Hey Everyone,

I hope you all are keeping good. I am here again with another review for you all. But, before that you guys really have to comment and tell me how you found my previous reviews. So, today I am going to review for you guys South Beach Diet. You may or may not heard of it. Let’s start with the review.

South Beach Diet

The diet plan that is The South Beach Diet, which we are going to talk about today has been popular for over a decade. It is basically a lower-carb diet, which has become popular for producing rapid weight loss without hunger.  All this while even promoting for heart health. Let’s dive into it.

What is South Beach Diet?

The South Beach Diet is a diet plan which was created by Dr. Arthur Agatston and dietitian Marie Almon in the mid-1990s. He is a Florida-based cardiologist and works in heart disease research. Dr. Agatston created this diet to allow overweight, diabetic and prediabetic people to easily lose weight and reduce their risk of heart disease. This is the reason behind the invention of The South Beach Diet, which is rich in low-glycemic-index carbs, unsaturated fats and lean proteins. Initially, the diet plan was popular with the people who want to lower the risk of heart disease, but it rapidly gained fame as a diet for losing weight. The claims from this diet are not to be a traditional low-carb diet as it focuses on selecting the right carbohydrates. Diet includes specific fruits whole grains, and vegetables, appropriate fats, and lean protein sources.

Does The South Beach Diet Plan Works?

I would say Yes. This diet plan is actually a healthy approach towards eating which can help you to shed pounds. However, I also need to mention that few nutrition experts warn against the restrictive first phase of this diet, though. This diet plan constitutes of three phases. Phase 1 being the most restrictive. In Phase 1 you cannot eat rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, or fruit. While in Phase 2, you gradually add in some of these food items. And upon moving to the Phase 3 when you are hitting your goal weight, and you stay there for life.

What you can eat and what you can’t eat?

It totally depends on the phase which you’re currently in.

Phase 1 is the strictest and it includes:

  • Protein like poultry, beef, seafood, eggs, and cheese
  • Fats like extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, and avocado
  • Carbs with the lowest glycemic index like broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and eggplant
  • Limitations in Phase 1: Fruit, fruit juices, dairy products, Starchy foods, and alcohol.

Phase 2 let you reintroduce yourself to healthy carbs like whole-grain rice, fruit, whole-grain bread, whole wheat pasta, and sweet potatoes. Also, you will notice a slowdown in weight loss to 1 to 2 pounds a week, on average. While coming on to the Phase 3. This phase is totally about maintaining your weight. There’s no food list to follow. By this time, after following the two phases strictly, you’ll know how to make good food choices and how to get back on track.

The level of effort that you put in The South Beach Diet is Medium. This diet plan is meant to be practical and uncomplicated. Here a person doesn’t need to count the calories or figure percentages of fats, carbs, and protein. You can take your meals which are normal in size. Bend or break the rules sometimes. And, in case you are overindulge in Phase 2, you are suggested to return to Phase 1 until you lose the weight you put on.

Cooking and shopping: The South Beach Diet plan is easy and dishes provided are easy to make. All the ingredients can be found in supermarkets or in most restaurants. However, the plan requires to eat the snacks between meals. Apart from that it is totally on you if you don’t want to buy them. South Beach Diet foods are available for sale and includes everything from snack bars to smoothies. Moreover, it has lunch and dinner entrees and meal delivery is for 4 weeks’ worth of meals.

Exercise: Now, this is diet doesn’t depend on exercise to work. You can have an exercise program that includes walking and strengthening your core muscles.

Here’s the detailed three-phase program for you to understand:

Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet

In Phase 1 you are allowed to eat three meals, one dessert, and two snacks every day. As mentioned above you have limited choices in terms of food. You are only allowed to eat only lean sources of protein, high-fiber vegetables and legumes, nuts, low-fat dairy such as cheese.

The Phase 1, which is toughest to follow lasts for two weeks. The goals is to let go all the junk food and limit choices so you don’t have to overthink your diet. You need to stop cravings and get your blood sugar under control. Carbs affect blood sugar control, so in Phase 1 the goal targets there.

A Sample Menu of Phase 1:

Here is a suggested menu for phase 1 from the South Beach Diet website:

  • Breakfast South Beach Complete shake
  • Snack Plain Greek yogurt with fresh dill and lemon juice, along with celery sticks and cherry tomatoes
  • Lunch Grilled chicken, ½ an avocado, and cooked broccoli
  • Snack South Beach Diet Peanut Chocolate Bar
  • Dinner Baked salmon, white beans, sautéed cabbage and garlic
  • Evening Snack Almonds

Phase 2

Coming onto the phase 2, it will let you add whole grains and fruits to your diet. This phase focuses on the weight-loss plan until you reach your goal.

Phase 2 menu as per the website:

  • 1 serving per day of fruit, such as a small banana, 2 medium plums, or a cup of mixed berries (such as strawberries and blueberries)
  • 1–2 servings per day of starchy vegetables such as ½ cup of winter squash or sweet potato
  • Some good carbohydrates, such as 3 cups of air-popped popcorn, 1 small tortilla, etc.
  • You will still want to avoid foods like:
  • Refined carbs, including white bread, white pasta, and rice cakes
  • White potatoes
  • Fruit juices
  • Dried fruits with added sugar
  • Sweets like ice cream, honey, and jam
  • A Sample Menu of Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet
  • Breakfast pita with spinach, eggs, and feta cheese, vegetable juice, and tea or coffee
  • Snack Assorted vegetables with a cilantro and pesto dip
  • Lunch Curried turkey and greens salad
  • Snack Apple and peanut butter sandwiches
  • Dinner Edamame appetizer, Louisiana-style shrimp and rice, baked tomatoes topped with Parmesan cheese
  • Dessert  South Beach Diet–style tiramisu

Phase 3

It aims to be a plan for life. This phase lasts indefinitely and you learn how to eat other foods in moderation to keep from regaining the lost weight.

A Sample Menu of Phase 3:

  • Breakfast Mini crustless quiches with a slice of whole-grain toast
  • Lunch Salad greens with salmon or chicken and olive oil and vinegar dressing
  • Snack Greek yogurt with berries
  • Dinner A plate filled with half-roasted vegetables, a small, 4-ounce portion of lean meat, and 1/3 cup of a hearty grain
  • Dessert Mascarpone cheese or Greek yogurt with peaches, topped with slivered almonds and cocoa powder

Final Words

The South Beach Diet plan results are definitely not magic or easy to come by. It focuses on decreasing sugar and eating lean proteins and high-fiber foods.  Yes, in the phase 1 there are severe dietary restrictions and may leave you feeling weak and you will miss out on some vitamins, minerals and fibre. However, the good news is, these will only last for two weeks. When you will come to phase two, it will be easy to handle. The main positive of the diet is that, after phases one and two, there are fewer restrictions than on many popular meal plans. This diet encourages eating patterns, which are very beneficial to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Honestly, there is nothing unsafe about the South Beach program. It comes with benefits too and the main goal of this diet is weight loss and this is a diet that boasts quick results.

In total, I would surely recommend you to take it. Do tell us your experience in the comment section below.