South Beach Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The South Beach Diet plan was originally created by cardiologist Dr Arthur Agatston based at Mount Sinai Hospital in South Florida.

The diet was originally developed for overweight heart patients. The patients experienced excellent results, not only in their general health but they also lost weight.

Since his diet was so successful, Dr. Agatston began marketing his diet plan to the masses with the release of his book, The South Beach Diet. Recently the South Beach has evolved into a successful online diet plan filled with tools and resources to enable anyone to be successful with this healthy low carb diet.

South Beach Diet Online

Dieters interested in the South Beach Diet are first asked to complete a free diet profile in order to tailor the diet to his/her individual needs.
south beach diet

Dieters then begin working through the three phases of the South Beach Diet.

Phase 1: Start Losing Weight

The South Beach Diet begins with a somewhat restricted two-week induction phase — generally producing weight loss of 8 to 13 pounds.

In this phase most carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, and breads must be avoided. There are three meals a day and snacks — eating until your hunger is satisfied. Meats, shellfish, chicken, turkey, and fish are all on the menu – along with nuts, cheese (fat-free), eggs, salads, and vegetables.

Phase 1 eliminates all fruits.

Phase 2: Reach Your Goal

The second phase reintroduces some of the foods avoided in Phase 1 – but only sparingly. In this phase weight loss should be in the region of 1-2 pounds per week.

Dieters will be able to eat some fruit and a small amount of complex carbs. You will learn to adjust portion size and focus on foods that will satisfy with smaller servings.

Phase 3: A Diet For Life

The third phase is about living the lifestyle more than a phase – its about eating healthy foods, and maintaining weight. Most healthy foods can be added back in, but dieters should continue to avoid carb laden breads, pasta, and processed foods.

This is NOT Atkins

Although the South Beach Diet may seem similar to the Atkins diet or the Zone diet, Dr Agatston stresses it is not a strictly low-carb diet.

It’s all about balancing the good carbs against the “bad” carbs. Although when looking at the first 14-day phase – there is no doubt that this is a low-carb phase. However, the South Beach Diet is based around the Glycemic Index, and carbs are chosen according to this index.

South Beach have an on-line program that includes an 800 recipe database, and options for vegetarians. (see top right).

South Beach Food brand fits in with the diet guidelines for snacking. These prepackaged foods are available in most grocery stores.

South Beach Diet Phase 1 Meal Plan

Tomato juice, 6 oz
Scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and mushrooms
Canadian bacon, 2 slices
Decaf coffee or decaf tea with fat-free milk and sugar substitute
Part-skim mozzarella cheese stick
Chicken Caesar salad (no croutons)
Prepared Caesar dressing, 2 Tbsp
Low-fat cottage cheese (½ cup) with ½ cup chopped tomatoes and cucumbers
Mahi mahi
Oven-Roasted Vegetables
Arugula salad
Low-sugar prepared dressing
Lemon Peel Ricotta Crème

Sample Phase 2 Meal Plan

Berry smoothie (8 oz Dannon Light ‘n Fit fruit-flavored yogurt, ½ cup berries, ½ cup crushed ice, blended)
Decaf coffee or decaf tea with fat-free milk and sugar substitute
1 hard-boiled egg
Lemon Couscous Chicken
Tomato and cucumber slices
Dannon Light ‘n Fit yogurt, 4 oz
Meat Loaf
Steamed asparagus
Mushrooms sautéed in olive oil
Sliced Bermuda onion and tomato with drizzled olive oil
Sliced cantaloupe with 2 Tbsp ricotta cheese

Sample Phase 3 Meal Plan

½ grapefruit
Tex-Mex eggs (2 eggs scrambled with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and salsa)
Whole grain toast, 1 slice
Decaf coffee or decaf tea with fat-free milk and sugar substitute
Roast Beef Wrap
Grilled salmon with tomato salsa
Tossed salad (mixed greens, cucumbers, green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes)
Olive oil and vinegar to taste or 2 Tbsp low-sugar prepared dressing
Chocolate-Dipped Apricots

Look for more high protein, low carb recipes here.

