How do you get started on the South Beach Diet? If you have ten or more pounds to lose or experience significant cravings for sugary foods and refined starches, then you should begin on Phase 1, the first and most restrictive Phase of the South Beach Diet plan. Phase 1 is designed to stabilize blood sugar, eliminate cravings, and jump-start your weight-loss efforts. It lasts only two weeks. To guarantee your success, consider these tips for getting started.
Step 1: Learn About Phase 1 Foods
During Phase 1, you’ll jump-start your weight loss and stabilize your blood sugar levels to minimize cravings by eating a diet based on healthy lean protein (fish and shellfish, chicken and turkey, lean cuts of meat, and soy); loads of vegetables and plenty of salads; beans and other legumes; nuts; reduced-fat cheeses; eggs; low-fat dairy; and good unsaturated fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil. You’ll avoid all starches and sugary foods during Phase 1 and won’t drink beer or alcohol of any kind. Whole grains and fruits and fruit juices are also off-limits but will be reintroduced on Phase 2.
Step 2: Learn How to Construct Phase 1 Meals
You’ll enjoy three satisfying meals a day during Phase 1, plus two snacks and a high-protein, low-sugar dessert! Healthy snacks are mandatory on Phase 1 and should be eaten one or two hours after a meal or an hour before your cravings typically strike. Eating the right foods at regular intervals throughout the day keeps blood-sugar levels steady and hunger at bay.
Step 3: Take a Challenge
Once you’ve educated yourself about the South Beach Diet eating plan, take the challenge with a few important first steps. Start by clearing your cupboards and fridge of all problem foods — like white pasta, white rice, and other refined carbs. Remove all fruits, too (you’ll add them back into your diet on Phase 2); starchy vegetables like potatoes, green peas, and corn; and sugary condiments. Next, plan out your meals for the week (members of SouthBeachDiet.com get customized daily meal suggestions from the Meal Planner tool) and make a list of all the Phase 1 essentials you'll need and stock your kitchen (to make this task easier, sign up for access to our handy Shopping List Generator). This strategy will not only help you stay on track but can also help you save money on groceries!
Step 4: Get Support
Phase 1 can be tough at first because it can take your body a few days to adjust to this new and healthier way of eating. But don’t worry — most dieters find it gets easier quickly, and at the end of two weeks, you should feel lighter, more energized, and more motivated to continue following the South Beach Diet lifestyle. In the meantime, you can find support and swap diet tips on how to successfully navigate Phase 1 on the SouthBeachDiet.com Message Boards, or you can reach out to individuals through our Beach Buddy network. Join today!