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

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,567 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews

Developed by noted Miami cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston for his patients, THE SOUTH BEACH DIET became a national phenomenon-because it works. It's not low fat. It's not low carbs. It teaches you to use the right carbs and the right fats to change your body chemistry to burn fat, help reduce your cholesterol, and help prevent metabolic sy
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 19th 2005 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2003)
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Dec 16, 2011 Shari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My husband lost 90 pounds using this book. I bought it for him for Christmas (he wasn't happy about that one!) and started the diet on January 2nd. That was almost six years ago and he's kept the weight off. Any time his clothes start to get a little tight, we go back to Phase 2.

It was especially difficult for him as he's not fond of eggs and many vegetables. Plus, he travels a lot. Airports aren't diet friendly so living on the go was tough those first weeks. So, we pre-cooked chicken breasts,
Dec 29, 2008 Carissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, this book literally changed my life. I feel 100% better after following the general guidelines. There is no way I would want to go back. I know it's not for everyone and not everyone can benefit but I did and will never be the same after the knowledge I've gained about the glycemic index and carbs and the affect on blood sugar. All told I've lost almost 50lbs. Yeah, I know. I was out of control. I haven't weighed this little since Jr. High. And I've got about 10lbs to go! Now just to get in ...more
Sep 14, 2007 melissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
can I give a book NO stars?

several of my old-lady coworkers jumped on the South Beach Sheep-Wagon and so since this mama has another several (hundred) (thousand) pounds to go until perfection I borrowed a copy for a day. Two things: I would rather be 7800 pounds than lose a little weight by eating an entire farm's worth of animals. Plus, by being 7800 pounds I would appear on the Dr Phil Show for intervention therefore achieving my lifelong dream of meeting Dr Phil. The other thing is that there
Apr 02, 2009 Kalani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a 45-year-old chubby girl and I need to lose weight. My friend Kim introduced me to South Beach, and this is a diet I am excited about. After the initial 2-week "Phase One" where carbs and sugars are off-limits (kinda torturous), the "Phase Two" weight-loss portion of the diet is an eating plan that I think I can stick to. In my opinion it mirrors the Word of Wisdom fairly well: meat in moderation, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. I am about five days into Phase One currently, and alt ...more
Jul 21, 2008 Andra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Still fat.
Jun 09, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Come on chubby folks, you know what to do. Cut out all that white garbage-- the white sugar, white flour, white potatoes. Dr. Agatston's relatively gentle method, the South Beach diet, helps you wean yourself off of those blood-sugar spiking, diabetes-causing, heart disease making carbohydrates and train yourself to rely on lean proteins, plants, and whole grains.

Agatston is a cardiologist first, diet-creator second, so this diet, according to the authors, promotes heart health, with better res
Oct 09, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
Really good but made obsolete by the Supercharged edition that came out 5 years later. I bought both books at the same time b/c I didn't know the difference, which I then found out is that Supercharged is a 2nd edition of sorts. I read this one first after the diet was recommended by my doctor, and it got me started - it's an easy read that really explains how sugar can affect you, enough that it really motivated me to follow the diet and stay away from the sweets! I'm still in the process of ma ...more
Jan 19, 2015 Kendra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: carb addicts or dieters who dont want to count calories
Recommended to Kendra by: a friend
I picked this up because it was the one fad diet that seems to actually make sense, and it sounded easy to follow. The basic idea is eating low-glycemic foods so that your blood sugar doesn't spike and so you don't get cravings to eat more food that your body need. I think if you want to lose weight and are tired of counting calories and you know you eat too many bad carbs, then this is worth trying. It is not good if you exercise a lot though. I followed the diet pretty closely for a week but i ...more
Jan 30, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did the South Beach diet several years ago and was quite successful, but I didn't read the book. I just flipped through the pages to the lists of "good" and "bad" foods.

This time, I decided to actually read the book. I think it was helpful to know the theory behind the foods and food combinations that help you lose weight and be heart-healthy. Knowing which carbs are good and why "enriched" foods are bad has definitely changed the way I view food. I especially like that the book emphasizes tha
Marcy Heller
May 05, 2011 Marcy Heller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm finding this doctor makes a lot of sense, and his recommendations are not difficult for me to follow. I've felt so hopeless about losing weight and have tried dieticians and Weight Watchers repeatedly. This diet has got me enthused. It is a life change, but all for the good, I really think he's right about refined and processed sugars--the bane of American food.

