south beach diet keto

South Beach Diet vs. Keto + How Does Their ‘Keto-Friendly’ Plan Work?

South Beach Diet Keto review: No doubt you’ve heard of the ketogenic diet, aka, “keto.” It’s all the rage right now, as this low-carb diet is helping thousands of people achieve inspiring, and sometimes dramatic weight results.

You might also notice that the principles of the keto diet are very similar to the South Beach Diet. (reviews, cost, specials) In fact, the South Beach Diet has recently developed a keto-friendly program, which even more closely aligns with the principles of ketogenic diets.

So, what’s the difference between South Beach and the keto diet, and how does the South Beach Keto-friendly plan work?

Here’s a word about ketosis, and what you should know if you are considering the South Beach keto-friendly plan:

South Beach Diet vs. Keto | South Beach Keto-Friendly Plan

First, a Word About “Ketosis”

ketosis definition

“Ketosis” is the most important concept to understand with the keto diet, so here’s a quick overview of what ketosis actually is:

Normally your body uses carbs from food as it’s main energy source. When carbs are restricted, your body switches to burning fat for fuel instead, and in the process produces “keytones” for energy.

This fat-burning mode is called, “ketosis.” After cutting carbs, the metabolic state of ketosis usually takes about 3-4 days to achieve, and often produces fast weight loss.

keto funny pic baby ketosis

Positive side-effects of being in ketosis include:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Decreased appetite
  3. Increased focus
  4. More energy

*We should add that common negative side-effects of ketosis include bad breath and insomnia. (Well, at least no one else is awake to smell your bead breath!)

Anyway, while being in the state of ketosis is crucial to the keto diet, it isn’t crucial with the South Beach Diet. Here’s what’s similar and different about keto and the South Beach Diet:

South Beach Diet vs Keto: Similarities

Both the South Beach Diet and keto score highly for short-term weight loss, and low for long-term weight loss. That’s probably because both are relatively restrictive with what you can eat.

Do you love pasta? If so, these are probably not the diets for you, as Carb-restriction is central to both the South Beach Diet and Keto.

Keto and South Beach have a couple of important similarities. In fact, being on the keto diet is a lot like Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet, which is lower in carbs and added sugar than subsequent phases.

Keto diets limit carbs to about 20-50 grams per day. Although most keto diets allow fewer carbs than South Beach, that number is in-line with South Beach’s “Keto-Friendly” plan, and the first phase of their regular diet. During Phase 1 of South Beach, you’re allowed up to 40 grams of carbs each day, which increases slightly to 50 grams per day during Phase 2.

*Consider that 2 slices of bread or a single apple both have 25g of carbs each, and a piece of pizza has 35+ carbs. The truth is that cutting carbs isn’t easy!

Another similarity is that on both Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet and Keto, you’ll want to avoid eating starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, etc) and whole grains, which are generally high in carbs.

But, aren’t veggies and whole grains good for you?

Yes, absolutely, but here’s the key to both keto and South Beach: you want to switch your body’s fuel source from carbs to fat, so any vegetables allowed will be of the non-starchy variety.

In order to that, both keto and South Beach slash carb-consumption so that your body turns to fat as a second option for fuel. I like to think of that process as, the big switch,” and it’s central to the success of both diets.

South Beach Diet vs. Keto: Differences

south beach diet logo

Is South Beach Diet keto? That depends. The South Beach Diet allows more carbs and protein than a strict keto diet. That means that while you must be in the state of “ketosis” for success on the keto diet, you don’t have to be with South Beach. However, both Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet and their Keto-Friendly plan reduce your daily carb consumption, which makes being in ketosis more likely.

Dietician, Courtney McCormick, from South Beach Diet said:

“The ketogenic dietary pattern is one that is low carb and high in high-quality healthy fats. The South Beach Diet aligns with this dietary pattern and we do not believe nutritional ketosis needs to be obtained to gain many of the benefits of a ketogenic dietary pattern for weight loss and overall health and wellness.”

Another difference between South Beach Diet and Keto is that South Beach is generally higher in protein than a strict Keto diet. While it’s true that too much protein can prevent ketosis, South Beach believes that it’s crucial to a healthy diet and building muscle mass.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Keto and South Beach is that the Keto diet welcomes all fats, while South Beach is more selective. So, for example, while Keto approves of an unhealthy, fatty-food like bacon for its high-fat content, the South Beach Diet doesn’t.

ketogenic diet nutrition percentages

South Beach generally frowns on foods that are high in saturated fat, and instead encourages more healthy lean proteins from meats and other sources.

