Obesity Fad Diets South Beach

The South Beach Diet® is a commercial diet plan created by Dr. Arthur Agatston. Like the Atkinsâ„¢ diet, the South Beach Diet® restricts carbohydrate consumption in favor of higher fat and protein intake. However, a South Beach® menu limits saturated fats — something the Atkinsâ„¢ diet doesn’t do — and allows more carbohydrates than other low-carb diets.

South Beach Diet® Phases

South Beach Diets® are divided into three phases: the induction phase, weight loss phase and maintenance phase.

South Beach Diets®: Phase One

Phase one lasts 14 days, and is supposed to eliminate cravings for refined carbs and sugars, as well as stabilize blood sugar levels.

Carbs are limited to approximately 10 percent of daily calories. The phase one South Beach® menu bans:

  • Alcohol
  • Baked goods
  • Breads
  • Fruit
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Rice.

Instead, dieters are encouraged to eat cheese, eggs, nuts, salads, seafood and vegetables.

Advocates of the diet claim that you’ll lose 8 to 12 pounds during the induction phase.

South Beach Diets®: Phase Two

Phase two lasts until you reach your target weight. Some of the banned carbohydrates are moderately introduced back into South Beach® recipes. Carbohydrate intake, although still lower than the 45 to 65 percent of calorie intake recommended by dietitians, increases to about 27 percent.

South Beach Diets®: Phase Three

Phase three is designed to encourage life-long changes to eating habits, with approximately 28 percent of daily calorie intake coming from carbs. Because most low-carb diets restrict carbs more aggressively, the South Beach Diet® is sometimes classified as modified low-carb diet.

South Beach® Food and Recipes

South Beach® is a popular commercial diet. Dieters can purchase prepackaged South Beach® food and purchase cookbooks with South Beach® recipes to make it easier to follow South Beach® menus.

Diets that Work: South Beach® Pros and Cons

The South Beach Diet®, like the Atkinsâ„¢ diet, assumes that “bad” carbs, or those with a high glycemic index, boost your appetite. By restricting carbohydrates and increasing fat and protein consumption, both diets claim to reduce weight gain. Some research supports this theory.

Weight loss in the induction phase of the diet is likely fluid loss, a feature common to the early stages of many diets. Once the body rehydrates, fluid weight returns. For many dieters, the biggest challenge may be eliminating sugars and refined carbohydrates from meals.

Is South Beach® one of the diets that work? It can, at least for some people. The plan includes a wider variety of foods than most low-carb diets, and emphasizes lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables and fruit over simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. Unlike many diet plans, the South Beach Diet® offers a maintenance program to help keep weight off.

While the science behind the South Beach® diet is questionable at best, the diet itself is as likely to promote weight loss as any other plan that restricts calories, eliminates refined carbs and encourages lean protein consumption. The South Beach Diet® is not for everyone, but people willing to restrict carbohydrates may achieve some success with the diet.


Diets in Review. (n.d.). South beach diet. Retrieved May 27, 2010, from http://www.dietsinreview.com/diets/South_Beach_Diet/.

Mayo Clini. (2009). South beach diet. Retrieved May 27, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/south-beach-diet/MY00499.

South Beach Diet. (n.d.). How the south beach diet works. Retrieved May 27, 2010, from http://www.southbeachdiet.com/sbd/publicsite/how-it-works/how-it-works.aspx.