Jan 29, 2013

How To Survive The South Beach Diet Phase 1


South Beach Diet Phase 1

Just in case anyone was wondering, going two weeks on South Beach Diet Phase 1 is HARD! You pretty much can’t have any sugar, any breads or pastas, any fruit, or any starchy vegetables.

I posted last year how one of my New Year’s goals for 2012 was to break my sugar/carb addiction and how I used Phase 1 of the South Beach diet to jump-start it! I’m very glad I did it, but I was definitely thankful to be out of phase 1.

I know lots of you guys have let me know that you are also going through South Beach, or you are about to start, so I wanted to repost this article to share some of the things that I found helpful in making it through Phase 1.

Garbanzo Beans are your friend.

I have found my new favorite food! Okay, maybe not my FAVORITE food, but Garbanzo beans are a new staple in our house. Especially Garbanzo Bean Flour!

In a moment of weakness during week 1 while shopping at our local Sunflower Farmers Market (now Sprouts) and I grabbed a fairly tiny bag of Garbanzo Bean Flour for around $3.25. Anything with the word “flour” in it sounded amazing and the Garbanzo Bean Flour was the least expensive of the flours that I could have. You can also get it on Amazon for a wide range of prices (it fluctuates pretty often)

I used the Garbanzo Bean flour to make homemade Falafels and OH MY… seriously one of the best things I’ve eaten! (Okay, maybe my judgement is a little clouded since I haven’t had ANYTHING sweet in 3 weeks, but it sure tastes heavenly when you’re on Phase 1 of South Beach!) I’ll be sure to post the recipe and pictures within the next couple of days!

You can also use the flour to make Hummus, as well as a filler for hamburgers (I always put in some type of “filler” like oatmeal or panko bread crumbs to make it go a little farther). And after my oldest daughter ate the burgers she said “Mom, these are the best hamburger patties EVER!” Yep, garbanzo bean flour was my secret ingredient. 🙂

But instead of buying the tiny bag for $3.25, you can buy a bag of dried Garbanzo Beans and grind it into flour yourself using a strong blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec) or a food processor.

Drink LOTS of water.

I was lamenting on Facebook about how much I was craving carbs during the beginning of Phase 1 and one of y’all suggested for me to drink a big glass of water every time I had a carb craving. I’ve been doing that and it DEFINITELY helps!

Also, in order to help myself to drink more water, I’ve been putting a little lemon juice and stevia in my water and it has really helped with my desire to drink more. I have no idea why, but it’s worth a shot!

Use lots of spices.

While your diet is pretty restricted on Phase 1, you can pretty much use as much and as many spices as you would like! The food on its own can be pretty bland and spices really do make all the difference in the world. I don’t think I ate much of anything without AT LEAST garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and a little salt. Those pretty much go with everything so you can just add on from there.

If you need recipe inspiration, then looking for recipes that are Paleo, Gluten-Free, or Grain-Free can be helpful for finding great-tasting Phase 1 recipes. I’ve created a Pinterest board for bloggers to post their Paleo, Gluten-Free, or Grain-Free recipe ideas!

Just click below to follow the board!

Follow Rachel Holland SurvivingTheStores.com’s board Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, OR Paleo Recipes! on Pinterest.

Also, here are a few “Grain-Free” recipes that we’ve added to our site that will work on the South Beach Diet Phase 1:

Easy Grain-Free Crockpot Chili Recipe
Easy Quinoa Salad for Beginners
Easy Homemade Hummus Recipe
Grain-Free/Gluten-Free Chocolate Muffin In A Mug Recipe
Guilt-Free Chocolate “Ice Cream” Recipe {Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Sugar-Free!}

You can scroll through our Recipes Section to find even more recipes

I would also recommend checking out some Paleo Recipe eCookbooks on Amazon (if you scroll through you will find free ones from time to time). Just make sure whatever recipe you want to make is in line with phase 1.

Kalyn’s Kitchen is also a great recipe resource for Phase 1 recipes!

Make food in advance.

As much as you can, chop and cook foods in advance. It’s so much easier to have a grilled chicken salad for lunch when the lettuce is already washed, the veggies are already cut, and the chicken is already cooked! Just have a big grilling day the Saturday or Sunday before you start and grill several chicken breasts, or steaks (mmm… steak salads are my fav!) so that you have salad meat on hand.

I also love this idea (and of course, I found it on Pinterest) for making salads in mason jars at the beginning of the week that way you can just grab it from the fridge already prepared!

Look at it as a lifestyle change instead of a “diet”.

This is probably the hardest thing to do, but, in my opinion, it has to be done for South Beach to be successful. We made this mentality change the first time we did South Beach back in 2005. We cut out refined sugar, switched to 100% whole wheat everything, and increased our protein consumption…. FOR LIFE! South Beach diet isn’t something that you do for a while and then go back to the way things were. It’s a complete lifestyle change. And I promise that it’s worth it! Not only for weight-loss but for overall health too.

So why am I doing this again in 2012? Two reasons: 1) I have pretty miserable pregnancies and am pretty sedentary during the last trimester from back pain and 2) I didn’t limit my intake of food to make up for that. So I ended up gaining around 60 pounds during my last pregnancy and only had lost around 30 when I start South Beach 🙂

Be prepared to learn more about yourself.

As I’ve added a few more carbs into my diet these past few days (I started Phase 2 this past Sunday) I’ve noticed something. Whenever I have wheat, my stomach hurts. {sigh}

I still want to test it out some more, but I’m preparing myself for at least having a Gluten sensitivity.