I’d summarize the difference between keto and South Beach by saying that keto is narrowly focused on weight loss results, while the South Beach Diet has a more holistic view of a person’s health. While keto drastically cuts carbs and allows fat for ketosis and dramatic short-term weight loss, South Beach has a bit more of a sustainable and healthy approach.

South Beach vs Keto: Expert Ratings?

expert ratings health

U.S News recently asked a panel of health and diet experts to rank Keto and South Beach Diet on a number of important factors. Here’s how they compare:

keto vs south beach diet rankings

As you can see, experts rate Keto lower than the South Beach Diet. This is primarily because of two reasons:

  • Keto is a restrictive diet, making it harder to follow
  • Keto is not a healthy diet, especially long-term

Because of it’s narrow focus on short-term weight loss results over holistic health and wellness, most experts do not recommend keto. In fact, most commercial diets have moved more towards a more holistic approach, emphasizing “wellness” instead of weight loss as the main goal. That’s why Weight Watchers (reviews, specials) changed their name to “WW,” and apps like Noom don’t mention the word, “diet” at all!

Actually, keto can be harmful diet, especially if you are diabetic. If high levels of ketones develop, it’s dangerous. This can lead to health problems like ketoacidosis; a serious condition in which your blood becomes acidic. If you have diabetes, consult your physician before starting any diet, especially keto.

*Related: Keto vs Nutrisystem? | South Beach Diet vs. Nutrisystem

South Beach Diet’s “Keto-Friendly” Plan:

south beach keto friendly plan

South Beach Keto-Friendly: If you like aspects of both keto and South Beach, you can learn more about the South Beach Diet Keto-Friendly plan, which attempts to bring the best of both diets into one program.

The South Beach Diet keto program is similar to their regular (meal-delivery plan), but lower in refined carbs. It’s basically like staying in Phase 1 of their diet indefinitely, and never moving on to the higher-carb Phase 2.

How Does the South Beach Diet’s “Keto-Friendly” Plan Differ from the Regular Program?

The original South Beach Diet, created by Arthur Agatston, American cardiologist and celebrity physician, is a modified, low-carbohydrate diet, which is higher in protein and healthy fats than you might find in a typical diet.

Similar to the original South Beach Diet, the keto-friendly version is broken down into three phases:

• Phase 1 is Very Similar

In fact, Phase 1 (first week) of the keto-friendly version is very similar to phase 1 of the original South Beach Diet, which both drastically reduce carbohydrate intake.

However, the difference is in the amount of acceptable net carbs.

In the traditional South Beach diet, you will consume about 50g of carbohydrates if you are eating a 2000 calories/day diet. In the keto-friendly version, during phase 1 you many not consume more than 40g of net carbs a day. (If you are curious how to calculate net carbs, click here)

• Phase 2 is (a Little) Different

The real difference lies in Phase 2, which is where you spend most of your time on South Beach. During Phase 2 of the original plan, you consistently add a serving of carbohydrates to your diet daily, as long you continue to tolerate it without weight gain or cravings.

However, during Phase 2 of the keto-friendly version, your carbohydrate intake remains very limited, with no more than 40g of net carbs each day. While the keto version is similar to regular South Beach, it further restricts your carbohydrate-intake.

That means during Phase 2 of keto-friendly your menu will consist of foods that are lower in carbs. This includes the delivery of 60+ specially selected lower-carb prepared meals, supplemented with lower-carb foods and groceries.

If you love pasta, bread, and starchy vegetables (like potatoes) anything “keto” is going to be hard to adhere to, and that includes the South Beach Keto-Friendly plan.

• Phase 3 is Also Different

In Phase 3 of the regular and keto-friendly plans you are mostly going it alone, having graduated from the program. That’s because you’ve (hopefully!) learned healthy eating and positive behavioral change during the months of Phase 2 when you ate their prepared foods and worked towards your weight loss goal.

The difference in between regular and keto-friendly in Phase 3 is that with the Keto plan, you’ll continue to eat about 20% fewer carbs, choosing keto-friendly foods and recipes to keep your body burning fat instead of carbs ass a fuel source.

How Does the Keto-Friendly Plan Work?

south beach diet keto plan
Learn more about the Keto Friendly plan, or see all coupons

According to a press release from Nutrisystem, Inc. (which acquired the South Beach Diet in 2015):

“The keto-friendly program option offers consumers the ability to adapt the proven South Beach Diet to make it more ‘keto’”.

