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WHAT IT IS A three-phase plan that has been likened to the low-carbohydrate Atkins program because during the first two weeks, South Beach eliminates most carbs, including bread, pasta, potatoes, fruit and most dairy products. In PHASE 2, healthy carbs, including most fruits, whole grains and dairy products are gradually reintroduced, but processed carbs such as bagels, cookies, cornflakes, regular pasta and rice cakes remain on the list of foods to avoid or eat rarely. Ditto for carrots, corn, bananas, raisins, pineapple, fruit juice and watermelon. This phase lasts until the weight goal is reached. In Phase 3, adherents are urged to stick mostly with the same foods as in PHASE 2. Agatston notes, however, that lapses are inevitable and dieters may need to "switch back to PHASE 1 for a week or two" when they overindulge and regain weight.