How to Build the Perfect Snack for Maintenance

Article posted in: South Beach Diet South Beach DIY
the perfect snack

It’s so easy to grab a South Beach Diet® snack. Everything is prepackaged. Every snack is filling. And, of course, every snack is healthy. But if you’re wondering how to build the perfect snack all on your own, you’re not alone. It’s one of the questions we’re asked a lot.

You’ve reached your weight loss goal and are ready to incorporate more DIY snacks into your day. Here’s the good news about building the perfect snack while on the South Beach Diet: You can still have cheese. You can still have nuts. You can even have fruit if you want. The most important thing to remember is moderation. Instead of mindlessly eating an entire bowl of nuts, cheese and/or strawberries, you watch your portions and supplement any additional hunger with good-for-you veggies.

How to Build the Perfect Breakfast for Maintenance

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So, what does SBD say about snacking for maintenance?

On our South Beach Diet Success 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 snacks should consist of. Use the guidelines below for your specific plan and gender to create healthy DIY meals for weight maintenance:

the perfect snack

the perfect snack

Not sure what plan is right for you? Find out here >

Pro tip: If you’d like, you can feel free to rearrange your Proteins, Healthy Fats, Good Carbs, Fruits and Vegetables throughout the day. The layout of the meal plan is flexible based on your schedule and lifestyle. It’s perfectly fine to use up a Fruit or Good Carb from another meal occasion at your snack time.

Now, what kinds of things—and how much of said things—can you be used to create the perfect snack?

Lean Proteins

Cottage cheese

  • Canadian bacon, 3 oz.
  • Turkey bacon, 3 oz. or about 4 slices
  • Chicken breast deli meat, regular, smoked or peppered, 2 oz. or about 4 to 6 thin slices
  • Ham deli meat, boiled and natural uncured smoked (avoid sugar-cured, maple-cured and honey-baked), 2 oz. or about 4 to 6 thin slices
  • Roast beef deli meat, lean, 2 oz.
  • Turkey breast deli meat, regular, smoked or peppered, 2 oz. or about 4 to 6 thin slices
  • Egg whites, 3 large
  • Whole egg, 1 large

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Healthy Fats


  • Almonds, 23
  • Almond and peanut butter, 2 Tbsp, no sugar added
  • Brazil nuts, 6
  • Cashews, 16-18
  • Hazelnuts or filberts, 20
  • Macadamia nuts, 10-12
  • Peanuts, dry roasted or boiled, 28
  • Pecans, 19 halves
  • Pistachios, 49
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds, 3 Tbsp
  • Pine and soy nuts, dry roasted, ¼ cup
  • Walnuts, 14 halves
  • Guacamole, ¼ cup
  • Olives, black or green, ½ cup
  • Greek yogurt, full-fat, plain, 5.3 oz.
  • Milk, whole, 8 oz. or 1 cup
  • Kefir, plain, 8 oz. or 1 cup
  • Soy milk, unsweetened, 8 oz. or 1 cup
  • Cheese (cheddar, farmer, goat, mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone, Swiss, etc.) 1 oz. or about 1 to 2 slices
  • Cottage cheese, ½ cup
  • String cheese, 1 piece



  • Apple, 1 small
  • Applesauce, unsweetened, ½ cup
  • Apricots, berries, cantaloupe, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew, kiwi, mango, pineapple, fresh or frozen, 1 cup; dried 2 Tbsp., no sugar added
  • Banana, nectarine, 1 small
  • Clementines, 2 small
  • Lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, peach, pear, 1 medium
  • Plum, 2 medium
  • Pomegranate, seeds, ½ cup

Good Carbs


  • Crackers, whole-grain, about 6
  • English muffin, at least 2.5g fiber per half, 1/2
  • Pita bread, at least 3.5g fiber per half, 1/2 pita
  • Popcorn, air-popped, 3 cups
  • Quinoa
  • Rice, brown, basmati, converted, parboiled, wild
  • Rice noodles, cooked
  • Shirataki noodles, cooked, 1 cup
  • Soba noodles, cooked
  • Tortilla, 3g fiber or more per 1 oz., 1 small

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Need some inspiration on building the perfect snack?

Protein Snack Ideas:

  • Protein shake
  • Turkey breast deli meat roll up, 2 oz. + fresh tomato slices
  • Beef jerky
  • Turkey Bacon, 4 slices + lettuce wrap
  • Hard-boiled egg, 1 large
  • Grilled chicken breast, 3 oz.

Healthy Fat Snack Ideas:

  • Avocado, 1/2 fruit
  • Celery with peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. 
  • Almonds, 1/4 cup
  • Greek Yogurt, full-fat, 5.3 oz.
  • String Cheese, 1 piece
  • Cheddar cheese, 1 oz.
  • Cottage Cheese, ½ cup + cucumber slices

Fruit & Good Carb Snack Idea:

  • Clementine, 2 small
  • Apple, 1 small
  • Popcorn, air-popped, 3 cups
  • Orange, 1 medium
  • Crackers, whole-grain, about 6
  • Hummus, 1/4 cup + sliced radishes

Now you’re ready to start snackin’! Looking for more info on weight maintenance? Click here >