Home Weight Loss Diets The South Beach Diet Review

The South Beach Diet Review

Welcome back to another original article written exclusively for weightlossgo.com by the author who maintains copyright for every article on this website, meaning this may NOT be copied and published elsewhere.

In this article, I'll take a look at another hugely popular means of losing weight by dieting. This is the South Beach Diet, reviews and details that I want to look at just exactly what this particular product is all about.

The first thing you find when you visit their website is a free diet profile chart that you can fill in and they will send you the results via email, meaning you get all pally with the company from the get go, which is a good thing if you are keen to jump on board. Of course, this is followed by a welcome to sign up and join the company and all the other members that have joined.

You get access to their own community of dieters via their member's forum/message board where you can get in contact with other members, find out how the program works, talk about successes, failures, complaints and accolades. You also get a neat online diary that you can keep track of your own progress online as well as check out other members who are also following the plan to see how they're doing.

So on the surface, it's a big community effort to lose weight and that's a nice feeling to know that you are all together in this.

OK, that's the intro to their website and an idea of what is available to members of the South beach Diet plan. Now let's look at what the actual diet is and how it works.

South Beach Diet Plan

The diet plan itself is a three stage affair starting with a strict phase 1, a more lenient phase 2 and a very enjoyable phase 3.

South Beach Phase 1

This initial phase lasts for the first two weeks of the diet plan and is the most intensive. The idea is for you to lose weight, which is what you intend to do anyway. The food you get to eat is surprisingly liberal in terms of meal sizes being what is considered normal sized.

Read into that what you will, but if you are used to big meals, the South Beat Diet meals will seem a lot smaller. This is something you are going to have to come to terms with, because there is no diet that will allow you to continue eating huge meals and expect to lose weight, when you think about it!

You will be allowed three meals per day and these can include things you like to eat, such as lean meats including chicken and beef. You'll also be able to eat fish and shrimp. Naturally, plenty of vegetables are allowed as are eggs, cheese and nuts. Salads can be dressed with olive oil dressings to make really tasty salads.

In addition to these three main meals, you can have a dessert after your main meal as well as two snacks in between. This should help to stave off any hunger cravings, although you shouldn't expect to feel full like you are used to after eating big meals.

Every good thing comes with a balance of bad things, so you are going to have to get used to not eating certain things for this first two weeks. Banned foods include bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and baked foods. Surprisingly, all fresh fruits are off the menu! These will be re-introduced after the first two weeks are over, so don't be too disheartened!

It goes without saying that you are not allowed to eat any candy, cakes, ice cream, cookies or biscuits or anything with added sugar during this period. Diet soda is allowed, but if you want to look after your health, don't drink them as they contain harmful additives such as artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sorbitol which have been linked with cancer.

Instead, get used to drinking plain water.

It is so, so good for you!

South Beach Phase 2

After the first two weeks have passed, you will be able to re-introduce some of the foods that were not allowed in Phase 1. You will be able to include dishes such as Chicken Caesar Salad, Spicy Seared Tuna and Roasted Portobello "Pizza."

You'll also be able to have grilled fish and grilled steak and fresh, Miami-style salads. Once again you can eat roasted chicken with vegetables. There are more options but you get the general idea. Food gets better and you won't even feel like you're on a diet, or so the makers say!

I may beg to differ slightly on that last statement as you will still be restricted to what you can and cannot eat as well as the size of the meals. Having said that, after two weeks you will have gotten used to smaller meals and it will seem like your birthday all over again when you can increase the variety of "allowed" foods.

South Beach Phase 3

This phase is designed to help you to keep the weight off once you have lost it during the first two phases of the plan. The diet meals will be fairly relaxed but still comprise normal size meals with balanced foods to ensure that you maintain your new, healthy weight.

Your diet will include plenty of minerals and vitamins and you'll be able to eat healthy fats such as olive oil and include omega-3 oils from fish, whole grains and what they call "smart-carbs." You'll also be allowed to eat some chocolate, drink some wine and not feel so restricted any more.

