South Beach Diet vs Nutrisystem (2024) | In-Depth Comparison!

Maintaining a healthy weight loss program while keeping a 9 to 7 job and active social and family life isn’t easy, and often it can be nearly impossible. 

Diana Reed – Culinary Nutritionist

I recall a client coming to me a year ago telling me they don’t see any results with weight loss because they aren’t able to stick to a meal plan. 

This is where services like the South Beach Diet and Nutrisystem come in handy. While the South Beach Diet is slightly less expensive, Nutrisystem is my favorite.

Cost per Meal

  • South Beach Diet – around $10
  • Nutrisystem – under $11

Shipping Cost

  • South Beach Diet – free shipping
  • Nutrisystem – free shipping on orders above $50

Delivery Coverage 

  • South Beach Diet – 50 states within the US
  • Nutrisystem – 50 states in the US

Number of Meals on the Menu

  • South Beach Diet – 21 breakfast options, 49 entrees, and over 12 snacks.
  • Nutrisystem – over 150 meal options on the menu

Meal Plans

  • South Beach Diet
    • Silver
    • Gold
    • Platinum
  • Nutrisystem Meal Delivery
    • Basic
    • Core
    • Uniquely Yours
    • Vegetarian
    • Basic Diabetic
    • Core Diabetic
    • Uniquely Yours Diabetic

Menu Options

  • South Beach Diet – one standard menu
  • Nutrisystem – one menu for each meal plan and for men and women

Popular Dishes

  • South Beach Diet
    • Grilled Chicken Sandwich
    • Mushroom Stuffed Chicken
    • Texas Style Chili Meat
    • Tilapia Cacciatore
    • Three bean salad
  • Nutrisystem
    • Chocolate peanut butter bar
    • White cheddar mac and cheese
    • Loaded potato
    • Tuna salad
    • Cheese tortellini

Minimum Order

  • South Beach Diet – a la carte single servings
  • Nutrisystem – a la carte single portions

Cancellation Policy

  • South Beach Diet – charges a $125 cancellation fee
  • Nutrisystem – cancel any time


  • South Beach Diet – no return, no refunds
  • Nutrisystem – money-back satisfaction guarantee

Review Summary: Both are good weight loss centered meal delivery services. South Beach Diet features a slightly more limited menu compared to Nutrisystem’s over 160 meal option menu. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a company that delivers slightly less expensive meals. However, I have to say that Nutrisystem is a better choice if you want the most value for your money with more delicious meals and a better menu variety. That means they send a 28-day supply of meals and snacks to your door every month.

Plans & Prices Compared

Nutrisystem Menu

Both Nutrisystem and South Beach Diet offers a variety of meal plans that cater to men and women specifically. Meals range from under $100 to nearly $400 a month, depending on the plan you choose and the kinds of meals you plan to get.



There are nine meal plans with four variations each. You also get the option to make a one-time purchase or subscribe to a monthly recurring payment which gives you a big discount. Shipping is free for orders above $50, and their boxes come with a money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase.

Lunches, Dinners My Way Plan


  • Chef’s Choice Menu or Custom Menu – under $200 for a subscription or over $300 for a one-time delivery


  • Chef’s Choice Menu or Custom Menu – under $240 for a subscription or over $350 for a one-time delivery

Basic Plan


  • Favorites Pack – under $285 for a subscription or under $440 for a one-time delivery
  • Custom Menu – under $310 for a subscription or over $430 for a one-time delivery


  • Favorites Pack – under $330 for a subscription or under $500 for a one-time delivery
  • Custom Menu – under $350 for a subscription or under $500 for a one-time delivery

Core/ Core Diabetes Plan


  • Favorites Pack or Custom Menu – under $310 for a subscription or under $480 for a one-time delivery


  • Favorites Pack or Custom Menu – under $350 for a subscription or $540 for a one-time delivery

Uniquely Yours/ Uniquely Yours Diabetes Plan


  • Favorites Pack or Custom Menu – under $350 for a subscription or $540 for a one-time delivery


  • Favorites Pack or Custom Menu – under $390 for a subscription or under $600 for a one-time delivery

