What To Eat On South Beach Diet

Sonoma Diet Eating Options

Nutrition & Diets : What Can You Eat on the South Beach Diet?

South Beach is very specifically divided into three phases. During the first two weeks, carbohydrates are dramatically cut down from the diet. The theory is that once weight decreases, followers start to metabolize carbohydrates properly and the craving for carbs subsequently disappears. This phase is very strict and totally eliminates fruit, bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, sugar, alcohol, fast food and baked goods from the diet. The next phase allows gradual reintroductions of foods like pasta, bread, fruit and cereal to meals, although followers can’t eat them all at once or to excess.

South Beach Diet Phase 1

The purpose of the first phase is to kick your cravings. So you have to cut out most of your carbs during this period. In Phase 1, the South Beach Diet says you can lose between 8 and 13 pounds, notes the Mayo Clinic and you should shed a majority of this weight from your midsection.

Phase 1 is a two-week period in which you cut out pretty much all carbs and fill up on protein. You’re allowed to eat high-fiber vegetables and small portions of monounsaturated fats. Make sure you stay away from starchy vegetables.

Throughout each phase of the South Beach Diet, you’ll eat three meals a day and three snacks. For breakfast, fill up veggies and protein plus 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Lunch and dinner have the same requirements unlimited protein, 2 cups of vegetables at a minimum and a tablespoon of fat. When picking a snack, stick to vegetables and protein.

Sonoma Diet: Number Of Dieters

Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is among the top five diets in the country, although precise numbers are difficult to ascertain. Success Rate One study of 40 overweight people showed that those who followed the South Beach Diet lost an average of 13.6 pounds, as compared to the 7.5-pound loss averaged by those on the “Step II” American Heart Association Diet. Clinical trials have shown that dieters see dramatic reductions in bad cholesterol and increases in good cholesterol when they follow the South Beach Diet.

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What Can You Eat In Phase 3

The short answer is that you can eat anything you want. But that depends on what you want to eat, and how much. You can’t forget the lessons you learned in Phase 1 and 2, making better choices to enjoy lean protein, vegetables, healthy oils, and appropriate portions. Desserts, alcohol, sugary drinks, and fatty meats should remain off-limits for the best results.

You will be able to determine the number of carbs you can add back into your diet without gaining weight. If you see your weight increase, cut back on carbs. If you need to lose weight, you can start the Phases over again.

The Basics Of Phase I

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If you want to lose 10 pounds or more, the South Beach Diet recommends starting with phase one, the strictest phase of the eating plan. According to its creators, phase one should stabilize blood sugar, eliminate cravings and jump-start weight loss. To prepare, clean your cupboards of most carbohydrates, such as pasta, rice, crackers, cereals and other grains, and toss fruits, which aren’t allowed until phase two.

Although protein isn’t limited in phase one of the South Beach Diet, stick to lean options that contains less than 5 grams of fat per 2- to 3-ounce serving. Top choices include skinless turkey, chicken or duck breast pork tenderloin fish and shellfish soy-based meat alternatives and lean beef such as flank steak, tenderloin and lean ground beef. Eggs, nuts and seeds also help with a protein boost, as do legumes such as beans.

The amount of fat during phase one of the South Beach Diet is slightly higher than the government-recommended amount of 20 to 35 percent of calories per day. However, you shouldn’t go overboard during phase one stick to healthy fats such as olives, olive oil and avocado. Salad dressings that have 3 grams of sugar or less are allowed, as are 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil spread. The proper serving size for an avocado is one-third of a whole fruit, while 15 olives and 2 tablespoons of oil are each considered one serving.

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What Is South Beach Diet Plan

South beach diet plan What is the south beach diet

The cardiologist Dr. Agatston during his cardiac-related studies observed his patients following the Atkins diet plan and compared them with others taking high carb food.

He observed that those on the Atkins diet lost weight better while their counterparts were struggling.

However, he wasnt pleased with the high fat intake allowed by the Atkins diet, it was dangerous for people with heart disease.

This spurred him to set up a more balanced diet plan that would cover for his observed imbalance.

The South Beach diet plan was originally intended to accommodate patients with heart disease and non-patients who have weight issues equally without tendencies of making anybody worse.