Online Tools

The online version of the South Beach Diet has a multitude of tools and resoucrses exclusively available to members. Some of them include:

  1. Weight Tracker: Track your weight as you shed pounds and head towards your ideal weight.
  2. Meal Planner: Customized, easy meals that you’ll love – every day of the week.
  3. Community Message Boards: Join our huge online community of thousands of members sharing support, success, and motivation.
  4. Personal Online Journal: Record your thoughts, struggles, triumphs – and read other member’s journals.
  5. Calendar Tool: Plan your diet day-by-day.
  6. Shopping List Generator: Print out complete shopping lists from your meal planner.
  7. Answers from Dr. Agatston: Ask your own questions to Dr. Agatston and see what he says to others.
  8. Registered Dietitians: Online dietitians will give specific answers to all sorts of tough questions.
  9. Daily Newsletter: Diet news, health tips, and inspiration in your inbox every day.
  10. Beach Buddies Program: Get matched with another member and diet together: teamwork makes for great successes!
  11. Food guides: From fast food to fine dining, the South Beach Diet™ has options for everyone.
  12. Huge Recipe Database: Search hundreds of delicious recipes, all designed to help you start shedding weight.

A Healthier Low Carb Diet

The South Beach Diet is nutritionally sound, however the more expensive food items could make the cost difficult to meet for some. Unfortunately good nutritious foods do tend to cost more than their highly-processed counterparts.

The principles of eating in balance, little-and-often, low-GI carbs are all included in the South Beach. Despite some feeling that the diet is a fad, and has had a major positive impact on the eating habits of millions.


The Original

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

South Beach Wake-Up Call

Dr. Agatston says that this book is intended to be a wake up call and he wants his readers to be alert educated and aware. He explains how the current epidemic of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases is related to an excessive intake of fast and processed foods.

He then outlines how we evolved to eat a diet that was very different, being based on fruits, vegetables, wild game and seafood.

The South Beach Wake-Up Program is based on seven strategies:

  1. Control the Clutter, Free Your Mind
  2. Make Every Meal Matter
  3. Shop Right
  4. Cook As If Your Life Depends on It
  5. Eat In More, Dine Out Smart
  6. Get Moving, Get Fit
  7. Sleep Better, Live Longer

The actual diet includes three phases. Dieters commence in phase one – which is the lowest in carbohydrates – and then move into phase two where foods such as fruits, whole-grain breads, brown rice, and sweet potatoes are gradually reintroduced.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

South Beach Supercharged

south-beach-diet-superchargedThe diet is basically the same as that outlined in the original South Beach Diet with some extra foods allowed. Agatston says that he updated the diet to allow for greater flexibility based on feedback from his patients and on his website.

As with the original diet it involves three phases and promotes the intake of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. In the first phase carbs are dramatically limited to so as to reduce cravings. In the second and third phases the amount of low glycemic carbs are gradually increased.

The main difference with the new Supercharged plan is the inclusion of 20 minutes of a specific type of exercise called ‘interval training’ that Agatston claims will speed up metabolism, increase the rate of weight loss and improve general health. He states that interval training allows dieters to achieve maximum results with a minimum time commitment.

Interval training burns more calories than other forms of exercise, which is why 20 minutes is enough in order to achieve successful weight loss results. Other forms of exercise may require one hour of activity in order to produce a similar effect.

In addition to the emphasis on exercise the updated version of the South Beach Diet includes extra menu plans and 40 new recipes.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.
South Beach Diet
Click Here to try
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Pingback: South Beach Diet Weight Loss Phase 1 | Best Weight Loss Coaching

  • Kim Joe

    Does the South Beach diet work?

