What Is South Beach for Men?
South Beach for Men is a weight loss program designed by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston that uses high-protein, low-carbohydrate foods to help boost your metabolism, burn more body fat, and increase energy.
This easy-to-follow plan involves sending a regular supply of fully prepared meals directly to your door, which are packed with “heart-healthy good fats that nourish and satisfy,” so you won’t have to worry about hunger or deprivation while losing weight fast.
Together, South Beach for Men claims to help you lose up to nine pounds and three inches overall in your first two weeks while learning how to make better food choices so you can maintain the results for life. Which is why more than 11 million people have used it.
Is a low-carb, high-protein approach appropriate for achieving your weight loss goals? Even then, is the South Beach for Men program your best path forward? Here, we’ll cover a lot of territory in a short amount of space so you can decide.
A Quick Reference Guide to High-Protein, Low-Carb Diets
Your body needs energy to operate, and it gets this energy—measured in calories—from three main food sources (known as macronutrients): protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
The National Academies recommends individuals consume about 45 to 65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20 to 35 percent from fat, and 10 to 35 percent from protein. In other words, in an ideal world, we would get most of our calories (energy) from carbohydrates.
Comparatively, high-protein diets like South Beach for Men greatly restrict carbohydrate consumption to between five and 10 percent, while protein remains relatively the same between 15 and 30 percent. Calories from fat, however, skyrocket to between 60 and 75 percent. Why?
The short story is that when the body runs out of carbohydrates to burn for energy (usually after two to three days of following the above macro guidelines), it switches over to burning fat. As the liver processes this fat, it releases energy molecules called ketones, which then puts the body into a state known as ketosis.
Compared to simply restricting calories, this allows the body to continue burning fat while keeping you full, decreasing triglyceride levels, increasing good cholesterol levels, and reducing blood sugar and blood pressure (to name just a handful of benefits).
How Does South Beach for Men Work?
Let’s take this step-by-step:
South Beach for Men vs. the South Beach Diet
We should start by mentioning that, from what we can tell after perusing the plan’s website and reading online customer and professional feedback, (other than perhaps calorie intake), there aren’t any meaningful differences between the South Beach for Men plan and the South Beach Diet for women plan.
In other words, despite their name variations, by all appearances, they’re the same program. As a result, men will focus on the same foods that are high in lean protein, “with heart-healthy fats and good carbs from fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.”
Here’s one example of what you’ll eat for six combined meals each day:
- 7 am – Vegetable frittata and whole grain avocado toast
- 10 am – Dark Chocolate Nut Bar
- 1 pm – Home-Style Chicken & Brown Rice w/side salad
- 4 pm – A hard-boiled egg and carrot sticks
- 7 pm – Sesame-Glazed Beef & Veggie Bowl w/sautéed zucchini
- 9 pm – A bowl of fresh raspberries
In addition to these prearranged meals and snacks, the South Beach for Men plan adds flexibility by incorporating one DIY breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, which you can make at home using one of their recipes, or by dining out.
With this high-level perspective as our foundation, let's zoom in and take a look at some important specifics.
South Beach for Men Phases
South Beach for Men involves a four-week plan over three phases:
Phase 1: Your 7-Day Body Reboot – By “eating specially selected meals high in lean protein, low in added sugar, plus plenty of vegetables and healthy fats,” this phase is focused on helping you see results within your first week.
The company claims this will also help reset your body, while reducing your hunger and cravings for sugar and refined starches.
Phase 2: Steady Weight Loss – Your menu will expand during these three weeks, including “low-refined good carbs like fruits, whole grains, and more vegetables.”
This is also where you’ll introduce one DIY breakfast, lunch, and dinner each week, as well as have the option to implement some simple fitness tips.
Phase 3: You’ve Got This! – You’ll be able to enjoy all foods in moderation, while continuing to follow the basic South Beach Diet principles.
This way, the website advertises you’ll be able to “look your best, enjoy optimal health, and eat happy and health for life.”
South Beach for Men Menus
Although nutritional information is available for each option, here’s the general nutrition details for most of South Beach’s prepared foods:
|Gluten||No certified gluten-free foods, although several menu items do not include gluten ingredients. Wheat-free menu is available.|
|Preservatives (Common)||Potassium sorbate, BHT, calcium propionate, sodium benzoate|
|As high as 15% of calories for phase 1; 10% for remaining phases|
|Sodium||600 mg or less per meal|
|Sugar||All contain 14 g or less; most contain 10 g or less|
|Trans Fat||Less than 0.5 g per serving, allowing them to be labeled as “0 grams of trans fats”|
Because the meals in Phase 1 Body Reboot “are specially selected to deliver fast weight loss in your first week,” the website emphasizes they’re not customizable.
For the remainder, customers can start by choosing the Chef’s Picks, which includes South Beach’s most popular foods, allowing you to sample what they have to offer. Or, you can manually select your meals and snacks from their extensive menu of prepared foods, which includes choices like:
- Breakfasts – Shakes, Almond Bars, Meat and Egg Muffins, Omelets, Cereals
- Lunches and Dinners – Soups and Stews, Sandwiches, Chicken and Beef Recipes, Tuna Salad
- Snacks – Movie Theater Butter Flavored Popcorn, Meat Stick, Ice Crushes, Parmesan Cheese Crisps, Muffin Mix
For DIY meals, recipe examples include Shredded Chicken Chili, Easy Chicken Parm, and Easy Egg Tacos.
