10 South Beach Diet Terms You Need to Know

Article posted in: South Beach Living
diet terms

You have to change your lifestyle when you decide to lose weight, and that can be a big change. But if you have helpful resources and a great support system in place (which you’ve got with South Beach Diet), change can easily become your routine. Ready to lose the weight? Your healthy-living lifestyle is just 10 South Beach Diet terms away. Learn them, use them every day, and you’ll achieve weight loss success.

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Here are 10 South Beach Diet terms you need to know:

1. Phase 1


To start our list of South Beach Diet terms, let’s talk about Phase 1. You’ll be in Phase 1 for the first 7 days on the South Beach Diet. In addition to exercising 30 minutes a day and drinking 64 ounces of water, you’ll enjoy South Beach Diet prepared meals, plus enjoy a South Beach Simply Fit shake and South Beach Diet Dark Chocolate Nut Bar, plus you will add in at least five servings of non-starchy vegetables. This week, you’ll also make six DIY meals: Two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners—be sure to eat these throughout the week, not all on the same day! During Phase 1, you’ll stick to lean proteins, healthy fats and non-starchy veggies. You’ll avoid all refined carbohydrates, grains, fruits, beans/legumes and sugary drinks including alcohol and regular soda in Phase 1.

Why the restrictions? You need to remedy insulin-resistance issues that were brought on by eating too many sugary (highly refined) carbs. By limiting added sugar and all carbohydrate-dense foods for one week, your body begins to use its fat stores for fuel and retrains itself to run on healthy, nutritious foods. Phase 1 is considered the reboot stage. You’ll lose weight fast, and the low carb approach will start to reduce your cravings for highly refined carbs and added sugars.

2. Phase 2

phase 2

Phase 2 begins on day eight and lasts until you reach your goal weight. You’ll continue losing weight as long as you keep challenging yourself during your 30 minute exercise routine and keep drinking 64 ounces of water daily. You’ll slowly begin to reintroduce high quality carbs back into your diet, like whole grains, beans and legumes, starchy vegetables and fruit in Phase 2. You can even have the occasional glass of wine.

Each week you’ll enjoy five South Beach Diet breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Like in Phase 1, you will add side dishes to your meals and three snacks between meals made up of a combination of lean proteins, healthy fats, good carbs, fruits and vegetables. You’ll also still be preparing your DIY meals!

3. Phase 3

colored containers

When you’ve reached your goal weight, you’ll be in Phase 3 (which lasts the rest of your life!). You’ll no longer rely on pre-made South Beach Diet meals. Instead, you’ll prepare and eat all foods anytime, anywhere. Just remember eat mindfully and in moderation. Keep exercising and keep drinking plenty of water. Continue to eat six times a day to avoid overeating at mealtimes.

To make Phase 3 (and life) even easier, you will get portion controlled colored-containers to ensure you are keeping on track with your portions and getting the proper amounts of each food group. You can also always order off of our A La Carte menu to grab a few of your favorite South Beach foods to have on hand when you want to gran something on-the-go!

Get your favorite South Beach foods right here. >

4. DIY Meals

DIY meals

Starting in Phase 1, you will be provided five days worth of South Beach Diet foods. Aside from your ready-to-go South Beach meals, you will begin using your creativity in the kitchen to make DIY (Do-It-Yourself) meals. You will have two DIY breakfasts, two DIY lunches and two DIY dinners per week.

Not an expert in the kitchen? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! Check out our recipes page > and get some simple recipe ideas that are South Beach-approved. Or, put your South Beach knowledge to test and head out to eat to enjoy a DIY meal. Pro tip: Be sure to stick to your portion sizes!

5. Lean Proteins

grilled chicken

Proteins are another one of the important South Beach Diet terms. are the building blocks of bone, muscle and other tissues. Protein is also an important tool for weight loss because it fuels your body and digests slowly, keeping you feeling full longer. Lean proteins are high-quality foods with a reasonable calorie count and healthy fats.

