South Beach Diet Success: Weight Maintenance Explained

Article posted in: South Beach Diet
phase 3

Once you’ve met your goal weight, it’s time to transition into weight maintenance on 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 South Beach Diet Success 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 maintenance unique, review healthy eating tips and outline how to fit fitness into your life.

Need to rewind? Get up to speed with the first week of South Beach, then review your weight loss phase.

Maintenance at a Glance

It’s true: On South Beach Diet Success, 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:

  • You can continue to eat six times a day (with three main meals and three snacks ) if that works best for you. However, you may find that three larger meals work best for your lifestyle. Rearrange your daily layout to suit your preferences and fit your schedule.
  • 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 maintenance meal prep super simple. (More on that in a minute!)
  • 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).
  • Keep up your water habit. Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces of fluid each day.
  • Fitness will remain a big part of your life, too. For maintenance, we recommend increasing your daily activity to 60 minutes. Check out new workouts right here if you need inspiration! >

What to Eat in Maintenance

While the foods in South Beach Diet Success look familiar—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!

You’ll also be adding in more food to increase your calories for weight maintenance. The specific meal plan you choose to follow for maintenance will determine how much you eat from each container. Some people may wish to increase their net carb intake to 75 to 100 grams each day (Low-Carb meal plan), while others may prefer staying with 50 grams of net carbs per day (Very-Low-Carb meal plan).

So, which weight maintenance plan is right for you? Increasing your carbohydrate intake will allow more variety in your meal plan, while still letting you live a low-carb lifestyle. However, some may find success keeping their net carbs at 50 grams per day. If you’re prone to being insulin resistant (meaning you’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and/or tend to regain weight around your midsection), are a post-menopausal woman or find that sugar cravings increase when you try to add more carbs, our Very-Low-Carb plan might be your best bet. Even if you don’t meet this criteria, sometimes going back to the Very-Low-Carb plan for a few days after a vacation or occasion can help you get back on track.

Not sure how much you should be eating on your plan? Click the link below to learn more:

Weight Maintenance & Healthy Living: How Much Should You Be Eating?

Read More

Container Color Guide


Your pink containers are for Proteins—fill them with your favorite meats, seafood, eggs and soy products.


Use the gray container for Healthy Fats—cheeses, dairy products, nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocado, oils, salad dressing AND olives.


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.

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!> 

If you choose to enjoy South Beach Diet meals and snacks throughout the day, simply flip to the back of the packaging to see what that food item counts as and subtract it from your allotted servings for the day. Just make sure you count the net carbs and stay within your daily limit. South Beach Diet meals that do not contain grains can be counted as one Gray and one Pink. Meals that contain a grain can be counted as one Pink and one Coral. Here is what each acronym means on the back of your South Beach meal packaging:

  • P = protein
  • HF = healthy fat
  • GC = good carbs

Tips for Success

Once you’re following your South Beach Diet Success 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 weight maintenance —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! >