I started this instead of Matzoh two weeks ago--and I'm down seven pounds. I'm starting Phase !! tomorrow. Can a piece of fruit be
Oct 21, 2011 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nutrition-diets
I actually lost a pile of weight on this diet in 2005, & what I like about it to this day is the 'vegetarian' recipes are so delicious I continue to make them now being a vegetarian. Admittedly, there were way too many eggs & way too much cheese after a while, & too many bell peppers (which are very expensive around these parts); ultimately I found that the diet was too expensive & too labour intensive to continue on. But for the first time in my life I felt so much better - elim ...more
Jul 17, 2009 Misha marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
Recommended by my personal trainer. My goal is to finish by Friday so I can prepare a grocery shopping list for next weekend. Ironically, I have added this book to my list while eating a grilled cheese and turkey sandwich for lunch. I'm betting that's not allowed on this diet (because of the bread). Ah, well. It's what I've got in the house until Friday.

Okay. I sat down with this book for all of 30 seconds and find that I really don't want to read it. I will, but I'm frankly sick of the whole go
Jan 12, 2008 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book since it was a fad in the company I joined (Ariba) in 2002. Also, since my picture posted on the company website after winning the annual remote control boat regatta showed me I had put on some serious weight. This book teaches you about blood sugar and how the food you eat effects it and why. The diet is easy, your never hungry, and I lost 15 pounds in 15 days. Exercising too, of course, but not any big deal. Bottom line: Eat all the meat, fish, veggies, nuts, eggs, cheese and ...more
Mandi Murphy
I come from a family with a high risk of practically every chronic/potentially deadly disease known to man. Diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart name it. Watching my parents deal with these illnesses has really made me want to take my own health another direction. I picked up this book because I want to lose some weight and I have a friend who uses it successfully. But the things I learned about the way our bodies react to sugars, etc is invaluable to me. Dr Agatston design ...more
Aug 14, 2010 Dahlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book makes so much sense. It's not a "diet" that you go on and then gain all the weight back when you go off. It's a way of changing your eating habits for the rest of your life. My incentive to go on this diet was spurred by the promise that I would lose 15 pounds (belly fat) in the first 3 weeks. Reading and studying this book makes me want to make healthier choices for a healthier life. The first 2 weeks it limits you to certain foods to get rid of your sugar addiction. After that you ca ...more
Jan 12, 2013 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It works. I had gained some weight, bought the book, made the recipes, and the pounds slowly started to go. This was in 2003-2004. The recipes are simple and delicious. Some recipes that I liked were the Oatmeal pancakes, cheesy frittata and sunrise parfait for breakfasts. The Poached salmon spinach salad, the Greek salad and South Beach chopped salad with tuna for lunch. Dinner recipes included savory chicken saute (a fav) and grilled steak with tomato relish. I also made the recipes for my hus ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Correen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is a very basic introduction with a review of other diet books and a history of dietary thinking -- high protein vs high carbohydrate vs high fat. It was adequate and not too overwhelming.
Apr 10, 2012 Kb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This diet WORKS. I lost 6 pounds in two weeks and did not exercise.
At the time I did this diet, I was vegetarian. I ate a lot of eggs and substituted meat with meat-free boca/morningstar products. The hardest part was making it through the sugar cravings in the first 2 week period. It is extremely difficult to find time to eat all the meals and snacks when you have a full time job, and I did not like spending all my time thinking about and planning out meals.
Thus, I stopped and gave into my vice
Feb 13, 2015 Taddow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the second time that I read this book, and while its not the best diet/nutrition plan I think that out there, I believe that it has some good information and is a great starting point to learning how the body processes food and how to manage what we eat.

I was first introduced to this book a couple years after finishing my service in the US Army; I was still young, lean and in shape, but the couple years of going to school full-time and working part-time fill with many mochas and fast fo
Chris Meads
Jul 02, 2014 Chris Meads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medical, weight-loss
I read this book on the suggestion from my doctor. I found I was pre-diabetic and needed to lose weight. I knew that most diets like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and others really didn't teach you what you should eat--they just gave you the food. Once you went off the diet, you usually gained the weight back.

