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South Beach Diet Phases and Recipes

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The South Beach Diet book, developed by Miami based Cardiologist, Dr. Arthur Agastan has been helping people overcome obesity since it was published in 2003. Besides weight loss as a main principle and benefit, the health benefits claims of the South Beach Diet include “helping to lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes by reducing total and LDL cholesterol, and unhealthy triglycerides (another blood fat), and regulating blood-sugar levels.”

Agastan bases his plan on Five Key Principles. They include selecting the right carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, and good fats. The plan focuses on allowing you to avoid calorie-counting and measuring. Instead, it gives you permission to eat satisfying portions of wholesome foods. Those foods consist of lean proteins, fruits, veggies, healthy fats and low-fat dairy.

Agastan believes that flexibility is another key principle which keeps people satisfied on the plan. The plan allows you to substitute foods as long as it is from the Foods to Enjoy List and not the Foods to Avoid List.

The South Beach Diet is broken down into three phases. The first two phases however are where a majority of the weight loss will take place. For those who have more than 10 pounds of weight to lose, Agastan suggests starting at Phase 1 to Eliminate Cravings and Kickstart Weight Loss.

The diet plan claims that Phase 1 will help stabilize your blood sugar and is “ideal for people who are pre-diabetic or diabetic.” Participants can enjoy a satisfying breakfast of Artichokes Benedict using two eggs, two medium artichokes, two slices of Canadian bacon. A Mock Hollandaise Sauce tops this concoction made with egg substitute, transfat-free margarine, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper. They will also be able to recreate a delicious gourmet lunch or dinner with Edamame Salad seasoned with rice vinegar, vegetable oil salt, fresh ground pepper, then garnished with radishes and cilantro. South Beach suggests coupling this salad with a piece of grilled salmon.

You also have the option to start with Phase 2 to help you Lose Steadily. This phase can be the starting point for those who simply want to lose 10 pounds, are not haunted by cravings, do not have fat around their midsection and just want to be healthier. For those who have completed Phase 1, this is the longest phase as they continually lose weight in a slow, steady, long-term fashion.

During Phase 2 you can start your day with Buttermilk Waffles and Jam. This breakfast staple is remade with whole wheat flour, old-fashioned oats, fat-free buttermilk and topped with sugar-free jam. Take a break mid-morning or afternoon with an Iced Vanilla Coffee Milk, made with decaf coffee, light whipped topping, vanilla extract and skim milk. For dinner indulge in Whole Wheat Penne with Eggplant and Ricotta. South Beach Diet recipes gives food a lot of thought without the added calories or guilt.

Online References:

SouthBeachDiet.com – The South Beach Diet. Web 25 Aug. 2011.


Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training. Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Reviewed August 26, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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