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Research on diets shows a significant uptick in success when people follow structured diet plans in comparison to DIY solutions. With a structured diet plan, it’s easier to eat the right amount of calories, digest nutrient-dense foods, and continue towards a pre-determined goal.

This is why more and more people are starting to lean towards organized diet plans for their weight loss needs.

Keeping this in mind, it’s still important to find a safe diet plan that’s designed by professionals. To meet this demand, solutions such as the South Beach Diet (meal delivery program) and Weight Watchers (diet app) have entered the market.

Here’s an in-depth comparison of the two options and how they work.

1. South Beach Diet: An Overview

south beach diet overview

Dr. Agataston is a well-regarded cardiologist and is the brains behind what’s now become a heralded diet [1]. The South Beach Diet was created in the 90s as a way to help people lose weight, stay healthy, and make positive changes to their lifestyle.

His research led to this comprehensive diet after he noticed patients showing noticeable results on the Atkins Diet. The results were dictated by what they consumed, how much they consumed, and for how long they consumed it. This allowed him to create a phase-based diet plan such as this one, which worked using a timeline and different food groups.

The South Beach Diet (read our Review of South Beach Diet to learn more) is all about using lean proteins, unsaturated fats, and low-glycemic-index carbs as the foundation of one’s dietary intake.

This diet has now been combined with an all-in-one meal delivery program that allows members to customize their weight loss journey. It’s an easy way to set weight loss goals, go through the different phases, and receive good meals at your doorstep.

How it Works: Key Features

1. Phase 1

The South Beach Diet is divided into three distinct phases.

Phase 1 lasts two weeks and is often the most challenging portion of the diet plan.

In general, the goal is to reduce certain types of foods including whole grains, fruits, and higher-carb foods to control your insulin levels, cravings, and blood sugar.

This phase also includes:

  • Targeted Weight Loss Goal (8-13 lbs.)
  • Lean Protein, Healthy Fats, Legumes, and Non-Starch Vegetables
  • Multiple Healthy Snacks Per Day

While going through this phase, members are asked to consume a set number of meals per day (3). These meals can only include specific foods that have been pre-approved by the South Beach Diet.

To make things easier, the diet also encompasses snack breaks (two per day), which include healthy snacks involving veggies and lean protein.

2. Phase 2

After the first two weeks, it’s time to enter what’s termed as Phase 2.

This phase revolves around compounding the effects of Phase 1 through structured dieting.

This phase includes:

  • Targeted Weight Loss Goal (1-2 lbs.) Per Week
  • Whole Grains, Good Carbs, and Fruits

In general, the average person will receive additional food options during this phase such as carbs, whole grains, and fruits. It’s important to note all foods available in Phase 1 will be readily available in Phase 2 as well.

3. Phase 3

This is the final phase and is perhaps the most important phase in the South Beach Diet.

The premise is to make it a lifestyle by implementing positive changes and maintaining them. Phase 3 involves following all of the relevant Phase 2 guidelines while allowing yourself some leeway for healthy treats.

This phase includes:

  • Emphasis on Sustainable Weight Loss Plan
  • Complete Freedom with Food Groups
  • No Overindulgence on Foods or Drink

It’s important to note, Dr. Agatston believes it’s best to avoid overeating during this phase and quickly starting with Phase 1 again. It’s about creating a cycle, so your body gets used to staying fit and healthy.

Price Comparison

  • Silver Plan: $7.97/day, $223.07/month
  • Gold Plan: $9.07/day, $253.84/month
  • Platinum Plan: $9.89/day, $276.92/month

The South Beach Diet also encompasses additional expenses alongside the plans. These expenses include specific menu options depending on what a person chooses to consume, supplemental food options (i.e. groceries), and potential DIY meals. The average member will prefer having leeway while creating DIY meals and these expenses need to be accounted for.

The same applies to those eating out once or twice during Phase 3.

