South Beach Diet Meal Plan-(Miami Diet)-2021 •

The South Beach Diet, sometimes also known as the “Miami Diet,” is a three-phase low-carb diet.

The idea is to get the body to use its fat reserves to get the calories it needs and lose weight in the process.

The South Beach Diet was invented in the United States in 2003  by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist, and professor of medicine at the University of Miami.

This diet does not count calories or portions.

It is divided into phases and is defined by a caloric restriction: almost complete elimination of carbohydrates at first, with only gradual and natural sugars reintroduced later, as well as a considerable supply of lean proteins and excellent fats.

What is the South Beach Diet? 

Video credit: Valder Beebe Show

Agatston’s main goal was to help his patients lose weight while maintaining acceptable blood sugar, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels.

It is based on a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-good-fats 1 diet.

There are three stages to the procedure.

Profile Low in carbohydrates, high in protein

It is a diet that takes place in three phases: 15 days without or almost no carbohydrates, a second phase of reintroducing “good” carbohydrates, and finally maintaining good food choices for life. A bit like Montignac and Atkins.

Strong points
  • Weight loss and improved cholesterol levels
  • Menus already composed
Weak points
  • The first phase is very restrictive so difficult to follow
  • Dietary advice is not always supported

[1] How does South Beach Diet work?

Dr. Arthur Agatston, cardiologist, and professor of medicine at the University of Miami, has developed his own weight loss program in response to the diet recommended by the American Association of Cardiology.

The latter, too rich in carbohydrates and too low in fat according to him, would not be sustainable in the long term.

Dr. Agatston’s  Goal:

To help his overweight patients permanently adopt a diet that allows them to keep control of their weight while preventing or treating their cardiovascular ailments.

For this, Dr. Agatston suggests a three-phase diet that does not count calories or portions of food.

The first step almost completely eliminates carbohydrates and is intended to start weight loss quickly in 15 days.

During the second, the duration of which is left to the appreciation of each one, the carbohydrates are reintroduced gradually and in a controlled manner.

The third phase consists of adopting definitively dietary advice to maintain an ideal weight and lipid profile throughout your life.

For Arthur Agatston, however, his diet ” is not a low carbohydrate diet ” anymore, nor comparable to Atkins’.

According to Dr. Agatston, eliminating bad carbohydrates (refined sugars among others) allows the body to better metabolize what it ingests while improving insulin resistance, all leading to weight loss.

His diet distinguishes between “good” and “bad” carbohydrates and between “good” and “bad” fats.

Good carbohydrates are represented by foods high in fiber and/or good fat. They have a low GI, are digested, and absorbed slowly.

This is the case for whole grains, rice, and whole-wheat pasta, whole wheat bread. This is also the case with most vegetables and fruits.

Good fats are unsaturated fatty acids (for example monounsaturated fatty acids from olive oil or polyunsaturated fatty acids from the omega-3 family) as opposed to saturated fats (found in meats, butter, and products. dairy) and “trans” fats (found in certain foods of animal origin and in all products containing hydrogenated oils).

The South Beach Diet thus promotes whole grains and advises eating large amounts of vegetables along with reasonable amounts of vegetable oils rich in unsaturated fatty acids. 

In contrast, animal fats, refined foods (sugar and flour in particular), and meats rich in fat should be consumed in great moderation and only from phase 2.

Dr. Agatston does not recommend specific physical activity.

[2] The three phases of the South Beach Diet:

(a) Phase 1:

Purpose: rapid initiation of weight loss and stopping irrepressible cravings for food.

  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • Announced weight loss: 4 to 6 kg
  • Method: eat three balanced meals every day with two snacks (in the morning and in the afternoon). Food portions are not reduced.

       Foods to Eat:

  • Lean meats,
  • Poultry,
  • Fish and shellfish,
  • Eggs,
  • Low-fat cheese,
  • Nuts, 
  • Green vegetables (salad,…)
  • Meat (beef, skinless poultry, veal, and pork)
  • Tofu
  • Olive, rapeseed, grape seed, walnut, and canola oils
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder

*Foods to Ban: 

  • The carrot
  • The corn
  • Beet
  • Bread,
  • Rice,
  • Potatoes,
  • Pasta,
  • Ready meals,
  • Sugar,
  • Cakes,
  • Candies,
  • Ice cream,
  • Alcohol.
  • The fatty parts of meats
  • All fruits and fruit juices
  • All legumes (lentils, peas, etc.)
  • Cheese and other dairy products
  • All alcoholic or sweet drinks

(b) Phase 2:

  • Goal: Gradual and slow reintroduction of prohibited foods by following some dietary advice.
  • Duration: from a few weeks to a few months depending on the number of pounds to lose.
  • Method: choose the right carbohydrates (fruits, whole grains, and pasta, wholemeal bread, that is to say, foods with a low GI) and reintroduce them one by one.

During the first week, for example, reintroduction of bread (in full version) at the rate of one portion of bread in one of the three daily meals.

