south beach diet phase 2

South Beach Diet Phase 2: How It Works + Food List

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How does Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet work? In Phase 1 you rebooted your body for fast weight loss and changed your preferred fuel from carbs to body fat.

Congratulations! You’ve completed the most restrictive phase of the South Beach Diet, and now it’s on to the next, more flexible phase.

Here’s exactly how South Beach Diet Phase 2 works, plus a list of additional foods approved for Phase 2:

Phase 2: How it Works | Food List

South Beach Diet: How Phase 2 Works:

After 7 days of eating a diet with lower starchy carbs and sugars, you should feel a bit lighter inside and out. Hopefully, you’ve also lost some pounds!

By eating those South Beach Diet foods that are low in carbs and high in lean protein and healthy fats, you’ve changed your metabolism. The key is that you’ve made a switch from burning carbs to fat as a fuel source, which should also help to curb cravings for empty carbs.

You’ve also prepared your body for months of steady weight loss, and you’ll stay in Phase 2 until you reach your goal weight. Now, let’s talk about what you’ll eat in Phase 2.

In Phase 2 You Will…

While the first phase of the South Beach Diet was a “body reboot” week, Phase 2 is where you’ll spend most of your time. In fact, you’ll stay in Phase 2 until you reach your weight loss goal, so it’s important to understand how it works.

In Phase 2 of The South Beach Diet, you will:

  • Supplement the South Beach Diet prepared foods with fresh groceries. As we mentioned, Phase 2 introduces a larger variety of foods including lean proteins, vegetables, good carbs, and fruits.
  • Drink at least 64 oz. of water every day! You can also enjoy unsweetened iced tea, hot tea, coffee, and seltzer. You’ll still want to avoid sugary drinks, and no more than 2 alcoholic drinks a week
  • Track your progress on the South Beach Diet tracker app, including your weight and measurements. Progress is highly-motivational!
  • Move around! South Beach encourages you to get an average of at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This can include activities like walking, swimming, yoga, or riding your bike.

The goal here is not just to reach and maintain your goal weight, but to live a healthier lifestyle with more energy and joy. After phase 2, you’ll graduate on to the even more flexible, Phase 3.

Phase 2 : What Will You Eat?

In Phase 2 you’ll continue to enjoy South Beach Diet® prepared meals 5 days a week, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 3 snacks.

These 5 days should include:

  • 1 lean protein serving (3 for men)
  • 2 healthy fat servings
  • 5 vegetable servings
  • 1 fruit serving (2 for men)
  • 1 good carbohydrate serving

You’ll also have 2 “practice” days each week of DIY meals, when you prepare your own breakfasts, lunches, and dinners plus 3 snacks. These days are also your opportunity to dine out and make healthy menu choices.

For these 2 days, you’ll follow the Phase 2 food guidelines and portion sizes, eating:

  • 3 lean protein servings (5 for men)
  • 3 healthy-fat servings
  • 5 vegetable servings (6 for men)
  • 2 fruit servings
  • 2 good-carbohydrate servings

So, where do you find a list of Phase 2-approved foods?

All approved foods can be selected from the Phase 2 food list, which includes all of the foods from Phase 1, plus more menu variety including starchy vegetables, beans and legumes, fruits, and whole grains.

*Related: South Beach Diet Offers New “Keto-Friendly” Plan

Here’s the list of additional foods you can add to your grocery list for Phase 2:

Phase 2 Food List:

food list

Healthy food is the foundation of the South Beach Diet. In addition to all of the Phase 1 foods, you can also add this list of foods for Phase 2: (Printable PDF)

(One serving is one cup, or 2 Tbsp for dried fruit)

Choose fresh fruits whenever possible. Dried or frozen are acceptable, but only without added sugar. Women may have one fruit serving per day, while men have two.
• apple; 1 small
• applesauce: unsweetened, ½ cup*
• apricots
• banana: small
• blackberries
• blueberries
• boysenberries
• cantaloupe
• cherries
• clementines: 2 small
• cranberries
• elderberries
• grapefruit
• grapes, green or red
• guava
• honeydew melon
• kiwi
• lemon: 1 medium
• lime: 1 medium
• loganberries
• mandarin orange: 1 medium
• mangoes
• mulberries
• nectarine: 1 small
• orange: 1 medium
• peach: 1 medium
• pear: 1 medium
• pineapple*
• plums, 2 medium
• pomegranate: ½ cup seeds
• pomelo: ½ fruit
• raspberries
• strawberries
• tangelo: 1 small
*Limit to 1 serving per week.

