south beach dietSouth Beach Diet Plan UK

The South Beach Diet Plan is a weight loss plan developed by Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon as an alternative to low fat diet plans.

The diet plan was originally devised as a way to help prevent heart disease in Dr. Agatston’s own patients.

However details of the diet began to spread as a way to lose weight and the south beach diet gained popularity in the early 2000s. The book, The South Beach Diet, The South Beach Diet Supercharged: Faster Weight Loss and Better Health For Life (and also see below) was published by Rodale Books and sets out the basis of the diet.

South Beach Diet Plan Foods

South Beach Diet Plan Phase 1: Foods Allowed in Phase 1

BEEF Lean cuts, such as:

  • Ground beef:
  • Extra Lean 
  • Lean 
  • Sirloin 
  • Tenderloin
  • Top Loin
  • Top Round

LAMB (Remove visible fat)

  • Center Cut
  • Chop
  • Loin


  • Boiled ham
  • Canadian bacon
  • Loin
  • Tenderloin


  • Turkey bacon (2 slices per day)
  • Turkey and chicken breast


  • All types of fish and shellfish


  • Use soft, low-fat or lite varieties


  • Chop
  • Cutlet
  • Leg
  • Top round


  • Whole eggs 


  • Fat-free or low-fat only


  • Bacon 
  • Burger –
  • Chicken Patties & Nuggets 
  • Hot Dogs 
  • Natural Peanut Butter 
  • Sausage Pattie 
  • Soy Crumbles
  • Soy Nuts 
  • Tempeh
  • Yuba


  • Low-fat (1 percent) fat-free milk or soy milk
  • Plain or sugar-free low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • Fat-free skimmed or semi skimmed


  • Cheddar
  • Cottage cheese, 1-2% or fat-free
  • Cream cheese substitute, dairy-free
  • Feta
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Ricotta
  • String

NUTS (One serving per day as specified)

  • Almonds – 15 
  • Brazil Nuts – 4
  • Cashews – 15 
  • Pecans – 15 
  • Macadamia – 8 
  • Peanut Butter – 1 tsp
  • Peanut Butter, Natural = 2 TBS
  • Peanuts, 20 small (Dry roasted or boiled)
  • Pine Nuts – 1 ounce
  • Pistachios – 30 
  • Walnuts – 15 

VEGETABLE CHOICES (includes legumes) (Fresh, frozen or canned without added sugar)

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beans, Green
  • Beans, Italian
  • Beans, Wax
  • Beans or Legumes:
  • Black Beans
  • Butter Beans
  • Chickpeas or Garbanzo
  • Pigeon Peas
  • Soy Beans
  • Split Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Choy
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Collard Greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce 
  • Juice (Limit to 6 ounces per day)
  • Tomato
  • V-8
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Onion 
  • Peppers
  • Pickles 
  • Radishes 
  • Rhubarb
  • Sauerkraut
  • Snow peas
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts, Alfalfa
  • Squash, Spaghetti
  • Squash, Summer
  • Yellow
  • Zucchini
  • Tomato 


  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil

Other oil Choices 

  • Corn
  • Enova
  • Grape seed
  • Safflower
  • Soybean


  • Avocado 
  • Guacamole 
  • Margarine – Chose those with no trans fatty acids 
  • Mayonnaise – Regular or Low Fat
  • Olives (Green or Ripe) 15 
  • Salad Dressing 

TOPPINGS & SAUCES use sparingly (check labels for added sugar)

  • Hot Sauce
  • Salsa 
  • Soy Sauce
  • Steak Sauce 
  • Worcestershire Sauce 
  • Whipped Topping (Light) 


  • All spices that contain no added sugar
  • Broth
  • Extracts (almond, vanilla, or others)
  • Horseradish sauce
  • Oil Spray
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice 
  • Pepper (black, cayenne, red, white)

SWEET TREATS (Limit to 75 calories per day)

  • Sugar-free sweets
  • Chocolate powder, no-added-sugar
  • Cocoa powder, baking type
  • Gelatin, sugar-free
  • Gum, sugar-free


  • Nutrasweet (Equal)
  • Saccharin (Sweet & Low)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Stevia (Not approved by FDA)


South Beach Diet Plan Phase 1: Foods to be Avoided in Phase 1


  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Potatoes, sweet
  • Yams


  • Brisket
  • Liver
  • Other fatty cuts
  • Rib steaks


  • Chicken, wings and legs
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Poultry products, processed


  • Honey-baked ham


  • Breast

Avoid ALL fruits and fruit juices in Phase 1


  • Plain fat-free yogurt (once per day max.)
  • Fat Free milk
  • Soy milk 
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Milk, low-fat, fat-free, whole
  • Milk, soy


