Phase 2 Explained

Article posted in: South Beach Living
Phase 2 explained

In Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, your body is easing into steady weight loss from the transformational effects of Phase 1. You may notice that your cravings for sugar and refined carbs have waned a bit, that you’re waking up feeling more energized, or that your clothes are fitting a little looser. Sounds amazing, right? It is! Phase 2 Explained provides you with all of the ins and out of the changes that come with Phase 2, the additions to your menu and more!

So let’s dive in to see just what happens once you reach Phase 2, what makes this phase different from Phase 1, what you eat and more.

Need a recap of Phase 1? Find it right here!>

Here’s a little refresher of what happened in Phase 1:

  •  Your body has changed…A LOT!
  •  Your body no longer looks to carbohydrates as its first source of fuel
  • Your body now burns fat—your fat!—for energy, making you a lean, fat-burning machine

Now, let’s take a quick look at how Phase 2 works.

Phase 2 at a Glance

Since your body is in full-on fat-burning mode, a few things change in Phase 2. You’ll get to enjoy some new foods and you’ll have added flexibility that makes the plan easy to follow and even easier to fit into your busy lifestyle.

  • In Phase 2, you’ll continue to enjoy South Beach Diet® breakfasts and entrées for lunch and dinner. Everything on the menu is approved for Phase 2! >
  • You’ll add in at least five servings of veggies a day, just like you did in Phase 1. To make things even more exciting, in Phase 2 you will be adding in your own starchy veggies. Be sure to keep starchy veggies to only two servings per day!
  • You’ll also enjoy three between-meal snacks a day, using servings of Lean Proteins, Healthy Fats, and adding back in Good Carbs and Fruit—more on those in a minute! (Check out our ready-made snacks for Phase 2, they’re a huge time-saver! >

What to Eat in Phase 2

Now that carb-heavy foods are no longer your go-to source of fuel, it’s safe to reintroduce a few high quality carbs to your plan. So let’s take a look!

In Phase 1, your menu was made up of Lean Proteins and Healthy Fats (supplied by your South Beach Diet meals, shakes and snacks, DIY Meals, plus non-starchy veggies that you added in as snacks and side dishes. In Phase 2, your menu expands to include Good Carbs, Starchy Vegetables, Fruit, and yes—an occasional cocktail or glass of wine. We’ll cheers to that!


You’ll also continue to spice things up with what we call Extras and Free Foods. These include condiments, dips and seasonings that add a little something, well, extra to your meals and snacks.

Here are a few favorite picks for each:

Lean Proteins:grilled chicken

  • Lean beef, pork, poultry or seafood, 3 oz.
  • Deli meat, 2 oz.
  • Eggs, 3 large egg whites or 1 whole egg
  • Cheese, 1 oz.
  • Greek yogurt (plain), 5.3 oz.

Healthy Fats

  • Avocado, ½ fruitavocado
  • Nuts, seeds (approximately ¼ cup nuts and approximately 3 Tbsp. for seeds) and nut butters (2 Tbsp.)
  • Oil-based salad dressings, 2 Tbsp.
  • Oils and olive-oil-based mayo, 1 Tbsp.
  • Olives, ½ cup

Good Carbs

  • Bread, whole grain, 1 sliceHummus
  • Crackers, whole grain, about 6
  • Hummus, ¼ cup
  • Pasta, whole wheat, ½ cup cooked
  • Brown rice, ½ cup cooked

Starchy Veggies
If you choose, two of your five vegetable servings each day can be starchy veg (remember: starchy veggies are to be added in during week 2 of Phase 2):

  • Carrots, ½ cupsweet potatoes
  • Corn, ½ cup
  • Green peas, ½ cup
  • Sweet potatoes, ½ cup
  • Winter squash, ½ cup


  • Apple, 1 smallApple
  • Berries, 1 cup
  • Dried fruit, 2 Tbsp. (no added sugar)
  • Grapes, 1 cup
  • Orange, 1 medium

Extras are anything with between 10 to 35 calories and less than 6 grams of carbs per serving. You can have up to three servings a day.

  • Balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp.sour cream
  • Cream, whole milk or half-and-half, 1 Tbsp.
  • Salsa, 2 Tbsp.
  • Sour cream, 1 Tbsp.
  • Unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup

Free Foods
Free foods are unlimited when they’re less than 10 calories and one gram or less of carbs per serving.

  • Beef, chicken or vegetable brothmustard
  • Herbs, fresh or dried
  • Mustard
  • Soy sauce, low sodium
  • Vinegar, all types except balsamic

Alcoholic Beverages
Enjoy up to two drinks per week, following these guidelines:Red and white wine

  • Bourbon, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, 1.5 oz. (mixers should be no-sugar or low-sugar options only)
  • Dry red or white wine, 4 oz.
  • Light beer, 12 oz.
  • Sake, 1.5 oz.

Check out the full grocery guide here >

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The 4-1-1 on DIY Meals

Just like in Phase 1, you’ll get the added flexibility of DIY meals each week. You choose when to enjoy two breakfasts, lunches and dinners throughout the week on your own—either making an easy, healthy meal at home, or hitting your favorite restaurant with family or friends.

Your DIY meals are made up of the same foods you’ll enjoy in Phase 2—Lean Proteins, Good Carbs, Healthy Fats and Vegetables.

Below, we’ll outline exactly what goes into each DIY meal occasion, as well as which foods to add alongside your South Beach Diet breakfasts and entrées.

Phase 2 Meal Plan

Now that you’ve seen what you’ll eat in Phase 2, let’s take a look at how it all comes together in a sample day—with a South Beach Diet meal option on the left and a DIY meal option on the right.

Women’s Sample Day 

mens phase 2

You’ll also add in at least five servings of veggies throughout the day, either as a snack or a side dish to one of your main meals.

Men’s Sample Day 

You’ll also add in at least five servings of veggies throughout the day, either as a snack or a side dish to one of your main meals.

Need some more DIY meal inspiration? Find out how to build the perfect Phase 2 breakfast > , lunch >  and dinner.>

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Tips for Success

  • Phase 2 lasts until you reach your goal weight.
  • Aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. You can also sip on flavored seltzers, black coffee and antioxidant-rich unsweetened teas.
  • Fit in at least 30 minutes of activity a day. Pick an activity you love, or find ideas right here.>

Continue to use your resources to succeed in Phase 2. Log meals, activity and weight loss progress in your Phase 2 Daily Planner and on your South Beach Diet App. Check in with our expertly trained weight loss counselors if you have any questions—and keep coming back here to the Palm for new meal ideas, fitness tips and inspiration.

Once you’re ready for Phase 3, get the scoop right here! >

Haven’t started your journey on South Beach yet? Get started right here. >