Roundup Review

After reading all that the South Beach Diet does do and does allow you to do, it would sound absolutely wonderful and probably have you reaching for your credit card without any further ado. Now, if this were one of those sneaky sales pitch style reviews of the product, I'd leave it at that and happily send you on your way.

But I don't want you to sign up for a product only to find that you didn't get all the information to begin with and were "sold" on the promises of only the benefits, advantages and positive aspects of the product. No product is without its disadvantages and negative aspects and this product is no different. Here's what the glossy brochures don't tell you and what you ought to know before making a more informed decision as to whether or not you want to sign up for the South Beach Diet plan.

Meal sizes, which are promoted as "normal" will be smaller than you are used to. There's no getting away from that fact because part of the whole reason you are overweight in the first place is because you are probably eating too much!

So your regular meals, which seem normal to you, would be considered as large by all diet plans. This means that you will most likely feel hungry still after a meal. This is one of the tough aspects of any diet to get over and often leads to people cheating by snacking on "banned" foods in between meals, which then causes the diet to "fail" and also leads to complaints where there really should be none.

If you know what you are getting into, you will know that small meal sizes means more hunger and that's a disadvantage of any diet. The South Beach Diet is no different, so knowing this before you sign up will help you to realize what you are signing up for.

Flatulence is often a problem for people who have been used to a diet full of rubbish and then switch to a healthy diet. This happens because the body has to re-adjust to digesting "real" food again and one of the by-products especially of fresh vegetables, is an increase in the gut's production of "gas". Again, the glossy brochures don't tell you that, so its another one to be aware of before you part with your cash.

The South Beat Diet cost may seem a little on the high side. They don't tell you how much it will cost you until you get to the sign-up page, but when you look at it from a week to week basis, it's not really so bad at $5 a week.

What does feel like a sting in the tail is that they bill you every quarter in advance, so your credit card gets hit with $65 right off the bat. As far as I can see, that's the only way you can get signed up.

So if you are serious about losing weight and this plan appeals to you, then when you look at it from the point of view that once you have paid to sign up, you won't be billed again for three months, in reality, its actually reasonably priced. Especially when compared to other high profile diet plans such as Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem.

Does the South Beach Diet Work?

Well, a lot of that depends on the commitment you are willing to put into it. That's because the more you put in on a personal level, the more you will get out of it. If you stick to the diet and don't cheat, then it will work and you will lose weight.

Cheating means grabbing snacks when you think no one else is looking. So really the only person you will be cheating is yourself. If you are really determined to lose weight, just do it and don't cheat and you will lose weight!

Note: The author is a qualified nutritionist and hypnotherapist specializing in hypnosis for weight loss with over 25 years experience in the field. While being a paid affiliate of South Beach Diet he believes in providing a true reflection of his own opinions and observations of the product. Therefore this article represents an honest and unbiased review of the product, which is complimented by the comments that follow this review. They are written by many readers on their own opinions and experiences with South beach diet and reflect both good and bad reviews, as the author believes in publishing everyone's point of view equally. Take some time to read them as well to get an all round feel for the product before deciding if it is right for you.


Posted on Fri, 26 Feb 2010 in Weight Loss Diets | 56 Comments

56 thoughts on "The South Beach Diet Review"

Terry says:

Erin, good luck on finding out as much as you can about this diet and I hope it all works out positively for you.

Joe says:

The South Beach Diet have helped me a lot to maintain a very good physique and keep my weight down to where it should be. My mom is also on the same diet and we are both much slimmer and fitter then we used to be 6 months ago before we started it up. I can't say enough good things about it, to be honest its a real motivater as well as just a diet. Thanks for the review, its pretty darn accurate and tells the truth and thats something you don't see too often these days!

Shank says:

I've been interested in trying the South Beach diet for some time now but couldn't find any decent review articles that explained it in simple terms that I could understand. Your is the best I've seen and it spells it out pretty plainly, so thanks for a great article.

