The South Beach Diet: Food, Menus, FAQs, and Recipes

The South Beach Diet

Everything you need to know about the South Beach diet, including foods to eat, menus, FAQs, shopping lists, and more.

Cardiologist Arthur Agatston, M.D., is credited with developing a commercial weight-loss eating regimen in 2003, which is also known as the South Beach Diet. In the best-selling book, “The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss,” the eating plan was first described in full.

This diet, which was named after a wealthy Miami area, is also known as a modified low-carbohydrate diet because of its low carbohydrate content. When compared to a typical diet, the South Beach Diet contains fewer carbs, more protein, and healthy fats. It is not, however, a low-carb diet in the traditional sense. This page goes into great depth on the South Beach Diet, including what to eat and drink on a daily basis.

What is the South Beach Diet Plan? 

Dieters following the South Beach eating plan have reported fast weight reduction without experiencing hunger, as well as better heart health and cardiovascular fitness. It has, however, been criticized as a “fad” diet because of its severe restrictions.

Each phase of the diet is split into three parts: a low-carb phase for rapid weight reduction, a less restrictive phase for more moderate weight loss, and a maintenance phase. Note that, the Keto and South Beach diets are quite similar. Fruit, starchy vegetables, and whole grains, all of which are rich in carbohydrates, should be avoided throughout the first week of the South Beach and Keto diets, as well as during the second week.

Foods to Eat on the South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet
foods to eat

The following are low carb foods you can eat 

  • Lean Protein: Skinless Chicken, Turkey Breast, Lean Beef, Lean Pork, Lean Lamb, Eggs. 
  • Non Starchy Vegetables: Spinach, Kale, Pepper, Tomato, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, Amaranth, Asparagus, Artichoke, Cauliflower, Onions, Lentils. 
  • Legumes: Black Beans, Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Split Peas, Black-Eyed Peas. 
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, Cashew Nut, Macadamia Nut, Pecans, Pistachios, Walnuts, Flaxseeds, Chia seeds, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds. 
  • Condiments: Mustard, Hot Sauce, Citrus Juice, Vinegar, Salsa, Soy Sauce, Wasabi, Sour Cream. 
  • Monounsaturated Oils: Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Macadamia Oil, Avocado Oil. 
  • Vegetable and Seed Oils: Flaxseed Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Peanut Oil, Safflower Oil, Sesame Oil, Soybean Oil. 

Foods Not to Eat

Avoid the following high carb meals on this diet 

  • Fatty Meat: Brisket, Prime Rib, Dark Meat, Duck Meat, Chicken Wings, and Legs. Honey-Baked Ham, Beef Jerky. 
  • Starchy Vegetables: Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Beets, Yams, Turnips, Green Peas
  • High Carb Grains: Bread, Crackers, Chips, Pretzels, Oatmeal, Cereal, Pasta, Granola, Rice, Bagels, Buns. 
  • Cookies
  •  Cakes
  • Ice cream
  •  Candy
  • Frozen Yogurt

What to Drink on the South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet
what to drink

The following drinks are allowed 

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Vegetable Juice
  • Black Tea

What Not to Drink

To successfully follow this diet, do away with the drinks listed below 

  • Beer
  • Hard Liquor 
  • Wine
  • Sport Drinks
  • Energy Drinks
  • Soda
  • Fruit Juice


Thank you for taking an interest in our South Beach eating plan. You are welcome to use our free integrated checklists whenever you like. This will be useful for meal preparation and grocery shopping.