How to Plan a Meal for Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet


The South Beach diet based on Dr. Arthur’s medical research on patients on the Akins diet, is a program that helps users lose weight by restricting the intake of carbohydrates. Dr. Arthur believed his program was a better route to take to lose weight fast without increasing a person’s risk of diabetes and heart disease.

His ground-breaking research led to the formulation of the South beach diet that has 3 phases. Phase 1 is the most restrictive. Phase 2 is less restrictive and known as the maintenance phase; it helps you achieve your ideal weight goal before proceeding to the final phase 3.

In this post we will take you through how to plan a meal for the restrictive phase 1 South Beach diet.

Goals of Phase 1

The major goal of phase one is to stop the occasional highs and lows of blood sugar in your system by conditioning the body to a restrictive diet almost clear of carbohydrates and bad fats. You will need to give up on some of your favorites like bread, pasta, cereals, rice, baked goods, refined sugar, starchy vegetables, etc.

In their place, you will have to condition your body to lean proteins, meats, pork, seafood, and some dairy products. The phase also encourages users to eat more healthy vegetables in place of bad fats the body is used to.

Let’s see an overview of how to plan a meal for Phase 1

Sample Meal Plans for South Beach Diet

In other to get past the difficult phase 1, we have hypothetically illustrated below how an ideal meal plan for this stage should look like. Phase one includes 6 meals; breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert. Let’s get down to the details

For Breakfast

An ideal breakfast for the South Beach diet consists of:

  • Should include a serving of protein such as poultry, eggs, meat, and cottage cheese
  • One serving of tomato juice, vegetable juice or just vegetables
  • A calorie-free beverage drink such as tea or coffee

You can also add a poached egg, spinach or smoked salmon fish to the mix. Apart from dairy products, there are no restrictions to the list of approved foods items to have for breakfast.  However, Dr. Arthur Agatston gives notable advice for portion sizes that encourage users on the diet to eat a little more rather than feeling hungry and deprived.

For Lunch

For lunch, just as it is with breakfast, you have a list to choose from. Here is it in a nutshell:

  • One serving of approved lean proteins in the list
  • Servings of vegetable juice
  • Salad dressings, two tablespoons
  • Beans or legumes – Half a cup
  • A cup of dairy product
  • Plain water and one calorie-free beverage like tea or coffee

To spice things up, you can add grilled salmon, spaghetti, roasted chicken, turkey breast with bean salad. Although you are at liberty to choose the right portion sizes of protein you need, you are advised not to overeat as this will defeat the aim of the entire process.

For Dinner

South Beach phase 1 dinner should include some if not all of the following:

  • One approved servings of protein
  • Vegetable servings including but not limited to beans and legumes
  • Up to one cup of dairy product
  • Two tablespoons of “Good Fat” for dressing or cooking the vegetables.
  • Lastly, one calorie-free beverage

To stay satisfied and fight those hunger cravings, users are advised to mix things up a bit by finding low-carb recipes that offer a variety of flavors. Think Mexican, Asian or Italian recipes. Grilled London boil, pan-fried lemon chicken cutlets in green beans should get you started in the right foot.

For Snacks

For phase 1, you are required to take two servings of snacks on a daily basis. An ideal snack should have a healthy mix of vegetable and protein within. Examples include but not limited to stuff celery with salad tuna, raw dip vegetables in a dip of bean popping, lunch meat rolls up with vegetable juice. Nuts are a great source of protein and fiber so they are welcome into the mix.

For Dessert

A lot of people enjoy eating dessert, so they were included in the South Beach diet. Howbeit, only a restrictive form of dessert is allowed. Some of the approved desserts includes flavored ricotta cheese and a number of low carb sugar-free sweets.

The main goal should away be to eat in moderation and not out of control.


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