South Beach Diet: Phase 1, 2 and 3

The South Beach Diet has been popular for over a years. It’s a lower-carb diet that has been credited with producing fast weight reduction without appetite, all while promoting heart health.

On the other hand, it’s likewise been criticized for being a limiting “trend” diet.

This post provides an in-depth evaluation of the South Beach Diet, including its benefits, drawbacks, security and sustainability.

What Is the South Beach Diet?

The South Beach Diet was produced in the mid-1990s by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a Florida-based cardiologist. His work in heart disease research study led to the advancement of the Agatston score, which measures the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries.

According to released interviews, Dr. Agatston observed that clients on the Atkins Diet were dropping weight and belly fat, while those on low-fat, high-carb diet plans were having a hard time to accomplish results.

However, he was uneasy with the high quantity of saturated fat enabled on the Atkins Diet, specifically for people with heart problem. In addition, he didn’t think in restricting high-fiber foods with “excellent carbs,” like fruit and entire grains.

Dr. Agatston wanted to produce a diet that permitted obese, diabetic and prediabetic people to easily lose weight and lower their threat of cardiovascular disease.

For that reason, he established the South Beach Diet, which is rich in low-glycemic-index carbohydrates, lean proteins and unsaturated fats.

After reducing weight and stubborn belly fat when he tried the diet out on himself, he started prescribing it to his patients, who reported comparable results.

Dr. Agatston’s book The South Beach Diet was released in 2003 and became a bestseller around the globe. An updated variation called The South Beach Diet Supercharged was released in 2009 and also ended up being a worldwide bestseller.

How Does the South Beach Diet Work?

The South Beach Diet has three different phases: two for weight loss and a 3rd for weight maintenance.

Phase 1

Phase 1 lasts 14 days.

It’s considered the strictest phase due to the fact that it restricts fruit, grains and other higher-carb foods in order to reduce blood glucose and insulin levels, stabilize cravings and lower yearnings.

Most people can expect to lose 8–13 pounds (3.5–6 kg) of body weight during this phase.

During phase 1, you take in three meals daily composed of lean protein, non-starchy veggies and small amounts of healthy fat and legumes.

In addition, you take in two mandatory snacks daily, ideally a combination of lean protein and veggies.

Phase 2

This phase starts on day 15 and ought to be maintained for as lots of weeks as required to achieve your objective weight.

You can anticipate to lose 1–2 pounds (0.5–1 kg) per week throughout this phase, typically.

During phase 2, all foods from phase 1 are enabled, plus minimal portions of fruit and “excellent carbohydrates,” such as entire grains.

Phase 3

When you achieve your target weight, you advance to phase three.

In this stage, although the phase-2 guidelines must be the basis for your lifestyle, occasional treats are permitted and no foods are really off limits.

Nevertheless, if you overindulge and begin gaining weight, Dr. Agatston advises returning to phase 1 for one to 2 weeks before going back to phase 3.

In The South Beach Diet Supercharged, Dr. Agatston also suggests routine workout and offers a three-phase physical fitness program to accompany the diet stages.

Phase 1: Foods to Include

Please note that the guidelines for all stages are from the book, The South Beach Diet Supercharged. The guidelines on the South Beach Diet site might be various.

1. Lean Protein

Although parts aren’t limited, the diet advises gradually taking in a little portion and returning for seconds if you are still starving.

Lean beef, lamb, veal and game
Skinless chicken and turkey breast
Fish and shellfish
Turkey bacon and pepperoni
Eggs and egg whites
Soy-based meat alternatives
Low-fat hard cheese, ricotta cheese and cottage cheese
Buttermilk, low-fat milk, plain or Greek yogurt, kefir and soy milk, limited to 2 cups (473 ml) daily

2. Non-Starchy Vegetables

Take in a minimum of 4 1/2 cups daily.

All veggies are permitted other than beets, carrots, corn, turnips, yams, peas, potatos and the majority of types of winter squash.

3. Legumes

Limit these to 1/3–1/2 cup each day, prepared, unless otherwise noted.

  • Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans and other bean ranges
  • Split peas and black-eyed peas
  • Lentils
  • Edamame and soybeans
  • Hummus, limited to 1/4 cup

4. Nuts and Seeds

Limitation these to 1 oz (28 grams) per day.

