South Beach Diet

What is South Beach Diet?

On the South Beach Diet, there are good carbs and fats, and there are bad carbs and fats. The key to weight loss is choosing the best of each. That means lots of vegetables, fish, eggs, dairy, lean protein like chicken and turkey, whole grains and nuts. South Beach is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and healthy fats than the typical American diet.

South Beach doesn’t categorically eliminate all carbs. The ones you do eat are low on the glycemic index, a ranking of how carbs affect blood glucose. Low-GI carbs are said to keep your blood sugar and metabolism steady – and you feeling fuller longer – while high-GI “bad” carbs do the opposite.

What kind of fat you’re getting counts, too. Say goodbye to unhealthy saturated and trans fats. Healthier monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil and avocado, are on the menu.

Fast weight loss without hunger or deprivation is the goal on South Beach, along with promoting heart health.

Pros & Cons

  • Yes to snacks and dessert
  • No calorie counting
  • Could seem awfully restrictive at first
  • Lots of time prepping and cooking meals

How does South Beach Diet work?

The South Beach Diet is now a home-delivery program broken into three phrases. There’s no counting calories, fat grams, carbohydrates or anything else – the bulk of your food shows up at your door. You’ll receive three meals a day, plus snacks if you’ve ordered the “tier 2” program. The diet lasts as long as you want – it depends on your weight-loss goal.

Phase one, aka “Body Reboot,” includes seven days’ worth of food: three meals and two snacks (a bar and shake). You’ll eat lean protein (fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey and soy) and healthy fats, and add in your own fresh grocery vegetables and non-starchy vegetables. You won’t touch fruit, fruit juice, starches (including pasta, rice and bread), whole grains, sugary foods or alcohol.

In phase two, aka “steady weight loss,” you’ll reintroduce “good” carbs, such as whole-grain bread, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and fruit. You’ll eat three meals and three snacks a day; all meals are delivered and the snacks can be, though you’ll need to purchase some of your own fresh grocery foods to complete the plan. You also have the option of adding in two DIY meals each week, which can be cooked at home or eaten out. A glass or two of wine or other alcohol each week is OK. You’ll stick with this phase until you reach your weight goal.

Phase three, the maintenance phase, is your lifelong healthy way to eat. No food is off-limits, but you can continue ordering South Beach products a la carte. You’re encouraged to use portion-control containers and the program guide to transition to this stage.

In 2019, South Beach launched its new keto-friendly approach, with more than 60 related products. If you choose this option, you’ll receive about 40 grams of net carbs per day during phase 1 and about 50 grams of daily net carbs during phase 2.

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