In all phases, lean proteins are a crucial part of healthy living. Be sure to check out just how many lean protein servings you should be enjoying in Phase 1 and Phase 2. Here are some of the lean proteins you can enjoy:

  • Beef, 3 oz
  • Chicken, 3 oz
  • Fish, 3 oz
  • Pork, 3 oz
  • Deli meats (all-natural, lower-sodium), 2 oz
  • Cheese, 1 oz
  • Eggs, 3 whites, 1 whole
  • Milk, 1 cup
  • Greek yogurt (full-fat, plain), 1 cup

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6. Healthy Fats

olive oil

Fats keep you satisfied so you’re less prone to hunger. Healthy fats contain monounsaturated fats from foods like olive oil, almonds and pumpkin seeds and polyunsaturated fats from foods like walnuts, flaxseeds and corn oil.

Because fats are high in calories, you’ll want to pay close attention to portion sizes. To be sure you’re getting in your healthy fat servings in Phase 1, click here > Ready for Phase 2? Check out how many healthy fat servings you can enjoy here > Here are some of the healthy fats you can add to your menu:

  • Nuts, 1 oz. or about ¼ cup
  • Seeds, 3 Tbsp
  • Coconut milk (unsweetened), ¼ cup
  • Peanut butter, 2 Tbsp
  • Italian dressing (full-fat), 2 Tbsp
  • Olive oil, 1 Tbsp
  • Avocado, ½ fruit
  • Mayonnaise (olive-oil based), 1 Tbsp
  • Guacamole, ¼ cup

7. Good Carbs


Carbs are limited in Phase 1, but good carbs like whole grain bread, beans and legumes, brown rice and quinoa are part of the diet plan for those in Phases 2 and 3. Good carbs are high-fiber foods that digest slowly, avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels. Remember to limit foods with no added sugar or salt. On days with DIY meals, both men and women add in up to three good carbs. Here are some of the good carbs you can enjoy:

  • Whole-grain bagel, ½ small or 1 mini
  • Whole-grain bread, 1 slice
  • Cold cereal (low-sugar, 5 grams of fiber), 1 cup
  • Hot cereal (low-sugar, not instant), 1/2 cup
  • Couscous, ½ cup
  • Whole-wheat crackers, 6
  • Pasta (whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, soy or spelt), ½ cup
  • Popcorn (air-popped), 3 cups
  • Rice (brown, basmati, converted, parboiled, wild), ½ cup
  • Beans, ½ cup
  • Hummus, ¼ cup

8. Fruit


Fruit is sweet (which is why it’s off limits in Phase 1) but it also provides quality carbohydrates, fiber, and vital vitamins and minerals, which is why those in Phases 2 and 3 can enjoy in moderation. In Phase 2, women and men can enjoy up to one serving of fruit per day. One serving of fresh or frozen fruit is one cup. One serving of dried fruit is 2 tablespoons but be sure it doesn’t contain added sugar. Here are some examples of fruit servings you can enjoy:

  • Apple, 1 small
  • Applesauce (unsweetened), ½ cup
  • Banana, 1 small
  • Berries, 1 cup
  • Cantaloupe, 1 cup
  • Grapes 1 cup
  • Orange, 1 medium
  • Peach, 1 medium

9. Non-Starchy Vegetables (one serving = one cup raw or ½ cup cooked)

mixed greens

Another addition to the list of South Beach Diet terms is non-starchy veggies.  All non-starchy vegetables are fiber-rich nutrient powerhouses. They’re low in calories and carbohydrates and are devoid of fat and cholesterol. In Phase 1 on the South Beach Diet, you’ll add at least five servings of non-starchy vegetables to your meals per day. Or, you may eat them as snacks whenever you feel hungry. Here are some examples of nutritious, non-starchy veggies:

  • Artichoke hearts
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Leafy Greens & Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions, limit to one serving per day in Phase 1
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Zucchini

10. Starchy Veggies (One serving starchy veggies = ½ cup cooked or raw)


To complete our list of South Beach Diet terms, let’s talk about starchy veggies. Not all vegetables are created equally. While all veggies contain vitamins and minerals, starchy vegetables are higher in carbohydrates and calories than non-starchy vegetables. Thus, foods like peas and sweet potatoes are off limits in Phase 1 but should be slowly reintroduced in Phase 2. In Phase 2, you will limit your starchy veggies to no more than two of your five total vegetable servings. Here are some examples of filling, starchy veggies:

  • Carrots
  • Green peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnip
  • Sweet potato
  • Winter squash
  • Yams

Ready to get started on the South Beach Diet? Make the change and start today! >