  • Almonds, cashews, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, walnuts and other nuts
  • Nut butters, limited to 2 tbsp
  • Flaxseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and other seeds

5. Oils and Fats

Minimal to 2 tablespoon of oil each day. Monounsaturated oils are motivated.

  • Monounsaturated oils, such as olive, canola, macadamia and avocado oils
  • Veggie and seed oils, such as corn, flaxseed, grapeseed, peanut, safflower, sesame and soybean oil

Alternative Fat Choices

Each serving is equivalent to 2 tablespoon of healthy oils.

  • Avocado, limited to 2/3 of one fruit
  • Trans-fat-free margarine, limited to 2 tbsp
  • Low-fat mayo, limited to 2 tablespoon
  • Regular mayonnaise, limited to 1 tbsp
  • Salad dressing with less than 3 grams sugar, restricted to 2 tbsp
  • Olives, limited to 20–30, depending upon size
  • Sweet Treats

Limitation intake to 100 calories or less each day.

  • Sugar-free or unsweetened cocoa or chocolate syrup
  • Sugar-free gelatin, jams and jellies
  • Sugar-free sweets, popsicles or gum
  • Sugar substitutes, including Stevia, sweetening agents and sugar like xylitol and erythritol


You might consume unlimited quantities of these foods, unless otherwise noted.

  • Broth
  • Herbs, spices, horseradish, mustard, lemon juice or salsa
  • All vinegars, with balsamic minimal to 1 tablespoon
  • Light coconut milk, minimal 1/4 cup (59 ml).
  • Soy sauce, steak sauce or miso, restricted to 1 1/2 tsp (7 ml).
  • Cream, entire milk or compromise, restricted to 1 tbsp.
  • Light sour cream or cream cheese, restricted to 2 tbsp.
  • Light whipped topping, limited to 2 tablespoon.


You may consume unrestricted quantities of these beverages, although drinking your caffeine in moderation is advised.

  • Coffee, regular or decaffeinated.
  • Tea, regular, decaffeinated or herbal.
  • Sugar-free sodas.
  • Sugar-free drink blends.
  • Tomato juice or veggie juice.

Phase 1: Foods to Avoid

Certain fatty foods and those high in carbs, consisting of fruits and grains, are not allowed in phase 1. These consist of:

  • Fatty meat and poultry.
  • Butter and coconut oil.
  • Whole milk.
  • Foods made with refined sugar.
  • Honey, maple syrup and agave nectar.
  • Grains.
  • All fruits and fruit juice.
  • Beets, carrots, corn, turnips, yams, peas, spuds and winter squash.
  • Alcohol (you should quite it completely).

Phases 2 and 3: Foods to Include

Phase 2 consists of all phase 1 foods and gradually adds in higher-carb foods, starting with one day-to-day serving of fruit and whole grains or starchy veggies for the first week.

On the 14th day of phase 2 and afterwards, you may consume as much as 3 servings of fruit and 4 servings of whole grains and starchy vegetables each day.

When you’ve attained your goal weight, you relocate to phase 3 for maintenance. During this phase, you ought to usually follow the guidelines from phase 2.

However, you can consist of “treat” foods occasionally, since no foods are entirely off limits.


Take in 1–3 portions per day. All fresh and frozen fruits are permitted except dates, figs, pineapple, raisins and watermelon.

A serving size is one small piece of fruit, half a grapefruit or 3/4 cup (about 115 grams) berries, cherries or grapes.

Entire Grains and Starchy Vegetables

Consume 1–4 portions per day.

Other than where noted, one serving size is 1/2 cup prepared starchy vegetables, 1 piece bread or 1/2 cup prepared grains.

  • Peas.
  • Rutabaga.
  • Sweet potatoes and yams.
  • Turnips.
  • Winter squash, restricted to 3/4 cup.
  • Whole-grain hot cereal.
  • Whole-grain cold cereal, limited to 1 cup.
  • Whole-grain bread.
  • Brown or wild rice.
  • Whole-grain pasta, quinoa, couscous or farro.
  • Taro, restricted to 1/3 cup.
  • Popcorn, restricted to 3 cups.
  • Whole-grain bagel, restricted to 1/2 small.
  • Pita bread, restricted to 1/2 pita.
  • Corn or whole-grain tortilla, limited to 1 little.