With the South Beach diet, you are given a food list--the first two weeks, phase one you eat protein, fats, and a few carbs--for the most part you eat things that have very little sugar in t
Aug 27, 2011 Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this book literally changed my life. I picked it up because I wanted to be happier with myself and a blogger mentioned that it had worked for her. I read it in one night, had to wait until payday to start the diet (a week after I read the book) and have now lost 20 pounds- it's been a month! I'm on my way to a happier, healthier me and I'm really enjoying it. Although- mashed cauliflower (while delicious) does not in any way remind me of mashed potatoes. That is a lie.
Jan 12, 2010 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished up reading this book for a second time as I needed to relearn how to eat healthy! This book is actually very interesting and really explains why Americans are so unhealthy, overweight, and why so many are experiencing heart problems and type 2 diabetes. This book does a very good job of explaining how food effects our bodies and how to eat right so as to escape type 2 diabetes and certain heart related illness. It also offers a healthy, effective and do-able weight loss plan.
I've been reading some books in my quest to find a better way of eating. This one works for me. There is enough science to make me feel this is well thought out, plus it was developed by a cardiologist, which gives me a little more comfort that it isn't just some made-up stuff. I'm going to start this weekend (to give myself time to get to the store and make some better choices). I'll come back in a couple weeks and update on how it's working for me.
Stephanie Hardiman Simon
I read this in an afternoon - the majority of it is meal plans, but it's preceded by some explanation about the science behind the diet. It's less of a diet and more of a life change. My fiance and I are both on the second week of it as a pre-wedding slim down/health kick. It's been surprisingly easy to follow, and I can tell a difference in the way I feel. It's clear this isn't a fad, but really about a way to get healthier for a lifetime.
Sally Kilpatrick
Technically, this is a reread, but the first time I read this book it was waaaaayy before Goodreads.

So, here's the deal. I think this is a fairly solid plan. It mirrors very closely what the trainers at my gym suggested. I do try to avoid too many sugar-free things, and I simply can't eat that much fish, but so far so good. The biggest problem is not going on a spree once you finish those first 14 days because, in my case at least, you will still want to eat all the bad things. Just not as much.
Kate Irwin-smiler
Jun 05, 2014 Kate Irwin-smiler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty impressed with the book. It starts with 100 pages of background on nutritional advice in the US and explanation - how a cardiologist came to design a diet program, the theory behind it, and how the different phases work, chemically. He makes a convincing case - it sounds like pieces of other nutrition/diet advice I've heard from sources I have respect for. I think it's a sensible plan, and I like that the focus is on the rest of your life. It's lifestyle nutrition, not a diet per se ...more
Vanessa Marom
Aug 31, 2014 Vanessa Marom is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The diet seems scientifically proven.
Even if you are just curious of reading about it, the book starts with a great little chapter about a history of popular diets and how America came to ban fat for carbs, or why the diet from Crete was an exception to the guidelines.
Caution: this diet is NOT for people with kidney problems (I checked with our nutritionist and she is formal: phase 1, with much more protein than carbs, would damage severely the kidneys. So please make sure you don't have kidne
Mar 21, 2008 Ebookwormy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the best diet I have encountered. I refer back to it often and should probably read it again. Excellent book.
Andrew Maxwell
Jun 09, 2014 Andrew Maxwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I literally buy this book from Amazon Used by the case-loads. After going through the book in detail in clinic, I hand it out to any of my patients with a hypertriglyceridemia, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, excess weight, and autonomic dysfunction. If patients embrace it, it works very well. And although other diets such as the Mediterranean Diet may work as well, there is really no other book out there that gives the level of detail needed to put concept into practice the way the South Beac ...more
Mikha ϟ
Jun 08, 2011 Mikha ϟ rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned, non-fiction
My sister's LOL. :))))
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Arthur Agatston, M.D., is a preventive cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In 1995, Dr. Agatston developed the South Beach Diet to help his cardiac and diabetes patients improve their blood chemistries and lose weight. Since then, his book The South Beach Diet and its companion titles have sold more than 22 million copies. Dr. Agat ...more
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