Uniquely Yours Plus Plan


  • Favorites Pack or Custom Menu – under $390 for a subscription or under $600 for a one-time delivery


  • Favorites Pack or Custom Menu – under $430 for a subscription or over $660 for a one-time delivery

Vegetarian Plan


  • Favorites Pack or Custom Menu – under $350 for a subscription or under $540 for a one-time delivery


  • Favorites Pack or Custom Menu – under $390 for a subscription or under $600 for a one-time delivery

Basic Diabetes Plan


  • Favorites Pack or Custom Menu – under $300 for a subscription or over $400 for a one-time purchase


  • Favorites Pack or Custom Menu – under $330 for a subscription or under $500 for a one-time subscription


South Beach Diet Logo

South Beach Diet

South Beach Diet’s plans start at under $100 and can cost you up to nearly $400 each month. Shipping is free to 50 states in the US. There are four meal plans to choose from with varying costs for men and women.

  • Simple Plan for Men and Women – under $100 a month

    Silver Plan

    • Men – under $330 a month
    • Women – under $290 a month

    Gold Plan

    • Men – under $360 a month
    • Women – around $330 a month

    Platinum Plan

    • Men – under $390 a month 
    • Women – under $360 a month


My Experience Using These 2 Services

Nutrisystem Menus

I’ve tried both services before and have seen successful results with either company. I like how, with each of these companies, I was able to go through the sign-up and ordering process quickly and without any issues. Their customer service representatives are easy to reach, and I appreciate the fast responses as well.



One of the biggest issues I had with South Beach Diet was that they charged a cancellation fee of $125. I think this is a ridiculous amount to charge especially given the fact that I simply wanted to end my subscription after my first month when I decided it wasn’t the right service for me. 

Don’t get me wrong, and I ended up losing 7 lbs the whole month. But I often felt unsatiated, hungry, and the meals didn’t taste anywhere near as good as Nutrisystem’s did. Some of the meals were either too salty or bland. 

Not to mention, the portion sizes were very small. This wasn’t even a case of portion control since I lost more weight on the Nutrisystem program even though their serving sizes were larger and more filling.


South Beach Diet Logo

South Beach Diet

On the other hand, I enjoyed nearly each meal Nutrisystem sent me. I opted for the Favorites Pack just to make it easier to select my meals. The portion sizes were large enough to keep me full for hours at a time as well. 

Cancellation was a breeze and I was able to skip deliveries as I pleased as long as I did it on time. I also appreciated how Nutrisystem covers purchases with a money-back guarantee in case you aren’t satisfied with your order.


Varieties Of Meals Offered

Both companies offer various selections that cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. There are also multiple programs for each service. Both companies also include a mix of DIY meals that you need to cook while a majority of the food you’ll receive are pre-prepared or ready to heat.

Both companies offer various selections that cover breakfasts, lunches, dinner, and snacks. There are also multiple programs for each service. Both companies also include a mix of DIY meals that you need to cook while a majority of the food you’ll receive are pre-prepared or ready to heat.

South Beach DietSouth Beach Diet Meals

  • South Beach Diet incorporates more adventurous flavor profiles into their meals. You should expect to see a majority of their menu contains Meditteranean and Asian cuisine. 
  • All meals on their menu are safe for diabetic customers.

Nutrisystem Meals

  • On the other hand, Nutrisystem comes with various menus that cater specifically to vegetarians, diabetics, and casual eaters. 
  • Their meals are usually American Classics, so you should expect to see more familiar recipes on the menu.

Best Menu Selection

Both companies feature an extensive menu that means you’re getting a good selection of meals and meal replacements to tide you over each month. The services cover meals and replacements for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even healthy snacks. I like how there are days where you can cook for yourself instead of having to rely on pre-cooked food, which can end up feeling quite unhealthy after some time.


Nutrisystem Menu

  • There are over 150 items to choose from
  • There are menus set for each specific plan, such as Vegetarian and Diabetic Friendly


South Beach Diet Logo

South Beach Diet Menu

  • There are 21 breakfast options
  • 49 entree selections to choose from
  • And over a dozen snack options


Nutrition Facts & Taste

One of the biggest differences with both companies is the taste and overall nutrition you’re getting from each meal. To be honest, I felt fuller longer on the Nutrisystem program. South Beach Diet was effective when it came to losing weight, but their food felt somehow unhealthy. 

