South Beach Diet Reviews: Is This Really Just Another Popular Trendy Diet?

Dietary and nutritional content reviewed by Jasmin Gorostiza, DT, DM, DSS, CFPP.️

Is the South Beach Diet for you? You might like to read this review if you are seriously considering to go on this popular weight loss diet program.

Disclosure: We are often compensated for products we link to at no additional costs to you. Click here for details.

The South Beach Diet has become a worldwide diet phenomenon. Since its publication in 2003, the South Beach Diet has been on the New York Times best seller list for a remarkable 69 weeks. More than 22 million copies of the South Beach Diet and its companion books have been printed worldwide.

The South Beach Diet and its online weight loss diet program was developed by Dr. Arthur Agatston, director of the Mount Sinai Cardiac Prevention Center in Miami, Florida.

With a diet that bears the name of a famous and glamorous beach in Miami, is the South Beach Diet just another highly publicized fad diet or is it a diet program worth seriously considering to achieve your weight loss goals and long-term overall good health?

Underlying Principle Of The South Beach Diet

Dr. Agatston’s initial goal was to develop an eating plan that would improve the cholesterol and insulin levels of his heart patients. As it turned out, the plan was not only effective in improving cholesterol and insulin levels but also proved to be very effective in inducing weight loss among those who went through the program.

In a nutshell, the South Beach Diet is not about just having low fat or low carb meals. The South Beach Diet is more about eating the right carbs and the right fats to help induce weight loss.

In a nutshell, the South Beach Diet is not about just having low fat or low carb meals. The South Beach Diet is more about eating the right carbs and the right fats to help induce weight loss. Combine this principle with great tasting, well-balanced meals that Dr. Agatston promotes and an active lifestyle, you have a super formula for weight loss.

The South Beach Diet program is composed of three phases:

Phase 1: This phase is about banishing your cravings.

For the first 14-days, you’ll eat normal-size helpings of meat, chicken, turkey, fish, and shellfish. You’ll have plenty of vegetables, eggs, cheese, and nuts. You’ll have salads with real olive oil in the dressing.

During this phase, you can’t have any bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, or baked goods … not even fruits. No candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, or sugar. No beer or alcohol of any kind.

Phase 2: This phase is about reintroducing carbs.

As you continue to lose weight from the Phase 1 process, Phase 2 allows you to bring back some of the food that you but in a more controlled manner. You will have to pick and choose some indulgences. You’ll learn to enjoy them a little differently than before because of ongoing changes in your eating habits.

You remain in Phase 2 and continue losing weight until you reach your goal. Once you hit your weight goal, you will then switch to an even more liberal version of the program, which will help you to maintain your ideal weight.

Phase 3: This stage of the South Beach Diet is about maintenance.

How long does this last? This stage is for the rest of your life. By then, this is more of a way of life rather than just a diet. By this point, all you have to do is to stick to the basic rules of the South Beach Diet and enjoy your new way of life.

Another major difference between the South Beach Diet and other weight loss programs in the market is that with the South Beach Diet, dieters choose food with low glycemic index numbers and are allowed to eat generous portions.

Another major difference between the South Beach Diet and other weight loss programs in the market is that with the South Beach Diet, dieters choose food with low glycemic index numbers and are allowed to eat generous portions.

For those who are not familiar with what a glycemic index is, this is an index that rates food which contains carbohydrates on how quickly they are digested and how they affect our blood sugar levels.

Top Reasons to Go On This Diet

Below are some of the reasons why the South Beach Diet has become a very popular program among people who are trying to lose weight.

1. Clinically proven to be effective.

The South Beach Diet is a clinically proven program that will help you lose weight and achieve a better overall state of health. Backed by sound research, the South Beach Diet encourages the whole grains, vegetables, and fish, which contains adequate amounts of mono- and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. The South Beach Diet discourages refined processed foods such as refined flours and sugars, meats and processed meat that are high in fat, and saturated fats in general.

Three recent studies support the effectiveness and soundness of the South Beach Diet:

In 2007, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that 12 weeks on the South Beach Diet resulted in improvements in weight and health for 20 participants who were overweight and who exhibited all the criteria for metabolic syndrome (a condition marked by a cluster of symptoms, including high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, and poor blood chemistry) when the study began. (see study here).

