DIY Meals: Everything You Need to Know

Article posted in: South Beach Diet South Beach DIY
DIY meals

On South Beach, you’ll enjoy a little extra flexibility in your meal plan. You’ll have the option to dine out or cook a healthy meal at home each week, with what we call “do-it-yourself”—or DIY meals.

DIY meals build flexibility into your diet as you’re losing weight, rather than after you’ve reached your goal weight, for a couple of very important reasons:

  • You don’t feel deprived. Yep, DIY meals mean you no longer have to turn down an invitation to dine out with a friend or miss out on family dinner night at home. We provide the guidance you need to continue enjoying your life—while still enjoying steady weight loss.
  • You’re practicing healthy choices in “real-life” situations. Navigating the grocery store, putting together meals in the right portions and finding the best choices on the menu at your favorite restaurant—you’ll build the confidence, and know-how, to lead the healthy lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
  • You’ll learn how to eat healthy for life. South Beach is not a quick-fix diet; learning the principles and getting to practice them early on with DIY meals teaches you how to eat healthy now and stay healthy long after you reach your weight loss goal.

So how do DIY meals work? Keep reading to find out all of the details.

DIY Meals at a Glance

  • What: Two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and two snacks each week
  • When: Start DIY meals in your first week on South Beach
  • How: Spread your DIY meals throughout the week to fit your schedule best! We just recommend that you avoid eating more than two DIY meals/snacks each day.

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What’s in a DIY Meal?

The specific guidelines for your DIY meals will depend on your specific meal plan. They are generally made up of Proteins, Healthy Fats and Vegetables. On our Diabetes plan, some DIY meals also include Good Carbs. If you’re on our standard weight loss plan, you can add a Good Carb if it fits into your daily net carb limit.

Click here for more information about net carbs >

Your DIY Meal Grocery List

Here are a couple of favorite foods we like to keep on hand for quick and easy DIY meals. Plus, check out pre-cut veggies in the produce section or salad bar of your grocery store for added convenience when you need it! To take a look at our full grocery guide, click here! >

Proteins

grilled chicken

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Assorted deli slices (chicken or turkey breast, ham and lean roast beef)
  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Tuna (packed in water)
  • Lean burger patties
  • Turkey bacon

Healthy Fats

green olives

  • Avocado
  • Peanut butter or almond butter
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans—grab your favorites and make a quick snack mix!)
  • Black and green olives
  • Olive-oil-based mayonnaise
  • Oil-based salad dressings
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • String cheese

Veggies

Colored peppers

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery sticks
  • Snap peas

Fruits

apples and oranges

  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Frozen berries—choose varieties without added sugars
  • Grapes

Please Note: Fruit is allowed on our Diabetes and South Beach Diet Success maintenance plans. If you’re on our weight loss program, we recommend extremely limiting fruit due to the amount of carbohydrates and sugar. But that doesn’t mean you have to totally say goodbye to fruit—enjoy berries in moderation on occasion, which are rich in antioxidants and have a lower carb content than many other fruits. On the South Beach Diet weight loss plan, they count towards your daily Extras (Click here for serving sizes! >). However, keep in mind that it’s still important to monitor your daily net carb intake to keep it below 50 grams.

Good Carbs

Cooked Brown Rice

  • Whole grain crackers
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Hummus
  • Quick-cooking brown rice
  • Whole wheat or quinoa pasta
  • Pro tip: If you’re enjoying a good carb, be sure to stay within your allotted net carbs for the day. 

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DIY Meal Guidelines & Examples

Check out the guidelines below for each DIY meal type for your specific meal plan.

Pro Tip: DIY meals differ slightly between men and women. Make sure you are taking note to the additional items that men should be adding in and where. And of course, don’t forget to add in your non-starchy veggies!

South Beach Diet Plan: Week 1 DIY Meals (One-Week Reboot):

Breakfast:
1 Protein + 1 Healthy Fat:

  •  2 scrambled eggs (P) + 1/2 avocado (HF)
  • Men: Add 1 Protein

Morning Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 2 oz. deli chicken breast (P) + 1 cup bell pepper strips (1 Veggies)

Lunch:
1 Protein + 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 3 oz. grilled chicken (P) + 16-18 cashews (HF) + 1 cup salad (1 Veggie) with 1 tsp. olive oil (Extra) + lime juice (Free Food)
  • Men: Add 1 Protein

Afternoon Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 2 Tbsp. almond butter (HF) + 1 cup celery sticks (1 Veggie)

Dinner:
1 Protein + 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 3 oz. baked salmon (P) topped with 1/4 cup almonds (HF)
  • Men: Add 1 Protein

Evening Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 1 hard-boiled egg (P)

South Beach Diet Plan: Weight Loss Phase

Breakfast:
1 Protein + 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 2 scrambled eggs (P) + 1/2 an avocado (HF) + cinnamon (Free Food)
  • Men: Add 1 Protein

Morning Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 1 oz. cheddar cheese (HF) + 1/2 cup baby carrots (1 Veggie)

Lunch:
1 Protein + 1 Healthy Fat

  • 2 oz. turkey (P) + 1 Tbsp. salad dressing (HF) + 1 cup salad greens (1 Veggie)
  • Men: Add 1 Protein

Afternoon Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 23 almonds (HF)

Dinner:
1 Protein + 1 Healthy Fat

  • 3 oz. grilled chicken (P) + 1 Tbsp. olive oil (HF) + 1/2 cup cooked green beans (1 Veggie)
  • Men: Add 1 Protein

Evening Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (P)

Diabetes Plan: Week 1 DIY Meals

Breakfast:
1 Protein + 1 Good Carb

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (P) + whole grain toast (GC)

Morning Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 2 oz. deli chicken breast (P) + 1 cup bell pepper strips (1 Veggies)

Lunch:
1 Protein + 1 Good Carb

  • 3 oz. grilled chicken (P) + 1/2 cup brown rice (GC) + 1 cup cooked broccoli (2 Veggies)
  • Men: Add 1 Healthy Fat

Afternoon Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 2 Tbsp. almond butter (HF) + 1 cup celery sticks (1 Veggie)

Dinner:
1 Protein + 1 Good Carb

  • 3 oz. baked salmon (P) + 1/2 cup quinoa (GC)
  • Men: Add 1 Healthy Fat

Evening Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 23 almonds (HF)

Diabetes Plan: Weight Loss Phase

Breakfast:
1 Protein + 1 Good Carb

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (P) + whole grain toast (GC)

Morning Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 2 oz. deli chicken breast (P) + 1 cup bell pepper strips (1 Veggies)

Lunch:
1 Protein + 1 Good Carb OR 1 Fruit

  • 3 oz. grilled chicken (P) + 1/2 cup brown rice (GC) + 1 cup cooked broccoli (2 Veggies)
  • Men: Add 1 Healthy Fat

Afternoon Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 2 Tbsp. almond butter (HF) + 1 cup celery sticks (1 Veggie)

Dinner:
1 Protein + 1 Good Carb

  • 3 oz. baked salmon (P) + 1/2 cup quinoa (GC) + 1/2 cup cooked green beans (1 Veggie)
  • Men: Add 1 Healthy Fat

Evening Snack:
1 Protein OR 1 Healthy Fat:

  • 23 almonds (HF)

Following these guidelines will make your DIY meals a cinch. As you get comfortable on the program, have fun experimenting with different foods, textures and flavors to mix things up. And don’t forget our fully stocked recipe section if you’re looking for more meal inspiration! Browse recipes now. >

Ready to get started on the South Beach Diet? Make the decision today! >