How to Build the Perfect Dinner for Maintenance

Article posted in: South Beach Diet South Beach DIY
Phase 2 dinner

The best part about dinner is that you (hopefully) have time to enjoy it. Breakfasts are often rushed and leftover lunches at the office hardly allow for culinary creativity. Luckily, with the South Beach Diet, you can get delicious, fully prepared meals delivered right to your door. (Not a customer, yet? What are you waiting for? Click here to get started! >)

But now that you’ve reached your goal weight, you may want to start spreading your DIY meal wings using the information you’ve learned throughout your South Beach journey. With the South Beach Diet Success plan, you will have more opportunities to practice your cooking skills and apply your new knowledge. As you get started, you’ll want to do a little bit of planning so you can come home and enjoy the perfect healthy meal after a long day.

Planning ahead and preparing tasty and relaxing cuisine will make the week seem that much more satisfying when it comes to your weight maintenance program. Here’s how you can plan ahead:

  • Create a weekly (or monthly) menu and grocery list and do your shopping over the weekend.
  • Try starting or prepping healthy recipes the previous night or in the morning before work.
  • Ask for help. If you cook for your whole family, get them involved in the process start to finish.

Before we get into the menu, let’s go over the parameters. On our South Beach Diet maintenance plan, you can choose to stick with 50 grams of net carbs per day (Very-Low-Carb meal plan) or increase to 75 to 100 grams each day (Low-Carb meal plan). The meal plan that you choose will determine what your DIY dinner should consist of. Use the guidelines below for your specific plan and gender to create a healthy DIY dinner for weight maintenance:

Low-Carb Meal Plan

Women: 1 Protein, 1 Healthy Fat, 1 Good Carb and 2 Vegetables

Men: 2 Proteins, 1 Healthy Fat, 1 Good Carb and 2 Vegetables

Very-Low-Carb Meal Plan

Women: 2 Proteins, 1 Healthy Fat and 2 Vegetables

Men: 3 Proteins, 1 Healthy Fat and 2 Vegetables

Helpful Hint: You can have all the veggies you’d like, just remember that starchy veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips or winter squash are limited to no more than two servings per day.

How to Build the Perfect Lunch for Maintenance

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Now, let’s build the perfect healthy dinner…

Lean Proteins:

Steak, flank, ground, London broil, sirloin, T-bone, 3 oz.

Pork loin, chop or roast, 3 oz.

Pork tenderloin, 3 oz.

Skinless chicken breast, 3 oz.

Ground chicken or turkey breast, 3 oz.

Fish and shellfish, all types, 3 oz.

Sashimi, 3 oz.

Healthy Fats:

Chia seeds, 2 Tbsp.

Coconut, unsweetened, 2 Tbsp.

Hazelnuts or filberts, 20

Peanuts, dry roasted or boiled, 28

Pecans, 19 halves

Pine or soy nuts, dry-roasted, ¼ cup

Pistachios, 49

Pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds, 3 Tbsp.

Walnuts, 14 halves

Oils, avocado, canola, coconut, corn, etc., 1 Tbsp.

Mayonnaise, olive oil-based, 1 Tbsp.

Italian salad dressing, regular, 2 Tbsp. (no more than 3 grams sugar)

Vinaigrette, balsamic, regular, 2 Tbsp. (no more than 3 grams of sugar)

Avocado, ½ fruit

Guacamole, ¼ cup

Coconut milk, canned, unsweetened, ¼ cup

Cheese, blue, cheddar, farmer, feta, goat, mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone, queso fresco, soy, swiss, 1 oz. or ¼ cup

Dairy, buttermilk, Kefir, milk, soy, 1 cup

Good Carbs:

Grains, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, couscous, farro, quinoa, ½ cup

Cellophane noodles, cooked, ¼ cup

Pasta, made from whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, soy, spelt, cooked al dente

Phyllo dough and shells, 2 sheets or 4 mini shells

Rice, shirataki, and soba noodles, cooked, ½ cup

Rice, brown, basmati, converted, parboiled, wild, ½ cup

Legumes/beans, black, butter, cannellini, lentils, kidney, etc., ½ cup

Hummus, ¼ cup

Pita bread, at least 3.5g fiber per half, ½ pita

Refried beans, canned, fat free, ½ cup

Now that you are familiar with what foods are approved for DIY dinners, here are five themed delicious dinners you can try!


Flank steak, guacamole, sautéed onions and peppers

Low-Carb meal plan – add a side of black beans for your Good Carb


Pistachio-crusted salmon, quinoa, broccoli rabe

Low-Carb meal plan – add a side of quinoa for your Good Carb


Pork loin (cooked in olive oil), capers, spinach, lemon juice

Low-Carb meal plan – add a side of couscous for your Good Carb


Shrimp, snow peas, cashews, soy sauce, scallions

Low-Carb meal plan – add a side of soba noodles for your Good Carb


Turkey burger, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions

Low-Carb meal plan – serve on a whole-grain bun for your Good Carb

Want more tips for life on South Beach Diet Success? Click here >