30 Essential South Beach Diet Facts

Find out if the popular weight loss plan will work for you

Tarte with black olives, tomatoes and rocket salad, close up
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The South Beach Diet is one of the most popular diet plans of all time. But that doesn't mean it's right for everyone. Before you decide if it's the diet for you, take a look at these important South Beach Diet facts to make the best decision.

30 South Beach Diet Facts

  1. The South Beach Diet despite sometimes being referred to as one is in fact not a low-carb diet plan. It's not necessarily a low-glycemic diet either.
  1. The South Beach Diet is based on eating healthy carbohydrates and good fats while eliminating less healthful foods.
  2. Most South Beach Dieters adjust to the plan fairly quickly and usually find they are satisfied by the new food choices.
  3. It is completely acceptable and recommended on The South Beach Diet to eat allowed foods until you are fully satisfied rather than focusing stringently on portion control.
  4. The first two weeks of The South Beach Diet are called Phase 1.
  5. Phase 1 is the strictest part of The South Beach Diet and provides the fewest allowable foods as compared to the other two Phases.
  6. The purpose of Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet is to adjust the way your body reacts to sugar and starches.
  7. You will lose the most weight during Phase 1. Many people lose belly fat on the South Beach Diet during this time. 
  8. During Phase 1 you will not eat bread, rice, potatoes or pasta.
  9. The first few days of Phase 1 are the most difficult part of this diet.
  1. Baked goods, sweets, and fruits are not allowed during Phase 1.
  2. You may need to avoid alcohol on the South Beach Diet.
  3. During these two weeks of The South Beach Diet, you'll eat high-fiber foods such as vegetables and healthy salads.  You'll also eat fish, meat, chicken, eggs, non-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese, and nuts.
  1. The South Beach Diet allows you six meals each day: three main meals, two snacks, and one dessert.
  2. You'll find a variety of recipes in the book, but you don't have to cook to follow The South Beach Diet.
  3. The science behind The South Beach Diet is based on the glycemic Index, which measures how a food impacts your blood sugar.
  4. Since salads and vegetables are naturally low on the glycemic index, you can consume virtually unlimited amounts of them.
  5. After Phase 1, cravings tend to subside for candy, baked goods, and other refined carbohydrates.
  6. Eventually, you can eat anything you want in moderation.
  7. If you feel hungry during Phase 1, you can increase the amounts of allowable foods you are eating. It's "your job" to eat until you are no longer hungry.
  8. Eliminating bad carbs from your diet is a good way to give your bloodstream a "fresh start" free of insulin-spiking starches and sweets.
  9. You can satisfy your sweet tooth on the plan. Sugar-free gelatin, such as pre-packaged sugar-free Jello cups, is an easy dessert during Phase 1.
  1. There are other recipes for a number of Phase 1 desserts included in the book.
  2. Obese individuals may choose to stay on Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet longer than the initial two weeks.
  3. Most people should advance to Phase 2 after two weeks to prevent dietary burn out and fatigue.
  4. Phase 2 of The South Beach Diet is much more liberal than Phase 1.
  5. Previously forbidden foods such as whole grain breads, fruits, and sweet potatoes can return to your diet a little at a time as they are allowed Phase 2.
  6. Your weight loss will slow down significantly during Phase 2.
  7. Phase 3 is the maintenance phase of The South Beach Diet. You can add any foods you wish to your diet at this point unless you find that you are gaining weight when you eat particular ones.
  8. You can start The South Beach Diet over in Phase 1 again at any point if you gain weight during Phase 3.

Note: Please consult your doctor before beginning this or any other diet plan.

*This article was edited by Malia Frey, Verywell Expert on Weight Loss

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