The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet


The South Beach Diet plan was created by cardiologist Dr Arthur Agatston based at Mount Sinai Hospital – in South Florida. Originally developed for overweight heart patients the diet proved successful not only in improving the patients’ health but also in reducing their weight. Since hitting the shelves, Agatston’s book “The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss” has remained a bestseller. The diet is becoming known as the “healthy” version of the Atkins diet. This diet is good – very good, and includes foods such as whole grains, healthy fats, fish, chicken, fruits and vegetables.

Smoked salmon

How The Plan Works.

The South Beach Diet begins with a somewhat restricted two-week induction phase — generally producing weight loss of 8 to 13 pounds. During induction most carbohydrates (such as rice, pasta, and breads) must be avoided. There are three meals a day and snacks — eating until hunger is satisfied. Meats, shellfish, chicken, turkey, and fish are all on the menu – along with nuts, fat-free cheese, eggs, salads, and vegetables. There are two subsequent phases that include specific meal plans and recipes. The second phase reintroduces some of the foods avoided in Phase 1 – but only sparingly. In this phase weight loss should be in the region of 1-2 pounds per week. The final phase is about maintaining a lifestyle, about eating healthy foods and maintaining weight. This is NOT Atkins. Although the South Beach Diet may seem similar to the Atkins diet or the Zone diet, Dr Agatston stresses it is not a strictly low carbohydrate diet. It’s all about balancing the good carbohydrates against the “bad” carbohydrates. The induction phase a is no doubt a low-carbohydrate phase but the rest of the South Beach Diet is based around the Glycemic Index. with carbohydrates being chosen according to this index. The South Beach Diet have an on-line program with an extensive recipe database which includes some 800 recipes and caters for vegetarians.

Pinto bean beef soup

Typical recipe during the Induction Phase.

Tomato juice, 6 oz
Scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and mushrooms
Canadian bacon, 2 slices
Decaf coffee or decaf tea with fat-free milk and sugar substitute
Part-skim mozzarella cheese stick

Chicken Caesar salad (no croutons)
Prepared Caesar dressing, 2 Tbsp
Low-fat cottage cheese (½ cup) with ½ cup chopped tomatoes and cucumbers

Mahi mahi
Oven-Roasted Vegetables
Arugula salad
Low-sugar prepared dressing

Lemon Peel Ricotta Crème
Typical recipe during Phase 2.

Berry smoothie (8 oz Dannon Light ‘n Fit fruit-flavored yogurt, ½ cup berries, ½ cup crushed
ice, blended)
Decaf coffee or decaf tea with fat-free milk and sugar substitute
1 hard-boiled egg

Lemon Couscous Chicken
Tomato and cucumber slices

Dannon Light ‘n Fit yogurt, 4 oz

Meat Loaf
Steamed asparagus
Mushrooms sautéed in olive oil
Sliced Bermuda onion and tomato with drizzled olive oil

Sliced cantaloupe with 2 Tbsp ricotta cheese

Typical recipe for the Maintenance (or Lifestyle) Phase.

½ grapefruit
Tex-Mex eggs (2 eggs scrambled with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and salsa)
Whole grain toast, 1 slice
Decaf coffee or decaf tea with fat-free milk and sugar substitute

Roast Beef Wrap

Grilled salmon with tomato salsa
Tossed salad (mixed greens, cucumbers, green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes)
Olive oil and vinegar to taste or 2 Tbsp low-sugar prepared dressing

Chocolate-Dipped Apricots

effies cottage cheese salad

Possible Negatives.

The South Beach Diet is considered by some to be a fad. However the principles and eating patterns outlined and recommended in the diet are sound and had a positive impact on the eating habits and lifestyle of millions.

Nutritionally sound foods are usually more expensive than their highly-processed counterparts and these more expensive food items could make the diet prohibitive for some people.

The principles of eating in balance, little-and-often, low-GI carbohydrates are all included in the South Beach Diet.