South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet teaches a way of life where you rely on the right carbohydrates and fats and avoid the "bad" ones so you lose weight, decrease your risk of cardiovascular problems and get rid of cravings without feeling hungry. In contrast, when you eat bad carbohydrates and fats you feel hungrier, causing you to eat more, which causes weight gain. On the South Beach Diet, over time you begin to control your blood sugar levels, and as a result you find you eat less than you used to because you aren't hungry.


The South Beach Diet is based around three phases, the first two for a specific timeframe and the third phase for life. You eat normal portion sizes in Phase 1, but all carbohydrates are restricted. This is the strictest phase in the diet and will last for two weeks. Each day for 14 days, you eat three, well-balanced meals. In addition to the three meals each day, you also eat a snack between breakfast and lunch and one between lunch and dinner.

While eating until your hunger is satisfied may go against most diets, with the South Beach Diet it is part of the plan. The change you make during this first phase is that you cut out all bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, baked goods, fruit, candy, cake, cookies, ice cream and sugar. Keep in mind that these eliminated foods will be added back into your diet, starting in Phase 2. By the time this phase ends, your cravings for sweets, baked goods and starches should vanish.

In Phase 2, some of the banned food are slowly introduced while weight loss continues. Good carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, sweet potatoes, brown rice, pasta and fruit may be slowly reintroduced to your diet. Chocolate and wine are also allowed, but in moderation. There is no timescale set for this phase; you should remain on it until you have reached your target weight. How long it takes depends on how much you need to lose.

Phase 3 is for maintenance and should be followed for life. This final phase begins after you reach your target weight. By the time you reach Phase 3, the South Beach Diet should feel more like a way of life than a diet. Carbohydrates have been reintroduced to your diet, but cravings for bad carbohydrates should be gone. It is all about maintaining your desired weight with a healthy, balanced diet. Should your weight begin to climb, simply return to Phase 1 for a few days or a week. You'll get back to where you were, and then you'll return to Phase 3.