Sample Menu Options

1. Phase 1

  • Lentils
  • Lean Pork, Lamb, Veal, and Beef
  • Hummus
  • Chicken and Turkey Breast
  • Edamame
  • Split Peas and Black-Eye Peas
  • Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Kidney Beans, and Black Beans
  • Fish
  • Seeds and Nuts
  • Soybeans
  • Nut Butters
  • Cashews, Pecans, Walnuts, Peanuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Macadamias
  • Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds

2. Phase 2

  • All Foods from Phase 1
  • Whole-Grain Bread
  • Whole-Grain Hot Cereal
  • Sweet Potatoes and Yams
  • Peas
  • Whole-Grain Cold Cereal
  • Winter Squash
  • Turnips
  • Rutabaga
  • Grapefruits
  • Apples
  • Bananas

3. Phase 3

  • All Foods from Phase 1
  • All Foods from Phase 2
  • Certain Varieties of Alcohol

Who Should Join South Beach Diet?

The South Beach Diet is excellent for those requiring a sense of structure while dieting. It’s not easy to know what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat while shedding fat, which is why people get confused.

The South Beach Diet takes all of these questions out of the equation right away. Instead, as soon as a member signs up, they will receive a customized plan that is going to include what foods they can and cannot eat. The program’s simplicity is something that makes it easier to shed weight and remain fit for years to come.

This is also ideal for beginners that have never had the opportunity to create a diet plan. The South Beach Diet takes care of everything and allows you to focus on losing weight.

2. WW (Weight Watchers): An Overview

weight watchers overview

Weight Watchers is a complete diet app that offers the ability to personalize weight loss goals, food preferences, and/or eating habits. This includes implementing proven weight loss strategies to maximize weight loss progress.

In general, the app is iOS and Android compatible while offering a long list of features all in one place.

The premise is to deliver relevant information including at-home recipes, grab-and-go options, and meal ideas for those wanting to make diet-conscious decisions. It also allows members to quickly speak to expert coaches at any time of the day to learn more about their options.

The Weight Watchers app encompasses things such as a barcode scanner, food tracker, and a rewards system. It’s all about using a point-based system to better understand what’s going into your body.

How Does it Work: Key Features

  • Detailed Food and Activity Tracker
  • Barcode Scanner
  • Live Weight Watchers Coach Sessions
  • Rewards System (SmartPoints, FitPoints)
  • Synchronize with Your Fitness Tracker
  • Audio Workouts (Aaptiv)
  • Community Support
  • WW-Friendly Meals in Nearby Restaurants
  • WellnessWins (Free Rewards)
  • Mini-Meditations (Headspace)

How Much Does it Cost?

Weight Watchers has a specialized diet app that offers a slew of features to its users. However, the app does come with three specific plans based on what the user requires.

These plans include:

1. Digital ($3.87/Week)

  • Award-Winning Weight Watchers Diet App
  • Award-Winning Weight Watchers Diet App
  • Access to Digital Tools
  • SmartPoints System
  • 24/7 Chat Support
  • FitPoints

2. Workshop + Digital ($8.20/Week)

  • Award-Winning Weight Watchers Diet App
  • Access to Digital Tools
  • SmartPoints System
  • 24/7 Chat Support
  • FitPoints
  • Community Support
  • Weekly Wellness Workshops

3. Dual Membership ($3.47/Week)

  • Award-Winning Weight Watchers Diet App
  • Partner-Based Features
  • Access to Digital Tools
  • SmartPoints System
  • 24/7 Chat Support
  • FitPoints
  • Community Support
  • Weekly Wellness Workshops

Who Should Join WW?

Weight Watchers is perfect for those wanting to access a tech-friendly solution for their dietary needs. It provides exceptional food tracking options, a complete food database, community support, and the ability to reach out to Wellness professionals.

This is a great way to lose weight for those who want to keep things simple and accessible throughout the year.

How to Decide Whether South Beach Diet or WW is the Right Diet for You

The South Beach Diet is ideal for beginners and those wanting a hands-off approach to dieting. It removes all of the guesswork out of meal preparation, food selection, and making sure you’re consuming the right amount of food each day.

Each phase is empowering, unique, and allows you to focus on weight loss.

While the Weight Watchers diet app is a unique way to learn more about your dietary options, track foods and reach out to Wellness Coaches.

However, it doesn’t offer a built-in meal delivery program that comes along with the South Beach Diet.

Comparison Summary

In the end, both the South Beach Diet and Weight Watchers diet app bring something unique to the table.

It’s all about finding what works best for you and your weight loss journey. Some prefer a structured diet plan such as the South Beach Diet, while others don’t mind having a fully-integrated app by their side.

Take the time to choose something that’s easy to customize based on your lifestyle and routine. Whether this is a comprehensive meal delivery program or a diet app.