  • south beach diet phase 1

    South Beach Diet Phase 1
    Phase 1 lasts 2 weeks and helps to reduce the dersire eat sugar and starches, and thus stabilise blood sugars. During Phase 1 of the South Beach diet, meals should include lean protein such as fish, chicken, lean cuts of beef, high fibre vegetables, and unsaturated fats. Phase 1 of the diet will include three meals a day, two snacks and a high protein dessert. Healthy snacks are mandatory in phase 1 to ensure blood sugar levels are maintained.

  • Chelsea Naidu

    I love food! I cant wait to eat all of this food its SOO GOOD i am only 9 years old and i really need to go on a diet i weigh 90 pounds and i need to et back down to 51 pounds

    • Chelsea

      Umm. You’re 9 years old,90 pounds is a healthy weight for you. You don’t need to go down to 51,that’s anorexic unless you’re under 3 feet tall.

  • Alison

    I just started this diet a week ago. My goal weight is 140 lbs. I started 8 days ago at 187 lbs, and already im 178 lbs! I know the first weeks are when the weight sheds fastest, but I wish it could stay like this forever!

  • shelley

    @ Tammy
    Are you sure you are following the diet properly. I thought I was until I actually got the book and READ it LOL. I lost 14 # in the first 2 weeks. It is easy to over eat :( even on a good diet!
    Found really good SB cookbooks, that really helped. They are a must buy. And there is a little book you can get that is a quick guide of acceptable foods.

  • Tammy zion

    What happens if I am not losing any weight after being two weeks on the phase 1 of the south beach diet?

    • Aoen

      you’d probably need to do a different diet i prefer the detox because it enhances your metobolism even if you dont work out and its a great solution for the AB+ blood types

  • Kirsten

    This diet is amazing!! One phase one I lost 10 pounds! It changed my eating habits. I would defenitly recommend this to someone who needs to lose weight fast and easy!! I also enjoyed all the prep work for each meal. And all the food is super yummy! I didn’t rt anything I didn’t like! Don’t hesitate!! Try it and you will be amazed!

  • benny brown

    Well then, after reading all the comments about this plan, today is day one. At the age of 50yrs old, I’m at 400 pounds. I’m going to dive right in and look at the results as I travel down this path. I’ll try to keep you guys posted on my progress. I just ask that those of you that have done the plan and is still doing it, to keep me encourage.

    Benny Brown— Jacksonville Fla,

    • DWW

      How are you getting on?

  • Susan

    Fourteen days and 10 pounds gone!!!!!!! Ten more to go! Full speed straight ahead. :)

  • Rhonda

    After the first 2 months on this plan, I lost 32 lbs, and never felt hungry. The food is delicious, but more time-consuming to prepare, so it requires dedication. I had no sugar or carb cravings, much to my surprise. Following a recent surgery, I fell away from the plan, but will be going back to Phase 1 tomorrow for a week to get back on track. This is the best “diet” I have ever tried: the only time I have ever been able to lose significant weight, and it’s almost all from my waist and hips.

  • Josefa King

    I have hypothyroidism, which makes hard to lose weight, I was afraid to start a diet and fail one more time… but guess what? I just finished Phase I and lost 7lb… It motivated me a lot! Now that I am on Phase II seems way more easy, being able to include fruits and cereals was a big PLUS for me,,, I dont even feel I am on “diet” … I didnt subscribe to the website, just followed the info and menus from the book

  • Charlene Gibson

    I went on Phase 1 south beach diet and followed it to the T and only lost 2 pounds. I do not understand HELP HELP

  • Olivia

    I work for a television company called Optomen, who’s currently making a short film about triumphant journeys of weight loss using different diets.

    We’d love to feature someone in our film who’s currently dieting/has just come to the end of their diet and is seeing positive results. We’re particularly looking for someone who’s dieting for a big occasion – a wedding/party/holiday or anything else.

    The footage won’t go on television, it’ll just be seen by the C4 commissioners, and filming should take no longer than 3 hrs (a sit down interview and a bit of you doing something that you do!).

