South Beach Diet 


There are three phases to the South Beach Diet. Phase one lasts 2 weeks and during it you can lose between 8 and 13 pounds. During phase one you’ll eat normal size portions of meat, chicken, turkey, fish and shellfish. You’ll have plenty of vegetables, eggs, cheese and nuts. You’ll have salads with real olive oil dressing. You’ll eat three balanced meals a day and you’ll eat until your hunger is satisfied.

For these first two weeks you’ll eliminate bread, rice, potatoes, pasta or baked goods. No fruit either. After the two weeks are over, you’ll then add these foods back to your diet. No candy, cake, cookies, ice cream or sugar for the first 2 weeks either. No beer or alcohol of any kind. After phase one you can drink wine but not a drop during the first two weeks.

After the first two weeks you’ll continue to lose weight but at a slower rate. You can add some of the eliminated foods back into your diet such as bread, pasta, rice, cereal, potatoes and fruit. If you need some chocolate, that is ok too. You won’t be able to have unlimited amounts of these foods.

You’ll lose about one to two pounds a week until you reach your goal. Once your goal weight has been achieved you’ll switch to phase 3, which is even more liberal than phase 2. During phase 3, you’ll be eating normal foods, after all, in normal-size portions. You can forget about the diet as long as you live by its few basic rules. Thanks to your new weight of life you’ll increase your odds of living long and well.

A couple of chicken breast, grilled, on a plate with some mint leavesChicken Breasts

Phase One Sample Day


Phase I, lasting two weeks in duration allows for plenty of protein, good fats, and the lowest glycemic index carbs. The South Beach Diet doesn’t mandate that you measure what you eat in ounces, calories, or anything else. The meals are regular in size, enough to keep you satisfied and no more. Each day during the first two weeks has three meals and three snacks to keep you happy.

Sample Day 1, Phase 1

Breakfast: 6 oz vegetable juice cocktail,2 Vegetable Quiche Cups to Go, Decaffeinated coffee or decaffeinated tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute.

Midmorning snack: 1 part-skim mozzarella cheese stick

Lunch: Sliced grilled chicken breast on romaine. 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinaigrette or low-sugar prepared dressing. Sugar-free flavored gelatin dessert.

Midafternoon snack: Celery stuffed with 1 wedge Laughing Cow Light Cheese.

Dinner: Grilled Salmon with Rosemary. Steamed asparagus. Tossed salad (mixed greens, cucumbers, green peppers, cherry tomatoes). Olive oil and vinegar to taste or 2 Tbsp low-sugar prepared dressing.

Dessert: Vanilla Ricotta Crème.

In Dr. Agatston’s “The South Beach Diet,” a long list of foods to avoid is listed at the end of the Phase One Meal plan. For example, fruits to be avoided during phase I are: Apples, apricots, berries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, peaches and pears. Phase One recipes are also provided.

The Cover of the Book

Phase Two Sample Day 


You can stay on phase one longer than 2 weeks if you want to lose at an accelerated rate but it isn’t as liberal as phase 2. While on phase 2 you can expect to lose one to two pounds per week. Once you reach your target weight, move onto phase 3.

Sample Day 1, Phase 2 

Breakfast: 1 cup fresh strawberries. Oatmeal (1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal mixed with 1 cup nonfat milk, cooked on low heat, and sprinkled with cinnamon and 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts). Decaffeinated coffee or decaffeinated tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute.

Midmorning snack: 1 hard-boiled egg

Lunch: Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Midafternoon snack: Fresh pear with 1 wedge Laughing Cow Light Cheese

Dinner: Spinach-Stuffed Salmon Fillet. Vegetable medley, Tossed salad (mixed greens, cucumbers, green peppers, cherry tomatoes). Olive oil and vinegar to taste, or 2 Tbsp low-sugar prepared dressing.

Dessert: Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries.

An example of some foods to avoid during phase 2 are starches and breads: bagel, refined wheat, bread, refined wheat, white. Cookies, cornflakes, matzo, pasta, white flour, potatoes, baked, white, instant, rice cakes, white rice and dinner rolls.

A bowl of oatmeal on a white fancy plate with real silver silverwear and a yellow nice napkinCup of oatmeal

Phase Three Sample Day


You enter phase 3 when you’re at your ideal weight.  Your blood chemistry such as cholesterol should have improved by now. If you slip up by enjoying too much dessert or something, simply go back to phase I to lose the weight again. Do that until you return to phase three once again. It is human nature to cheat every now and then on their diet.

Sample Day 1, Phase 3 

Breakfast: ½ grapefruit, 2 vegetable quiche cups to go, oatmeal (1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal mixed with 1 cup nonfat milk, cooked on low heat, and sprinkled with cinnamon and 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts). Decaffeinated coffee or decaffeinated tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute.

Lunch: Roast beef wrap, fresh apple

Dinner: Moroccan grilled chicken, steamed asparagus, couscous, mediterranean salad, olive oil and vinegar to taste or 2 Tbsp low-sugar prepared dressing.

Dessert: Strawberries with Vanilla Yogurt.

Yogurt with strawberries blended together in a clear glass sitting on a tabletop

Summary


The South Beach Diet is a three phase diet where you lose quite a few pounds during phase I and less during phase 2. When you reach phase 3 you have more foods available to you, making the diet easier to follow.

I tried the South Beach Diet prepared meals before from the store. I think the meals are quite tasty and fulfilling. The idea is that you eat the right carbohydrates instead of the bad ones. It seems like it is type of low-carb diet in my opinion but not as restrictive as say the Atkins diet.

Dr. Agatston of the South Beach Diet is a cardiologist and thought that high amounts of fat from diets like the Atkins is not healthy for you. I don’t think that the Atkins diet really intends for you to eat unlimited bacon every morning. I think the South Beach Diet is easier to follow then a no-carb diet that is for sure. It may be the diet that is sensible enough for you. Why not give it a try?

› South Beach Diet
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