The South Beach Diet is one of the various low-carb diets you can select. Fun Fact: The first commercial low-carb diet was the Stillman Diet that was launched 50+ years ago in 1967. Meanwhile, South Beach was introduced over three decades later in 2003. It’s become one of the most popular low-carbohydrate diets along with the Keto and Atkins diets. It has several of the same features as other low-carb programs like increased fats and protein. This also provides several of the same benefits as weight loss and fat-burning. There are three phases to follow, including south beach diet phase 1.
This diet has phases like Atkins. They include the low-carb (Phase 1), weight-loss (Phase 2), and maintenance (phase 3). Each phase has a different goal so it’s critical to know the mechanics and goals of each one. This will help you achieve the best results. The process is similar to Atkins phases although the number and function of each are slightly different. When picking a low-carb diet it’s critical to know how they work so you can select the right diet for your particular health and weight loss goals. In some cases, South Beach is the best option for your situation.
What Exactly Is the South Beach Diet?
Google reports that the Keto Diet was the top trending diet of 2003. However, some other possible choices include South Beach. This program was launched in the early 000s and has some features that are similar to Keto and Atkins. For example, it has three phases compared to Atkins’ three phases.
One main difference between South Beach is it’s a low-carb diet but not strictly so. That’s because it’s important to find the best blend of the “macros” carbohydrates/fats. This is done in three phases. The goal is to ditch sugar/starch cravings like refined sugar and grains. So, Phase 1 involves dropping carbs to a rock-bottom level. The focus is on foods like clean/lean proteins like meat, eggs, and cheese. Carbs are from foods like green leafy vegetables.
Then there’s Phase 2. The goal is to jump-start your weight-loss. The cravings for sugary/starchy foods are gone. You then can eat whatever kinds of foods you want. That includes rice, pasta, cereal, and limited sweets. However, it’s important to focus on the types and amounts that you eat. The goal is to implement a long-term weight program that isn’t just about losing 10 pounds in one week for example.
Phase 3 is the final phase. This requires you to eat regular foods and regular portion sizes. There are some basic rules. You aren’t following a “diet” in this phase but instead, are following long-term healthy eating.
One of the other benefits of Phase 3 is you’re improving your blood health. That also improves your heart health, which is important. The main goal of South Beach is to live longer through a healthy life. In the spirit of South Beach, Florida, the goal of this diet is to help you live a longer life. It’s a lot easier if you’re eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
South Beach Diet Phase 1: Meal Plan
Here are some foods to add to your diet during Phase 1 of South Beach:
These are non-starchy ones. So, you should skip:
- Squash (winter)
These are healthy foods and are often considered superfoods.
However, they also are high in starches and sugars, which can lead to weight gain.
You should limit your oil to 2TBSP per day. The focus should be on unsaturated fat versus saturated fat. Some good options include olive avocado, coconut, and canola. Meanwhile, you can also pick from some vegetable/seed oils including:
One type of oil you should generally avoid is cheap vegetable oil. You can save money but it’s not very healthy versus others like olive and coconut oils.
You can pick from different kinds of nuts, including walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pecans, and cashews. If you’re going to consume nut butter, then make sure it’s limited to 2 TBSP.
Various types of seeds can also be consumed, like pumpkin, sesame, chia, and flax seeds. These are a good source of protein and healthy fat. Make sure to eat a wide variety, so you get different nutrients from different seeds.
It’s important to focus on clean/lean protein during this phase. Some options include:
- Soy-based products
- Low-fat cheese
- Turkey bacon
Proteins are increased during the phase since the focus is on lowering the intake of high-carb foods. That includes sugar and refined grains in particular.
While peas aren’t allowed during Phase 1, you’re allowed to eat beans. Make sure you’re getting up to ½ cup daily. They should usually be cooked. You can pick different options like kidney, black, navy, pinto, and garbanzos. One of the best options is soybeans, which is a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids (EAAs).
Possible Benefits of South Beach Diet
1. Three Phases
Not all diet programs have phases. It’s one approach to take versus the basic program. One of the benefits of phases is it allows you to focus on different goals. For example, in South Beach, the first phase helps you end sugar/starch cravings. Then you jump-start your long-term weight loss. The third phase helps you maintain the weight-loss program.
2. Lower carbs
It’s not strictly a low-carb diet, but Phase 1 in particular, drops carbs to a low amount. One of the main problems with the modern diet is it’s high in unhealthy ingredients like salt, sugar, and fats (unhealthy). So, one of the main goals when losing weight should be to ditch foods that are high in these ingredients. It can be effective in helping you lose weight.
3. Healthy fat
While this also a strictly high-fat diet it helps to add more healthy fat, including coconut/olive oil, nuts/seeds, avocados, etc. “Good” fat is important for providing several health benefits like heart/brain health. It’s why you should consume more of these foods if you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight.
4. Long-term program
You can follow South Beach in the long term since it focuses on healthier eating. It’s not just a program you follow for a few weeks to lose some weight.
5. Stone Loss
This is one of the main reasons people decide to go on diets. South Beach claims you can drop 8 pounds to 13 pounds on their diet during the first 2 weeks of Phase 1. The diet claims most of the weight loss will be of the midsection. This is an interesting claim since there’s no “spot reduction” of fat. In other words, when you lose body fat you lose it everywhere on your body during south beach diet phase 1.