The South Beach Diet Exercise Plan for Phases 1 - 3

Do you know how to exercise on the South Beach Diet? A workout plan was not included in the original weight loss program, so some dieters don't know that they are supposed to exercise while on the South Beach diet. But if you want to lose weight faster you'll follow the South Beach Diet Supercharged Fitness Plan or your own healthy exercise program for good health.

So why does exercise matter? Not only does exercise help you to burn more calories, but it also helps to improve the way your body functions. If your body moves comfortably throughout the day, you're more likely to stay active, make healthy food choices and maintain a positive outlook to keep your weight loss program on track.


South Beach Diet Fitness Plan Basics

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The South Beach Diet Supercharged Fitness Plan is organized into three phases and is designed to work alongside Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the South Beach Diet. The workout program helps you to burn more calories each day, improve your health and lose weight faster.

So, how does it work? Each phase includes two essential components:

  • Interval Walking: During an interval walking workout, you alternate between two different walking speeds for short periods of time. An interval-style workout provides fat burning benefits without too much wear and tear on your body.
  • Total Body Workout: Stretching and strengthening exercises help you to build muscle and improve range of motion in your joints. This part of the program requires little to no equipment and will improve the way your body feels and functions throughout the day.

In this, you'll find specific details about how to perform each of these workouts during each phase. South Beach Diet membership subscribers can also access the fitness program online and through the app. The program is well organized, easy to do and effective.

But if you don't have those resources available, that's okay. Simply use the exercise tips below to stay active and lose weight during Phase 1, Phase 2 and for the long-term in Phase 3.


Tips to Get Started

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Before you start the South Beach Diet exercise plan, you should get organized with proper tools and equipment. These are some recommended essentials:

Good Walking Shoes

Proper footwear is essential. If you don't have good walking shoes, visit a walking or running store in your area and get fitted by a shoe specialist.

Comfortable Clothing

You don't need to wear tight spandex or expensive athletic attire to do the South Beach Diet workout, but you should wear breathable workout attire that allows your body to move comfortably.

Exercise Mat

It's not generally recommended to use a towel for stretching and strengthening exercises because they slip on some floors. Try to use a sticky mat (yoga mat) for improved safety.

Hand Weights

You won't need to use weights until phase 2 of the workout plan. Keep in mind that you can also use household gadgets like water bottles or soup cans if you don't want to purchase weights.


You'll schedule your exercise sessions in advance to make sure that you have time to work out. A paper calendar is best because you can post it in a place where you'll see it every day. But you can also use an online calendar if you prefer.

Once you've gathered your workout essentials, start your exercise plan by scheduling your fitness sessions for the coming week. Find a 20-minute block in each day and pen in time to exercise. Then honor that commitment in the same way you would honor a work meeting, an event for your kids or an important appointment.


Phase 1 Exercises

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The South Beach Diet Phase 1 exercise plan is relatively easy. During Phase 1 your focus should be on the eating plan. This stage is the hardest part of the weight loss program for many dieters, so you don't want your exercise program to add any stress. So don't worry about wearing yourself down with exercise during the first few weeks.

During Phase 1, try to get 15-20 minutes of exercise each day. You'll find a specific schedule outlined in The South Beach Diet Supercharged. But if you don't have the book that's okay.

Simply do an easy walking workout one day and then a total body stretch and strengthening session on the following day. 

Focus more on consistency and worry less about doing perfect exercises. Your goal during Phase 1 is to build a healthy exercise habit.


Exercise Tips

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When you begin your South Beach Diet Phase 1 workout plan, follow a few basic tips to make the most of each exercise session.

Practice Good Posture When You Walk

Stand tall with your shoulders relaxed away from your ears and let your arms swing naturally at your sides with each stride. Good movement mechanics will help you to stay energized and strong during the session.

Use a Watch

It's best to use a sports watch to time your walking intervals. Dr. Agatston also suggests using the easier "one-Mississippi" method to count each second, but if you're listening to music it might be easy to lose track.

Form Matters Most

When you're doing your stretching and strengthening exercises, good form makes a big difference, especially during Phase 1. When you start any new exercise, do the movement without weights first to learn the proper mechanics. Add weight when you're comfortable with the form.

Use Mini-Workouts to Stay Consistent

There will be days when even a 20-minute workout doesn't fit into your schedule. So what's the solution? Break up your workout into mini-sessions. Take a 5-minute walk during your coffee break at work and then again after lunch. Add a 10-minute walk after dinner and your workout for the day is complete. On stretching and strengthening days, do a quick yoga stretch at your desk or do strengthening exercises in your chair.


Phase 2 Exercise Plan

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Your South Beach Diet Phase 2 exercise plan will include exercises that build strength and improve stability and balance. There are upper and lower body exercises outlined in The South Beach Diet Supercharged and for members online. But if you're on Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet you can also complete your own simple strength workout at home to maximize your weight loss results

During Phase 2 you'll also continue to do walking interval workouts but you'll increase the intensity of your intervals to burn more fat and calories. The weekly schedule will stay the same. Each day you'll exercise for 20-30 minutes alternating interval walking days with total body workout days.

As you stay consistent with your program you should start to feel increased confidence and energy when you exercise and throughout the day. Remind yourself of these positive benefits on the days when you're tempted to quit.


Phase 3 Exercises

South Beach Diet Phase 3 exercise
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During the South Beach Diet Phase 3 exercise plan you learn how to build a long-term plan for improved fitness and long-term health.

You do this by scheduling a 1-2 week "building phase" where your walking workouts slowly increase in effort, followed by a 1-week "supercharged phase" where you work at your highest intensity. The week following your supercharged week is what Dr. Agatston calls a "mellow phase." During this week, you continue to exercise but decrease your intensity and allow your body to recover. 

You'll also continue to do full body stretching and strengthening exercises to shape your body. There is a complete plan with detailed exercise illustrations outlined in The South Beach Diet Supercharged and online for members.

But remember that doing something is better than doing nothing. So if you don't have access to the book or the membership services, find free tools and online workouts to get some exercise every day.

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