Continue until the “right” carbohydrates are present at three servings per day.

(c) Phase 3:


  • Goal: adopt the right dietary measures for the rest of your life and keep a healthy weight.
  • Method: continue to choose the right carbohydrates and the right fats.

[3] Cost of the South Beach Diet:

The South Beach Diet is an inexpensive way to incorporate everyday foods. However, in the first phase, when protein is the focus of attention, the bill may increase slightly (red meat and fish).

[4] Effectiveness of the South Beach Diet:

  • The authors of the South Beach Diet promise a weight loss of 3 to 6 kg in phase 1
  • In phase 2, a weight loss of 500g to 1kg per week is possible.
  • As long as you follow the diet faithfully (and make phase 3 a way of life), your weight will, as a rule, remain stable.

For the first six months, a low-carbohydrate diet like the South Beach Diet can promote slightly more weight loss than conventional diets (low in fat and high in carbohydrate). 

However, there does not seem to be any difference after one year, as subjects on a low carbohydrate diet tend to gain more weight after six months than those on a conventional diet.

[6] Benefits of the South Beach Diet:

  • The weight loss at the start of the diet is rapid and significant ; 
  • This diet gives pride of place to good fats which are known to play a protective role against cardiovascular disease  ;
  • This method aims to divert us from industrial products that are often rich in bad fats and added and/or refined sugars; 
  • High protein intake, which is very satiating,  reduces the risk of cravings.

[7] Disadvantages of the South Beach Diet:

  • This regime is very strict, therefore difficult to reconcile with normal social life  ;
  • He can become obsessive during phase 1 because weight loss is important. There is a great temptation to skip phase 2 in order to continue losing weight quickly. However, this hyper-protein phase carries risks for the organism if it is prolonged; 
  • The South Beach Diet is difficult to follow for the “sweet tooth” who will feel great frustration from phase 1, devoid of carbohydrates; 
  • The calorie restriction imposed in phase 1 increases  the risk of feeling hungry during the day ; 
  • Phase 3, which is in fact a diet to follow for life so as not to gain weight, can be difficult to follow in the long term without making any gaps (a lot of fiber, little fat and these must be of good quality).

[8] What does the research say?

Despite what Dr. Agatston may say, the research world views his diet as low in carbohydrates. And like any diet of this type, it is considered to be effective in the short term. 

However, as a systematic review of all the studies conducted on low-carbohydrate diets between 1966 and 2003 points out, this weight loss is due to a lower caloric intake and greater adherence of people to the diet but not to the diet. reduction of carbohydrate intake. 

For the authors of this study, “there is not sufficient evidence to be able to make recommendations for or against low carbohydrate diets, especially for people over 50, for use longer than 90 days and for diets advocating lower intakes or equal to 20 g of carbohydrates per day ”.

Dr. Agatston’s distinction between good fats and bad fats and good sugars and bad sugars is scientifically supported. 

Foods with a low GI (whole grains, vegetables) are effectively assimilated more slowly by the body and induce a feeling of fuller satiety (which is important in a diet so as not to crack). 

Unsaturated fats are actually the best for the heart, while saturated and trans fatty acids should be avoided as much as possible.

However, some doctors have noted paradoxes in Dr. Agatson’s precepts, errors attributable to his lack of knowledge in nutrition:

  • He, therefore, advises margarine as a substitute for butter while, by its manufacturing process (hydrogenation), margarine contains trans-fatty acids, the same fats that Dr. Agatston also advises avoiding.
  • When it comes to unsaturated fatty acids, the South Beach diet does not stress one important fact: the omega-6 / omega-3 ratio. It is not enough to consume vegetable oils rich in unsaturated fatty acids, it is also necessary to take care to consume them in the right proportions. Thus the omega-6 / omega-3 ratio must be less than 4/1 and should approach 2/1. Hence the need to increase your intake of omega-3 (by eating nuts, fatty fish, and by favoring a seasoning with rapeseed oil) as recommended by Agatston but also to reduce its intake of omega-6 (replace sunflower oil with olive oil for example), which he omits to report.
  • On the other hand, he suggests eating French fries or crisps in preference to boiled potatoes (because of the fat content which slows the assimilation of carbohydrates), while the frying of food leads to the formation of carcinogenic compounds.

My Comment:

This diet is not new: phase 1 is similar to the Atkins method, while phase 2 is similar to the Montignac method.

Although it encourages the consumption of unrefined foods, it has significant disadvantages (particularly related to phase 1) without ensuring long-term weight stability.

Is the South Beach Diet dangerous for health?

Reducing carbohydrate intake increases the risk of hypoglycemia and therefore of fatigue during the day.

I, therefore, find it unattractive and note that, unfortunately, it attracts people who are too concerned with weight loss at the expense of their overall health – let alone the pleasure of eating.


I hope you will get some knowledge about South Beach Diet Meal Plan and its treatments by reading this article. Comment down your thoughts on this article below. If you have any queries, then ask My Voice.


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