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The South Beach Diet Review

article by Maria Perinic author August 05, 2019
our score
The South Beach Diet has been given a bad rep by the press and reviewers for being an extreme diet that cuts out essential carbs. This claim is misleading. What the South Beach Diet does emphasize is the importance of cutting out unhealthy carb types and focusing on proteins and healthy fats.
pros
  • No calorie counting
  • Successful method for losing weight quickly
  • A lighter diet for a better feeling after meals (not weighed down)
  • Meal delivery optional
  • Easy recipes with simple ingredients
cons
  • No exercise regimen
  • Excessive first stage
  • Prepping and cooking required
The South Beach Diet completely changed the way I look at eating. I feel better and younger than ever before, and I’m keeping the weight off because I can!
Maria Perinic, author
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Personal Use Benefits How Does it Work

As the creator of the South Beach Diet, Dr. Arthur Agatston says; “he noticed a huge shift with the change in lifestyle that hit the US creating a national obesity epidemic”.

“We exercise less. There’s the oversized portions. But really what happened at the time this epidemic started were the national recommendations on low-fat, [high]-carb diets, and the response of the food industry, with all the great low-fat, high-carb, processed carbohydrate foods. 

Basically, the idea was that the low-fat, high-carb diet was to mimic underdeveloped countries, which are low fat, high carb, no heart attacks, no strokes, no obesity. What the American food industry produced, though, was carbohydrates where the fiber, as well as the nutrients, were taken out.”

To remedy the problem, the South Beach Diet permits good carbohydrates including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables whilst restricting the intake of unhealthy carbohydrates found in processed foods. This doesn’t mean you need to cut out carbs completely as you can eat whole-grain breads, cereals, and whole wheat pasta.

“The glycemic index basically teaches us that a white potato increases our blood sugar faster than table sugar does, and basically, the higher the glycemic index of a food, the faster you get swings in blood sugar, and the more hungry you are soon after you finish a meal.

And now that demands are switching to both low carb and less-processed carb, the food industries are responding, and there are new technologies out there that will help us to some degree have our cake and eat it too, have foods that taste good but that are more slowly digested and don’t cause the hunger soon after we eat.” 

The South Beach Diet delivery program is separated into three phases, with three meals being delivered to your door. The first phase, called the Body Reboot, has seven days worth of food including three meals and two snacks if you so choose.

The meals are composed of lean protein which includes chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish and soy as well as healthy fats. There will be no fruits, juices, pasta, rice or bread, whole grains, alcohol or sugary foods.

The second phase, Steady Weight Loss is where you reintroduce the good carbs which will see produce like fruit, whole-wheat pasta and whole-grain bread back in your life. There will be three meals daily and three snacks as well, but you will need to purchase fresh produce from the grocery store to complete the plan.

You also have the option of having two meals less in the delivery so you can cook on your own or even eat out. A few glasses of wine or other alcohol is permitted and you will stick to this regime until you reach that goal weight of yours.

The last phase is called the Maintenance Phase, which is where no food is restricted from your diet, but you can continue to purchase food from the South Beach Diet menu if you wish.

Reliability Easy To Maintain

When it comes to sticking to the South Beach Diet, the best and easiest part about it is the fact that you will have food delivered to your door. This means you do not need to think of new dishes every day to remain on your health kick. You will need to visit the grocery shop to add to the recipes, but that shouldn’t cause too much trouble.

The first part of the diet is the most restrictive, so if you stick it out for that, there shouldn’t be an issue in the future. The great thing about the South Beach Diet is that you can still dine out, as long as you stick to the rules and remember to cut out alcohol completely for the first two weeks.

If you do decide to eat out, The South Beach Diet recommends you order a soup first followed by a salad. This way you will feel slightly full by the time our main course comes around and you will be more likely to make smarter ordering decisions. Things like turkey, filet mignon and fish are all terrific ingredients to work with.

If you do have any problems or need help there are counselors available seven days a week that you can contact either via chat or email from 7 am through to midnight. Snacking is something that is usually prohibited or looked down upon when dieting, but this isn’t the case with the South Beach Diet. In fact, you will need to snack twice a day in order to curb hunger and the snacks are full of fiber to keep you full until your next meal.

The Simple plan is the most budget-friendly option that you can choose from and will require you to do a lot of the cooking yourself. It includes shakes and bars that can serve as snacks or meals on the go and food to last you for four weeks. You don’t get any extras with this plan, however, you will still have access to all the tools and resources available on the South Beach Diet website including the meal planner the tracker app, recipes and various tips.

The Silver plan will provide you with four weeks’ worth of breakfasts, lunch and dinners. You can choose the meals yourself or let the experts make the selections for you.

The Gold plan comes with a greater variety of menus with over one hundred options available including snacks. Again you will have four weeks’ of food delivered to your door, but what makes this plan different is that it has variations designed particularly from those suffering from type 2 diabetes.

The Platinum subscription offers everything in the Gold plan but has one big bonus. It will provide you with as many as 20 South Beach shakes that have 20 grams of protein in them and only 3 grams of carbs, with no added sugars.

Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Variety Meal Plans

As mentioned earlier the first phase will allow you to eat things like:

  • Lean meats and pouty
  • Seafood
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Soy products
  • Nuts
  • Dairy
  • Healthy fats

You will need to steer clear of the following:

  • Fatty meats
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Grains
  • Fruit
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar
  • Desserts

Phase two will allow you to introduce fruit, starchy vegetables, and whole grains into your diet. You can expect delivered meals to consist of dishes such as:

  • Avocado Tuna Salad
  • Thai Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
  • Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Mussels in White Wine Sauce
  • Chicken Khao Soi – Yellow Coconut Curry Soup
  • Cauliflower Tabouli Salad with Tofu Souvlaki
  • Almond Crusted Baked Bruschetta Chicken
  • Grilled Salmon with Lemon-Butter Sauce
  • Roasted Shrimp and Quinoa Salad with Ginger-Hemp Dressing
  • Spicy Chickpeas and Sweet Potato Salad Bowl
  • Honey Lemon Baked Chicken
  • Tzatziki Chicken Salad
  • Baked Salmon with Salsa Verde
  • Chicken Fajita Omelette
  • Miso Ginger Salmon with Kale and Quinoa
  • Refreshing Green Cucumber, Avocado and Lime Cooler
  • Cucumber and Avocado Pollen Power Smoothie

The South Beach Diet consists of a rich menu which includes around 30 breakfasts, 20 lunches and as many as 50 dinner choices as well as around 25 snacks. Many of the choices are gluten-free and free of shellfish. If you are allergic to wheat you can have a completely wheat-free menu.

There are vegetarian, keto and diabetic-friendly options available, but it should be noted that this program is not suitable for those individuals that follow a vegan diet or have soy allergies.

You can choose from four meal plans including Simple, Silver, Gold and Platinum, all of which depends on how much money you wish to spend. You can also customize your order and receive as much food as you think you need. As soon as you place an order, you should receive your food delivery within four to ten business days.

Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Low Calorie Meals-Low Carb Meals Exercise

When it comes to exercise, the South Beach Diet was presumed you didn’t need to take part in a lot of physical activity, if any for the diet to work. In an interview, the developer of the diet, Dr. Arthur Agatston made things a little clearer,

“exercise is absolutely crucial. And it’s been a little bit misunderstood with our diet because when we did our clinical study, we asked patients not to change their exercise habits because we wanted to study the diet and not exercise. 

But I am a huge proponent of exercise, and the point we make in the book is, often less is more; that studies show that the first 20 to 30 minutes of just a brisk walk, 3 to 5 days a week, can decrease your risk of heart attack substantially and helps with obesity.

Now, if you can do more and go to the gym and do stretching and weight-bearing exercise, that really gives you incremental value. But going from nothing to the first 20 to 30 minutes makes the biggest bang for the buck.” 

Things are made easier for you as you don’t even have to do it all at one time.

“It can be at different times. It can be two 15-minute intervals. What happens as we age, in this country in particular, and we don’t exercise, we decrease our lean body mass. That’s our muscle and bone mass, and that’s responsible for our basal metabolic rate, basically how many calories we’re burning when we’re sleeping. 

By exercising regularly and doing some weight-bearing exercise, you maintain that lean body mass, muscle and bone mass, and it’s much easier to lose weight because you’re literally burning more calories while you’re sleeping than if you’ve lost that muscle and bone mass.”

Pricing Pricing

The cost varies from plan to plan. You can always go with the standard subscriptions that include three meals per day and expect to pay $299.99 per month, whilst the added snacks on top of the meals will cost $399.99 a month.

In saying that, the diet plans start at around $3.57 and range to $12.86 depending on what you order. The Silver packet starts at $10.36 per day, whilst the Gold subscription is priced at $11.79 per day. The Platinum plan is the most expensive of all at $12.86 per day.

When you think about it, even the Platinum plan is pretty affordable for three meals a day including snacks and shakes. It should be noted that men will pay around $1.00 to $1.50 more per day as they are afforded more snacks to keep them full between meals.

Shipping is free if you order more than $150 worth of food a month and the South Beach diet ships all over the United States except for Hawaii, Alaska, APO boxes, PO boxes and military addresses. The food arrives in boxes designed to keep the meals fresh for six to eight hours.

Bottom Line

The South Beach Diet is a great way to change to a healthier lifestyle, particularly for those individuals who do not have a lot of time to spend on meal preparation. The great thing about it is that the South Beach Diet has a wide variety of foods that you can eat, especially after the first phase is complete, so you can always swap foods if you notice your body isn’t reacting well to something.

With this diet, you don’t need to count calories or throw yourself into a difficult exercise regime. In fact, the South Beach Diet will encourage you to focus on the effects that food has on your body, making you more aware of foods and situations that trigger cravings.

Exercise is encouraged at thirty minutes per day which is something everyone can commit to, no matter how busy your schedule. It also doesn’t mean you have to break the budget by paying a monthly gym membership, instead, you can go for a brisk walk for thirty minutes per day.

Phase one is definitely the most restrictive part of the diet, but it also gives your body a chance to reset and allows you to discover any food sensitivities you may not have been aware of. The South Beach Diet is a great choice, but may not be for everyone so if considering it, you should consult with your doctor before you take the leap.