Avoid ALL starchy food in Phase 1, including:

  • Bread, all types
  • Cereal
  • Croutons
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Pastry and baked goods


  • Brie
  • Edam
  • Non-reduced fat


  • Alcohol
  • No regular ketchup or sauce
  • Limit Caffeine-Containing Beverages to 1-2 servings per day

South Beach Diet Plan Phase 2: Foods Allowed in Phase 2 (in addition to the Phase 1 allowed foods)


  • Apples 
  • Apricots-dried or fresh 
  • Blueberries 
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Cherries 
  • Grapefruit 
  • Grapes 
  • Kiwi 
  • Mangoes 
  • Oranges 
  • Peaches 
  • Pears 
  • Plums 
  • Strawberries 


  • Milk-soy, skimmed or semi skimmed
  • Yogurt-light, low-fat or fat-free 

STARCHES (use sparingly) 

  • Bagels, whole grain 
  • Bread-multigrain, oat and bran, rye, whole wheat 
  • Cereal-high-fibre only 
  • Pasta, whole wheat 
  • Peas, green 
  • Popcorn 
  • Rice-brown, wild 


  • Barley 
  • Beans, pinto 
  • Black-eyed peas


  • Chocolate (sparingly)-bittersweet, semisweet 
  • Pudding, fat-free/sugar-free 
  • Wine, red 

South Beach Diet Plan Phase 2: Foods to be Avoided in Phase 2


  • Bagels 
  • Bread 
  • Biscuits
  • Cornflakes and other cereals
  • Pasta 
  • Potatoes 
  • Rice cakes and crisps
  • Rice


  • Beets 
  • Carrots 
  • Corn 
  • Potatoes 

  • Bananas 
  • Canned fruit 
  • Fruit juice 
  • Pineapple 
  • Raisins 
  • Watermelon 


  • Honey 
  • Ice cream 
  • Jam 


South Beach Diet Plan Phase 3

Phase 3 starts when you achieve your target weight. This phase allows you to maintain your target weight and is intended to set the scene for the rest of your life. The final phase 3 is more liberal and is aimed at being your long term healthy eating plan for life.

How much weight can I lose on the South Beach Diet Plan?

Up to 14 pounds in the initial phase 1 period.

When your target weight is met you aim to maintain this for the rest of your life with phase 3 eating.

How does the South Beach Diet Plan work?

The south beach diet is quite straight forward. It works by replacing “bad carbs” and “bad fats” with “good carbs” and “good fats.” This cuts down calories and the urge to eat more as you feel full for longer by eating healthier foods that nourish your body and keep blood sugar levels stable.

“Good carbs” and “bad carbs”

Hunger cycles are triggered by carbohydrate rich foods that the body digests quickly. This results in a spike in blood sugar. Such foods include sugary refined foods such as chocolates and cakes and grains. The south beach diet avoids such foods replacing them with unprocessed natural foods such as vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Carbohydrate sources are classed as “good carbs” if they have a low glycemic index.

“Good fats” and “bad fats”

The south beach diet eliminates trans-fats and discourages saturated fats. Such foods do not contribute to hunger pangs but contribute to cholesterol and heart disease. The south beach diet replaces them with foods rich in unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acid. The diet excludes fatty red meat and poultry. Instead you have lean meats, nuts and oily fish.

“Oktoberfest” exception

The south beach diet does not allow alcohol save small amounts of red wine. However Agatson allowed that any amount of beer or lager may be consumed during the celebration of Oktoberfest. This was a holiday celebrated by Agatson!

South Beach Diet Phases

The south beach diet has three phases. Each hase hs more freedom.

Phase 1 lasts the first two weeks of the diet. It eliminates all sugars, processed carbs, fruits and some high-glycemic vegetables. Its purpose is to dampen hunger. This phase is aimed at significant weight loss and kick starts the diet.

Phase 2 continues for so long as the dieter wants to lose weight. Most fruits are allowed as well as vegetables and some whole grains.

Phase 3 is the maintenance phase and lasts for the rest of the dieter’s life. There is no list of permitted and prohibited foods. Rather, the follower is expected live by the ideals of the diet.

What Diet South Beach Diet Review

Good healthy diet incorporates sound principles that are easy to follow long term. The diet includes an initial strict phase that allows for initial rapid weight loss which is good if you want quick weight loss results. It also guides the dieter to a life long plan to follow and one can always revert to the initial phase to lose additional weight.

South Beach Diet Plan Pros

  • Rapid initial weight loss
  • Unlimited food to eat eventually
  • Life long plan
  • Based on a healthy regime

South Beach Diet Cons

  • Restrictive in the early stages
  • Can seem unnatural to follow the phases

South Beach Diet Plan Books



South beach diet website

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What Diet: South Beach Diet Plan