South Beach Diet GuideSouth Beach Diet claims that their meals are strictly portion-controlled to guarantee results. Normally, I’d agree with this claim, especially since they assure that their meals are reviewed and approved by doctors

However, having been on the Nutrisystem program and seeing great results despite the larger portion sizes, I find it unnecessary. Often I found myself hungry in-between my SBD meal schedules. 

I also found that their food tended to be on the salty side despite their claims of sticking to a low sodium content that is recommended. 

On the other hand, Nutrisystem review heavily regulates its meals by following guidelines set by the US government. Their meals are tasty and filling despite not containing artificial sweeteners, MSG, or trans fats.

Alternatives to Both Diets

Nutrisystem and South Beach Diet are not the only meal delivery services that operate around weight loss. Take a look at some of my other weight loss-centric diet delivery services.

Jenny Craig 

Jenny Craig

The Jenny Craig system is ideal if you want to have access to a personal support system on your weight loss journey. It consists of prepackaged meals that are designed to make it easier for you to stick to a structured meal plan for losing weight.

Cost per Day – from $15 to $26 on average


  • You have access to one-on-one coaching, which helps keep you motivated
  • The meals are prepackaged, which means you don’t have to cook anything
  • The program is designed to help you understand appropriate portion sizes better


  • There is an additional sign up fee of $100
  • Their meals are heavily processed

Blue Apron Weight Watchers

Blue Apron’s recent collaboration with Weight Watchers meant you’re able to cook healthy meals at home that encourage effective weight loss.

Unlike other diet delivery services, you’ll have to cook your food at home instead of the usual pre-cooked or packaged meals. This guarantees fresh, premium ingredients that help develop healthier eating habits.

Cost per meal – under $10 a meal


  • You’re able to learn how to lose weight by cooking your own food
  • You’re guaranteed fresh and premium quality ingredients instead of processed food


  • It’s not ideal if you don’t have much time to cook a meal

Bistro MD


BistroMD meal delivery delivers primarily freshly prepared frozen foods that you can keep in your freezer for weeks at a time, take out, and heat whenever you need to. This helps give you constant access to healthy, weight loss-centric meals within minutes without having to worry about eating processed meal replacements. 

Cost per week – as low as under $90 each week


  • The meals are prepared fresh and frozen so you can keep them in your freezer for a long time
  • It only takes a few minutes to heat your fresh-frozen meals
  • There are vegetarian and gluten-free programs available


  • You have to pay extra if you’re shipping to Hawaii or Alaska
  • They don’t have a vegan menu
  • The vegetarian menu is limited to a few options only


Medifast Logo

Medifast relies on a system that feeds you several small meals each day which mimics the results of intermittent fasting without the hunger. This means you feel full for most of the day while losing weight, so you aren’t limiting yourself with your meals.

Cost per Day – around $12 each day


  • They cater to dietary restrictions like gluten-free diets
  • Their meals have similar nutritional content, so you can interchange the meals you receive
  • There is a money-back guarantee


  • Results are slow and gradual it’s not ideal if you’re trying to lose weight fast

Frequently Asked Questions About South Beach Diet and Nutrisystem

Do You Lose Belly Fat First?

Your belly is a great tool to help you lose weight, boost your metabolism, and energize you. And while that sounds pretty great, it can also have a negative impact on your health and on your workouts. But how do you know if you have belly fat before you can target it? It’s not an exact science, but according to one online doctor’s advice, you can get an idea about whether your belly fat is being stored or expelled. Here’s what your belly should look like. Most people have some belly fat. So just about every person has some belly fat, but only a small percentage of people have too much. Some people call this extra fat belly bulge. And if your belly is round, with a protruding belly button, you may have too much belly fat. If your belly is more round and flat, you may have some abdominal fat, but nothing excessive. Some women have more abdominal fat than men, so the sex factor may be important when you’re losing weight.

