Your guide to the South Beach diet

The South Beach Diet is built around the principle of eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive or canola oil, and meats such as poultry or fish. The diet focuses on eating the right carbohydrates rather than avoiding them like other diets do.

Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet lasts for two weeks. During his time, you'll eat foods like chicken, turkey, fish and shellfish. Eggs, nuts, beans and vegetables should also be included. You'll avoid eating bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruit or sweets during these two weeks.

The diet gradually reintroduces carbohydrates into your diet after the first phase. Fruit, whole-grain breads and pastas are added to your meals daily for one week. There is no time limit for this second phase - you stick with it until you've reached your weight-loss goal.

In Phase 3 the focus is on combining everything you've learned from Phases 1 and 2. 'The South Beach Diet Cookbook' has a good range of healthy meals.

You can sign up for the South Beach Diet online and will be enrolled in a 7-day free trial. You can track weight loss, plan meals and read tips during this time. After the trial period, the online plan costs $5 per week.

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