In 2005, a third party study reported that participants who followed the principles of the South Beach Diet lost twice as much weight as those following a portion-controlled, low-fat plan, and also showed greater losses in body fat. In addition, they experienced significant reductions in triglycerides and their ratio of total/HDL cholesterol (see study here).

In 2004, Dr. Agatston and his colleagues published a paper in the Archives of Internal Medicine and reported that subjects on the South Beach Diet lost twice as much weight as those following the National Cholesterol Education Program low-fat diet (see study here).

2. Variety of meals and food options to choose from.

Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet is when you undoubtedly feel that you are on a weight loss diet program. Once you get over this 14-day period, you will have a sense of normalcy in your meals and less craving for food that made you overweight.

The various South Beach Diet recipes available gives you a lot of options to choose from for preparing your hearty meals. A lot of people who have used this program to lose weight swear by the variety of meals and food available for the diet.

With the South Beach Diet, you’ll be having dishes such as grilled chicken salad, spicy seared tuna, grilled steak, roasted chicken, vegetables, and fresh, Miami-style salads. You will also be having dessert, snacks (twice a day), and some fast food options.

You will never have a feeling of deprivation once you know what to eat and store in your refrigerator and pantry.

3. Actual testimonials of people who have lost weight.

You will find countless numbers of testimonials of people who found weight loss success with the South Beach Diet. South Beach Diet provides testimonials of men and women who highly recommend this diet.

We did additional research on the Internet and found a lot of people providing feedback and testimonials about their South Beach Diet success experience, including actual before and after pictures.

Actual testimonials are not tough to find about how the South Beach Diet has changed the lives of many people around the world.

4. Easy to follow diet program.

Overall, the South Beach Diet program provides a sound and effective weight loss plan. Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet program may be a “shock” to your system due to the stringent limits on what you are allowed to eat. This phase is just for 14 days and is meant to purge your cravings of food that made you overweight in the first place.

Still, we find the South Beach Diet easy, practical, and very easy to follow. The South Beach Diet program does not require you to count calories nor limit your portions. Instead, the South Beach Diet suggests that you eat until you are satisfied.

On a daily basis, you have six meals consisting of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack in between meals so you never become hungry and keep your body working like a calorie burning furnace.

5. Complete and personalized diet planning.

South Beach Diet Online will customize your plan and guide you through each of the three phases of the program. It all starts with you getting your diet profile, setting your goals, and food preferences and this tool will personalize your diet plan for you.

We found this South Beach Diet profile very interesting and fun to use. With the South Beach Diet profiler, you will realize certain aspects of your eating habits that you had never really thought about.

The South Beach Diet profiler is a great tool for goal setting. This easy to use tool will guide you through the South Beach Diet program every step of the way.

6. Access to 1,000+ recipes and food guide for each phase.

The South Beach Diet Online meal planner provides you daily meal plans which are customized based on your preferences.

Furthermore, this tool gives you access to over 1,000 delicious and latest South Beach Diet recipes many of which are not found in the book as well as access to recipes from other South Beach dieters. Of course, these are all easily printable too.

7. Online tools to guide you and keep you on track.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that tracking your progress can help you lose more weight. South Beach Diet allows you to chart your weight loss progress, keep a journal of the things you eat or your thoughts about your progress, read other people’s journals to inspire or motivate you, and join the message boards to gain more support and get assistance for your questions.

With South Beach Diet, you have 24-hour access to specially developed interactive tools to help you succeed with your weight loss goals.

8. Supportive online community of 750,000+ … you will never feel alone dieting.

On South Beach Diet Online, you will find a vibrant community of more than 750,000 South Beach dieters (thousands of them) who are always more than willing to provide you support and motivation to reach your goals.

You will never feel alone in your quest for weight loss and better health. You will also get to meet expert dietitians who answer questions everyday about any questions you have about South Beach Diet.

9. Very affordable.

Forbes.com awarded South Beach Diet Online the distinction of Best of the Web because of the site’s ease of use and most of all, affordability. Considering the alternative diet programs that require you to buy their prepackaged food or meal replacements and can cost you at least $100 a week, South Beach Diet Online is very inexpensive.

We think that this is a wise investment especially since you get the latest information on South Beach Diet, you get access to some of the best weight loss tools and guides we have seen so far in the market, and most importantly — access to Dr. Agatston and his team of nutritionists and dietitians. Note that this subscription is only for access to all the tools and information on South Beach Diet Online.

