Can You Drink Alcohol on the South Beach Diet?

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Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: January 10, 2023

If you’re looking to lose weight and burn fat while still eating a healthy and balanced diet, the South Beach Diet can be an excellent option.

A lot of people have successfully dropped weight while following this diet. Of course, if you’re planning on giving it a try, you’ll want to make sure you don’t make any mistakes. You’ll want to learn more about the diet and ask the right questions before you get started.

If you’re wondering if you can still drink alcohol on this diet, you’ll find your answers below…

Phase 1: Avoid Alcohol During First Two Weeks of Diet

no drinking during Phase 1

The first stage of the South Beach Diet, known as “Phase One,” is very restrictive [1].

You’ll need to be very careful about what you eat during this phase. This phase is designed to help your body adjust to healthier eating.

Later on, you’ll be able to gradually add many of the restricted foods back into your diet while still eating in a healthy way.

During this phase of the diet, you won’t be able to drink alcohol. The majority of beverages, from beer to hard liquor, are going to be banned.

During Phase 1, it’s important to remember that the changes you’re making aren’t permanent, an only last for the first two week that you’re following South Beach Diet.

You’ll be able to add alcohol and other foods back into your diet before too long.

What Can You Drink During Phase 1 of South Beach Diet?

pouring water into a glass

This phase of the diet allows you to enjoy mixed drinks that are made with either water or a mixer that’s sugar-free.

You can also enjoy dry wine. Even though that may seem limiting to you, you should keep in mind that the diet is incredibly popular.

There are plenty of pre-made drink mixes and other options that you’ll be able to try.

Your Best Bet? Avoid Alcohol Entirely During Phase 1

That said, you should avoid alcohol entirely during phase 1, if possible [2]. Make sure to talk to your doctor before starting South Beach Diet, and to find out if you’re healthy enough for it. If you’re a heavy drinker, you should also consult with a doctor before cutting out alcohol cold turkey.

Phase 2: Can Enjoy Alcohol in Moderation

a couple enjoying wine together

You’ll be able to start drinking a wider range of alcohol once you enter Phase Two of the diet. This is the phase that is designed to bring you to your goal weight.

Once you hit your desired weight, you’ll be able to move on to Phase Three, which is minimally restrictive and designed to help you maintain your new weight [3].

During this phase, you will be able to drink alcoholic beverages. However, not everything will be allowed.

You should heavily limit the amount of alcohol that you drink.

For the most part, you should only be drinking water. If you do have alcohol, you’ll want to avoid beer and stick to dry wines.

You can resume drinking beer in Phase Three of the diet, but again, moderation is key if you want to maintain your weight loss.

How Much Alcohol Can You Drink?

It’s important to watch the types of alcohol that you’re drinking, but it’s even more important to be careful about the amount of alcohol that you consume.

You’ll only want to have one to two servings of alcohol on any given day. You should also be drinking small glasses of alcohol.

Your serving sizes should be no more than four ounces.

It’s also best for you to pair the alcohol that you’re drinking with a meal. For example, you may want to have a small glass of wine with dinner. If you go out and have a few drinks at the end of the day, it could wind up having a negative impact on your diet.

Tips For Adjusting

A lot of people have a glass of wine on a daily basis. Drinking wine can be an acceptable way to relax at the end of a long, hard day.

Other people really enjoy beverages like craft beer. If this is a habit for you, you might find that it’s hard to change your habits when you are starting your diet.

It will be a lot easier for you to adjust if you try to replace those habits with healthier ones [4].

For example, instead of relaxing with a bottle of wine, you could start drinking tea when you need to wind down at night. You may also want to try making sparkling water a part of your diet.

If you know other people that have followed the South Beach Diet, you may want to check in with them to see if they have any tips for you. They might be able to help you adapt to your diet and stay strong during the first phase.

It’s essential to have support when you’re making lifestyle changes. If you don’t know any dieters personally, you may want to join an online community for people on the South Beach diet.


You won’t just want to think about alcohol consumption when you’re planning to start the South Beach Diet. You’ll want to make sure you think carefully about what you’re going to eat when you’re on the diet.

south beach diet logo

Because this diet is highly restrictive, especially during Phase 1, you won’t just be able to throw together something at the last minute.

You’re going to have to think carefully about what you’ll be eating each day.

It’s a wise idea to spend some time researching the diet before you get started. Learn as much as you can so that you can start making changes now.

A lot of people wind up breaking diets before they ever really get started.

If you want this diet to be successful for you, you’re going to want to make sure you know what you’re getting into.

You should put together food menus and plan out everything that you’ll be eating and drinking each day, including your alcoholic beverages.

There are plenty of pre-made menus that you can look at if you’re not sure what you should be eating and drinking.

If you regularly drink alcohol, you’ll want to figure out whether or not you’ll be able to continue your usual habits when you start the South Beach Diet.

It’s important to determine these things before you start your diet.

If you understand what is and isn’t allowed on your diet, you’ll be able to make sure that you stick to the rules of the diet and achieve the results that you’re hoping for.

Read our South Beach Diet review to learn more about the program.


  1. Jennifer R. Scott, Facts About Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet, Verywell Fit. Found at
  2. Can I drink alcohol on the South Beach Diet? Found at
  3. Mayo Clinic Staff, South Beach Diet. Found at
  4. Alternatives to Alcohol: How to Relax Without Risks of Abuse, Addiction Resource. Found at