The South Beach Diet works because it emphasizes eating healthy low-carb foods that lower cholesterol. Food choices include lean protein, fish, vegetables, low-fat dairy, nuts and whole grains. According to U.S. News and World Report, research shows that the South Beach Diet successfully helps people lose weight in the short-term. On average, people lose 1 to 2 pounds a week while on the diet.
The South Beach Diet has three phases. During the first phase, dieters are not allowed to eat starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes, rice or pasta. Fruit is also not allowed. During this two-week phase it is common to lose eight or more pounds.
Phase two and three add more food choices to the eating plan as the body adjusts to the dietary changes. People on the diet use the glycemic index to choose foods that are the lowest in carbohydrates. This diet has no formal food list, but acceptable foods include broccoli, eggplant, avocado, tomatoes, eggs, cheese, seafood, poultry and lean meats.
Once the initial weight is lost, individuals set goals to maintain the desired weight by managing food cravings and staying within the low-carb parameters. For those that stray off the plan, going back to phase one or two is the solution to getting back on track.