Dan says:

I can tell you from one that has struggled a lot with weight loss, I am totally right there with this post on the South Beach diet. For sure I've been up and just as often I have been down, but these days I'm happy to say that at last I can maintain my weight. And the key to my own success was in getting myself a personal diet put together with this program. Its a program that was tailored to me, the way I live my lifestyle and what works and what doesn't for me as a person. Can't say enough good things about it, in fact. So thanks for you honest post, as its accurate and interesting as well!

Verso says:

I was reading about this diet someplace else but they didn't really give much info away. But you're review is totally awesome in comparison. I like what I'm hearing about this diet, especially the community support side of it cause I think that its real important to be able to contact other folks who are doing the same thing. Thanks for the review!

Rustin says:

I saw this review and had to comment. I went on the South Beach diet last year and was determined to see it through to the bitter end, which I did. I was a little disappointed with my own results. While I lost 18lbs overall, my target was to lose 30lbs, so I fell short over a two month period.

What I didn't do was exercise and reading your post made me realize that I should have done some more to make this work. I believe had I combined the diet with some daily exercise I would have achieved my goal. I will reassess things and maybe go back to the program cause its basically a good one and does help a lot. Thanks for the review!

Olive says:

I have been using the South beach diet two months now and it has worked well for me along with some daily exercise. I don't think I need to be using a diet supplement too, cause I feel better overall since doing this. That's a good review you wrote, thanks!

Terry says:

Hi Joe, glad to hear you are happy with South Beach and its doing great for you and your mom. Stories like this are an inspiration to everybody!

Stevie Ridling says:

I believe the South Beach Diet will allow you to keep your body healthy and lose weight while restricting your calorie intake. I also believe anyone trying this diet has nothing to lose, as their body will benefit from a better diet for sure. When you continue with your low calorie diet and with some exercise maybe what you’re in the same amount of calories burned. I believe you are right where you state that to lose weight it is simply a case of burn more calories through work than you consume through food. Nice article, thanks.

Terry says:

Hey Dan, that's great you did so well with this diet. It's one of the best around for the way in which it works both with what you eat and also the way you live your life. Congrats on losing weight and getting so much from this system.

Davilla says:

For sure, the South Beach Diet is a good example of how to lose weight through right dieting and showing that you're determined to do something for yourself. They help you along every step of your journey with a support forum and community that is second to none. They sure helped me through my own diet. I have to say that at times I felt like jumping off this particular wagon, but those friends I made who were going through the same as me helped me stay on track and succeed to lose weight and keep it off to this day.

Thanks for your honest review of the plan, it is accurate and should help folks to decide if its the right thing for them to do as well.

Janine Partington says:

I thought this article on the south beach diet was extremeley informative. I have been considering joining up for a while but it just didn't sit right with me cause all the reviews I'd read seemed like they were just trying to sell it to me. Yours is the most honest I have read anywhere and it doesn't try to sell, which makes me trust your judgment more than all the others. Thanks for the great post.

Patrick Kallie says:

These types of diets are great for people that need diet structure in the beginning. In my opinion a person should be able to start eating their own meals in about a month. By that time they should have structure down to a tee!

Abby says:

I tested a lot of weight loss programs, pills and diets for couple of years now. Atkins diet is one example but I’ was not really satisfied with it because it was making my body weak.

I tried the Medifast Diet recently and I didn’t feel weak like when I was using Atkins. The caloric intake was around 800-1000 calories per day. It was a bit pricey, but I found a good coupon on the internet.

Now I'm looking at trying the South Beach diet and have been searching around for information on it that didn't come straight from the sale page of the company itself. I liked your article as it sounds honest and doesn't mind telling about some of the downsides to the product. I wish more websites would publish stuff like yours does!

Anyhow, for any other folks reading this, my advice is just choose a diet plan which your body reacts positively to. No one knows your body better than you do! Thanks for the post and for the advice!

Terry says:

Thanks for the background and your advice Abby, you're on the right track for sure.

Alfred says:

Hi there, I tried the south beach diet about 6 months ago and like one of your other commentors, I found it really tough going to begin with. I didn't do so well cause I just couldn't stick to it and found myself snacking between meals, not on potato chips as you often mention here in this blog, but on cheese Doritos, which are probably just as bad! Funny, I still lost some weight, but I remember thinking that I should of lost more but for my own submission to temptation.

