Tips to Help You Lose Weight on The South Beach Diet

South Beach Diet Tips

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Are you planning to lose weight on the South Beach Diet? If you currently eat a typical Western diet - full of starchy carbohydrates, processed foods and sweet treats, then the diet plan might be a shock to your system and your lifestyle. Learning to eat only South Beach approved foods can be quite a challenge.

But if you're serious about losing weight and improving your health, the challenge may be worth it. Not every dieter is successful on the popular weight loss program. Some find it too restrictive or too complicated to follow. But these South Beach Diet tips can make sticking to the diet plan a little bit easier and reaching your weight loss goal a little more likely.

When to Start the South Beach Diet

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So when is the best time to start the South Beach Diet? Of course, you can start the weight loss plan at any time, but as a general rule you should never start any new diet when your schedule is full of social or work obligations. It's best to find a 2-3 week block on your calendar when you can devote extra time to improving your health.

You'll find that extra time especially helpful when you start the South Beach Diet. During Phase 1 of the program, you'll only eat foods from a limited list of items. You'll need extra time to learn the eating plan, stock up on approved foods and learn to cook healthy South Beach-friendly meals.

It's also possible that you'll be tired and crabby during Phase 1. Some dieters even complain of headaches. It's normal to feel a certain amount of stress when you make significant changes to your eating plan. So if you can start the South Beach Diet during a less busy time in your life, you'll be better equipped to manage the extra stress or fatigue that may occur.

Print South Beach Diet Food Lists

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Smart South Beach dieters will print copies of the approved food lists and post them in their kitchen or workspace for quick reference and inspiration. Of course, you can always use the South Beach Diet website or app to check for approved foods, but you may not always have time to hop on your computer or wrangle with your smartphone before a meal or snack.

Posted food lists may also help you to stay positive as you move through your weight loss journey. For example, many dieters struggle through Phase 1 because most of the foods that they previously enjoyed are no longer allowed. But if you see a long list of foods that you can enjoy, it may help you to focus your attention on what you can eat instead of what you can't. You may even be inspired to try new foods and new recipes.

Get The South Beach Diet Supercharged

South Beach Diet Super Charged
South Beach Diet

You'll also find inspiration and motivation in book. The book, the app and the website are great sources of information, but the book goes into greater detail about health benefits of the eating plan. Knowing those benefits may help you stick to the diet.

The book also provides helpful guidance and illustrations to set up the essential South Beach Diet exercise program. Even if you like to go online for your diet and exercise information, you'll find that a hard copy of the book is a handy reference to have on hand if you plan to live a South Beach lifestyle.

Choose Your South Beach Tools

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When you first start the South Beach Diet, you might be excited to buy all the products and sign up for the South Beach Diet Online service. This subscription service gives you access to tools including a glucose tracker, shopping list, member support and dining-out guides. But you don't have to sign up for the service to lose weight on the plan.

If you're on a budget, you can try the diet without the extra tools when you first begin. The online service is only $4 per week which doesn't seem like a lot of money. But that extra $16 per month can really add up if you have a lot of weight to lose and you need to be subscribed for a long time. So choose the tools carefully, taking your budget and lifestyle into consideration. And remember that if you find that you find that you need extra tools or support, you can always add the online service later.

Budget for South Beach Diet Foods

South Beach Diet Delivery Service
South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet offers a food delivery service for a fee. This convenient service might be a good option for busy dieters who have no time to shop and cook. But the South Beach Diet Delivery service is only available for Phases 2 and Phase 3.  And the service might not be a good fit for everyone.

Budget-minded dieters should consider the cost. For example, let's say you have 30 pounds to lose after you have completed Phase 1. Your weight loss journey may take an additional 15-30 weeks. The cost of the food and delivery per week is $214.90* ($189.95 plus an additional $24.95 for shipping within the continental U.S.). If you lose weight at a rate of two pounds per week, your total cost for food will be $3223.50. If you lose rate at a more reasonable rate of one pound per week, your food cost will total $6447.00.

Then, once you've reached your goal weight, some dieters who have relied on the prepared delivery foods may struggle to transition off of them. If you haven't learned how to shop or cook with South Beach Diet-approved foods, it might be easy to slip back into your old shopping and eating habits and gain back the weight.

So if you choose the convenience of food delivery, make a plan for both the short and long term. During Phase 2 try to take at least 1-2 days each week to shop and cook a few meals to keep costs down and make the transition easier.

*Cost estimates are based on prices posted at the time of publication and are subject to change.

Find South Beach Approved Foods

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The South Beach Diet is often referred to as a low-glycemic weight loss program. But South Beach dieters should not choose foods based on glycemic index alone. Not every low-glycemic food is good for your diet and not all low-glycemic foods are approved on the South Beach plan.

Ice cream is a perfect example. Premium ice cream is a low glycemic food with an glycemic index of 38 on a scale of 1-100. But ice cream is not necessarily a good food choice for people who are trying to lose weight and it is not a South Beach approved food during Phases 1 or 2. 

So how do you choose the best South Beach approved foods? Stick to the South Beach Diet Foods to Enjoy and Foods to Avoid. You'll find heart-healthy low glycemic foods to keep your diet and your health on track.

Choose High-Fiber South Beach Foods

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As you move through the South Beach program, you'll find that foods that contain fiber are foods that will keep you satisfied for a longer period of time after you eat. This will help you eat less and lose weight faster. People who eat enough fiber each day may also enjoy other health benefits such as improved cholesterol and regular bowel habits. So it's important to search out South Beach foods that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.

What's the best way to find fiber? On packaged foods, you'll see grams of fiber listed on the nutritional label. You can also look for the words "whole grain" or "whole wheat" on the label or ingredients list. But you'll also find plenty of natural foods that contain fiber included on the South Beach Diet approved foods lists.

Ask for Help Before You Quit

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Every diet is difficult to maintain. Many say that the South Beach Diet is one of the more difficult programs to stick to - especially at the beginning. But successful dieters ask for help before they quit. 

If you started the South Beach Diet on budget - without the paid online tools or diet delivery - you can always purchase those options if you find that you need them. The South Beach Diet Online service provides access to an online community of other South Beach dieters and personalized email support from a registered dietitian.

If you still prefer a budget-friendly approach, you'll find South Beach community support groups at free online sites like and  You may also be able to get personalized weight loss support from your doctor and within your community to help you improve your health and reach your goal weight.

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