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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 7 of 7, 137 total comments)


A NEW SB BOOK? Fantastic! I have all of them. They are kinda like a diet BIBLE....lol ! Looking forward to the new book with the exercises and all. What I like about the South Beach Diet Books...everytime I read them..I found something new...I missed. Strange Huh ? Thanks Dr. Agatson for making me realize I needed to start eating Heathier. YOU are an inspiration to everyone! Thanks again!


I think this is is last book...which is available at Amazon. The South Beach Heart Program: The 4-Step Plan that Can Save Your Life (Hardcover) Is there another one??


I have been on SBD for 8 months and have lost 50 lbs., halfway to my goal weight. It's a great, healthy plan. You do not have to eat any of their products or join the online service. Get the book from the library and find one of the free online support groups, if you want. SB actually advises against eating prepared, "convenience" foods. You can have 2 - 3 servings of fruit/day after Phase I. The only things you can't have are refined sugars and carbs. I have never been able to lose weight before and I have had no problem sticking to this plan. No hunger, just great food. There is not a prescribed exercise plan, but it is advised to do the exercise of your choice. There is an updated book coming out in a couple of months and I hear exercise will be part of it.


Why is this Even Called a diet? I agree the first Phase is a little restrictive but only for two weeks. The second Phase ..You start adding some of the restricted food back into your diet. When you lose the weight you want...then you start Phase III this is how you eat for the rest of your life. It really is NOT all that hard. With a little discilpine..you can accomplish your goals. I know I FEEL so much better eating this way. South Beach is just a Healthier way of Eating. I don't consider it a diet at all. When you hear the word diet..dosen't it make you want to run away? I give South Beach a thumbs up. Go ahead and try it...I dare ya!


On Jan 2006 I went on the South Beach Diet and in the first two weeks I lost 10 pounds. In 6 months I went from 153 to 126 and maintained my weight until September 2007. I quit smoking an have gained 15 pounds back. So it Back to the Beach...South Beach that is....WORKS for me! Thanks Dr, Agatston !


I remember eating some of the South Beach diet products and everytime I would eat their snack bars, I would be sick to my stomach. That's when I gave up that diet. It just wasn't agreeing with my stomach and I ain't going to be sticking to a diet where I feel sick all the time.


You can't eat just the bars. As previously stated it is about a lifestyle change. It is about eating healthy portions and foods. All the foods that you are eating are fresh and healthy. I use the meals for emergencies. Most of the pre-packaged foods are for Phase 2 and 3. A lot of the recipes can be made in advance and frozen for later. I have a very busy lifestyle and this is one diet that I have been able to stick too.


South Beach Diet Rocks ! If you don't lose on this diet...than there is NO HOPE for you. Actually I really don't consider this a diet...just a healthier way of eating. South Beach you gotta love it!


ISounds to me like you never gave the diet a chance. The diet does not require you to eat their bars . I love the SB diet!


That's the whole point..you're not supposed to "go off it". It teaches you a way of eating for the rest of your life. I have never been able to lose weight and I lost 8 lbs in the first two weeks. It's tricky re-introducing the carbs but you just need to monitor yourself. I've now lost 12 lbs and I feel great!


Exactly the south beach diet is a lifestyle change not a quick fix.


I did the south beach diet to lose weight for my wedding day. I did it! 25lbs gone in a couple of months. The bad part...2 years later I weigh more now than I did before! as soon as you get off it, you gain it all back!


I konw that fruits have sugars and those sugars convert to fat or something. Since they make you get rid of all the sugars then fruit has to go. :( I love fruit!


Come to the beach! I've lost five pounds and starting week two of phase one. Best of all I don't feel hungry! I give up on so many diets because I just WANT TO EAT! Not this time. And you don't give up fruit completely, you get to start eating it again in phase two. Good luck!


No fruit for 2 weeks, why does that have to be eliminated, I thought fruit was healty....didn't read the book can someone tell me what the south beach diet says about it?


South Beach is a great way to kick start healthy living. I tried it, and lost 4 lbs for starters. It's a great way to help cut back on unnecessary carbs and stratches that you can live without.


The good 'ol South Beach diet! I love this diet and definitely recommend the book but I am not sure about the online program. Sounds cool though. Anyone else try it?


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