Does the South Beach Diet Really Work?

South Beach Diet

One proposed way to lose weight is to limit the amount of carbohydrates that are consumed, and the South Beach diet is one way to do it. The theory behind the South Beach diet is that are good and bad carbohydrates and fats, and you should eliminate the bad versions and replace them with the good versions.

The South Beach Diet aims to lower the overall carb intake, and focuses on lean meats, vegetables, eggs, nuts, some whole grains and low-fat dairy. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you may be able to drop 8-13 pounds within the first two weeks, and then about one to two each week after that.

The South Beach Diet has three different phases to follow for weight loss, which get less restrictive as you go along. The plan can be followed as long as desired based on how much weight you have to lose. While following the plan, you will be replacing “bad” carbs with “good” carbs, and can eat three meals, two snacks, and a dessert that is high in protein to keep you feeling full.


While there is not a ton of research on the effectiveness of the South Beach Diet, it is likely to help you lose weight in the short term following it requires you to make sizable changes in your existing diet. But there is no research on how effective it is for keeping weight off in the long term. And even though there is no research showing that the South Beach Diet has a positive effect on cardiovascular health, any diet that causes you to lose weight has the ability to improve the heart health. The same goes for diabetes.


The South Beach Diet can be quite limiting and a shock to certain people’s food habits. Items that are restricted on the diet include white bread, bagels, potatoes, ice cream, honey, jam, watermelon, pineapple and raisins. Those fruits are high in sugar and all of those foods are high on the glycemic index which means that they can spike the blood sugar and cause inflammation in the body. Foods like white bread are digested quickly and turn to sugar without having any benefits in eating them. White bread is significantly lower in fiber than whole-grain options. During the first phase of the South Beach Diet, alcohol is not allowed, but it is allowed in the second and third phases.

Following the South Beach Diet is possible to do dining out as well as cooking at home. Occasionally this might require self motivation such as removing the bun to a turkey burger and sticking with a salad at a pizza place. A lot of the acceptable foods on the South Beach Diet are high in fiber, so they are likely to keep you feeling satiated — strategic and healthy snacking is encouraged for the same reason.

The South Beach Diet plan also includes suggestions for exercise, like interval walking, squats and lunges. It requires that you exercise for 20 minutes every single day of the week for the best results.

Learn more about the South Beach Diet here.