As for recommending it to anyone else, I have to say that it is no good to anyone with no willpower or if you are not capable of banning all snacks from you home! However, if you have the determination and the willpower, then sure, try it out. Its only six bucks a week, so the cost is nothing compared to the potential benefit to your health.

Thanks for such a well informed, full disclosure article, by the way,

Terry says:

Ted you're right that South Beach diet is a little tough to begin with, especially if you're used to eating big, high calorie meals as the norm. But the bottom line is losing weight and that's only going to happen when people start eating less and cutting out the high calorie junk. This diet does that really well, so you're right in that if someone is determined enough, they will succeed with this as long as they stick with it.

Steven Macdonnell says:

Hi, I enjoyed the post on the south beach diet. You supply alot of great tips about getting in shape and the review is honest and tells it like it is. Individuals seeking to drop excess fat wil benefit allot from the info if they decide to take up the diet. Thanks for the post!

Johny says:

The formula to weight loss is easy… Eat less and; exercise more! If you remember this on your weight loss journey it’ll be a piece of cake (which you can eat but not the whole damn thing. lol.) I believe the South Beach diet gives you the diet side of this equation, but you still have to put in the exercise for lasting results. Now put the rest of those chips and dip down and bust a sweat!!!

Alfonso says:

I have been interested in the south beach diet for a long time but never really had the impetus to make me want to sign up. All the time, I've been gaining weight a pound here and a pound there until it has added up to one overweight guy who finally realizes he needs to do something serious about it!

Your write-up on this diet is really good, I have learned more about this from you than all the other blogs I read put together and I believe I am ready to take the plunge into this, because its not the unknown for me anymore thanks to you!

Singapore Man says:

I have been reading this blog for quite sometime now, and now that I see you have explained the South Beach Diet review style and provided so much useful information about this popular product for slimmers, I feel compelled to post a response.. I would like to tell you that I enjoyed reading the article as it gave me insights into the diet that I did not previously have. This is the mark of a good writer and that I love thought provoking articles like this! Thank you for the work you put into this.

Terry says:

Glad it helped you Steven, I prefer to tell it the way it is because that's what people want to hear

Terry says:

Davilla I'm glad to hear you were successful. Sure, the community over there is pretty solid and really helpful and I think that's one side of the whole thing that really makes it work for so many.

Vicki Stakley says:

Thank you for this well written article about the ins and outs of the South Beach diet. You have got your facts absolutely right, which is more than I can say of many other articles I have read on the subject. Thank you for your honesty in writing this, You have my vote of confidence that's for sure!

Ted Skaff says:

I tried South Beach diet a few months ago and while I'll be honest in that at first I found it tough going, I actually did lose weight and by the time I went onto phase 2, I was looking and feeling a whole load better.

I'd recommend it to anyone who is really determined to lose weight, cause it is strict enough to make the pounds fall off but still lets you eat some snacks here and there which takes the edge off the fact that you are on a diet!


Domin says:

Just thought I'd drop you a line to tell you your website really rocks! I have been looking for some good information on the South Beach diet and I guess I found just what I needed here. I've heard so many conflicting views about this diet, so I wanted to read something that was more than just a sales blurb by some brain dead promoter and your article is very informative, comprehensive and doesn't hold anything back. This is what I like to read and I get the impression you are an authority on the subject of weight loss as everything I have read in this blog is accurate and honest. Thank you very much,

lisa bradley says:

It’s like any plan, if you follow through with it, you will usually see results, but you shouldn’t do something (a plan) if it doesn’t fit in with your own lifestyle, dietry preferences etc, so you should go with a plan thats right for you.

Erin Strock says:

I've been interested in the South Beach Diet for some time now, but never had the nerve to take the plunge and really try it out to see what it was like. There is lots of fantastic information in your post about the plan, which I didn't know about, so I will look more deeply into this now, I think.
Thanks, Erin Strock

Callan says:

Just imagine I was so intrigued, I had to read it twice. While I am not as accomplished a writer as you, I did try the South Beach Diet last year and stuck it out for six months. In that time I sure did lose weight, almost two stones, and I kept most of it off to this day. Most of the reason why I guess is I really did get used to eating smaller meals and that was really all it took for me. Sure, I know not everyone will do as well as I did, but I was and still am impressed by something as simple as that can make such a big difference!

