South Beach Diet Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine

South Beach Diet caffeine limit is 1 cup per day. Alcohol is also limited to maximum 2 servings per day. Discussing the effects of nicotine on human body does not make part of the plan but it should be out everyone's habits. Smokers who try quitting will not suffer from weight gain if on diet.

South Beach Diet Caffeine

red coffee cup

It is true that one of the major effects of caffeine is that it causes a rush of insulin but a recent study shows that people who drink more coffee are less susceptible to diabetes. However, caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee or caffeinated sugarfree sodas are fine on the South Beach Diet — as long as you do not surpass the limit of one cup a day.

Use caffeine in moderation because:

  • Caffeine has addictive effects on the brain, as well as the kidneys.
  • It has diuretic properties, and is a dehydrating agent.
  • Caffeine stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin, which can lead to unhealthy cravings. That is why during South Beach Diet Phase 1 it is forbidden. Still, the effect is small, so, for the rest of the diet, you can enjoy 1 morning cup and then switch to decaf.
  • Caffeine-containing sodas can cause a gain in weight due to the fact that the sensation of thirst induced by caffeine is often confused with hunger.

Although an appetite stimulant, South Beach Diet allows you to eat as much as you want, so you can enjoy your cup of coffee. Moreover, coffee can raise your metabolism, which is a plus for the diet. Of course, no sugar added, use artificial sweetener instead.


The South Beach Diet caffeine limitation is one coffee (or other caffeine drink) per day. Drink lots of water. Water or pure fruit juice diluted are the best and healthiest diet drinks, as they quench thirst and contain no calories (or few with the juice) and besides, they have beneficial metabolic and physiological effects.

South Beach Diet Alcohol

Alcohol contains sugar and other carbohydrates (thus, heavy drinking can cause a serious weight problem). That is why it is forbidden during South Beach Diet Phase 1.


Still, consumed with a meal, wine does help slow stomach emptying, and therefore slows the rise and fall of blood sugar. One or two glasses of alcohol are allowed beginning with Phase 2 of the diet on the condition that they are consumed during or right after a meal, since a full stomach will slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.

Some beverages contain more natural and added sugars than others.

Enjoy (maximum 2 servings/a day):

  • Red and white wine (1 serving = 3 to 4 ounces)
  • Champagne (1 serving = 3 to 4 ounces)
  • Vodka (1 serving = 1 1/2 ounces)
  • Gin (1 serving = 1 1/2 ounces)
  • Rum (1 serving = 1 1/2 ounces)
  • Bourbon (1 serving = 1 1/2 ounces)
  • Low-carb beer (1 serving = 4 ounces)

Avoid: high-carb beer, brandy, port wine, liqueurs, sherry, wine coolers (often contain a lot of added sugar).

South Beach Diet & Nicotine


Although nicotine is thought to slightly increase metabolism, the poisonous effect smoking has on metabolic enzymes is far more important.

Smokers will definitely not control their weight this way. Any benefit that might come with smoking is far outweighed by smoking's destructive effects.

Smokers often do gain weight when they quit, but this might also be a result of the fact that some have in fact a “hand-to-mouth” fixation that they are subsequently trying to satisfy by eating. If you are on South Beach Diet and trying to quit smoking, this will not affect negatively your weight as on diet you can eat as much as you want.