(Serving sizes are smaller than non-starchy vegetables)

Introduce these vegetables slowly after completing Phase 1; starting with one per day, and then limit to two servings per day afterwards.
• carrots: raw or cooked, ½ cup
• green peas: raw or cooked, ½ cup
• pumpkin*: cooked, ½ cup
• rutabaga*: cooked, ½ cup
• sweet potato: cooked, ½ cup
• turnip: cooked, ½ cup
• winter squash: cooked, ½ cup
• yams: cooked, ½ cup
*Limit to 1 serving per week.

(*1 serving is ½ cup cooked, 1 slice bread, unless otherwise noted.)
• amaranth
• bagel: ½ small or 1 mini
• barley
• bread: whole-grain
• buckwheat
• cellophane noodles: cooked, ¼ cup
• cereal, cold, low-sugar and > 5 g fiber per serving, 1 cup
• cereal: hot (not instant) < 2 g sugar per serving
• couscous
• crackers: whole-grain, 6
• English muffin: > 2.5 g fiber per half, ½ muffin
• farro: cooked
• matzo, ½ sheet
• muffins, bran, no dried fruit, 1 small
• pasta: (made from wheat, rice, quinoa, soy, or spelt), cooked al dente
• phyllo dough and shells: 2 sheets or 4 mini shells
• pita bread: at least 3.5 g fiber per half, ½ 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 (3+ g fiber per 1 oz.), 1 small
• wheat germ: 3 Tbsp
*Quinoa is a great, high-protein option for a side dish or breakfast!

(*1/2 cup cooked unless noted. Choose fresh, dried, frozen, or canned w/o added sugar or salt)
• adzuki beans
• black beans
• broad beans
• butter beans
• cannellini beans
• chickpeas/ garbanzo beans
• cranberry beans
• edamame
• fava beans
• great northern beans
• hummus: ¼ cup
• kidney beans
• lentils
• lima beans
• mung beans
• navy beans
• pigeon peas
• pinto beans
• refried beans: canned, fat-free
• soybeans
• split peas
• white beans

In Phase 2 you can have up to 2 servings of alcohol per week.

Tip: Choose lower-carb options like light beer, and avoid sweet wine or sugary cocktails.

x Bagel: refined wheat
x Bread: refined wheat or white
x Cookies
x Cornflakes
x Matzo
x Pasta, white flour
x Potatoes: baked, white, or instant
x Rice cakes
x Rice, white
x Rolls, dinner

x Beets
x Corn: sweet
x Potatoes: white
x Currants
x Canned fruit: juice packed
x Dates
x Figs
x Raisins
x Prunes
x Watermelon

x Honey
x Ice cream
x Jam

As you can see, Phase 2 is less restrictive, but you still have to make smart choices at the grocery store and at restaurants. If you aren’t sure about a food, check the nutrition label for trans fats, added sugar, and salt content.

South Beach Diet Phase 2 Meals:

south beach phase 2 food

You’ll also notice that every food on South Beach Diet’s menu has user reviews, nutritional information, and which Phase(s) it’s approved for.

This is helpful if you are customizing your menu, or adding food a la carte.

South Beach Diet Phase 2 Recipes:

The best place to find recipes for Phase 2 of the South Beach diet is on “The Palm,” which is South Beach’s official blog.

You’ll find great Phase 2-friendly DIY recipes with ingredients and cooking instructions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Check their latest, sortable recipes out here!


The South Beach Diet is a good weight loss option for those who value convenience and weight loss results above menu freedom. In fact, a lot of women and men who join have already tried DIY diets and weight loss apps without success.

However, no single diet will work for everyone. That’s why it’s important to do your homework and decide whether the program is a good fit for your lifestyle, personality, and weight loss goals. If you’d like to do more research, you can read about the pros and cons, and the cost in our review.

Tip: a number of people end up choosing Nutrisystem, (reviews, coupons) instead because it’s a little bit less expensive and fits their lifestyle better. We encourage you to compare the two diets and see if one looks better for your lifestyle than the other.

If you want to learn more about the South Beach Diet, click below to apply today’s best promotion!

Before you begin any diet or weight loss program, run it by your doctor or healthcare provider. Thanks for stopping by Wonky Pie!