South Beach Diet Review: Simple-to-follow Meal Plans and Beginner's Guide, What Is It, Benefits and What Foods Can I Eat on the Weight Loss Plan? Pros and Cons

South Beach Diet

The south beach plan review: includes simple meal plans, a beginner's guide, and what foods you can consume on the weight loss program.

The South Beach program is one of the latest in a long line of diet plans for people wanting to shed body fat. While the diet name is relatively new, the principles that it offers to users are not.

Let’s discuss these principles, how they differ from other plans, and why this diet works for many.

What Is It?

What Is the South Beach Plan?

Unlike many modern diet plans, the South Beach menu is not about low carb dieting. It’s also not about low-fat dieting. The focus of the diet revolves around eating carbohydrates and fats that are healthier for the body.

As you know, eating too many dietary fats and simple carbohydrates, like sugar and high fructose corn syrup, not only adds empty calories to your diet, but can increase body fat, and lead to a higher risk of you developing heart disease and elevated cholesterol levels.

Not only this, but a diet high in bad fats and carbohydrates makes people feel hungrier and crave more unhealthy fatty foods. This is because poor-quality food is not nutritious, and the body can’t get the right dietary nutrition from it.

The Origins

Origins of the South Beach Plan

As was noted earlier, the principles of South Beach plan are not new.

In fact, the origins came from a cardiologist by the name of Arthur Agatston, MD. He created the diet plan to help his patients improve their cholesterol and insulin levels. He created a book detailing the plan called The South Beach Plan: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss.

It is important to note that this diet does require a high degree of discipline and motivation to stay on track.

The original book was clear on the necessity of motivation and developing healthy eating habits.

Recommendations and Phases

The South Beach Recommendations and Phases

This diet doesn't remove any of the major food groups from people’s diets. It focuses on healthy eating of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean sources of protein, meat and fish.

  • ♥ During the first phase of the diet, you will be eating 3 meals per day.
  • ♥ The portion sizes will be average sized and contain chicken, turkey, fish, and shellfish (as your protein source).
  • ♥ You will also eat vegetables, nuts, eggs, and cheese.
  • ♥ It's recommended that you eat enough to ensure that you don’t feel hungry and break the diet.
  • ♥ It's also recommended to avoid foods that have high sources of animal fats, trans fats and starchy foods, such as bread, cereal, rice, pasta, and pastries.
  • ♥ Doing this will represent a large weight loss of eight to thirteen pounds in the first two weeks, according to the south beach nutrition information.

Why Does It Work?

Why Does the South Beach Plan Work?

While Agatston notes that the diet works because it breaks the bad eating cycle of people, rather than reducing calories, it should be noted the overall calorie intake would be less when people adopt this diet.

As with any diet, a reduction in the calorie intake will have a weight loss effect.

Not only that, but anyone who gives up fast food, soda drinks and greasy junk food is typically going to lose weight right away, as the body removes toxins and the retention of water.

  • ♥ In summary, the South Beach plan has done a great job at outlining nutrition guidelines that essentially lower your intake of calories with nutrient-dense foods. With that said, the diet plan may work for you because you are lowering your intake of total calories and eating healthier overall.
  • ♥ In fact, research has determined with numerous controlled studies that regardless of how you manipulate your food intake, calories are the absolute reason dieters lose weight.
  • ♥ In other words, a reduction in total calorie intake is the true reason the diet can be effective for users that stick with it.

Everyone is different. One size does not fit all. The key to long-term success is to find and follow a plan that works for your lifestyle.

Sample Menu Plan

Simple South Beach Meal Plan Sample

Easy-to-follow South Beach  menu and recipes.

