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30 Things You Need to Know About The South Beach Diet

Here are the facts on The South Beach Diet.


Updated February 15, 2014

The South Beach Diet is one of the most popular diet plans of all time. But that doesn't mean it's right for everyone. Before you decide if it's the diet for you, take a look at the following thirty facts about The South Beach Diet:


  1. The South Beach Diet -- despite sometimes being referred to as one -- is in fact not a low-carb diet plan.
  2. The South Beach Diet is based on eating healthy carbohydrates and good fats while eliminating less healthful foods.
  3. Most South Beach Dieters adjust to the plan fairly quickly and usually find they are satisfied by the new food choices.
  4. It is completely acceptable and recommended on The South Beach Diet to eat allowed foods until you are fully satisfied rather than focusing stringently on portion control.
  5. The first two weeks of The South Beach Diet are called Phase 1.
  6. Phase 1 is the strictest part of The South Beach Diet and provides the fewest allowable foods as compared to the other two Phases.
  7. The purpose of Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet is to adjust the way your body reacts to sugar and starches.
  8. You will lose the most weight during Phase 1 (up to 14 pounds), especially belly fat.
  9. During Phase 1 you will not be eat bread, rice, potatoes or pasta.
  10. The first few days of Phase 1 are the most difficult part of this diet.
  11. Baked goods, sweets, and fruits are completely off-limits during Phase 1.
  12. Alcohol of any kind is not allowed during Phase 1.
  13. During these two weeks of The South Beach Diet you'll eat high-fiber foods such as vegetables and salads, as well as fish, meat, chicken, eggs, non-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese, and nuts.
  14. The South Beach Diet allows you six meals a day: three main meals, two snacks, and one dessert.
  15. You'll find a variety of recipes in the book, such as Marinated Flank Steak, but you don't have to cook to follow The South Beach Diet.
  16. The science behind The South Beach Diet is the Glycemic Index, which measures how a food impacts your blood sugar.
  17. Since salads and vegetables are naturally low on the Glycemic Index, you can consume virtually unlimited amounts of them on The South Beach Diet.
  18. After Phase 1, cravings tend to subside for candy, baked goods and "bad carbs" like white bread.
  19. Eventually, you can eat anything you want (in moderation) and still be "on" The South Beach Diet.
  20. If you feel hungry during Phase 1, you can increase the amounts of allowable foods you are eating. Remember, the plan's author, Dr. Agatston, says it's "your job" to eat until you are no longer hungry.
  21. Eliminating "bad carbs" from your diet is a good way to give your bloodstream a "fresh start" free of insulin-spiking starches and sweets.
  22. You can quell your sweet tooth: Sugar-free gelatin such as pre-packaged sugar-free Jello cups are an easy and recommended dessert during Phase 1.
  23. Dr. Agatston provides recipes for a number of Phase 1 desserts that use reduced-fat ricotta cheese.
  24. Obese individuals may choose to stay on Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet longer than the initial two weeks.
  25. Most people should advance to Phase 2 after two weeks to prevent dietary "burn out" or fatigue.
  26. Phase 2 of The South Beach Diet is much more liberal than Phase 1.
  27. Previously "forbidden" foods such as whole grain breads, fruits, and sweet potatoes can return to your diet a little at a time as they are allowed Phase 2.
  28. Your weight loss will slow down significantly during Phase 2.
  29. Phase 3 is the maintenance phase of The South Beach Diet. You can add any foods you wish to your diet at this point, unless you find that you are gaining weight when you eat particular ones.
  30. You can start The South Beach Diet over in Phase 1 again at any point if you gain weight during Phase 3.

Note: Please consult your doctor before beginning this or any other diet plan.

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