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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
BACKGROUND

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.

PRO
  • 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
CON
  • 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
USER REVIEWS

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

Leave your own review and rating.

SOUTH BEACH DIET VIDEOS

Other videos

South Beach YouTube Channel

South Beach Diet Meal Plan

South Beach Diet Workout

DIET and NUTRITION

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 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
EXERCISE

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

SOUTH BEACH DIET FAQ

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

CONCLUSION

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

SOUTH BEACH DIET SLIDESHOWS

View About South Beach Diet Slideshow

7 Weight Loss Plans Fit for Fall

The Cost of Losing 20 Pounds

SOUTH BEACH DIET RESOURCES

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, southbeachdiet.com


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


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User Feedback

(Page 4 of 7, 133 total comments)

melissa

The diet was wonderful I ate all the foods I love but I also used the prepared South Beach meals that were avaiable at my local grocery stores then all of a sudden none of our stores carry them then South Baech says its because there not sellling, I am so unhappy about this and the fact that I have lsot 75lbs and now I am at a stand still because we got dependant on these prcoooked pre ready to eat meals and we cant get them anymore so yet the diet is wonderful but I am not happy that my support went away

posted Jun 27th, 2009 12:29 am


Krystyne

For all of you who are complaining that you gained all your weight back, is obviously because you went back to your old eating habits "normal" again. Normal in this day and age is too much food, I mean, what is normal now days? There's no normal, have you seen the portions they feed you at restaurant now days, if you think that's normal, well, yeah, you're going to be a few pounds than you'd like to be. Well I'm just here to say that I lost 30 lbs in three months 6 years ago and since that time I've slowly re-gained it back, but the great thing is that I can eat healthier for the next three months and lose it again, ummm, that's sounds like a good plan to me as long as I don't SLOB out, or as they say, eat normal again... good luck to you. I'll be 30 lbs lighter the next time I log in to this website.

posted Jun 7th, 2009 8:50 pm


Sarah

For people who gain weight back... its because you go back to the old way of eating and dont have enough willpower to stay away from the bad carbs. Dont blame the diet, because like they say, any diet will work as long as you stick with it... dont knock this diet unless you have been consistently following its guidelines and have not lost at least 5 lbs.

posted Apr 28th, 2009 11:20 pm


Michelle1

So, i started south beach 2 days ago. I kinda mess up the first day. But, the second day went well. I've only lost a few oz's. What am i doing wrong? I had egg with turkey bacon for breakfast. Morning snack sugar free jello. Lunch salad with turkey lunch meat on top. 2 tsp of dressing(hidden valley ranch). 4 cellery sticks with cheese (low fat). Snack nuts. Dinner hamburger with no bun, Lettuce, red onion, tomato and green beans. sugar free ice cream 1/2 cup. I had one decaf cup of coffee and one regular cup in the morning. I also drank tons of water 8 glass +. What am i doing wrong? I work out for 2 and 1/2 hours too. Help. thanks :)

posted Apr 21st, 2009 11:25 am


Michelle

So, i just started yesterday. I'm not sure what i am doing wrong. I gain a pound. Yesterday i had a hard boiled egg with low fat cheese (breakfast). Snack cellery with cheese. Lunch Salad with turkey meat and nuts. Snack pickle. Dinner fish with veggies and a greek salad. I did have a diet soda for lunch. But, i had 6-7 glasses of water. So, what went wrong? I need help. Thanks :)

posted Apr 20th, 2009 1:05 pm


David

OK, now having some concerns. I'm losing weight which is great but it feels like I'm losing a lot fast. I started this diet April 9th and after 9 days I have lost 18 pounds. I'm not feeling tired or weak but it still feels odd. Don't know if I should just skip to phase 2 or not.

