Decoding Your Containers: What Do the Colors Mean & How Do They Work

Article posted in: South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet Success plan makes maintaining your weight and living a healthy lifestyle easy. All thanks to a couple of essentials that are designed to make your life easier. As you transition into your weight Maintenance Phase, you’ll incorporate more DIY meals into your schedule using the portion-perfect containers that are exclusive to the South Beach Diet Success plan! Keep reading to learn how these containers make it so much easier to follow the South Beach lifestyle.

We just can’t “contain” ourselves any longer—so let’s dive right in to find out exactly how the containers work, which foods you can fill them up with, and how many you need each day.


colored containers


Your pink containers are for Proteins, like beef, pork, chicken and turkey breast, fish, shellfish, eggs and plant-based proteins like tofu, soy burgers and soy milk. Here are some top pick grocery ideas for your pink containers:
pink container


Healthy Fats go in your gray container. Some options are nuts, seeds, nut and seed butters, avocado, olives, dairy products, oils like extra-virgin olive and canola, olive-oil-based mayonnaise and oil-based salad dressings. Here are some top pick grocery ideas for your gray container:

gray container


Fill the coral containers with Good Carbs like whole grains, beans and legumes. Stick to fresh, dried, frozen or canned beans with no added sugar or salt. Hummus, black beans, lentils, edamame and chickpeas are some popular choices. When it comes to whole grains, look for foods with three or more grams of fiber per serving. Quinoa, brown rice, whole grain bread and whole wheat pasta are all great options. Here are some top pick grocery ideas for your coral containers:

coral container


The turquoise containers are for your veggies. Enjoy non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, greens, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, broccoli and tomatoes—just to name a few! You can also use the turquoise containers for starchy vegetables like green peas, carrots, corn, winter squash and yams. Since starchy veggies are higher in carbs, we recommend you limit them to one or two a day—you’ll get the rest of your veggie servings via the non-starchy variety. Here are some top pick grocery ideas for your turquoise containers:

turquoise container


Reach for your teal containers to fill them with fruit. Fresh or frozen fruits with no added sugar are best. Berries, cantaloupe, apples, bananas, pineapple and oranges are just a few options you can pick from. Dried fruit with no sugar added is okay, too. But since it’s more concentrated than fresh, follow the serving sizes for these in your program guide. Here are some top pick grocery ideas for your teal containers:
teal container


mixing bowl

The larger turquoise container is your mixing bowl. This comes in handy for packing up a salad or bowl-style meal to take on-the-go!

For the full grocery guide for each container, click here! >


The specific meal plan you choose to follow for maintenance will determine how much you eat from each container. Some people may wish to increase their net carb intake to 75 to 100 grams each day (Low-Carb meal plan), while others may prefer staying with 50 grams of net carbs per day (Very-Low-Carb meal plan).

Not sure which plan is right for you? Click here to find out! >

Check out this chart to see how many servings of each color-coded container you’ll add each day:



So, how does this all look in a day? Glad you asked! Check out our recommended meal plans below to see how to split up your containers for the most balanced meals. However, you can feel free to mix and match containers throughout the day to meet your needs.




  • Try labeling the containers if you have trouble telling them apart. The turquoise containers for your veggies also match your mixing bowl; so that’s a great place to start if you need a visual cue!
  • Some foods don’t fit easily into the containers, and others are more calorically-dense, like nut butters, oils and dried fruit. Check your program guide to get the guidelines for these foods.
  • Non-Starchy Vegetables in your turquoise container are unlimited. Feel free to munch on more than the suggested amount if you’re feeling hungry.
  • If you have a busy day ahead, just fill up your containers ahead of time for the day, and you’re good to go. Easy peasy!
  • Have a little free time? Use your containers to measure out the ingredients for a recipe you want to try (helpful hint: check out all the great recipes right here on The Palm! >).

Check out a complete overview of South Beach Success here! >