South Beach Phase 1 food plan {Works for Me Wednesday}

If you’re like many people (myself included) you’re probably planning to lose weight and/or eat healthier in 2012.  Or maybe you’ve just overindulged a bit much this holiday season and you need to get back on track in January.  I’ve already told you how the South Beach diet changed my life.  That doesn’t mean that I stick with it all the time and eat healthy as much as I should.  In fact, I admitted here how I still struggle.  So after the holidays it’s time for me to straighten up and fly right.  To clean out my system and get rid of those frustrating sugar cravings that are especially bad after stuffing myself with holiday goodies I’ll start by doing Phase 1.

The number one question that people ask me about South Beach is “what do you eat?”.  Today I’m going to write that out here in case you need some ideas to get you started.

Before we start:

1.  Please, please, please buy (and read) the book!  You really need to understand what South Beach is and the principles behind the diet.  My short explanation is a very brief overview.  The book isn’t long (half of it is just recipes that you can skim over) and you can find it at any used bookstore.


This is the version I have and I think it is totally adequate.  They have since come out with a new version:

I haven’t read this version so I can’t really give any opinion

2. Please realize that this is just what I eat.  It’s not necessarily the best South Beach phase 1 meal plan.  It may not work for you.  Like I said before, I’m just answering the common question of what I eat for phase 1.

(quick refresher: phase 1 = no sugar and very little carbs; no fruit (even though fruit is good we quit eating it for 2 weeks just until we break our bodies of the cravings then add it back in), no bread, no pasta, no potatoes, no high-carb veggies like corn or carrots (they turn to sugar pretty fast), and obviously no sweets.  This is just for 2 weeks then we start adding some of that stuff back in during phase 2)

So here we go:

My Phase 1 Meal Plan


  • 2 egg quiche cups, 1 cup skim milk, vitamins
  • 1 fried egg, 2 pieces turkey bacon, 1 cup milk, vitamins, 1/2 cup beans (I know, weird, but I really try to get some veggies in during phase 1 and this is what works for me – I usually have lima beans or butter beans)

I’m really boring with breakfast.  I basically eat the same thing over and over again for weeks before I get tired of it.  If these don’t suit you there are other options, just look online or at the book if you need some other ideas.

Morning Snack

Depending on how late I eat breakfast I may not need a morning snack, but if I do here’s what I like:

  • 1 hard boiled egg (see here for my fail-proof method to hard boiling eggs)
  • roasted chick peas
  • salt and vinegar chick peas
  • 1 stick of string cheese (I really like the new tomato basil and jalapeño flavors from Kraft – see the tomato basil here)
  • veggies and dip (I like cucumbers, radishes, snap peas, and/or tomatoes dipped in Spicy Ranch)
  • peanuts (I think 20 is the recommended serving size)
  • Blue Diamond habanero BBQ almonds
  • Mexican pecans


  • salad and 2% cheddar cheese (I buy the blocks of Kraft cheddar cheese and cut them into 1 oz wedges)
  • some sort of soup (chicken taco chili, red chili, white chili, enchilada soup) and 2% cheese
  • leftovers from supper the previous night

Afternoon Snack

All the options I listed for morning snack are the same things I would choose for an afternoon snack


Of course feel free to add salads, veggies, etc. to complete your meals

Sweet Treats

Feel free to have some sort of sweet treat, just make sure it’s sugar free.  There are bajillions of recipes that can be found.

Eating Out

I try not to eat out during phase 1, but it can be done.  If you have to (or just want to) eat out, here are some ideas.

  • Panera Pick 2 black bean soup and caesar salad (no croutons)
  • Panera Pick 2 chili (no cornbread) and caesar salad (no croutons)
  • Qdoba naked burrito with no rice (basically just a bowl of beans with toppings – it’s not for everyone but some people like it)
  • Wendy’s chili and salad
  • Salad at just about any recipe, just don’t get croutons and try to go easy on the dressing and cheese since they’re usually pretty high in calories and fat
  • some sort of steak, fish, chicken breast, or shrimp with grilled veggies/asparagus and salad

Party Food

Finally, if you’re going to a party of some sort and you need to take something it’s wise to bring some SB approved foods so that you know there will at least be something you can eat

  • veggie and dip tray
  • buffalo chicken dip (if served with celery or other veggies – no chips)

Like I said, it’s not perfect but it works for me.  Read the book and figure out what works for you.  Hopefully this has been helpful in seeing what a “real person” eats on Phase 1.

Please feel free to ask questions!

Linking up to Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family.

(update: If you’re trying to take a more “real foods” approach – organic, natural, non-processed food – check out my post on how to adapt Phase 1 and still eat real foods)



  1. The recipe you posted for the milkshake, how much milk and pb did you use?


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  2. […] Dec 13, 2011 … I've already told you how the South Beach diet changed my life. That doesn't … It's not necessarily the best South Beach phase 1 meal plan. [more] […]

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