Haven studied thoroughly he formed the south beach diet, a diet characterized by rich low glycemic index carbs, unsaturated fats, and of course lean proteins.

His work was considered credible because he first used it and it worked tremendously for him before he began recommending it to his patients who had the same experience.

What Vegetables Can I Eat On South Beach Diet Phase 1

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Then, what can you eat on South Beach Diet Phase 1?

Phase 1: Foods to Include

  • Lean beef, pork, lamb, veal and game.
  • Skinless chicken and turkey breast.
  • Fish and shellfish.
  • Soy-based meat substitutes.
  • Low-fat hard cheese, ricotta cheese and cottage cheese.

Also, what kind of food do you eat on the South Beach Diet? You focus on eating lean protein, such as seafood, skinless poultry, lean beef and soy products. You can also eat high-fiber vegetables, low-fat dairy and foods with healthy, unsaturated fats, including avocados, nuts and seeds.

Keeping this in view, can I eat tomatoes on South Beach Phase 1?

Nuts: Snack on nuts such as almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts, but you must limit your intake to one serving per day. Non-starchy vegetables: Any non-starchy vegetable is a go on the South Beach Diet. Incorporate a lot of leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, tomatoes, sprouts, lettuce, okra, and peppers.

Can you eat olives on South Beach Phase 1?

South Beach Diet Do’s& Don’tsLean protein such as fish, shellfish, poultry and soy are featured in phase one meals. A daily bar and shake make up a phase one snack. Healthy fats like nuts and olive oil are fine. Nonstarchy vegetables round out phase one meals.

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Phase 1 Weight Loss Results

During Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet the company claims that you can lose up to 7 pounds in 7 days during Phase 1.

In an independent study, the average weight loss result during the 7 days of Phase 1 was 5.8 pounds, which is pretty consistent with South Beach Diets claims.

After Phase 1, you can expect to lose a sustainable 1-2 pounds per week until you reach your weight loss goal.

Tip: Users are encouraged to always eat everything in their monthly deliveries, as skipping meals does not help with sustainable weight loss.

*Related: How Much Does the South Beach Diet Cost Per Month?

What Are Some South Beach Diet Breakfasts

Grocery Haul South Beach Phase 1

For breakfast, a scramble like this Smoked Sausage Breakfast Scramble is a great way to make sure youre eating plenty of veggies to kick off your day. Once youve reached Phase 2 of the diet, thin-sliced, whole grain bread is allowed in small portions so a great breakfast sandwich recipe can really come in handy and this Zucchini-Tomato Frittata Sandwich is loaded with veggies. The only adjustment that needs to be made to the recipe swapping out the Italian bread for something South Beach friendly.

Learn more about Whole30, another popular low-carb diet.

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Bottom Line: This Plan Is Rather Restrictive At The Beginning But Phase 2 The Eating Plan Is More Well

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author ofThe Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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Does South Beach Diet Have Frozen Meals

The South Beach Diet plan contain offerings that work for breakfast, lunch and dinner and include snacks and protein shake options. Your meals arrive frozen and can be heated in either a conventional oven or a microwave. In addition to subscribing to a meal plan, customers can also order meals a la carte.

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Benefits Of The South Beach Diet

South Beach phase 2 cheat sheet in 2020

There are several benefits of the South Beach diet, including its ability to produce weight loss without hunger.

Research, including an analysis of 24 studies, has consistently shown that high-protein, low-carb diets are effective for weight loss (

7 ).

Whats more, gradually adding small amounts of healthy carbs back into your diet may promote continued weight loss in some people and make it 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 .

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

In addition, it recommends dieters regularly consume eggs, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil and other foods that have been shown to protect heart health.

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


The South Beach Diet may help you lose weight and belly fat, reduce insulin levels, increase hormone levels that promote fullness and help protect heart health.

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What Are Some South Beach Diet Recipes

You will want to ensure that your meals provide a good balance of lean proteins, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables, says McCormick. So, for lunch a large salad with grilled fish or chicken topped with an olive oil vinaigrette, and for dinner a beef stir-fry with lots of veggies sautéed in coconut oil over cauliflower rice makes a delicious keto-friendly option.

