Pumping Up the Flavor Factor: South Beach Diet “Extras” Explained

Article posted in: South Beach Living
flavor

On the South Beach Diet, you’ll get to be very familiar with the main food groups that make up your meal plan: Lean proteins, healthy fats, good carbs, fruits and veggies. These foods are the backbone of your plan and are used as ingredients for your snacks and “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) meals.

But there is a lesser-known addition that adds some serious flavor to your food and can give you a big bang for your caloric buck, so to speak: Extras! These include optional condiments, spices, seasonings—and, quite literally, the cream to your coffee. We call them Extras because they can be used to add a little “extra” to your food—extra flavor, extra texture, extra enjoyment.

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So read on for a complete guide on what Extras you can have, and in what servings, in each phase of South Beach!

Meet The Extras

There are technically two types of add-ons on your South Beach plan, Extras and Free Foods. Here’s the skinny on these easy flavor boosters:

Extras

Extras can be anything between 10 to 35 calories and six grams of carbohydrates or less per serving. These are limited to three servings per day on your plan. We’ve listed some of our favorites below, but feel free to get creative and make up Extras on your own using these guidelines!

  • Balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp.
  • Butter substitute, 1 tsp.
  • Cream, whole milk or half & half, 1 Tbsp.
  • Salsa, 2 Tbsp.
  • Seeds, chia, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, 1 tsp.
  • Sour cream, 1 Tbsp.
  • Unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup

Free Foods

Free Foods are comprised of anything with 10 calories or less and one gram of carbohydrates per serving, and as the name implies, they’re “free”—or unlimited—on your plan, so you can enjoy as much as you like of these items. Here are some of the Free Foods we reach for most frequently to flavor our foods:

  • Beef, chicken or vegetable broth
  • Capers
  • Herbs, fresh or dried
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Mustard (but not honey mustard)
  • Natural, calorie-free sweeteners
  • Soy sauce, low sodium
  • Spices and seasoning blends, low sodium
  • Vinegar, all types except balsamic

How To Use Them

So now that you know what Extras are and how they work, let’s take a look at how to incorporate them in each phase of South Beach:

Phases 1, 2 and 3

Since Veggies are unlimited on the South Beach Diet (be cognizant of your starchy veggie servings!) they are perfect to pair with your Extras or Free Foods. You can enjoy adding in two to three Extras each day, if you wish. Continue using as many Free Foods throughout the day, too.

So go on—spice things up! Extras and Free Foods allow you to get creative with your South Beach meals, DIY meals and snacks, and really customize the flavors to suit your tastes.