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.
Now, let’s build the perfect healthy dinner…
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.
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
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
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