South Beach Vegetarian Diet

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 12. It allows for a larger number of carbohydrates than the traditional South Beach Diet 2. The protein required to follow the diet will come from mostly vegetable sources.


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 2. The vegetarian diet consists of three phases, with each phase restricting certain foods from your diet.

Initial Phase

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The first phase of the South Beach Diet for vegetarians lasts for two weeks and is very restrictive 12. 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
  • 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
  • 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.


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The food that you can have on the South Beach Diet will also depend on how strict of a vegetarian you are 2. 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 2.