The South Beach Diet is a low-carb diet designed to help people lose weight quickly. While the program is famous for cutting carbs and lowering fats, founder Arthur Agatston, M.D. says the diet helps people pick the right carbs and fats. This typically means filling up on fiber and other nutrients. Agatston, a cardiologist and a dietician, aims to help people lower their risk of developing heart disease. The South Beach diet has 3 phases for people who need to lose more than 10 lbs., 2 phases for those wanting to lose less, and food to maintain weight. Unlike other meal plans, the South Beach Diet is designed for a new, sustainable lifestyle. Because the diet centers around the heart, those who follow the diet may see other health benefits such as lower cholesterol.

The Good

  • No Calorie or Fat Counting
  • Dietary Flexibility
  • Sustainable Diet Plan

No Calorie or Fat Counting

The South Beach Diet doesn't involve calorie or fat counting. While the program can be quite restrictive at first, you are eventually allowed to add more foods in and turn your diet into a lifestyle change. This makes dieting easier and more convenient for the subscriber.

Dietary Flexibility

The South Beach Diet has options for those on ketogenic diets and those managing diabetes. The company includes a Diabetes Gold Plan ($11.79 per day) and keto-friendly meal choices with each plan. However, these dietary considerations might be somewhat limited compared to other meal plans that offer vegan and vegetarian solutions catered to these restrictions.

Sustainable Diet Plan

The South Beach Diet was invented by a cardiologist and a dietician. Together, they created this heart healthy plan to help people lose weight and make better eating choices. This is a diet plan designed to be sustainable as you move through the phases. In the first phase, dieters restrict pastries, dairy, breads, fruits, and many other carb- and unhealthy fat-rich foods. When moving on to new phases, consumers re-introduce more foods into their diets. The goal is to transform the diet into a healthy lifestyle.

Dieters are encouraged to eat several small meals and snacks a day. Researchers consider this to be good for boosting metabolism and helping customers stay on their diet.

The Bad

  • Limited Selection
  • Long-Term Health Concerns

Limited Selection

While other meal plan subscriptions may have several choices that rotate out every week, Gold and Platinum subscribers to the South Beach Diet have a pool of 101+ foods. For those subscribing to the cheapest plan, the Silver plan, the selection may be even more limited. This hampers long-term use of the South Beach Diet because the meals might become repetitive.

Long-Term Health Concerns

Some researchers have pointed out that the South Beach Diet is low-carb and low-fat, despite the founder's claims. If customers do not allow themselves enough carbohydrates, their bodies may enter ketosis, which is a condition resulting from a lack of glucose. Additionally, if subscribers return to old habits after unsubscribing, weight gain may occur quickly and exceed the customer's initial weight. These concerns are not applicable if the customer adheres to the diet without overlimiting carbs and aims to follow the diet for long-term health benefits.

One concern that is applicable when adhering to the South Beach Diet is calcium deficiency, particularly in women. The diet restricts calcium in the first phase, and its allowance for two cups of dairy daily in the second phase is below the daily recommended amount.

The Bottom Line

The South Beach Diet is good for people who need to lose weight in a short amount of time. It's also good for teaching people which foods are heart healthy and good for prolonged health. However, consumers should consider their ability to adhere to the diet's lifestyle long-term and recognize they may exhaust the options of this meal plan's service fairly quickly.

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Shari Evers
September 17th, 2018 Lehi, UT

The South Beach bars are hands down the best bars out there. I use them as an extra treat even when I'm not following the whole diet.

Jocelyn E
September 17th, 2018 Lehi, UT

I have not gone full in on the south beach diet, but have regular bought their bars and love them!! Highly recommend for a quick treat.

Kim Millett
August 21st, 2018 Lindon, UT

I bought this cookbook and followed it's guidelines. I find I do better with a lower carb diet like the South Beach Diet. They have great recipes and I have tried the protein bars and liked them. They have been around for a long time so it speaks to them not being a fad diet.

Troy Siren
July 5th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ

Extremely pleased with the meal plan that was presented to me along with a manageable diet. Lost the weight I wanted and have been able to keep it off.

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