What is the South Beach Diet and Does it Really Work?
Ahhh, it’s been a long time since we’ve heard the South Beach Diet. It’s been lost in a sea of new diets that pop up every other day. But at one time, all you heard about from celebrities and average Joes alike was THE SOUTH BEACH DIET IS AWESOME.
Is it still awesome?
We wanted to know, too. So we found out.
The South Beach Diet Basics
The South Beach Diet is based on good versus evil. OK, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but it does focus on requiring you choose between good and bad fats and good and bad carbs.
What you CAN eat:
- Lean Protein
- Nuts and Seeds
- Good Fats
As such, the diet consists of lots of veggies, lean protein, fish and nuts. It’s very similar to the Mediterranean diet, which, again seems to be the foundation of a lot of successful diets.
What you CAN’T eat:
- High GI carbs
- Trans Fats
- Unhealthy Saturated Fats
While it doesn’t forbid carbs, it recommends lower glycemic carbs in order to keep your blood sugar at stable levels and to help you feel fuller longer.
It does forbid trans-fat (which is a good thing) and some unhealthy saturated fats while focusing on good fats like avocados, olive and coconut oils.
The South Beach Diet claims most people can lose up to 13 pounds the first two weeks. Then, you should lose a healthy 1-2 pounds per week.
How Does South Beach Diet work?
The South Beach Diet has 3 parts that eases you into restriction.
You’ll eat three meals a day, plus two snacks and a protein dessert.
South Beach Diet Phase I
Time: 2 weeks
Goal: Eliminate cravings
Foods: Lots of veggies and protein. 2 TBSP of healthy fats
Can’t Have: Fruits, Carbs (starches), grains, sugar, alcohol.
No calorie counting.
South Beach Diet Phase II
Time: Until you reach your goal
Goal: Establish lifestyle eating
Foods: Same as Phase I plus 3 servings of starches and 3 servings of fruit per day. One glass of wine if you choose.
Can’t Have: Sugar and high GI carbs.
No calorie counting.
South Beach Diet Phase III
Time: Forever (insert echo here)
Foods: All good foods: 3 servings of fruit, 3-4 servings of starches, 2 TBSP of good fats.
Shouldn’t Have: Sugar and high GI carbs, but this part of the plan says ‘no food is off limits’. We believe that to mean no “good” food is off limits.
South Beach Diet Cost: You can visit the site—it has a manual, e-book, paperback and audio book. Membership is $5 a week and optional online.
Do You Lose Weight on the South Beach Diet?
The diet is not that restrictive after the first 2 weeks, and given that it is based on healthy food consumption and does not restrict calories—sure. Again, it seems loosely based on the Mediterranean Diet, and you really can’t go wrong with something that you can do literally for the rest of your life—while extending it.
We like the diet—and as long as you can get through the first two weeks, you’ll have a better chance of sticking with the program long-term.
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