Since 1995, the South Beach diet has served as an alternative to other popular low-carb diets. This diet differs from the others because it not only restricts your carb intake, it also encourages you to make healthy protein choices and to limit your intake of saturated fat. To help you reach your weight loss goals, the South Beach Diet is divided into three phases. Phase 1 is the strictest phase of the program, with the most limited food options. Consult your doctor before starting any weight-loss program.
About Phase 1
According to the South Beach Diet website, you only need to start your weight-loss journey with Phase 1 if you want to lose 10 or more pounds. The website explains that the goal of this phase is to jump-start your weight loss, stabilize blood sugar and help control cravings. Phase 1 only lasts for two weeks.
Phase 1 Proteins for Your Grocery List
The focus of most of your meals during phase 1 of the South Beach Diet is protein. Choices include beef, pork, poultry, eggs, seafood and soy-based meat substitutes. To limit saturated fat, include lean beef and pork such as eye of round, top round, beef or pork tenderloin or pork chops on your grocery list. White meat poultry is recommended over dark meat, and should be skinless. Fish and shellfish are encouraged; it's recommended that you eat two servings of omega-3-rich fish a week, so be sure to add salmon or tuna to your grocery list.
While the diet is filled with mostly animal protein, the South Beach Diet offers vegetarian options, including soy-based tofu and tempeh, as well as legumes, such as kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and Lima beans.
Phase 1 Veggies for Your Grocery List
In addition to your healthy proteins, phase 1 of the South Beach Diet encourages you to fill your plate with veggies. To keep your carb intake low, the vegetables for your grocery list during phase 1 of the diet are low-calorie, non-starchy options. This includes eggplant, spinach, broccoli, red and green bell peppers, artichokes, zucchini, leafy greens and tomatoes
Phase 1 Dairy Options for Your Grocery List
Milk and plant-milk alternatives are also part of phase 1. Your grocery list choices include milk or soy milk, buttermilk, cheese and yogurt. Dairy foods are a source of saturated fat, so the South Beach Diet recommends you choose low-fat or nonfat milk, yogurt and cheese to help limit your intake.
Phase 1 Nuts and Seeds for Your Grocery List
Nuts and seeds are a source of protein, fiber and healthy fat. Foods to add to your grocery list for phase 1 of the diet include peanuts, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and cashews. Of these, flaxseeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are also rich in omega-3 fats.
Fats, Oils and Seasonings
To add flavor to your food, the South Beach Diet suggests you use an array of healthy oils and seasonings. Allowed foods include avocados, olive oil, canola oil, basil, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, mustard, miso, hot pepper sauce and extracts such as vanilla or almond extract.
What You Can't Eat
According to the South Beach Diet website, during phase 1 of the plan you need to eliminate starches and sugars from your diet. This includes foods such as sweets, white bread, potatoes and pasta. The diet also eliminates whole grains and fruits.
Even though you only follow this phase of the diet for two weeks, eliminating whole food groups from your diet increases your risk of nutritional deficiencies.