The South Beach Diet – Pros and Cons

The South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet was originally developed by Dr. Arthur Agatston In Miami, Florida, with the intention to help patients with heart and cardiovascular ailments. It was soon realized that it was also of benefit to aid weight loss , and obesity; and soon after that, it exploded in popularity among the nation.

The diet involves cutting out a particular food group,in this case the carbohydrate, although it is not ‘low carb’, or ‘low fat’, stated Dr. Agatston in his 1993 book.

The South Beach diet is made up of three main phases.

Phase 1 (2 weeks)

This is the most difficult and restrictive stage of the diet. In order to cleanse the body of ‘bad Carbs’, most all are eliminated from the diet, such as the ones high in starch, breads, rice (white), pasta, cereals and potatoes. Alcohol and fruit due to their high sugar content are also eliminated. The diet is mostly proteins, such as lean meat, fish, nuts, and lots of green vegetables. Most dieters have a rapid weight loss while on this phase, losing between 8 to 12 pounds.

Phase 2.

During this phase carbohydrates that are ‘low’ Glycemic are reintroduced. This phase is continued until the desired weight is reached.. Weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week.

Phase 3.

At This Stage It Is Meant To Be A ‘lifestyle’. Nearly all foods are reintroduced, however, the key is to limit amounts of high Glycemic foods, and ones high in fat.


It permits most foods after the initial phase.

Unlike the Atkins Diet, it does not promote foods high in saturated fat. It has been researched that it may limit the risk of heart disease, while involving no calorie counting.

When in Phase 3 the diet is healthy and assists in weight management.


Phase 1 is very restrictive and difficult for most individuals, as it weans people off sugar , starch, and saturated fats. Dieters are deprived of essential minerals and vitamins. There is not enough substantiated research to support Dr.Agatston’s reports. It is based on a high protein intake,that can contribute to health problems.

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