Is South Beach Diet Good for Losing Belly Fat?

Obesity isn’t just an issue affecting children and adults, but the elderly as well. It’s no secret that Americans have been increasing their weights for the past 15 years and it has become a leading cause of preventable deaths. Sadly, while the percentage of Americans that are obese has increased from 33.6% in 1999 to 37.8% in 2012, it has also become an issue for those who may not be obese yet. To combat this epidemic, the South Beach Diet is the one diet that has everyone talking. So what exactly is the South Beach Diet? South Beach Diet is known as the fattening fad diet, but is there anything to it? The basics of the South Beach Diet. South Beach Diet participants are restricted to eating small meals or snacks throughout the day. It may seem easy to follow, but this diet is actually very restrictive in terms of the foods that you are allowed to eat. Instead of an abundance of things like salads, as shown in many of the Instagram pictures people post.

Does South Beach Diet Put You in Ketosis?

Can eating healthy food (without paying a fortune) make you into a “well” person? You may never know if you have to eat “well” foods. And for a while there, eating a “healthy” diet seemed to be exactly what I did… but something is off, and I think that “wellness” is more of a marketing concept than a way to feel good.

In my quest to eat healthily and “be healthy” (sigh…), I actually became pretty disgusted with the blandness of many healthy “foods” on the market. Especially if they included sugar or processed stuff in the recipe. But, recently, I had a revelation that all of this is actually a crock. Now, I’m not saying that healthy food doesn’t have a place. But it also does have a place in my diet review.

What Do Experts Say About the South Beach Diet?

Experts have offered diverse opinions on the South Beach Diet, with varying degrees of support and skepticism. When the diet was introduced by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a prominent cardiologist, it received recognition for its evidence-based approach to weight loss and improved heart health. The diet’s emphasis on whole foods, lean high protein, and healthy fats aligns with several established principles of nutrition and has been commended by some experts for promoting long-term lifestyle changes.

Critics, however, have raised concerns about the initial restrictive phase, which eliminates certain carbohydrates and may lead to nutrient deficiencies if not carefully planned. While the South Beach Diet aims to stabilize blood sugar levels and insulin response, some experts argue that its underlying premise has not been extensively studied and lacks strong scientific evidence compared to other well-researched diets.

Despite differing opinions, the South Beach Diet’s popularity and commercial success suggest that it resonates with a considerable number of individuals seeking weight loss and improved health. As with any diet, individual results may vary, and experts typically recommend consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before embarking on any specific dietary plan. Keeping abreast of the latest research and expert opinions can help individuals make informed decisions about the South Beach Diet or any other dietary approach.

What Do Doctors Say About the South Beach Diet?

Doctors’ opinions on the South Beach Diet vary, with some endorsing its principles while others express concerns about certain aspects of the diet. The South Beach Diet, developed by Dr. Arthur Agatston, emphasizes consuming lean proteins, healthy fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates while avoiding refined sugars and processed foods.

Many doctors acknowledge the potential benefits of the South Beach Diet, particularly its focus on whole foods and balanced nutrition. By promoting the consumption of lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, the diet may help individuals achieve weight loss, improve blood sugar control, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Furthermore, the South Beach Diet encourages individuals to adopt long-term lifestyle changes rather than relying on short-term fad diets. This emphasis on sustainable habits aligns with recommendations from healthcare professionals for achieving and maintaining optimal health.

However, some doctors raise concerns about certain aspects of the South Beach Diet, particularly its initial phase, which restricts carbohydrates more severely. Critics argue that this phase may be too restrictive for some individuals, leading to potential nutrient deficiencies and unsustainable eating patterns.

Additionally, while the South Beach Diet emphasizes consuming healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish, some experts caution against excessive intake of saturated fats, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Moreover, doctors emphasize the importance of individualizing dietary recommendations based on a person’s unique health profile, including medical history, current health status, and personal preferences. What works well for one individual may not be suitable for another, highlighting the importance of consulting with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet regimen.

