Phase 1 is the first and most restrictive phase of the South Beach Diet plan. Its purpose is to stabilize blood sugar levels, eliminate cravings, and quickly jump-start weight-loss.
Phase 1 lasts 14 days.
Phase 1 bans bread, fruit, rice, dairy, pasta, baked goods, potatoes, sugary desserts and high glycemic or starchy vegetables such as, carrots, beets, peas, winter squashes and corn.
Alcohol of any kind is strictly off the menu. Any beverage sweetened with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, etc. No fruit juices, whole milk or commercial milkshakes. Carbs and sugar will gradually be reintroduced in smaller quantities in the next phase of the diet. Watch out for hidden cards and sugars in your condiments like bbq sauce or ketchup.
What foods are restricted (allowed in very limited quantity) on Phase 1?
Beverages: Sparkling mineral water or selzer (unsweetned), club soda, 1-2 cups daily black coffee (artificially sweeentened), decaf black coffee, 1-2 cups daily tea without sugar (hot or iced), sugar free decaf tea, non-carbonated diet beverages, including sugar-free powdered mixes, carbonated diet beverages in moderation (mainly "non-decaf" colas, included in the 1-2 daily serving limit).
What can I eat on Phase 1?
Meat is certainly a major player, but just the lean cuts are advised. Healthy lean protein like fish and shellfish, chicken and turkey, lean cuts of meat, and soy are typical foods you are able to eat during the induction Phase. Phase 1 foods are meant to make you feel full and satisfied as you fight your carb and sugar cravings.
The selection of vegetables is somewhat restricted for South Beach dieters, as many vegetables are naturally high in carbohydrates. Some vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, celery, cucumber, asparagus, tomatoes, lettuce, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, onions, fennel and eggplant are on the approved list, because of their relatively low carbohydrate content. Most beans and legumes are also on the approved list
Use condiments to add flavor to your meals, but choose them wisely. South Beach Diet Phase 1 approved condiments include black, cayenne, red or white pepper, vanilla or almond extracts, basil, oregano, parsley, cumin, curry and garlic.
What if I’m a vegetarian?
Vegetarians can choose from low-fat cheeses, nuts, eggs, beans, milk, yogurt and tofu. Vegetarians and meat eaters alike need to keep in mind that some vegetables are frowned upon, like carrots, due to their higher sugar content compared to green vegetable options.
How do I survive Phase 1 without losing my mind?
Remove all temptation from your kitchen and enlist the support from family members and friends to keep you accountable and help you through the tough times. Snacking twice a day is also encouraged, but only on approved food items, like peanut butter or string cheese. It is vital, especially in Phase 1, to eat regularly to avoid crashes and cravings.
What is the difference between South Beach Diet Phase 1 and Atkins Diet Phase 1?
The basic difference between the two induction phases is the same as the basic difference between the two diet’s core philosophies: South Beach Diet allows only lean meats, healthy fats (like olive oil and nuts) and low fat dairy products. The Atkins Diet has no restrictions on any dietary fats, including saturated fat. Another area where the two diets differ is that the South Beach dieter does not need to go as low in carbohydrate as the Atkins dieter. The Atkins diet relies on a dieter’s ability to reach ketosis (burning fat instead of glucose) while the South Beach Diet relies on the glycemic index.