It makes a load of sense, at least for me, so thanks and good luck with the blog!

Teyler says:

Hi, I have been interested in something like the South Beach Diet for a while now, just didn't know it was as good as that or as easy to get involved with. It sounds perfect for me as I have little time to spend visiting weight loss meetings and messing around with buying a bunch of products that I'm never sure if they even work. This diet could be the answer for me, so thanks for your very informative article.

Terry says:

Stevie, I believe you have the right frame of mind for this. Glad you liked the article.

Ortega says:

Hey, great post -- man, that must have taken awhile it was so long! I tried the South beach Diet two years ago and it worked while I was on it but when I called it a day, I started getting back into my old habits and the weight started to creep back on. Still, I guess its all on me to do something about it. maybe I'll sign up again and give it a second chance. Thanks for the timely reminder!

Terry says:

Gorovitz, thanks for the accolade. Sure there is a lot of dross published online, which is why I go out of my way to publish quality!

Terry says:

@campville: Nice comment that says nothing much of anything and is probably sent by a spambot, but what the heck, with the link stripped out it sounds nice enough to publish!

Torrens says:

I enjoyed reading about this South beach diet plan that seems to be very highly regarded amongst dieters who are really determined to succeed in losing weight. I still feel I need to read more on this issue, although you have provided more info than I have seen in most other blogs. I admire the time and effort you put in to this post and your blog as a whole, because it is apparently one great place where I can find lot of sable info on weight loss. Thanks, Torrens

Gorovitz says:

When I discovered this extremely comprehensive review article on the South Beach diet plan I felt a great urge to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming! I've seen far too many below average reviews of this product littering cyber space, so to find a really good one like yours was a breath of fresh air. Thanks!

Terry says:

That's great you are still keeping the weight off. When something like this works so well for you, you have to grab hold of it with both hands and never let go!

Terry says:

There's no time like the present to give in to your wants!

Terry says:

If it worked once, there's every reason it'll work for you again. South Beach diet is one of the better ones, I have to admit, I tried to dig deep but couldn't find all that much wrong with it apart from the usual minor niggles people have that is often of their own doing in any case.

campville says:

Well, the article is really the greatest on this worthy topic. I fit in with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your coming updates. Saying cheers will not just be adequate, for the wonderful lucidity in your writing. Keep up the good work and much success to you!

Andy says:

I love a plan, you did such a great job with all of your planning. I have dieted all of my life and it would be so great to be able to peel off the pounds that quickly. I have been wanting to do something like this South Beach diet plan for several years, so maybe I'll give it a second look.

Terry says:

Totally right, most people who fail, failed because they didn't stick to their diet!

EasyandQuickDiets says:

Hello, great blog and very informative article.I like the southbeach diet and had some success with it.But like you said you have to stick to the plan and if you do not like the foods then move to another which you like.The main point is that you have to stick to a plan otherwise you will not see any results.

Bruce says:

The South Beach Diet have helped me a lot to maintain a very good physique and keep my weight down to where it should be. My mom is also on the same diet and we are both much slimmer and fitter then we used to be 6 months ago before we started it up. I can't say enough good things about it, to be honest its a real motivater as well as just a diet. Thanks for the review, its pretty darn accurate and tells the truth and thats something you don't see too often these days!

Sheila says:

Hi there, I am a woman about 15 pounds overweight, and I'm looking to get going on a weight loss program something like South Beach diet, which caught my eye on your site. I want to get started by concentrating on my diet only, and then later on add some exercise. The problem for me is that I have chronic ankle problems, so its sometimes painful on my legs to exercise the traditional way, so I prefer if possible to stay off my feet. But I still need to do some kind of workout.

So I have 2 questions for you: What kind of diet do you think should I go with? What kind of exercises should I do? Your input is appreciated, thanks.