    If anyone’s interested in hearing more, please call me for an informal chat on 0203 227 5947 or feel free to email

    Many thanks,

  • Toots

    Best thing that ever happened to me was SouthBeach – Love it – although I’m at a plateau now and i don’t wanna put a pound back on – and i is difficult to revert back to phase I – I never went out of Phase II and don’t plan to…can’t…carbs are just good with me – i love veggies, salads and fruits so I’m content…Almonds I need to portion cause I eat the whole bag – can’t stop…Besides the little “cheats” of almonds too many – and pork rinds – I love this diet…..if thats what you wanna call it!
    I went from 169 to 138 – I’d love to get down to 130 so thats my goal – I need to kick it up a notch!

    • Maddy

      How long did it take?

  • john

    I was so glad that i had loss my weight seen few years ago. following of intrucation dite doing of lots excerise and eating properly waste of time and try to find out dite as much i could. it is great oppurtunity to do it i think u guys can do it.

  • Cristina

    I am almost finished with phase 2 of the South Beach Diet. In the first 3 days I lost 5 pounds. But since then I haven’t lost any weight. I have about 35 – 40 pounds to lose in order to be in a healthy weight range. The following is an example of what I’ve been eating in a day: Breakfast = 1 scrambled egg, tomato, 2 soy sausages, a cup of black tea with soy milk and agave sweetener. Lunch= 2 cups salad with balsamic dressing, one or two pieces of sliced deli turkey, fat free feta cheese, or sometimes I will have one cup of soup – such as black bean soup. Snack= several raw red pepper strips with 2 tbs of hummus or an iced soy latte (8oz. with agave sweetener). Dinner = turkey burger, slice of provolone, a little dijon mustard, tomato slices, steamed broccoli. Sometimes I will have another cup of tea in the evening with soy milk and agave or sometimes I will have two 8oz. iced soy lattes in a day instead of one.
    I’m not sure why I’m not losing weight. Physically I feel fine & yet since day 3 I haven’t lost anymore weight and I definitely have weight to lose!
    Any suggestions?

    • Claudia

      Balsamic vinegar is full of sugar, as is ‘fat-free’ anything. Too much soy, especially the sausages that are probably packed with carby filler and you have no idea what additives are in deli turkey. Black bean soup, again, very high in carbs. I would remove the balsamic, the sausage, go to regular feta and cut down on the bean soup and cook fresh turkey.

  • michele

    I am on this diet. It didn’t cost me anything. My sister told me she heard about the diet and got the book “South Beach Diet” from the Library. She and I are in our upper 40’s in age, and found it impossible to lose weight. I didn’t know things I ate a lot of like watermellon, bananas, corn etc were making me fat. Through south beach I learned that there was so much insulin floating around me that my body couldn’t go into my fat cells to get energy, it made me eat instead. Now I’m losing weight so fast, I never thought I’d be one of those people who could steadily lost a pound a week. (And this after the 10 pounds I lost in the first 2 weeks!) This book understands body chemistry, now I know which foods to avoid to lost weight.

  • Claudia

    I’ve been on this plan for almost 2 years(I call it a plan because it doesn’t feel like you’re dieting even after a long time). On the first and second phases I lost 16 pounds and reached my goal weight. Now, I’m just maintaining and if I ever feel I’m slipping off a little I go back to phase 1 and loose the excess in 1 or 2 weeks. Very nutritious and the meal plans are great. I follow it to the letter and never complain about variety. There’s plenty of dishes, and you can easily order out following the guidelines. I really like it.

  • Bobbysox

    I am trying to get more info on the South Beach Diet Plan. I do not know anyone that has tried it. I can’t find the cost of this plan. Is there anyone that can tell me the total cost. Thanks

  • StephiStephsStuff

    I tried this and lost 7 pounds in a month. Unfortunately, I did not continue the diet after a snow storm left me at a friends house for two days. I should’ve started over and I keep finding one reason or another not to start again. Diets are hard and you definitely have to commit yourself to eating better, in general, in order for you to have success with it. I am currently reading Eat To Live by Joel Fuhrman and after I am finished reading the book I am going to begin that plan. It sounds harder than any other plan, but the benefits sound remarkable and I would love to be thinner and also healthier.