Day 1
♥ Breakfast
Mini Quiches.
South Beach recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook spinach according to package instructions.
In a large bowl, add eggs to spinach.
Add all remaining ingredients.
Spoon into greased muffin cups.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Number of Servings, 6.
6 large eggs.
7 bacon slices cooked and crumbled.
2 slices of ham, lean.
1 package of frozen spinach.
1 cup green bell pepper, diced.
1 onion, diced.
3 mushrooms, chopped.
1/2 teaspoon white pepper.
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated.
♥ Snack
Yummy chocolate shake.
South Beach recipe.
In a blender, blend all ingredients together.
Serve immediately.
Number of Servings, 1.
1 cup skim milk.
1 teaspoon Torani sugar free syrup, any flavor.
1 scoop French vanilla whey protein powder.
1 teaspoon Stevia or Splenda.
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder.
♥ Lunch
Chicken and kale soup.
South Beach recipe.
In a saucepan on medium heat, put in olive oil.
Sauté onion, celery, garlic, and season with salt, and pepper.
Stirring occasionally, cook until onion is tender, about 7 minutes.
Add the kale, stir, and cook for 1 minute.
Add chicken, stir, and cook for 1 minute longer.
Add broth and heat to a simmer.
Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Stir in fresh parsley.
Number of Servings, 5.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
1 sweet onion thinly sliced.
2 celery stalks thinly sliced.
2 garlic cloves, minced.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
1 large bunch of kale, chopped.
1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed.
4 cups low sodium chicken broth.
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped.
♥ Snack
Almond and flax muffin.
South Beach recipe.
Mix all the ingredients.
Spoon into a greased muffin pan.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Number of Servings, 12.
2 cups of almond meal.
1/4 cup flaxseed meal.
1/2 cup Splenda.
4 large eggs.
1 teaspoon baking powder.
2 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.
3/4 cup olive oil.
♥ Dinner
Garlic chicken skewers with black beans.
South Beach recipe.
Grease the grill and heat to medium-high.
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, rosemary, garlic, 2 teaspoons of the oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat well.
Place equal amounts of chicken on 4 skewers.
In the same bowl that you seasoned the chicken in, toss the zucchini with 1 teaspoon remaining oil.
Put zucchini on skewers.
Lightly season with salt and pepper.
Grill turning every 2 minutes, about 8 minutes, or until chicken is done, and veggies are tender and lightly browned.
Number of Servings, 4.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces.
3 garlic cloves, minced.
2 teaspoons dried rosemary.
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil.
Salt, to taste.
Pepper, to taste.
4 small zucchinis cut into 1-inch pieces.
Serve with black beans.
Day 2
♥ Breakfast
Oatmeal substitute.
South Beach recipe.
Whisk the egg in a microwave safe bowl.
Bland in the Ricotta; Splenda, and sugar-free maple syrup.
Microwave for 3 mins. And stir before serving.
Number of Servings, 1.
1 large egg.
1/2 cup ricotta cheese.
2 tablespoons sugar-free maple syrup.
1 package Splenda.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
♥ Snack
Peanut butter cookies.
South Beach recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix all ingredients together and form into 24 balls.
Put on a non-greased cookie sheet and push flat with a fork.
Bake for 15-18 mins, and place on wire racks to cool.
Number of servings, 12, makes 24 cookies; serving size is 2 cookies.
1 cup natural peanut butter.
1 large egg.
1 cup Splenda blend for baking.
♥ Lunch: Turkey roll ups and mayo.
Cilantro mayo.
South Beach recipe.
Put ingredients into the food processor and run the machine.
Number of Servings, 15. Serving size is 1 tablespoon.
3/4 cup light mayo.
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped.
1 garlic clove, minced.
1 tablespoon of lime juice.
1 teaspoon of soy sauce.
Turkey roll ups.
South Beach recipe.
On each leaf spread cilantro mayo, add 1 turkey slice, 1 red pepper strip, and 1 scallion.
Roll up tightly.
Number of Servings, 2.
4 slices turkey breast.
4 lettuce leaves.
4 red bell pepper strips.
4 scallions, diced.
Cilantro mayo, recipe is listed above.
♥ Snack
Dutch apple pancake.
South Beach recipe.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the diced apple and cook until softened.
In a food processor, or blender, puree remaining butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, milk, and eggs about a minute, or until just combined.
Pour into the skillet over the apples.
Place cast iron skillet in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until puffed and set.
Number of Servings, 4.
2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided.
1 Granny Smith apple, diced.
1/3 cup whole grain flour.
2 tablespoons sugar.
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
3/4 cup skim milk.
4 large eggs.
♥ Dinner
Chicken jambalaya.
South Beach recipe.
Season chicken with salt, and pepper.
Over medium high heat, in a large skillet, heat olive oil.
Saute chicken, bell pepper, scallions, and garlic, stirring often, until chicken is done, and vegetables are softened (about 5 minutes).
Stir in the rice and the Cajun seasoning.
Add the chicken broth and tomatoes (with juice) and bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover, and simmer.
Stirring occasionally, cook until most of the liquid is absorbed (about 30 minutes).
Sprinkle with scallions when ready to serve.
Number of Servings, 4.
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
2 bunches scallions, chopped, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish.
1 bell pepper, chopped.
2 garlic cloves, minced.
1/2 cup whole grain brown rice, quick cooking.
1/8 teaspoon Cajun seasoning.
2 cups chicken broth, low sodium.
1 14-ounce can, diced tomatoes.
Day 3
♥ Breakfast: eggs and bacon.
2 eggs, scrambled.
2 slices bacon.
Sliced tomatoes.
6 ounces orange juice.
Coffee or tea with 1% or fat-free milk and sugar substitute.
♥ Snack: vegetable sticks with avocado-cilantro guacamole.  
♥ Lunch: steak and green beans.
Sirloin steak, grilled.
Balsamic green beans with slivered almonds.
♥ Snack: celery sticks with peanut butter.  
♥ Dinner: grilled salmon with salsa.
Recipe made with grilled vegetables, such as asparagus, zucchini, and bell peppers.

♥ Snack: vanilla ricotta cream.


Combine all ingredients and chill for at least 2 hours.

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese.
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract.
1 teaspoon honey.
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder, optional.

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