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South Beach Vegetarian Diet

author image Heather Topham Wood
Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.
South Beach Vegetarian Diet
A mediterranean salad on a plate. Photo Credit: MarianVejcik/iStock/Getty Images

Although most low-carb diets are known for consisting of mostly meat meal options, there is a modification for the South Beach Diet for vegetarians. It allows for a larger number of carbohydrates than the traditional South Beach Diet. The protein required to follow the diet will come from mostly vegetable sources.

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The South Beach Diet was developed by Dr. Arthur Agatson and the vegetarian modifications are in his bestselling line of books and on the diet’s official website. The vegetarian diet consists of three phases, with each phase restricting certain foods from your diet.

Initial Phase

The first phase of the South Beach Diet for vegetarians lasts for two weeks and is very restrictive. You will cut out all baked goods, fruits, breads, pastas, cereals, potatoes and rice. You are encouraged to choose vegetables and legumes high in protein. Some foods allowed in the first phase include beans, chickpeas, split peas, broccoli, squash, tomatoes, low fat cheese, tofu, soy nuts, veggie burger without the bun, meatless chicken nuggets, eggplant, cucumbers, pine nuts, walnuts and cashews.

Second and Third Phases

During phase two and phase three, you will introduce more carbohydrates and fruits into your diet. Some new foods for vegetarians allowed during these phases include apples, apricots, beets, carrots, corn, oatmeal, wild wheat and brown rice. During the second phase, you are allowed one serving of the newly added foods while the third phase permits three servings of fruits and carbohydrates.


The food that you can have on the South Beach Diet will also depend on how strict of a vegetarian you are. Eggs and low-fat milk can be consumed through all phases of the diet. You can also substitute these items with soy milk or egg substitutes, like Egg Beaters.


If you drop weight too quickly on the South Beach Diet doing the vegetarian modification, you can shorten the time that you follow the first phase and skip ahead to the second phase of the eating plan.

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