South Beach diet phase 3 is meant to last for a lifetime. The purpose now is to maintain the desired bodyweight that you achieved through phases 1 and 2. All food groups are allowed in this part of the diet, but the proportions must change. By all means, do not return to the eating habits before the diet. You can eat almost anything but highly processed food that contains “bad” carbs and “bad” fats. The change at the level of your body and mentality should by now help maintain a healthy weight. By the time you reach phase 3 of the diet, a third change happens — the change in blood chemistry that will have beneficent effects on your cardiovascular system.
Normal foods are allowed in normal-size portions, only the diet's basic rules must be observed:
- eat three well-balanced meals a day.
- replace “bad” carbs and fats with “good” ones.
- always prefer foods with a lower GI.
- keep the portion size within normal limits — enough to satisfy hunger. You should eat more slowly as it takes some time until your brain gets the signal that you are no longer hungry.
- the daily menus should be based on the healthy foods recommended throughout the diet.
Should your weight begin to climb, you return to Phase 1 and repeat the diet plan.
- the decrease of carb and fat intake — allowing only unsaturated fats and complex carbs — and a preference for low GI foods;
- it educates people to eat healthy, to find healthy ways of cooking, in such a manner as to reduce cholesterol and avoid heart disease and at the same time lose weight.
The idea of “diet” should be forgotten in South Beach diet phase 3 and should be replaced by the new, healthy way of life.