Understand Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet

South Beach Diet Basics

Sliced Chicken Breast Salad
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The South Beach Diet is a popular diet plan that cuts "bad" carbohydrates from your diet and encourages the consumption of "good" carbohydrates and healthy fats instead. This article will help you understand Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet.

What is Phase 1?

The first 14 days of The South Beach Diet are called Phase 1. Phase 1 is often referred to as the "strict" part of the plan. This is because Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet includes the most stringent rules about what you can and cannot eat, meaning you will suddenly be completely giving up many foods you may regularly eat, such as pasta, bread, fruit and flavored yogurts.

It is important that you follow the guidelines for Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet as they are set forth in the book. Eliminating the foods specified in this part of the plan will acclimate you to your new diet. If a food is on the plan's "Foods to Avoid" list you should not eat it, even if it is otherwise considered a healthy or low-fat food.

You will build all of your meals around a selection of specified nutritious foods that rank low on the Glycemic Index and are prepared in a healthy way. Examples of foods allowed during Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet include lean ground beef, turkey breast, and a variety of vegetables.

What is the Purpose of Phase 1?

The plan's author, Dr. Arthur Agatston, says the purpose of Phase 1 is to relieve you of cravings for sugar and starches. As an added benefit, you'll also achieve a significant amount of weight loss in a fairly short amount of time. It is possible to lose up to 14 pounds upon completing these initial two weeks of the diet.

In particular, belly fat will most likely be noticeably reduced after Phase 1.

Who Should Follow Phase 1?

Most people beginning The South Beach Diet should start in Phase 1 and remain on it for at least two weeks. If you do not have much weight to lose, you may skip this phase.

It is acceptable to return to Phase 1 if you have been on the later Phases of the South Beach Diet for a while and you find your weight loss has stalled or you are gaining some weight back.

Can I Extend Phase 1 Beyond Two Weeks?

It is acceptable to stay on Phase 1 for longer than two weeks if you desire to, but it isn't recommended as a long-term eating plan. To continue losing weight so rapidly could mean you're less likely to keep it off. Plus, in Phase 2, you can start adding more healthful foods back into your meals that are not allowed during Phase 1.

Morbidly obese individuals may stay on Phase 1 for longer than two weeks, but no longer than two months.

Please note: Nursing women and children should not follow Phase 1; they should instead use the healthy eating guidelines set forth in Phase 2 and Phase 3. Please consult your physician or pediatrician before changing your diet or your child's diet.

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