South Beach Diet

This South Beach Diet beginners guide will help you achieve your weight loss goals faster!

If you are ready to lose weight the healthy yet tasty way you’re in luck!

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The South Beach Diet is very lenient compared to other diets such as the Atkins or Weight Watchers

The South Beach diet is extremely flexible with their meal plans and allow you to use ingredients that taste good to you.

This isn’t your every day diet this is a complete life style change that will help you lose weight and keep it from coming back.

The South Beach Diet was created in the mid 90’s by Dr. Arthur Agatson, a cardiologist from Florida.

Dr. Agatson wanted to create a diet that was rich in low glycemic index carbs, lean proteins and unsaturated fats.

Dr. Agatson’s book The South Beach Diet was published in 2003 and became a best seller in the United States.

How The South Beach Diet Works

The South Beach Diet has three different phases, two phases are for weight loss and the third is for weight management.

Phase 1:

Phase 1 will last you 14 days, and is the strictest phase because you cannot eat fruit, grains and other higher-carb foods in order to decrease blood sugar and insulin levels while stabilizing hunger and reduce cravings.

You can expect to lose 8 to 13 pounds (3.5 – 6 KG) of body weight during this phase. 

During Phase 1, you can consume three meals per day that are made of lean protein, non-starchy vegetables and small amounts of health fat and legumes.

You will also eat two mandatory snacks per day, which should be a combination of lean protein and vegetables.

Phase 2:

This phase will start on day 15 and should be maintained for as long as you need to hit your ideal weight goal.

You can expect to lose 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 – 1 KG) per week during this phase, on average.

During phase 2, all foods from phase 1 are allowed, and limited portions of fruit and good carbs.

Phase 3:

In this stage, the phase 2 guidelines are applied and should now be a part of your everyday life. 

You are allowed to eat occasional treats and you can eat whatever you want now!

However try not to binge eat and put all the weight back on, Dr. Agatston recommends returning to phase 1 for one to two weeks before returning back to phase three.

Dr. Agatston also recommends weekly exercise to maximize your results while being on the South Beach Diet.

So remember the South Beach Diet consists of three phases: a low-carb phase for rapid weight loss, a less restrictive phase for consistent weight loss and the third phase is for maintenance.

Foods You Are Allowed To Eat During Phase 1

Here is a full list of foods you are allowed to eat during phase 1.

Portions aren’t limited however it is highly recommended to eat small portions.

Lean Protein:

  • Lean beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Skinless chicken
  • Turkey Breast
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Turkey bacon 
  • pepperoni
  • Eggs
  • Soy Based Meat 

Non Starchy Vegetables:

All vegetables are allowed except for beets, carrots, corn, turnips, yams, peas, white potatoes and most types of winter squash.


  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Navy beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Split peas
  • Black eyed peas
  • Lentils
  • Edamame
  • Soybeans
  • Hummus

Nuts and seeds:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Macadamias
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Flax Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds

Oils And Fats:

  • Olive
  • Canola
  • Macadamia
  • Avocado oils
  • Corn
  • Flax Seed
  • Grape Seed
  • Peanut
  • Safflower
  • Sesame
  • Soybean

Alternative fat choices:

  • Avocado
  • Trans-fat free margarine
  • Low fat mayonnaise
  • Regular mayonnaise
  • Salad dressing (Must be 3 grams less of sugar)


  • Broth
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Mustard
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salsa
  • Vinegar
  • Light Coconut
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Light Sour Cream
  • Cream Cheese
  • Light Whipped Topping


  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Sugar Free Sodas
  • Sugar Free Drink Mixes
  • Tomato Juice or Vegetable Juice

Foods You Cannot Eat In Phase 1:

  • Fatty Meat And
  • Poultry
  • Butter And
  • Coconut Milk
  • Whole Milk
  • Foods Made With Refined Sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Agave Nectar
  • Grains
  • All Fruits
  • Fruit Juice
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Turnips
  • Yams
  • Peas
  • White Potatoes
  • Winter Squash
  • Alcohol

Foods You Can Eat In Phase 2 and 3:

In phase 2 all foods from phase 1 are allowed with the addition of fruit, whole grains or starchy vegetables for the first week.

On the 14th day of phase 2 and after, you can eat three servings of fruit and four servings of whole grains and starchy vegetables per day.

You are also allowed to drink alcohol such as a light beer and dry wine.

Once you hit your goal weight you move into phase three for maintenance. During this phase, you will follow the same rules as phase 2.

Benefits Of The South Beach Diet

There are plenty of benefits you can reap for using this South Beach diet beginners guide.

The most beneficial part of the diet is the ability to satisfy your hunger while losing weight.

There have been more than 24 studies that consistently show that high protein and low carbs are effective for weight loss. (12)

The main reason is due to the protein’s ability to increase your metabolic rate.

Additionally, protein helps modify hormone levels that reduce your appetite and make you feel full longer.

In one study, overweight people with metabolic syndrome followed the South Beach Diet for 12 weeks.

By the end of the study, they lost 11 pounds (5.2 kg) and 2 inches (5.1 cm) from around their waists.

They also experienced decreases in fasting insulin and an increase in the fullness hormone CCK. (3)

With that being said the South Beach Diet is one of the most sustainable diets on the market.

Many people have lost weight while sticking to this diet. This concludes your South Beach Diet beginners guide.