What do you know about The South Beach Diet


In 2003, cardiologist Arthur Agatston created the popular weight loss called the south beach diet also sometimes known as a modified low carb diet. Arthur claims that the south beach diet is a fool proof plan for fast and healthy weight loss. This weight loss diet promises certain prospects that no one can resist. These prospects include; no calorie counting, no portion control, 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, and healthy eating.

The south beach diet is a nutrient dense, fiber rich diet that comprises of good carbs, lean protein and healthy fats in balanced proportions.


  • PHASE 1:

This first phase is usually the most critical phase and guarantees the most results when it comes to weight loss. It focuses on meals that are high protein, high fiber, and healthy fats. Carbs are more or less extinct at this phase since you’ll be cutting out foods like; rice, bread, pasta, alcohol, processed foods, sugars, and soda. The idea is to stabilize blood sugar and curb appetite. This phase is meant to last for not more than 2 weeks and it is during these 2 weeks that your body loses at least 13lb.

  • PHASE 2:

This phase lasts longer than the 1st phase. It lasts until you achieve your weight loss goal and are at your desired weight. At this point you gradually begin to include some carb foods that were not allowed during the 1st phase.


Like all other diets or weight loss plans that come in phases, the final phase is always the maintenance phase. This is the phase where you continuously put all that you’ve learnt from the previous phases into practice. It simply means making the south beach diet more than a diet but a lifestyle. All types of food are encouraged at this point but in moderation.

This meal plan was originally intended for heart patients until one of the side effects manifested (weight loss). It should be clear that this meal plan is neither low-carb nor low-fat rather it embraces healthy carbs and healthy fats. Dr Agatson based the south beach diet on the GI diet. This means that beyond the first phase of this diet, during which time carbs are strictly restricted, the south beach diet focuses on foods with low GI (Low Glycaemic Index).

The general idea behind eating more of low GI foods is that while you eat foods with low GI, mthe foods will slowly release sugar into the blood resulting in constant energy supply and satiety. Of course with the feeling of satiety there’ll be no need to eat more than your body actually needs. The end result is an impressive weight loss and outstanding cardiovascular health.

At first the restriction placed on carbs during the first phase may seem daunting and may even give rise to some health challenges which is why it is always best to consult with your doctor or dietician before commencing with this plan. The first phase is plagued with symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss (a welcomed side effect)
  • Low blood sugar, etc.

These symptoms occur mostly because during the first phase of the south beach diet, the body goes into ketosis (a state in which the body burns fat for fuel). It is at this point that the body is able to lose up to 13lb in 2 weeks. You’ll notice that in the following phases when ‘healthy’ carbs are gradually introduced, weight loss drops to about 1-2lb per week if at all.


As mentioned before, weight loss was not the primary goal for the creation or formation of the south beach diet rather it became obvious as a side effect. Since the diet plan was originally made with heart patients in mind, it goes without saying that the south beach diet enhances cardiovascular health.  The claim that the weight lost during this plan stems mostly from the abdominal region goes further to hint at a healthy heart. Many heart problems are a result of obesity and abdominal fat. Also, consumption of low GI carbs and dietary fats improves blood cholesterol level.

Bottom line; the south beach diet is more readily acceptable by people because of the prospect of ‘no calorie counting’ and ‘no portion control’. It is also affordable and flexible.  On the other hand people find it too hard to believe that there’ll actually be results after eating uncontrolled portions of food. In fact, the south beach diet has been termed “too good to be true”.

The south beach diet is one that is more than a diet but more of a life style.

Photo:South Beach diet

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