The South Beach Diet Review


Written by Jolyne Babineau

Jolyne has a Master's degree in clinical nutrition. She has a true passion for the field and enjoys doing research on any topics related to dietetics.

Another diet that most of us have heard about is the South Beach Diet. It was Dr. Agatston, an established cardiologist, who created this regime. Like many diets, the South Beach Diet is divided into phases.

Phase 1 is a 14-day induction phase that bans most high carbohydrate foods. That means no bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, carrots, beets, fruits, etc. You will eat three “balanced” meals and snacks and include foods such as lean meats, eggs, reduced-fat cheese, nuts and lots of vegetables. As with most low carb diets, they state that this phase will make you lose up to 13 lbs in two weeks and will eliminate food cravings.

Phase 2 lets you re-introduce some carbohydrates such as fruits, whole grain breads and pasta. They state that you should do so slowly until you’re able to eat two to three servings of the “right” carbohydrates per day. This phase should be followed until you have reached your goal.

Phase 3 is the final stage and you need to stay here for life. You cannot abandon your diet and start eating whatever you want. Rather you have to continue making smart choices.

Although they state that this is not a low-carb diet, phase one eliminates most carbohydrates and then gradually you can add some in the other two phases.




Here are the pros and cons of this diet:


  • You eat three meals daily and snacks in between.

  • Focuses on good fats such as unsaturated fats.

  • Focuses on whole grains.

  • Rich in vegetables.

  • You do not count calories or carbs.

  • They talk about lifestyle changes.




  • The first phase is very strict and requires serious willpower. It is also lacking in a lot of nutrients because it omits a lot of foods.

  • They mention very little about exercise.

  • There are a lot of claims to motivate people to buy the book (e.g. Lose up to 13 lbs in two weeks).

  • Lacking in the amount of grain products you can eat.


On the whole, this diet seems like a “healthier” version to the Atkins diet. It focuses on good fats, vegetables and whole grains.

However, (although they state the opposite) the diet is still a low carbohydrate diet. If you were to follow this regime, I would recommend skipping phase 1 and making sure you get the recommended number of servings in each of the four food groups (meats, dairy, fruit & vegetables, and breads). Also, incorporate exercise on a regular basis.

People have to realize that carbohydrates are not the culprits of obesity. It is much more complex than that. Take a closer look at society. –

  • We take our car to go to the corner store that is 5 minutes walk

  • Portion sizes in restaurants are too big

  • We hardly take time to plan healthy meals and cook them; etc.

As I have said before, we need to focus on one small goal at a time until we reach our ultimate one. It’s not about fitting into a certain dress for a special occasion but rather being healthy for a lifetime.





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