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What is the South Beach Diet?

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Has anyone heard of the South Beach Diet? 

Its main aim is to help people lose weight through 3 phases. Promoted as a maintenance diet, this diet is meant to be incorporated into your lifestyle. 

Phase 1, which lasts for 2 weeks, is all about eliminating your cravings for foods high in sugar and refined starches. This means, say goodbye to pasta, rice, bread, potato and yes, fruit, fruit juice and alcohol as well. What you will be consuming more are,  lean proteins such as lean beef, skinless poultry and seafood and healthy unsaturated fats from avocados, nuts and seeds. 

Those of you who might have read the previous blogs might be thinking that it sounds similar to the keto diet. The difference between the two diets is that percentage of carbs that you’ll be consuming on this diet will increase in the later phases and overall this diet is lower in fats. Also, even though you are eliminating most of the carbs from your diet in Phase 1, this diet allows you to have a cheeky dessert once a day as long as it’s portion controlled.

Phase 2 is about incorporating the carbohydrates back into your diet. Does this mean you can start eating everything you used to eat before? No. Healthy carbs, such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, fruits and vegetables are incorporated back.This phase is a long-term phase that you will maintain until you reach your desired weight. 

Phase 3 aims to teach you moderation. After you have reached your desired weight, you are allowed to eat everything BUT in moderation. So you can indulge in delicious cheesy pasta once in a while, however your overall diet will be centred around lots of fruits, vegetables, grains and lean meat. It’s a diet that’s high in fiber, low-glycemic carbohydrates, unsaturated fats and lean protein. 

So should you follow this diet to lose weight? 
There is barely any quality research supporting the efficacy of this diet. It could just be another fad diet among the numerous other diets on the market. Its principle of consuming the right carbs and fats is beneficial. Ultimately, it wants you to have a balanced diet and you could achieve this by just switching to it without having to go through the 3 phases in the South Beach Diet.

Remember to always go through quality peer-reviewed journal papers before believing that a random diet will 100% work.


Baran, M. (2004). Fighting obesity. Health Care: Food and Nutrition Focus, 21(10). 1-12.  

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