Fatty fish are an important part of this diet because of its focus on heart-healthy eating. If youre about to start South Beach, youll want to have several recipes handy so you can look forward to a variety of flavors while eating the same fish week in and week out. Start with a great, basic, Oven-Steamed Salmon and when you are ready to branch out, this Baked Salmon with Arugula Salsa Verde cant be beat.

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A Sample Menu Of Phase 1 Of The South Beach Diet

Here is a suggested menu for phase 1 from the South Beach Diet website:

Breakfast South Beach Complete shake

Snack Plain Greek yogurt with fresh dill and lemon juice, along with celery sticks and cherry tomatoes

Lunch Grilled chicken, ½ an avocado, and cooked broccoli

Snack South Beach Diet Peanut Chocolate Bar

Dinner Baked salmon, white beans, sautéed cabbage and garlic

EveningSnack Almonds

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Meal Plan For Phase Ii

A meal plan for a day during Phase II might be as follows:

Breakfast: Spiced oatmeal with dried apricot and walnuts and vegetable juice cocktail

Mid-morning snack: Spicy lemon edamame beans

Lunch: Spice-rubbed chicken fingers with cilantro dipping sauce, festive 5-veggie slaw, and non-fat milk

Mid-afternoon snack: Cherry tomatoes stuffed with low-fat cottage cheese

Dinner: Grilled chicken with savory Asian plum sauce, Vietnamese-style vegetables with brown rice noodles and non-fat milk

Dessert: Chocolate meringue kisses

The South Beach Diet is popular, but people should approach all lifestyle changes with caution.

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Eat Healthy With South Beach Diet

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Set Yourself Up For Success

If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to survive the first stage of the South Beach Diet, you’re not alone. Many people find the list of Phase 1 foods to be too restrictive. But if you want to make the diet work, there are a few ways to set yourself up for success:

  • Fill your pantry with your favorite Phase 1 diet foods:Get the complete list, find the foods that make you most happy, and fill your kitchen with those items. Schedule an hour to visit the grocery store and check out areas of the market that you generally skip. You might find new foods and flavors to explore.
  • Clean out your kitchen: Make sure all foods that are not allowed are thrown away. That means that you clean out your refrigerator and pantry and set up your kitchen for weight loss success. Having the wrong foods in your kitchen will only make the first phase more difficult.
  • Start the South Beach Diet exercise plan: You’ll be less likely to crave the Phase 1 diet foods you can’t eat if you fill your day with healthy activity that gets you away from the kitchen. The South Beach exercise program is specifically designed for beginners who want to burn calories and stay active. And if you follow the plan precisely, you won’t do too much too soon and get hungry or tired as a result.

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South Beach Diet Plan

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How Much Exercise Do You Have To Get

For the best results, you will want to get some form of exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. This can include simple activities like going on a walk or bike ride, or more vigorous things like yoga, weight-lifting, or running.

The activity choice will be up to you, so long as youre moving for at least half an hour each day, you should see measurable results.

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What Kathleen Zelman Mph Rd Says:

Does It Work?

Yes. This is a healthy Mediterranean-style approach to eating that can help you shed pounds.

For long-term success, get regular exercise as recommended in the South Beach Diet Supercharged plan.

Is It Good for Certain Conditions?

Losing weight can improve many health conditions, and the South Beach Diet is flexible enough to work for people with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

But check with your doctor before starting any new diet.

The Final Word

The South Beach Diet is a nutritious diet plan that offers a wide variety of delicious food and a practical exercise plan — at least in the Supercharged version.

And it relies on proven ways to lose weight: eating smart carbs, healthy fats, lean protein, low fat dairy, and plenty of fiber to keep hunger at bay.

This diet is ideal for anyone who wants to stop thinking like a dieter and embrace behavior changes that are necessary for long-term success.

Even picky eaters and busy people should find this diet plan easy to customize and fit into their lives.

Show Sources

Agatston, A. The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss, Rodale Inc., 2003.

News releases, The South Beach Diet.


Why Is It Popular


The creators of the diet say that people choose it because it is an effective and flexible way of losing weight, without having to count calories.

Part of its popularity might be that it helps people to change overall eating habits, and because there are cook books and diet food products that accompany it.

A number of recipes are available on the South Beach Diet website for people who want ideas for suitable meals to cook and eat.

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