Marv says:

I like to play soccer once a week, sometimes more
is read it can make you wobbly and weak
and don't want to faint on the field doing the diet or when I'm on the treadmill
how dangerous is the diet?
I'm 42

Terry says:

Hey Marv, this is actually a very good diet for active people cause it includes higher amounts of proteins while taking out most carbs. You will burn more fat that way. Especially if your playing sports like soccer, this diet will boost your strength, not take it away! Its not dangerous at all, and you can boost your protein intake if you want. The more sports you do, the more protein you will need, so adjust up to compensate and you won't feel weak. The opposite in fact, you'll feel stronger.

Marv says:

I don't know if you know Splenda sweetener (www. splenda.com). Am I allowed to use it in Phase 1 or any other phase?

Terry says:

Hey Marv,

Yeah I've heard of Splenda and while the makers claim it is free of aspartame, the sucralose it contains looks to be harmful too. Personally, I would not endorse or recommend any artificial sweetener, as I believe they are all health timebombs waiting to go off.

You might want to read some info and reactions from other experts about it here:

www. holisticmed.com/splenda/
and here:
www. splendaexposed.com

Are there any safe alternatives to sweeten up food? Not that I'm aware of -- if you want sweet, you get calories. Honey is a healthier alternative to refined sugar, but it still comes with calories. Sorry!

Marv says:

Many thanks for the info!

Marv says:

I was looking for the breakfast recipes
almost everything is made with eggs
how much eggs are allowed?
2 eggs a day makes 14 in a week
i thinks that's to much

sylvie says:

well this south beach diet is a joke! i stayed true to the diet,i was so hungry all the time.and lost 0 pounds!!!what a crock of (expletive deleted by admin)

Victoria says:

I have to disagree with the extensive amount of money you said it requires. I am a college student and all I did was buy the book (which has the diet plan, all of the recipes, and much more helpful information), then go buy the groceries (in order to keep it cheap, get the generic brands!). It may seem like much but many of the recipes make more then one serving (leftovers for next time that meal comes up), so it evens out.

Clarke says:

So I'm curious, what makes the difference between this diet and diets that are genetic based. I've heard that the genetic based diets slightly change a standard balanced diet such as this but give a 30% improvement in weight loss. Wouldn't the genetic based diet be more targeted?

Kim says:

In January of 2011 I went on South Beach Diet. I needed to lose 20 lbs. By April 1st of 2011, I had lost 15. I went into phase 3 at that time because I was satisified with my appearance. I went from a size 12 to a size 8. I maintained my 15 lb weight loss with no effort at all because I no longer craved sweets and carbs. For the remainder of 2011, I followed the principles of South Beach Diet and occassionally enjoyed a dessert, Mexican food, Italian Food, or my favorite, pancakes, but for the most part stuck to a carb count of approximately 100 grams a day. I experienced no hunger at all and the diet was very easy to follow (after the initial two weeks).

In January 2012, I decided to go back to phase two to see if I could lose the last five pounds. They are coming off a little slower. I lost 2 lbs in January and 1 in February, but I am making progress.

For anyone considering South Beach Diet, I would say to go for it. You will need a lot of will power and determination to get through phase one, but after that, it gets easier and the food is delicious.

Here is what I eat most days:

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 piece of whole grain toast, coffee

Lunch: Salad topped with a protein

Dinner: Any meat I want (I cheat a little here because I like things like ribeye steak and ribs) and a side salad or vegetable.

Snacks: Nuts, peanut butter, yogurt

And the best part: One glass of red wine with dinner every night!

Jim Rue says:

I just entered phase II and have lost 8 pounds, mostly from running to the store to pickup all the exotic spices,etc. I never had in my cupboards. It's really expensive to fix the meals in the book and time consuming for someone who isn't a cook by experience or inclination. The variety allowed in the next phase looks like a banquet compared to what I just finished but the meals aren't any less complex to prepare. If South Beach Diet doesn't work for me, it's only because I don't want to spend all the time shopping for food and preparing the meals. I noticed the weakness too and had to curb my weight training a walks somewhat or take a nappy in the afternoon.