Stages 2 and 3: Foods to Avoid

Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet dissuades intake of fatty meats, hydrogenated fat and foods high in refined or natural sugar. Attempt to avoid:

  • Fatty meat and poultry.
  • Butter and coconut oil.
  • Whole milk.
  • Foods made with refined flour or sugar.
  • Honey, maple syrup, agave nectar.
  • Fruit juice.
  • Beets, corn and white potatoes.
  • Dates, figs, pineapple, raisins and watermelon.

Test Days on the Diet

Here are sample meal prepare for phase 1 and phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, to offer you a snapshot of what a normal day may appear like.

Phase 1 Sample Day

Breakfast: 3 eggs and 1 cup kale cooked with 1 tsp olive oil.
Snack: 1 oz (28 grams) string cheese with bell pepper pieces.
Lunch: Roasted salmon and asparagus salad with mustard vinaigrette.
Treat: Celery sticks to 2 tsp peanut butter.
Dinner: Lean steak with broccoli.

Phase 2 Sample Day

Breakfast: Quick and simple peanut butter oatmeal.
Treat: 1 cup cucumber slices with 1/4 cup hummus.
Lunch: Apple-walnut chicken salad.
Treat: Cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes.
Dinner: Chicken breast.

There are hundreds of dishes available for all three phases of the South Beach Diet, consisting of lots of with active ingredients that are inexpensive, tasty and easy to discover.

Advantages of the South Beach Diet

There are numerous advantages of the South Beach diet, including its ability to produce weight reduction without hunger.

Research study, consisting of an analysis of 24 research studies, has actually consistently shown that high-protein, low-carb diet plans work for weight loss.

Part of this is because of protein’s capability to increase your metabolic rate. In addition, protein helps customize hormone levels that minimize hunger and promote fullness, so you end up naturally eating less.

What’s more, slowly adding percentages of healthy carbohydrates back into your diet might promote ongoing weight reduction in some people and make it much easier for them to stick to the diet long-term.

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

By the end of the study, they had actually lost 11 pounds (5.2 kg) and 2 inches (5.1 cm) from around their waists, on average. They likewise experienced considerable declines in fasting insulin and an increase in the fullness hormonal agent CCK.

The South Beach Diet motivates a high consumption of fatty fish like salmon and other foods that combat inflammation, such as leafy greens and cruciferous veggies.

In addition, it advises dieters regularly take in eggs, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil and other foods that have been revealed to safeguard heart health.

The book makes meal planning easy and pleasurable by providing two weeks of sample menus and dishes for each phase. There are likewise numerous dishes available online for phase 1 and phase 2 meals.

Side Effects of the South Beach Diet

Unfortunately, the South Beach Diet also has a couple of drawbacks.

The primary problem is that it might be extremely limiting with regard to the quantities and kinds of fats permitted.

In addition, it permits possibly hazardous types of fat, such as soybean oil and safflower oil, which are extremely high in omega-6 fatty acids.

Although it’s crucial to get some omega-6 fats in your diet, if you’re like most people, you most likely currently get much more than you need.

In contrast, if you eat a Western Diet, it’s likely you get insufficient of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel.

Taking in a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats has actually been linked to swelling, heart problem and other health issue.

On the other hand, butter and coconut oil aren’t consisted of on the South Beach Diet since they are high in saturated fat.

However, coconut oil has been credited with several health benefits, consisting of weight-loss, a reduction in belly fat and much better heart health markers in overweight and obese adults.

In addition, a lot of comprehensive reviews of studies have actually discovered no association in between saturated fat consumption and an increased risk of heart disease.

On the other hand, other big evaluations have found that changing a part of hydrogenated fat with unsaturated fat could potentially decrease the danger of heart problem.

In general, picking less processed fat and eating plenty of fish high in omega-3 fats might be more vital for heart health than limiting hydrogenated fat.

Is the South Beach Diet Safe and Sustainable?

The South Beach Diet is a healthy method of consuming that is far lower in carbs than standard low-fat diet plans. It also encourages dieters to consume mainly unprocessed foods, liberal amounts of veggies and healthy, high-fiber carb sources.

However, the diet enables processed vegetable oils, which could posture health risks. Nevertheless, you can avoid this disadvantage by picking unprocessed monounsaturated fats like additional virgin olive oil, avocado oil or macadamia oil instead.

All this being said, the South Beach Diet is likely a sustainable method of consuming.

Many people have actually reported reducing weight and keeping it off by following the diet.

Yet in the end, the most reliable diet for weight loss is whichever one you can easily stick with long-term.

If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission.

Health Recovery Tips
Add a comment