The South Beach Diet

Rather than cutting out carbs or fats completely as other diets do, the South Beach Diet instead emphasizes the differences between 'good carbs' and 'bad carbs', 'good fats' and 'bad fats'.

Developed in Miami by a licensed cardiologist, specifically for his patients, the diet aims to both help you lose weight and reduce the risks of heart disease.

Similarly to Atkins, the South Beach Diet does not greatly restrict portion size, so many bigger eaters find it an easier diet to stick to. Personally, I think the South beach Diet is a very sensible lifestyle choice.

South Beach: Basics


The South Beach diet tells us that the excess consumption of 'bad carbs' impair the body's ability to process fat. Carbs with a high Glycemic Index create an 'insulin resistance' syndrome, whereby insulin can no longer process fat or sugar. In addition, 'bad fats' such as saturated and trans fat contribute to an increase in the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.

The theory goes that cutting out those fats and carbs will help your body both lose weight and become less prone to heart disease. So you become healthier and thinner!


Eat only carbs that are high in fiber, and that are digested slowly with a low glycemic index. For example, brown rice is allowed but white rice is definitely not.

As for fats, eat polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats, not saturated or trans fats. Unlike some carbs which are gradually reintroduced during the stages of the diet, the so-called 'bad fats' are never allowed.

The South Beach Diet has 3 phases:

Phase 1. The strictest phase - dieters cut out sugar, candy, bread, potatoes, fruit, cereals and grains.
Phase 2. Whole grain foods and fruits are gradually returned to the diet as the dieter approaches his/her desired weight.
Phase 3. Whole grain foods and fruits are now fully returned to the diet as the dieter adopts his/her long-term eating plan.

Phase 1

Here is a brief guide to both the foods you can enjoy, and those that you should avoid in Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet. This Phase should last 3-4 weeks.

Foods to EatFoods to Avoid
Lean Cuts of Beef or Pork (Tenderloin, Sirloin)Fatty Cuts of Beef or Lamb, Pork Sausages and Liver
Chicken (no skin)All Rice, Bread & Pasta
Turkey (no skin)Duck, Goose, Chicken Wings
Low Carb Vegetables (Broccoli, Pepper, Mushroom, Spinach)Starchy Vegetables (Potatoes, Corn, Yam, Beets, Peas)
Low Fat Cheeses (e.g. Cottage, Cheddar, Feta)High Fat Dairy (Brie, Edam, Camembert)
Low Fat YogurtIce Cream
Skimmed MilkHigh Calorie Sodas
Fish & ShellfishFruits & Fruit Juices
Handful of Nuts (e.g. peanuts, pistachio)Simple Carbs (Cakes, Cereal, Cookies, Candy, Chocolate)

Phase 2

Phase 2 allows you gradually to reintroduce some whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables to your diet. You can still use the table from Phase 1 as a basic guide, but here are a few things that you can start to eat again!

Foods to ReintroduceFoods to Eat Sparingly
Whole Fresh Fruits (Apples, Bananas, Berries, Grapes, Oranges, Pears, Plums)Dried Fruits (ex. apricots), Canned Fruit, Fruit Juice, Watermelon, Raisins, Pineapple
Selected Starchy Vegetables (Carrots, Green Peas, Sweet Potatoes)Other Starchy Vegetables (Beets, Parsnips, White Potatoes, Sweetcorn)
Wholegrain Breads/Bagels (Multigrain, Oat/Bran, Rye Crispbread, Wholemeal Pitta)Brown or White Bread, White Bagels and Rolls
Whole grains (Barley, Brown/Wild Rice)White Rice, Rice Cakes
Wholewheat PastaWhite Pasta
High Fiber, Low Sugar Cereals (All-Bran, Porridge)Cornflakes, Cheerios, Rice Crispies

Phase 3

When you have achieved your weight loss goal, Phase 3 begins. By the time you reach this Phase, you have already learned how to control your weight through balancing your consumption of certain important food groups.

Phase 3 has no restrictions on food, but rather it is where you take this knowledge and use it to shape your lifestyle and maintain your weight loss in the long term.

South Beach: Pros

  • The focus on 'good carbs' and 'bad carbs' reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, and can help dieters with type 2 diabetes.
  • There is no need to count calories or measure foods on this diet! Once you get your head around the list of foods to eat and avoid, its quite simple to follow.
  • You do not need to totally cut out carbs, so its easier to feel full with South Beach than it is on the Atkins diet.
  • A South Beach diet can work out quite cheap - just read this page, buy the book and you can cook for yourself.

South Beach: Cons

  • South Beach doesn't have the structure and support groups of diets like Weightwatchers. For some people this is a positive, for others it makes it harder to stick to.
  • Phase 1 is a tough introduction as lots of foods groups are eliminated from your diet. However this Phase only needs to last a few weeks.
  • Like the Atkins diet, leaving this diet can sometimes result in rapid weight gain. Its important to stick to the principles of Phases 1 & 2 to maintain your weight loss.
source : modeldietplan


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