South Beach Diet: It’s a lower-carb diet that has been credited with producing rapid weight loss without hunger, all while promoting heart health.
What Is the South Beach Diet?
The South Beach Diet was created in the mid-1990s by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a Florida-based cardiologist. His work in heart disease research led to the development of the Agatston score, which measures the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries.
According to published interviews, Dr. Agatston observed that patients on the Atkins Diet were losing weight and belly fat, while those on low-fat, high-carb diets were struggling to achieve results.
However, he was uncomfortable with the high amount of saturated fat allowed on the Atkins Diet, especially for people with heart disease. In addition, he didn’t believe in restricting high-fiber foods with “good carbs,” like fruit and whole grains.
Sample Days on the Diet
Here are sample meal plans for phase 1 and phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, to give you a snapshot of what a typical day might look like.
Phase 1 Sample Day
- Breakfast: 3 eggs and 1 cup kale cooked with 1 tsp olive oil
- Snack: 1 oz (28 grams) string cheese with bell pepper slices
- Lunch: Roasted salmon and asparagus salad with mustard vinaigrette
- Snack: Celery sticks with 2 tsp peanut butter
- Dinner: Lean steak with broccoli
Phase 2 Sample Day
- Breakfast: Quick and easy peanut butter oatmeal
- Snack: 1 cup cucumber slices with 1/4 cup hummus
- Lunch: Apple-walnut chicken salad
- Snack: Cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes
- Dinner: Pork fajitas with 1/3 cup guacamole
There are hundreds of recipes available for all three phases of the South Beach Diet, including many with ingredients that are cheap, tasty and easy to find.
Is the South Beach Diet Safe and Sustainable?
The South Beach Diet is a healthy way of eating that is far lower in carbs than conventional low-fat diets. It also encourages dieters to eat mainly unprocessed foods, liberal amounts of vegetables and healthy, high-fiber carb sources.
However, the diet allows processed vegetable oils, which could pose health risks. Nevertheless, you can avoid this drawback by choosing unprocessed monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or macadamia oil instead.
All this being said, the South Beach Diet is likely a sustainable way of eating.
Many people have reported losing weight and keeping it off by following the diet.
Yet in the end, the most effective diet for weight loss is whichever one you can easily stick with long-term.