With the aim of protecting his patients against grave medical conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart diseases, Miami-based cardiologist Arthur Agatston, MD, created his own healthy diet – the South Beach Diet, which derives its name from Dr. Agatston’s area of practice. 

The South Beach Diet discourages consumption of refined carbohydrates while encouraging consumption of lean protein, low-fat dairy, and healthy carbs as a way to shed off excess pounds, improve health, and minimize the cravings that subject you to the usual hunger-overeat-gain-weight cycle. 

Here are a few other essential things you need to know about this popular diet plan:

The Three Stages of the South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is divided into three main stages: Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three. 

Phase one goes for two weeks and is aimed at cutting down your desire for sugar and artificial starch and induce weight loss.  You’re encouraged to eat fiber-rich, nutrient-dense food, which may include fish, chicken, eggs, lean cheese, and fat-free dairy products.

Also, you should use oils that contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids for cooking. 

Phase two takes longer than two weeks. If you feel that you don’t have much weight to lose, you can skip phase one and go directly to phase two. 

Phase two gives you the freedom to eat everything allowed in phase one in addition to healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole grain bread, green beans, and whole wheat pasta. You should also focus on eating healthy desserts and all sorts of snacks, including dark chocolate. 

Phase three lasts indefinitely. You go to this phase once you achieve your healthy weight. The phase is aimed at teaching you how to eat other foods in moderation and maintain your healthy weight.

Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

The South Beach Diet encourages you to eat plenty of the following food types:

Low-fat dairy
Lean protein, including chicken and turkey
Whole grains
Healthy fats – like canola oil, extra-virgin olive oil, and avocado

You should limit the consumption of the following food types:

Fatty meat and poultry
Certain fruits like dates, pineapple, figs, watermelon, and raisins
Whole milk
Foods made with refined sugar
Butter and coconut oil
Honey, maple syrup and agave nectar

Is The South Beach Diet Right For You?

If you’re willing to change your eating style permanently, then the South Beach Diet could work for you. If you’re looking for a short-term weight loss solution, this plan probably won’t work for you. You may lose weight in the initial stages, but you’ll regain weight if you don’t adhere to the long-term plan. 

It’s advisable to research widely before paying for the South Beach Diet. Review what different reputable diet experts have to say before you make the final decision. Here’s what DadQuarters said about the diet, for example. 

In Conclusion

The South Beach Diet is a popular lower-carb diet with a reputation for delivering rapid weight loss without hunger all while minimizing the risk of medical conditions like diabetes type II and heart disease, but it may not be right for everyone.