posted Apr 19th, 2009 4:14 am


David

Heres an update, I have lost 14 lbs in less than a week with this diet. I'm eating lean turkey and ham wraps for lunch and boneless skinless chicken for dinner most days and some south beach mixed nuts and low fat cheese sticks. My only concern is the amount of weight loss so soon. As long as I don't pass out during the day, and have no mood changes I'm sticking with it

posted Apr 15th, 2009 11:31 pm


karen

Just finished my phase 1 and lost 10 pounds. However, it is boring and a true "diet" which I hate. Very limited. Just meat, nuts and veggies. Was missing my fruit and yogurt and now hope to never see another egg or bowl of Jello!

posted Apr 14th, 2009 2:02 pm


jan

I was thinking of beginning this diet. I was wondering how badly drinking alcohol on the weekends will affect the results in the first 2 weeks

posted Apr 10th, 2009 5:42 pm


margrett

i lost 120 lbs

posted Apr 9th, 2009 2:36 pm


David

I'm finding this diet to be very difficult but am doing my best to stick with it. The main reason I find it difficult is because I have a lot of food allergies and greens are one of them because of clorophyl. Its really hard to find enough foods I enjoy each day without getting bored, if my body adapts to the low fat cheese sticks and quarter cup pecan consumption I'll get by but I can only hope.

Will update if my body and mind adapt and if this diet is successful or unsuccessful.

posted Apr 3rd, 2009 3:12 am


Bob

Both my wife and I followed the diet with great success. My wife thought the first phase was a bit too strict however, it only lasts two weeks. Surely anybody can do anything for two weeks, for goodness sakes. What I really liked about this diet is that you don't need to measure or track anything once you get to phase 3. You simply need to make good choices, as much as possible. I wouldn't say that I follow the "diet" strictly, in that I pretty well eat what I want however, I tend to make healthier choices whenever the choice is available and I haven't put any weight back on. I do exercise regularly...which to me is common sense - you shouldn't rely on a diet to tell you that.

posted Mar 21st, 2009 4:50 pm


Kat

I love this way of eating. It's not a "diet", it really is a lifestyle change. For those saying that this is too strict - I just can't understand that. If you truly follow the plan the way it is meant to be followed, you won't have cravings. They completely disappear. Also, to those saying that this is low-carb - it's not. It may seem that way in phase 1, but you re-introduce good carbs in phase 2 and phase 3 is a continuation using the healthy eating habits you learned earlier on. Out of all the plans I've tried, this is the ONLY thing that helped me take off more than a few lbs.

posted Mar 15th, 2009 11:00 pm


Richelle Dearborn

It did everything it said it would do. 8-13 lbs in two weeks was right on the mark!!

posted Mar 3rd, 2009 8:00 pm


Megan

I happen to love eating the SB way. Fresh veggies, whole grains, dairy, and dessert everyday? What's not to like. For those of you who say once you start eating like a normal person you'll gain it back, of course you'll gain it back if you eat a ton of FRIED, FATTY foods. Who wouldn't!!

posted Feb 19th, 2009 4:42 pm


jeminums

Very good diet and better than the original...loosing .5lb a day!!

posted Feb 17th, 2009 2:17 pm


Saunece

I Like It.

posted Feb 13th, 2009 12:11 pm


Heather

I lost 30 pounds on the South Beach Diet in 2006, and have kept the weight off. This plan really worked for me!

posted Feb 7th, 2009 5:55 pm


McFarland1

If you are doing this as a low carb diet altogether and not re-introducing fruits and vegetables in Phases 2 and 3 as the diet calls for, it is not healthy. That is like the Atkins, not the South Beach. The South Beach has you add back in the good carbs (fruits and vegetables) in phases two and three. It is only meant to do away with bad carbs forever such as chips, sugar, white flour, etc.

posted Jan 21st, 2009 11:28 am


junbug

I tried South Beach when it first started a few years ago. I lost 20 pounds BUT gained it all back. Seriously, a low carb diet will never work. Proper nutrition is necessary in maintaining one's weight and that means eating sensibly and record-keeping, NOT eliminating important food groups from one's diet.

I don't like South Beach diet at all.

posted Jan 7th, 2009 3:36 pm



 

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