The keto diet can be hard to follow alone, so the goal of the keto-friendly plan is to provide customers with a keto lifestyle that is more convenient, leading to greater success.

Here’s how the keto-friendly plan works:

Phase 1: During this seven-day phase, all fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole-grains will be restricted, and your diet will consist of lean protein and healthy fats. The purpose of this is to give your body a kickstart into a fat-burning state, which you may know as ketosis. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, in which the body burns stored fat for energy, rather than glucose.

While in Phase 1 of the keto-friendly South Beach plan, you may consume up to 40 grams of net carbs per day, and studies have shown as much as 5.8 pounds may be lost during this phase.

Phase 2: Once the seven days are up, you move into the second phase, where you will continue eating lean protein and healthy fats, but will increase your carbohydrate intake to 50 grams a day in order to stay in ketosis. During this phase, you should steadily see 1-2 pounds drop each week!

While consuming 50g of carbohydrates or less could cause the body to enter ketosis, most traditional keto diets require as little as 20g of net carbs a day, and lower protein consumption.

The South Beach Diet’s keto-friendly plan allows for higher lean protein intake and more net carbs than other keto plans while still being low in saturated fats and trans fats.

You’ll continue to eat a similar, healthy, lower-carb diet on your own after you’ve reached your weight loss goal and graduated to Phase 3.

• Are you in ketosis in the Keto-Friendly plan?

While the body should enter ketosis by staying at or under 50g of carbs a day, maintaining ketosis is not the focus of this plan. Limiting your carb intake during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet Keto-Friendly Plan should lead to significant weight loss, regardless of whether or not your body stays in ketosis.

On they state:

“Menu options that are designed to be included in a keto-friendly meal plan that delivers about 40-50g grams of net carbs per day. These meals are not intended to allow individuals to achieve or maintain nutritional ketosis.”

This approach is a significant difference compared the keto diet, which generally views maintaining the state of ketosis as an integral part of the diet.

*Related: Keto vs the South Beach Diet: Which is Better?

South Beach Diet Keto-Friendly Reviews

woman cooking from online recipe

South Beach recently introduced their Keto-Friendly option, and they don’t currently separate or sort reviews and ratings for the keto-friendly plan from the regular plan.

It’s essentially the same program, but with fewer carbs. For this reason reading reviews of the regular program is probably just as relevant in order to imagine whether the program might work for your weight loss needs.

Tip: If the idea of prepared meals isn’t appealing, then none of the South Beach Diet or Nutrisystem’s plans are appropriate for your needs. In that case, maybe consider more of a DIY diet like WW or Noom.

You should also note that expert ratings for the regular Keto diet tend to be poor. That’s because the regular DIY keto diet cuts all carbs, even the good ones like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains!

The South Beach Diet’s Keto plan is very similar to the regular program. Really the only difference is that the menu includes only keto-friendly foods in order to reduce the number of carbs.

If you are looking for an easy way to achieve weight-loss success by sticking to a keto diet, and enjoy the convenience of meals being delivered right to your door, then the South Beach Diet Keto-Friendly Plan may just be a good choice for you; especially if you are looking to get rid of both the guess-work and the weight!

If you want to learn more about their Keto-Friendly plan, click below to apply their best discount:

Ok, now let’s talk about which of these two low-carb diets is better!

Keto or South Beach Diet: Which Is Better?

boxers vintage

Keto and South Beach are both popular “heavyweight” diets that restrict carbs in an effort to lose weight quickly.

While they both score well for short-term weight loss, they fall short when it comes to keeping the weight off long-term. So, which diet wins in a head-to-head battle?

When it comes to keto versus the South Beach Diet, we have to agree with the experts conclusion: South Beach is a better diet.

And, if you are looking to try keto, their keto-friendly plan is a good, less-restrictive way to do it:

south beach keto friendly coupon

However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the right diet for you. Keto is very popular because it usually leads to fast weight loss results. If followed properly, and for a short time, keto may work well as a short-term part of a larger plan to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

However, we can’t recommend strict keto as a long-term diet, as it restricts important nutrients like good carbs and fiber from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

The South Beach Diet is available to join as monthly meal delivery, (learn more / cost) or DIY as a book by Dr. Agatston. If you’d like to consider other meal-delivery diets, we recommend Nutrisystem, (cost, coupons) which is rated a little higher than South Beach.

Ask your doctor before beginning any diet, especially keto. Thanks for stopping by!

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