my job several months ago and didn't realize how much this diet would set me back financially, as normally I cannot afford meat or fish, and infrequently chicken. I was mostly into brown rice and vegetables and fruit (and candy) before. But I'm finding that the elimination of sugar and carbohydrates has had a marked improvement on my mood swings, and that alone is reason enough to stick with this.

posted Feb 1st, 2010 4:25 pm

Zerlina Demei

Did it twice and the kilo's never came back!

posted Jan 17th, 2010 7:28 pm


I've only been on the SBD for 6 days and have already lost 7.5 pounds. This is also with exercising 30 minutes/day. The only downside is, it's expensive to eat so healthy and if you don't have enough of the "right foods" in the house it's easy to become so hungry. It's easy to get tired of the same foods so you really have to keep variety in your snacks, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I also find that I've had diarrhea every day since I started this diet. I'm sure these are just initial symptoms that will go away.

posted Jan 10th, 2010 5:21 pm


So for the person who did not lose weight (D-) it is because of your V8 youve been drinking ! those things have TONS of salt!!
Anyways... I was on the south beach diet followed the rules and actually ended up losing 6 pounds a month. It made me think well if i eat this then i will just end up wanting more & craving more. Which was definatley true. I now have a baby & gained all my weight back (25 pounds) still trying to get those stubborn pounds off! Ive decided today to start doing the south beach diet again. Thank God i kept the book! i am really excited, because it is seems to be getting hype still. & i dont see why it wouldnt. I was wondering why no one was talking about it for a while until i looked up diets on the internet and of course this diet popped up. I just hope i have the same motivation as i did back in the day... :-)

posted Dec 27th, 2009 11:46 pm


I don't know who to write to, but I just created a recipe for the South Beach Diet. I enjoy cooking. The recipe is (Stuffed Calamara) (squid). My original one is stuffed with bread crumb stuffing, but I just created another one. I used a can of drained salmon, I blended it in the food processor with garlic, fresh parsley and oregeno. I sauteed it in olive oil and butter spray. I cooled the salmon and added an egg white to it to hold. I stuffed it into a large squid and closed it with a toopick. I sauteed the squid on both sides and cooked it into a fresh marinara sauce. If you can get in touch with me, I would appreciate it, so it can go into the South Beach Diet Cookbook for phase 1

posted Nov 13th, 2009 1:59 pm


I am back to SouthBeach. It definately works if you stick with it. It is a way of life, and not a diet. One must change their perspective on food altogether. As i age, I realize that carbs are not my friend. Fresh veggies and fruit are what I need to stick with. This is day one of the first phase; wish me luck.

posted Nov 2nd, 2009 6:04 pm


I have been on the South Beach Diet for a week now and have not lost a single pound. I've been following all of the rules. hard boild egg and v8 in the morning, 10 nuts for a snack. salad for lunch with grilled ck. string cheese and veggies for afternoon snack, and usually grilled ck and veggies for dinner or vegetarian chili or something like that. What am i Doing wrong? I also have not been able to go to the bathroom. I'm eating so many veggies. I dont understand why.

posted Oct 26th, 2009 3:41 pm

Berenice Avina

I finally dicided to change my lifestyle of how i eat, i am giving this diet another change, i have done it before but only lasted a week, and lost 10 lbs, but i went back to my old eating habits and gained it back plus some, so i am doing again now my goal is to pass the 2 week 1st phase i will return back to give an update

posted Oct 25th, 2009 9:34 pm


lost 14 pounds within 2 weeks

posted Sep 5th, 2009 7:03 pm


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