  • Ty

    I love the South beach. it has trully changed the way I eat and how I think of food. As a server I will working while regular people would be eating dinner. Sometimes I wouldn’t eat for 7to 8 hours. Then when I would get off work at 1 am and eat fast food b/c they were the only places open. South beach encouraged me to eat as a way to maintain energy and balanced, not starve myself to the point where I would binge on digusting food. The first two weeks took a little adjusting to( of course!) but then I started getting to the point where I wouldn’t crave the usual high carb high fat foods I lived off of before. Not to mention the benefits for my skin. With omitting fats, carbs, and sugars from my diet, my skin cleared and became more firm! I definitely recommend thus diet for someone who just dosen’t want to lose pounds but wants to make a lifetime change:)

  • blondesoprano

    I first tried this diet about 6 years ago. My mom and I did it together and were very successful in losing a lot of weight. I had two more pregnancies after that, as well as some stressful times when I overate and made bad health choices in general.

    I got back on the wagon when my youngest child was one, back in 2007. At that time, I lost about 25 pounds over the course of 4 months. The most amazing thing to me is that, even though holidays came and went and I didn’t always make perfect choices, I still managed to keep the 20 pounds off for 2 years.

    I restarted fresh just before Halloween 2009 on this diet, and even with cheating for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’ve still managed to lose 13 pounds and keep it off in the last 3 months.

    I”ve also upped my activity level a lot, “jazzercizing” about 4 times/week, so my muscle mass is increasing, and I realize the pounds are going to slip off slowly because of that.

    I have about 60 pounds still to lose to be at my ideal weight with a healthy BMI, but: sticking with this diet, esp the intelligent Phase II part of it, along with regular exercise, and losing a modest 1.5 pounds per week… I’ll get there by the end of the year!

    Good luck all you dieters out there! It can cost a bit more to start with, definitely requires more time chopping veggies and prepping ingredients, but it’s delicious and not really that hard to stick with, and the results can be permanent if you incorporate the principles into your daily life-time eating habits!

  • casce

    The cookbook that is available is excellent, as are the recipes in the diet. I have never followed the diet per say, but use the recipes often. I.e. try the Hummus in the South Beach Diet book (page 178). We added more lemon juice and spices and doubled the onion and it is amazing and low cal..served with sliced cucumber, tomatoes, green pepper. Stuffed mushroons are good too, if you add some onions and a bit of spices. Be creative and have fun and lose weight.

  • Glen

    I recommend the South Beach and small variations to all my personal training clients. This will work for everyone who tries it. You need to look at all the similarities of each diet. Moderate to lower carbohydrates. Variety of foods. Moderate to lower fat sources, and Lean proteins. Each diet besides the tapeworm can be useful in some way as a whole. Not one is right, not all are wrong. Just like Bruce Lee said, “Absorb what is useful, Reject what is useless.”

  • Phillip

    I would recommend this diet for any one your diet needs 1500 to 1600 calories per day.

  • sonam

    iam on south beach diet from 5 days with out doing any exercise, i have not lost even a single gram.can anyone advice me why it is so??????????IF I CAN do kapalbharti along with this diet?

  • Yoli

    I did this diet…. and lost 11lbs in just two weeks which was phase one… I need to get started on this diet again!

  • Maggie

    i’ve just finished the atkins induction. would it be any different if i pick up on south beach after that? the induction phase seems the same but i’m not sure.

  • Cyn

    It’s not too bad, I used it about 2 years ago and lost 15 lbs but found it a little expensive at times.

  • fallacy-of-a-calorie-cover Fallacy of a Calorie: Never Count Calories Again
  • the greek diet book Greek Diet
  • slim by design review Slim by Design
  • 5-skinny-habits-cover 5 Skinny Habits
Free Diet Newsletter

Don't miss out on the latest diets!

Join now - it's free.

A to Z