Overall, while some doctors support the principles of the South Beach Diet for promoting balanced nutrition and sustainable lifestyle changes, others advise caution and individualized recommendations to ensure optimal health outcomes. As with any dietary approach, it’s essential for individuals to seek guidance from healthcare professionals to determine the most appropriate dietary strategy for their needs and goals.

How Long Can You Stay on Nutrisystem?

The duration one can stay on Nutrisystem depends on individual health goals, preferences, and adherence to the program. Nutrisystem is a commercially available weight loss program that offers pre-packaged meals and snacks, designed to provide a calorie-controlled and portion-controlled diet. The program typically follows a structured approach with different phases, often starting with a more restrictive phase aimed at rapid weight loss, followed by a transition to a more flexible maintenance phase.

The Nutrisystem program is designed to be followed for several weeks or months to achieve weight loss goals. However, the specific duration can vary based on the amount of weight an individual aims to lose and their progress. Some individuals may choose to stay on Nutrisystem for a few months until they reach their target weight, while others may opt for a more extended period to maintain their results.

It is crucial to consider individual nutritional needs and consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before starting or continuing any weight loss program, including Nutrisystem. A health expert can assess if the program aligns with the individual’s health status and recommend any necessary adjustments. Additionally, establishing healthy eating habits and incorporating regular physical activity are essential for long-term weight management success.

South Beach Diet vs Nutrisystem Cost

Comparing the cost of the South Beach Diet and Nutrisystem involves an examination of their respective pricing structures, meal plans, and additional expenses. Both diet programs operate on a subscription-based model, but there are differences in their approaches that influence the overall cost for consumers.

The South Beach Diet typically offers three main phases: Phase 1 for jumpstarting weight loss, Phase 2 for steady weight loss, and Phase 3 for weight maintenance. The cost of the South Beach Diet may vary depending on the chosen plan, with options such as Basic, Silver, and Gold. Factors like the duration of the subscription and the inclusion of snacks and shakes can influence the overall cost. Additionally, promotions and discounts may impact the final price for consumers.

Nutrisystem, on the other hand, provides a broader range of meal plans tailored to specific dietary preferences and goals. These include Basic, Core, Uniquely Yours, and Uniquely Yours Plus, each offering different levels of customization and variety. The cost of Nutrisystem is influenced by factors such as the chosen plan, the inclusion of frozen or fresh meals, and the duration of the subscription. Similar to the South Beach Diet, promotions and discounts may affect the overall expense for customers.

In summary, the cost of the South Beach Diet and Nutrisystem depends on the selected plan, duration of subscription, and any additional features or customization. To determine which program is more cost-effective, individuals should carefully compare the specific offerings of each, considering their dietary preferences, lifestyle, and budget constraints. It’s also advisable to be mindful of any ongoing promotions or discounts that may impact the overall cost of these diet programs.

The South Beach Diet has a keto-friendly option. However, the regular diet does not completely comply with a keto lifestyle. This means the South Beach Diet can put you in ketosis, but to maintain this, you’ll have to follow the keto-friendly version.

Yes. In 2015, Nutrisystem Inc., purchased South Beach Diet for $15 million. The owner of the South Beach Diet is now part of the Nutrisystem Science advisory board.

All South Beach Diet meals contain less than 600mg of sodium. This amount complies with the American Heart Association’s recommendation for meals and main dishes.

There are also several meals on the menu that contain significantly less sodium than the prescribed amount. However, many customers have complained that the food was very salty.

Final Thoughts. Which is Better?

Despite being owned by Nutrisystem, there are several differences to the South Beach Diet program compared to Nutrisystem. SBD is similarly convenient to Nutrisystem since you’re getting mostly pre-prepared meals ans snacks you can eat throughout the day. It’s also a cheaper option with meal plans that start at under $100 a month. 

However, the mostly overly salted food and miniscule portions make me doubt its cost-effectiveness despite losing 7 lbs of weight in my first month. 


This is mainly why I recommend trying out Nutrisystem instead. Their larger portion sizes don’t affect the end results. Their food also tastes marginally better compared to the South Beach Diet, with less sodium content. I also like how their menu consists of over 160 items, whereas SBD contains less than 100.