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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 5 of 7, 137 total comments)


I Like It.

posted Feb 13th, 2009 12:11 pm


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


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


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

McFarland 1

This diet is great! I did it first of all about 3 years ago and lost 20 lbs. in the 1st three weeks. I am not a large person so this was actually a little more than my goal weight. I kept it off for 2 years and it was easy. I then started a business and ran like crazy and ate fast food alot and gained about 14 lbs back. I started back on this diet 8 days ago and have lost 9 lbs. I am going to add in walking a mile a day today, which is exactly what I did before and it worked great. I have my mother trying it with me and she had lost 5 lbs. already. Most diets have not worked for her in the past. I hope when we add in the walking today, she will see more results next week.

posted Jan 6th, 2009 3:16 pm

beef jerkins

For all the people who say they love the diet, you will gain all that weight back and more as soon as you start eating like a normal person again.

posted Jan 4th, 2009 3:33 pm

Beef Jerkins

Really awful. Phase 1 is ridiculously strict. Even on phase 3 people cannot eat normal foods and enjoy life. Don't try to tell that to people who are on it; they are obsessed with it (almost like a "religion.")

posted Jan 4th, 2009 3:30 pm

jessa everyone...

posted Jan 2nd, 2009 12:33 am


I did this diet and lost 40 pounds quickly!! it was easy and I also walked every day. I found food i could eat thst i liked

posted Dec 30th, 2008 10:27 pm


Love the south beach diet! need to get ready for south beach miami in feb :-)

posted Dec 30th, 2008 5:54 am


I started South Beach on May 5, 2008. My husband's doctor said he had to loose weight and since I'm the cook, I decided to join him to support his effort.
The first two weeks I lost 14 lbs and he lost 8. Who in their right mind wouldn't continue??
To date he has lost 32 lbs and I have lost 67 lbs. I am elated with my new figure and my husband's new trim body.
I would have never thought I could do this and so easily.This diet really works! I have recommended this book to all who see me and say how awsome I look!
My medical doctor wasn't aware I had started the SBD and was blown away by my results. She thought I should be a spokes person for the plan!
To everyone who thinks this won't work you need to give it a chance. If you use your imagination with cooking you won't be bored with the lean meat and vegetables. This is the greatest discovery I have ever made.
I have changed my life.
Remember "nothing tastes as good as thin feels" And that's the truth!

posted Nov 16th, 2008 7:33 pm


I liked the results

posted Oct 29th, 2008 11:21 pm


I have tried this "lifestyle change" and it WORKS! It REALLY does work! All it takes is tons of self discipline. After only 7 months, I have lost a total of 30 pounds.

posted Oct 27th, 2008 12:04 pm


Didn't really knew much about this diet. I read here you can lose a lot of weight, and you can still eat snacks and chocolate. That's awesome.

posted Oct 17th, 2008 11:10 am


This is my 10th day on the first phase. I have already lost 5 pounds as of last Wed. (which was only 4 days on the sbd) I actually saw that I'm not supposed to have yogurt or milk products. (I ordered the book from amazon last week and it's not here yet.) I had the book and tried this before..but gave up because I didnt' want to give up carbs. NOW...I'm determined. I work out approx 5 days a week and feel awesome. This has helped my perspective on food in general. I ate well before, but now I feel a little in control. I am a vegetarian, although i eat fish and cheese and eggs. This is for me....I love it....I do cheat and have a little vodka. I'm hoping to lose about 15 to 20 pounds.

posted Oct 13th, 2008 9:07 am


I followed the diet for about 2 years and lost 40 pounds. They call it a "lifestyle", but I find it far too rigid for it to be that. All white sugar and white flour is banned forever. Many nutritious fruits an all fruit juices are completely eliminated. Everyone loses in phase 1, simply because carbs are eliminated and glycogen is burned, therefore water weight is lost, but in phase 2 - you have to be very mindful of serving sizes and you need to weigh and measure everything you eat. The obsession with portions takes away the common sense approach to "intuitive eating" or listening to your body as a guide. This diet requires a great deal of time; its not an easy plan to follow

posted Oct 12th, 2008 2:59 pm


I am new to SBD. yesterday was day 5from and I was down 171 t 166 (I am 5'5" and 35yrs old) today I weight 167.4, so a little dissapointing. My goal is 130 lbs. I cheated a bit with SBD salad dressing I had 2 tbs and I made taco meat which has a bit of a card count, other than that I have eaten meat cheese and veggies with a snack of nuts. I have NOT eaten enough veggies according to the plan though. I hope this diet continues to work for me!

posted Sep 26th, 2008 4:40 am


I lost around 80 lbs on the SB diet in about eight months...coupled of course w/ exercise...I rid my house of processed / easy foods - a shocking process (27 grocery bags given to a thin thin friend)...and it was wonderful...don't have it available -you won't eat though after a long winter on the road (with work) I have gained 25 lbs back...going on SB again for a wedding - and more important - for I feel good, am healthy and able to particiapte in all of my's a lifestyle choice - not a 'diet'...good luck!

posted Aug 6th, 2008 10:29 pm


At first, i loved this diet. You can eat a lot and still lost weight. After 3 months i had lost 25 pounds. However, by this time i am so sick of lean meat and chicken and that actually would look at my plate and get sick of it.

posted Aug 1st, 2008 8:51 am


i am on 4th day of South Beach Diet phase 1, and i lost 7 pounds. I am so happy and love the results. i quit my chew and spit disorder.

posted Jul 28th, 2008 9:11 am


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