Could You Experience Side Effects Using South Beach for Men?
According to the website, the South Beach Diet (for men or otherwise) “offers a safe, effective method of weight loss.”
However, Healthline points out that ketosis, in general, can lead to a condition commonly known as ‘Keto Flu,’ which can cause side effects like headache, fatigue, brain fog, increased hunger, poor sleep, and decreased physical performance. The good news is that this typically passes within a few days.
As always, though, you should talk with your doctor before beginning any diet plan, South Beach for Men or otherwise.
How Much Does South Beach for Men Cost?
What you spend on South Beach for Men depends on how long you stick with the program, as well as the specific foods you choose.
In general, though, Chef’s Picks will cost about $12.14 per day, or $339.99 for the four-week program. Snacks increase this to as low as $13.14 per day, or $369.99 in total. This includes free FedEx shipping.
Important: Keep in mind that these prices include auto-delivery enrollment, which means you’ll continue receiving a new plan once per month, and your credit card on file will be charged accordingly.
You can cancel this enrollment at any time by calling 888-841-2620, but you’ll be charged a $125 fee if you do so before paying for your second monthly shipment. After your second shipment, no charges are assessed for canceling.
The South Beach website emphasizes that “due to the perishable nature of our products, we do not offer returns or refunds once your order is being processed in the warehouse, or after it has shipped.”
What Can We Learn From South Beach for Men Customer Reviews?
We learned earlier that the South Beach Diet and South Beach for Men program are functionally the same thing, so it’s relevant to discuss customer feedback for the former.
Here on HighYa, 17 readers had given the Diet an average rating of 1.2 stars, with common complaints referencing food taste and texture preferences, difficulty cancelling subscriptions (along with the $125 fee if cancelling before the second month), as well as the amount of food you receive all at once—and the freezer space required to store it.
However, more than one customer claimed to have experienced success using information provided by the South Beach Diet book, although this obviously requires shopping for food and preparing and cooking your own meals.
From a professional perspective, sites like WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, and US News indicate that—outside of the restrictive first phase—the general approach used by the South Beach Diet can represent a healthy method of losing weight and improving overall health.
From a company perspective, SBD Enterprises is based out of Washington, PA and has been in business since 2015 (although the original SBD book was released by Dr. Agatston back in 2003). They held an A- Better Business Bureau rating, based on three negative customer reviews and 52 closed complaints, as of 3/7/18.
Most of these appeared to reference the autoship program and $125 early termination fee, although a representative responded in each instance.
How to Choose Between South Beach for Men & Other Weight Loss Programs
According to Statista.com, nearly 30 percent of Americans are obese. As a result, it’s no surprise there are hundreds—perhaps thousands—of weight loss programs available to meet just about every need, budget, and preference.
Even narrowing our options to only those that provide pre-packaged meals, there’s Nutrisystem ($280 - $340/mo), BistroMD ($360 - $540/mo), Fresh n’ Lean ($9.33 - $12.69 per meal), Diet-to-Go ($143 per week, on average), and Medifast ($300+ per week), to name just a few.
While not all of these focus on high-protein/low-carb intake, what’s the best way to decide which path you should take? As mentioned earlier, start by talking with your doctor, during which the National Institutes of Health recommends discussing “issues such as healthy eating, physical activity, and weight.”
After asking questions and potentially measuring your body-mass index (BMI), they might recommend a weight loss program that combines behavioral treatment (also called lifestyle counseling), slow and steady weight loss goals (one to two pounds per week), and techniques for managing stress and promoting restful sleep.
You’ll also need to incorporate physical activity, since, in conjunction with balanced calorie intake, it’s half the equation for success when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off long-term.
Finally, after years writing about weight loss programs, we’d recommend choosing those that come with at least 30-day refund policies (and no penalty fees) and from companies with solid reputations for satisfaction.
Final Thoughts About South Beach for Men
In the end, South Beach for Men (aka the South Beach Diet) seems to come with mostly positive online customer feedback. In addition, their approach is reported by sites like WebMD and Healthline to be a safe, effective method of losing weight, and their pre-packaged meal delivery service could help prevent you from having to shop and cook. Just talk with your doctor in advance.
However, it’s important to balance this with the fact that South Beach for Men isn’t exactly an insignificant investment, since—at a minimum—you’ll have to pay $340 for the first month, along with a $125 cancellation fee if you un-enroll prior to the second shipment. And no refunds are available once processed by the warehouse.
Furthermore, you’ll need a place to store each month’s worth of frozen food, and you’ll need to implement some type of exercise (they recommend “at least 30 minutes of activity each day during weight loss and 60 minutes each day during weight maintenance”).
Their handbook claims to include a variety of exercises, although no additional details are provided, so be sure to factor in this potential added expense.
With all of this said, it appears that if you enjoy their food and can spare the added expense, South Beach for Men really could represent real-world weight loss, as claimed on their website.
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