What Really Happens When You Combine South Beach And Keto

On the surface, the South Beach diet and the keto diet have a lot in common. Both are varying levels of low-carbohydrate, but there are some key differences that make combining them possible, albeit a bit tricky. And as with combining any two diets, like vegan and keto or Paleo and Atkins, it can feel far too restrictive for most people. However, many people have shifted to a South Beach Keto Diet. Here's what you need to know:

The South Beach Diet is considered a modified low-carbohydrate diet, meaning it typically allows up to 140 grams of carbohydrate per day. That's still significantly lower carbohydrate intake than the standard Western diet, but it's significantly higher than the 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates that are allowed on a keto diet. The South Beach Diet also focuses on limiting saturated fats, eating plenty of protein, and getting exercise. It's designed to be done in phases, with the final goal being the maintenance phase (via the Mayo Clinic).

Combining the two doesn't mean placing one set of rules on top of the other. Instead, there's a keto-specific version of the South Beach Diet protocols.

What's South Beach Diet on Keto include?

In 2019 the creator of the original South Beach Diet, cardiologist Arthur Agatston, published the book "The New Keto-Friendly South Beach Diet." In it, he combined the low-carb, high-fat protocol of the keto diet with his original South Beach guidelines to create a hybrid of the two diets. Unlike a typical keto diet, though, it focuses on increasing healthy fats rather than simply focusing on increasing fat intake in general, and it's not focused on achieving the fat-burning ketosis state, but rather, promoting overall health in addition to weight loss (via Healthline).

In the first phase of the keto version of the South Beach Diet, carbs are strictly limited, with a maximum of 40 grams of net carbs — subtracting out fiber grams — per day. In phase two, you can increase your intake to 50 grams per day, which is still much lower than the traditional South Beach Diet. Still, the carbohydrates are less restrictive, and it does allow for the occasional carb-based treat. Because you're not trying to stay in ketosis necessarily, you're less likely to deal with going in and out of that state if you do opt for an extra carbohydrate-based snack. And since the South Beach Diet emphasizes consuming plenty of lean protein and focusing on healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, it may lead to healthier food choices compared to a typical keto diet (via Prevention).