Mastering the South Beach Diet: Strategies and Food Lists

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of the South Beach Diet, you should know whether or not the South Beach Diet is something you will want to try. The next step in your evolution to a better you through the South Beach Diet is to have a general strategy throughout each diet plan phase. This chapter will provide specific information regarding techniques to improve your chances of success throughout each step of the South Beach Diet. This will also include lists of foods you can eat while on the diet.

Portion Control

It’s important to note that each phase of the South Beach Diet has specific portions that should be eaten throughout the day. Let’s look at some of the parts the diet requires and the particular types of food that should be consumed during each phase of the South Beach Diet.

Protein: 3 ounces per meal, three times a day. Protein that is approved include the following:

  • Ground beef, only 93% lean and up
  • London broil
  • Pastrami
  • Sirloin steak
  • Ham, boiled
  • Canadian bacon
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey bacon
  • Turkey sausage
  • Ground turkey
  • Ground chicken
  • Sashimi (raw fish from a sushi restaurant)
  • Canned fish, like tuna or salmon
  • Any fish
  • Lamb, only to be consumed once per week during the two weeks
  • Deli meat, all natural and low in sodium
  • Three large egg whites are allowed per day
  • one whole egg is allowed per day

Dairy: 1 ounce per day (or ¼ cup). Dairy that is approved includes the following:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Feta
  • Mozzarella
  • Provolone
  • Parmesan
  • Queso fresco
  • Ricotta: ½ cup of ricotta is acceptable
  • String cheese
  • Swiss cheese

Seeds and Nuts: 1 ounce per day (or ¼ cup) for nuts. For seeds, you can eat 1 ounce per day or three tablespoons. Seeds and nuts that are approved include the following:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Peanut butter

Vegetables: 1 cup per day, or ½ cup when cooked. No added sugar or salt is allowed. Vegetables that are approved include the following:

  • Arugula
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bok choy
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Grape leaves
  • Green beans
  • Wax beans
  • Jicama
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parley
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Sauerkraut
  • Shallots
  • Snap peas
  • Snow peas
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Water chestnuts
  • Zucchini

Oils and Fats: One tablespoon of fats and oils is allowed daily, so make sure that you carefully choose which fats and oils you will consume per day. Oils and fats that are approved include the following:

  • Avocado oil
  • Canola oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Corn oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Walnut oil

It’s essential to note that while the foods listed above can be eaten throughout the entire duration of the South Beach Diet, these are the only foods that can be eaten during phase one of the diet plan. From this point forward in the chapter, you can eat these other foods only during phases two and three of the diet.

Fruits: After the two weeks of phase one of the diet, you can add fruits. Women can have one serving of fruit per day, and men can enjoy two servings of fruit per day. Please refer to the list of fruits we have already gone over in this book to understand what fruits are and are not allowed while on the South Beach Diet.

Legumes and Beans: You are prohibited from eating legumes and beans during the first two weeks of the South Beach Diet. After the two weeks, you can eat ½ cup of cooked legumes and beans. Legumes and beans that are approved include the following:

  • Adzuki beans
  • Black beans
  • Butter beans
  • Cannellini beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Edamame
  • Fava beans
  • Hummus, ¼ cup
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Refried beans
  • Soybeans
  • Split peas
  • White beans

Alcohol: After the two weeks, you are allowed two alcoholic beverages per week. Your options for alcoholic drinks are somewhat limited, but they include the following items:

  • 1 and ½ ounces of hard liquor, no juice or soda added
  • 4 ounces of red or white wine
  • 12 ounces of light beer

Hopefully, after reading this chapter, you have extensive options for eating while on the South Beach Diet. Unlike other types of diets that are out there, you’re not going to be limited to eating the same kinds of foods over and over again. There is a wide variety of foods that you can eat while on the South Beach Diet, which should make dieting in this manner all the easier. Look at other tips beyond the specific foods you can eat while on the diet.

Strategy 1: Consider Quinoa for Breakfast

You may have never eaten quinoa for breakfast before, but this strategy can help you feel complete and fit while on the South Beach Diet. Quinoa is a superfood in the sense that it has the same type of protein that can be found in red meat and eggs. It’s also known to be quite filling. If you eat quinoa first thing in the morning, it’s sure to keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day. It’s important to understand that because quinoa is a grain, you cannot eat it during the diet’s first phase. Lastly, quinoa is known to repair torn muscles after a workout; many athletes consume it to achieve a fit lifestyle and body.

Strategy 2: Take Up a Hobby for your Hands

This may sound a bit strange, but researchers from the United Kingdom have found that when people who are experiencing food cravings played with an object such as a Rubik’s Cube, Silly Putty, or Play-Dough for ten minutes at a time, their food cravings diminished in intensity. This could be an excellent strategy once you start the South Beach Diet. The adult coloring books that have become popular recently may be something you should consider investing in, as well as a puzzle, Sudoku, or crossword book. Whichever activity you end up choosing, remember that it’s essential that your hands be doing something during this time. Distracting yourself by watching a movie or a television show will not do much to curb your cravings. Remember, this is likely only something that you will want to try during phase one, the one that could be more fun. But two weeks is achievable for anyone.

Strategy 3: Slow Down, Be Mindful

The last technique that is important to keep in mind while you’re on the South Beach Diet is to be mindful while you’re eating your food. Instead of reading a book while you eat or being distracted in some other way, it’s better to take in each bite and savor the flavor. Additionally, it’s essential to think about how your body is feeling after each bite. If you typically gobble your food down as fast as you can without much thought, take the time to notice yourself becoming full. Try to enjoy each bite that is going into your mouth. Studies have shown that people who eat more slowly consume fewer calories than those who shovel food into their mouths as quickly as possible. Since you’re limiting your caloric intake, try this tactic to see if you can feel fuller with less food.

Sample Day of Eating While on the South Beach Diet

You can pay to have full days’ worth of meals planned and prepared for you, but if you aren’t looking to invest in things like that, which is just a luxury of the wealthy, you will need to prepare your meal plan. The South Beach Diet is flexible and can adapt to anybody’s preferences, but here is just an example of what a full day of eating looks like on the South Beach Diet. This is an example of a full day of eating for someone on phase 2 or 3.


  • 2 scrambled eggs with two slices of turkey bacon and sliced tomatoes
  • 6 oz. vegetable juice smoothie (surprisingly good especially if you add some artificial sweetener like stevia)
  • Coffee or tea with skim milk

Morning Snack:

  • Carrot sticks (or dippable vegetable of your choice) dipped in guacamole or dressing of your choice


  • Sirloin beef burger (93% fat-free) on a whole-grain bun with reduced-fat 2oz Swiss cheese, tomato slices, bed of lettuce, and condiments of your choice
  • Three-bean salad: Combine equal amounts of black beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas with chopped red onion to taste. Toss with 2 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette dressing (1 serving equals 1/2 cup)

Late Afternoon Snack:

  • Celery sticks stuffed with one wedge of French onion and garlic reduced-fat spreadable cheese


  • 6 oz. filet of salmon
  • One large fried egg (use olive oil over butter to cook)
  • An assortment of grilled potatoes and mixed vegetables of your choice


  • Vanilla Ricotta Cream: In a dessert bowl, whisk 1/2 c part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, and one packet granular sugar substitute.

This is an excellent example of how eating healthy and losing weight can be enjoyable. Take advantage of all the different recipes and meals in the following chapters to mix and match your days while on the diet.