The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss

The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss

For years, cardiologist Arthur Agatston, M.D., urged his patients to lose weight for the sake of their hearts, but every diet was too hard to follow or its restrictions were too harsh. Some were downright dangerous. Nobody seemed to be able to stick with low-fat regiments for any length of time. And a diet is useless if you can’t stick with it.

So Dr. Agatston developed his own. The South Beach Diet isn’t complicated and doesn’t require that you go hungry. You’ll enjoy normal size helpings of meat, poultry, and fish. You’ll also eat eggs, cheese, nuts, and vegetables. Snacks are required. You’ll learn to avoid the bad carbs, like white flour, white sugar, and baked potatoes. Best of all, as you lose weight, you’ll lose that stubborn belly fat first!

Dr. Agatston’s diet has produced consistently dramatic results (8 to 13 pounds lost in the first 2 weeks!) and has become a media sensation in South Florida. Now you, too, can join the ranks of the fit and fabulous with The South Beach Diet.


  • Series: The South Beach Diet
  • Hardcover: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (April 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579546463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579546465
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,827 customer reviews)
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  1. I have every one of the South Beach Books. Phase 1 third day of the 2nd week is the hardest to get through. Your body has rid itself of those high glycemic foods, so you crave and want to eat some bread or other processed white flour food item.
    I have done every and I mean every diet out there (Atkins, Weight Watchers,Soup diet,Slim for Life, Slim Fast, American Heart Assoc. I also took Redux to lose weight which has caused me some heart trouble. Everytime any of the above was done I would loose then fall off the diet and gain what I lost plus an additional 20+ lbs. This was the only one which made since for me and has allowed me to have that cookie, french fry, or brownie once in a while and still keep on the diet.

    I enjoy this cookbook more as it is simple. The first cookbook was too in depth. More for chefs to cook with vs a working person. I hate having to be in the kitchen cooking for hours even when I was not dieting. Very simple recipes that allow short prep times. The fewer the ingredients the better for me. Best part helps with the making of a grocery list and tells you which foods to always keep on hand, so when you need to fix a fast meal you have everything.

    The South Beach Diet book is a must and you need to read through it. I skipped over the stories after a couple and went to the heart of what Dr. Agatston states about his diet (Not really a diet for me, just a guide to great healthy eating). Do highlight,write in the margins and use post it notes as you read the first book. This diet(guide to healthy eating) is about making your body work to process the foods which you eat instead of eating processed/high glycemic foods which your body doesn’t have to work much to process. He even gives you a list of acceptable foods to eat in Phase 1.Read more ›

  2. I’m a busy working mom and being able to prepare a nutrient-rich meal — that my family will actually eat — in under 30 minutes is fantastic. The turkey and white bean chili (page 196)is their favorite so far. My husband, my teenager and I, all watch our weight and this cookbook is fast becoming our favorite tool in helping us add whole grains, lean sources of protein, and more vegetables to our meal plans. The Pork Fajitas (page 210) and the Rosemary Pork Medallions with Chunky Applesauce (page 211) or the South Beach Macaroni and Cheese (page 249) are perfect comfort food for this cooler weather. I love Dr. Agatston’s sensible approach to nutrition and his philosphy that if we’re satiated and satisfied by nutrient dense, fiber rich foods, we’ll lose weight and have healthier hearts and blood chemistry.

  3. I’m 52 and have had a slight to moderate weight problem my entire life (about 25 lbs.) Have been on many diets and always lost weight but never could make it a “lifestyle change”. This is so simple – I think some those who have given negative reviews are reading more into it and making it more complicated than it is. Who cares if it is a little like the Atkins diet in the first couple of weeks – at least I don’t have to do any carb calculations!! I’ve been on it for 5 weeks, have lost 12 pounds and have lost my usual cravings for candy, cookies, and chocolate. I am able to totally ignore the Krispy Kreme donuts in the employee lounge. You don’t have to eat the menu plan – those are just suggestions for people who don’t have any creativity when it comes to cooking. Just eat the things on the allowed list and don’t eat foods on the “may not eat” list and make sure you eat your snacks and eat enough at mealtime to satisfy you. Yes – once in a while I feel hungry because I’ve been too busy to eat what I should – so I just catch up by eating allowed foods. Up until now I’ve always been a “carboholic” and it’s really an odd feeling to not need that. I find the Atkins plan too complicated. I have found that most people doing the Atkins plan don’t really follow the “rules” but modify it to suit their needs, and I’ve never met anyone who has stayed on it permanently – so, to each his own!

  4. I started The South Beach Diet with Phase Two and I continue to lose weight steadily. This diet has balanced my cravings for foods high in sugar. I no longer obsess over food or when I can eat again. The South Beach Diet is not based on fads. It is not about eating a diet of fatty meat products, drinking glass after glass of water, eating expensive prepared foods, preparing time consuming recipes, counting calories or counting points. It is about eating familiar, unprocessed foods that are accessible in all grocery stores and all restaurants. Dr. Agatston has researched and developed a diet that is simple and logical. That’s why it works.

  5. Info below is from The Daily Dish (01/20/04) online newsletter for subscribers to […]
    South Beach Diet Updates
    The South Beach Diet (SBD) continues to evolve as new nutritional studies and information come out. Recently, the results of new studies have shown that some of the “foods to avoid” may not be as bad for us as the original studies on glycemic index demonstrated. There are also some new, exciting studies about the role calcium plays in weight loss. The end result is that you can continue to enjoy all of the foods recommended for the SBD-as well as adding back in a few of your favorites! Here are the major changes:
    Old Version:
    Avoid all dairy in Phase 1, except for less than 2 tablespoons fat-free = and =, nonfat milk, 1 percent milk, or soy milk allowed with coffee.
    New Version:
    Phase 1:
    Now includes low-fat milk (fat-free and 1 percent), soy milk, and yogurt (low-fat or fat-free plain or vanilla light/lite only) on the Phase 1 “foods to enjoy” list.
    Phase 2:
    May add light/lite fruited yogurt as a “food to enjoy” in Phase 2. Note: Since the SBD is still low in saturated fat, high-fat whole milk products will remain on the “foods to avoid” lists for all Phases.
    Old Version:
    Limited to one whole tomato or 10 cherry tomatoes per meal in all Phases.
    New Version:
    Not limited in any Phase.
    Old Version:
    Limited to = per day in all Phases.
    New Version:
    Not limited in any Phase.
    Old Version:
    Avoid carrots in Phase 1 and 2; allowed in moderation in Phase 3.
    New Version:
    Allowed, starting in Phase 2.

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