You may cancel your subscription anytime or when you feel that you can manage on your own. Most South Beach Diet users highly recommend the use of the tools on the site as a way to motivate yourself, have the latest recipes and meal preparations, and connect with other South Beach dieters.

10. Find a partner with the Beach Buddies program.

With South Beach Diet Online’s Beach Buddies program, you can pair up with other members of the community to motivate each other to achieve your goals. Based on feedback from people who used the Beach Buddies program, this was a great motivator especially during times when you are hitting some bumps in your progress.

Having a partner to work out some issues that you are having or having someone there to give you the mental and psychological support you need can make a huge difference.

11. Daily email newsletter.

As a member of South Beach Diet community, you will exclusive subscription to the daily email newsletter. The South Beach Diet newsletter provides information on dieting secrets, new South Beach Diet recipes, updates to the diet, other health news, and the latest news directly from Dr. Agatston and his team of nutritionists.

Potential Issues With The Program

Below are what we see may be potential issues with this diet:

1. Phase 1 requires a lot of will power and discipline.

South Beach Diet’s 14-day Phase 1 might be of a system shock to some people. This phase of the South Beach Diet program is the most restrictive because a lot of the food cravings that you normally have should be totally avoided during this phase.

During this phase, carb and sugar-lovers will require more will power to avoid the temptation to cheat and consume their habitual carb and sweet cravings. As one of our practicing South Beach Diet friends suggested, you just have to think of going through this phase one day at a time.

Before you know it, the 14 days are over. After the first 14 days, everything becomes a lot easier. Besides, it’s s well worth it since you end up losing weight during this phase, which is really very rewarding.

2. Must include regular exercise.

Just like most effective weight loss programs, exercise is part of the success of the South Beach Diet program. In fact, having an active lifestyle is highly encouraged not only for losing weight but more so for overall health and physical well-being.

For those people who are not fond of exercising, you might need to rewire your brains and get yourself into more physical activities or into a regular exercise regimen. Since this is for your overall physical well-being and health, you need to motivate yourself to get into the habit of planning and doing some physical activities that will give you a good sweat.

3. Subscription basis.

There are some people who don’t like paying subscription to a service, despite having access to all the tools and expertise to help them lose weight and achieve better health.

4. No face-to-face support group.

Some people like to have face-to-face meetings with a support group or a weight loss counselor to keep themselves motivated. Although South Beach Diet does not offer this like the regular weight loss programs of Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, you have a couple of options still.

If you are the type of person who needs a support group or a counselor, and you would like to go with this program, you could find out through the South Beach Diet dieters community if there are people who live within the vicinity of your home. Chances are that there is someone among the thousands of South Beach Diet users who might live near you and would also like to have a face-to-face support group.

Another option is for you to go through the South Beach Diet program with your friends or family so that you can have your personal support group. Meetup is another independent online tool that you can use to find South Beach Diet groups within your vicinity

Our Bottomline Recommendation

One of the major strengths of the South Beach Diet is that it emphasizes a permanent change in your eating habits. It is not one of those fad diets that you will find in the market that will advocate short periods of dieting to achieve drastic changes.

South Beach Diet is about lifestyle and eating habit changes plus you get exposed to a wide variety of foods and have the flexibility to choose to eat the right types food that are good for you. There is no doubt that the South Beach Diet does a good job of educating dieters about the importance of eating the right food to reduce heart disease and improve your overall health.

Proven to be effective by clinical studies and most of all, by the millions of people worldwide who have lost weight and built a healthier life with this diet, there is no doubt that South Beach Diet is THE diet that you should seriously consider in achieving your weight loss and health goals.

We also found South Beach Diet Online to be one of the most comprehensive online diet programs because of the full range of support and services that the site offers. South Beach Diet Online is a great site that beginners and even advanced South Beach dieters should keep in their arsenal to achieve their weight loss goals.

South Beach Diet Online provides you with all the necessary tools and support you need to keep yourself motivated to achieve your weight loss goals. No wonder South Beach Diet Online was named as one of Forbes’ Best of the Web sites.

Whether you are into home-cooking, eating at trendy restaurants, or a fast-food lover, we highly recommend South Beach Diet. The South Beach Diet is Did We Lose Weight’s Editor’s Choice for its effectiveness in weight loss management and practical guidelines for a lifelong, healthy lifestyle.

We have presented you with the pros and cons of the South Beach Diet. The choice is up to you.

Disclosure: Compensated Affiliate

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