Phase 3 Explained

Article posted in: South Beach Living
phase 3

Once you’ve met your goal weight, it’s time to transition into Phase 3 of the South Beach Diet. You’re feeling healthy, strong and amazing in your new body. You have the hang of eating the South Beach way and following the basic principles of the plan is like second nature to you!

How does this translate to the rest of your life? Well, that’s exactly where Phase 3 comes in. It’s all about using those basic principles to live and enjoy the rest of your life—and help you keep the weight off by making smart food choices, enjoying social gatherings with ease and living that fit, healthy lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

So let’s dive in and see how it works—we’ll show you what makes Phase 3 unique, review healthy eating tips and outline how to fit fitness into your life.

Need to rewind? Check out Phase 1  first, then see how Phase 2 works to get up to speed!

Phase 3 at a Glance

It’s true: In Phase 3 you can enjoy all foods in moderation. So yes, that means the occasional treat is just fine—but that’s not an open invitation to eat whatever you want all the time. You’ll keep things balanced with the same South Beach principles you know so well. Here’s how it works:

  • Continue to eat six times a day, with three main meals and three snacks. Timing your meals like this ensures you don’t get ravenously hungry throughout the day, which can help you avoid overeating.
  • You’ll choose which South Beach Diet® meals and snacks you want to enjoy—and when—while gradually starting to prepare more meals on your own. The best way to do this is by increasing your DIY meals by one each week.
  • Speaking of meals on your own: You’ll get the color-coded container system (a South Beach Diet exclusive!) to make your Phase 3 meal prep super simple. (More on that in a minute!)
  • Keep up your water habit—continue to drink at least 64 ounces a day.
  • Fitness will remain a big part of your life, too. In Phase 3, we recommend increasing your daily activity to 60 minutes. Check out new workouts right here if you need inspiration! >

What to Eat in Phase 3

While the foods in Phase 3 look familiar—Lean Proteins, Healthy Fats, Good Carbs, Fruit and Vegetables—the color-coded container system is all new and so amazing!

There’s a different color container for each food category, and they’re pre-measured—so all you have to do is fill them up in order to get the right serving every time.

The containers keep your portion sizes in check, which keeps you on track and helps you to be able to maintain your weight loss. They also make sure you get the right nutrients in the right amounts every day so you stay healthy, strong and fueled for your day. And a big bonus for busy folks—all you need to do is fill your allotted containers at the beginning of the day and you’re set for a whole day of healthy eats. So convenient!

Container Color Guide


Your pink containers are for Lean Proteins—fill them with your favorite lean meats, seafood, cheeses and dairy products.


Use the gray container for Healthy Fats—nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocado, olives, salad dressing and other oils.


Fill your coral containers with fiber-rich carbs like whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, beans and legumes.


The turquoise containers are for your veggies—both non-starchy (like greens, broccoli, tomatoes) and starchy (like carrots, sweet potatoes and corn).


Fill your teal containers with all your favorite fruits—fresh is best, or reach for frozen fruit with no added sugar.

Free Foods.

How Your South Beach Meals and Snacks Fit in

As you ease your way into making more meals and snacks on your own each week, you can continue to enjoy the South Beach Diet® breakfasts, entrées and snacks you like best. See the full menu here!> 

To find out how many containers to count for each meal, simply flip the package over and look for the Lean Protein, Healthy Fat and Good Carb symbols below, then subtract those amounts from your container servings for the day.

proteins carbs fats


Tips for Success

Once you’re following the Phase 3 meal plan, take note of how your body responds.

  • If you continue to lose more than one pound a week, add in one lean protein (pink container) or one healthy fat (gray container) per day, your choice.
  • If you start to gain one to two pounds per week, remove one good carb (coral container) from your day.
  • If you’re maintaining your goal weight but are still hungry, add in more vegetables (turquoise containers), but be sure to choose from lower-carb, non-starchy options only.

Remember, even in Phase 3—you never have to go it alone! Tap into the knowledge of your weight loss counselors anytime you have a question. And keep coming back to The Palm for recipes, new workout ideas, nutrition tips and motivation. You’ve got this!

Haven’t started yet? Get started on the South Beach Diet today! >