I honestly never imagined that I would be someone on a gluten-free diet, but with the way things are going it looks like I might have to be. And it could also be a reason why I have had such trouble losing weight this past year even while eating healthier foods.

I would LOVE some advice from any of you guys who are currently gluten-free or have someone in your family who is. Feel free to leave any links to websites that you think are helpful in the comments below!

Find a weight loss community.

I’ve been posting my progress on the Surviving The Stores Facebook page and it has really helped out a ton to have such a supportive community behind me! Your advice and encouragements have been AWESOME and have definitely helped me get through the past couple of weeks!

One of the websites/apps that you guys recommended is one called My Fitness Pal. I actually just signed up today and I am BLOWN AWAY. Seriously, it is super easy and tracks EVERYTHING for you. I can only imagine how much less I will be tempted by things knowing that I will have to enter exactly what I ate onto my profile!

And if I can give just one piece of advice it’s to really BELIEVE that you can do it. Really, you CAN. It seems impossible, and yes, the first several days are REALLY hard. But it’s totally worth it.

Now, I’m not saying that week 3 is a piece of cake. Yes, you can slowly start adding more carbs into your diet, but in some ways it really does take a lot more self-control than Phase 1 because on Phase 1 you could pretty much eat as much as you wanted of all of the foods that were “approved”. On Phase 2 you can eat a bigger variety, but you really have to LIMIT how much of it to eat on your own.

For those of you who have done South Beach before (or are doing it now), what suggestions do you have for those who are thinking about it, or are in the trenches right now?

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This post is part of the Survival Tip Tuesday series! Be sure to check out more Survival Tip Tuesday articles!

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  1. Congrats on making it through, I’ve done SB a few times and I know how the 1st phase can be hard. You certainly blogged a lot of great info and idea’s that many of us learn when doing SB. Eventually carbs make their way back into my life. Not sure if I’ll do SB again or not. Phase 2 feels so much easier to handle, good luck!! PS – I found my Tastefully Simple dips to be of great help. I used low fat sour cream and used veggies to eat the dip (Sometimes adding cottage cheese too). I didn’t limit my low fat dairy and I did just fine with the weight loss. I felt like I could still enjoy something fun when eating Onion Onion or Garlic Garlic dip!

  2. Maureen Mulder says:

    Hey there! I follow you on facebook. That feeling you had when you ate some wheat is very familar to me. I too resently stopped eating carbs (wheat then all grains). This was do to diagnoses of gallstones, I’m trying to save my gallbaldder. I have learned a ton about how grains are so different today with GMO and pesticides sprays that we can hardly digest it anymore, especially wheat and corn. I found a couple of websites that I would return to. This one tells you where to find Gluten Sensitivity Clinics in your area http://conquergluten.com/. And I love listening to blogradio by this man Sean on facebook The Underground Wellness Show. He just did a whole bunch of interviews with gluten free advocates, you can find them on his fb page. Hope something here helps. Keep up the good work.

  3. On the garbanzo bean flour – its used a lot in Indian cuisine. Look for an Indian grocery store near you and you’ll get a very good price on it. I buy 4lb bags for around $3. Also, you could try making savory pancakes using it..here’s a recipe – http://onehotstove.blogspot.com/2010/04/omelet-without-eggs.html

    Thanks for all the great info on your blog!

  4. Thank you for this post! I know the SB resembles The 17 Day Diet which I am on. I lost 20 lbs. on it last winter and kept it off until the Fall when my back went out and then the holidays hit and I started eating everything in sight. Gained a few pounds back but hoping to drop it again…if I can muster up the will power. This post helped and encouraged me and going to share it with my “diet” (actually lifestyle change) buddies. They will appreciate it too 🙂

  5. Do you think you could make your own flour by drying out the beans and then putting them in a food processor?

  6. Lots of great gluten free living info at http://stephanieodea.com/ I was hooked on her slow cooking blog, so many great recipes & tips for making all sorts of foods gluten free. Her second book even breaks down how to slow cook and save $$! Also, nuts.com has a whole gluten free section of items, then have several types of garbanzo bean flour, shipped right to you 🙂

  7. That is an incredible price for garbanzo bean flour!  And I would bet that we have an Indian grocery store here in Dallas somewhere.  I’ll have to look it up!!  Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing that!!  I will definitely be taking a look at his site.  I haven’t completely gone off gluten yet, but I still feel REALLY tired after I eat bread.  I’m resisting, but I know I’ll end up just giving in and going gf at some point.

  9. Great idea!  Yeah, I’m not very good at just eating raw veggies by themselves so adding the dip definitely helps!  I’ll have to look up Tastefully Simple and see what they have!

  10. Congratulations!!  I take the 17 Day Diet is also a low-carb diet?  The holidays are SO HARD!!  My family makes so many amazingly yummy things during the holidays and it’s so hard to keep control of my portion sizes, lol.  Thanks so much for sharing!!

  11. I actually have just been using dried beans in the package and then grinding them up in the food processor.  It works great!

  12. Awesome!!  Thanks so much for sharing those links!  I still haven’t officially gone completely gluten-free, but I have restricted it to just about one meal per day (otherwise I get SUPER tired).

  13. I’ve been on SB for 18 days, lost 6 pounds the first 2 weeks but now I’ve gained back 2 pounds. Swear I’m sticking to plan….what the heck??

    This happen to anyone else? Could use some advice.

  14. I love the South Beach Diet. I started it on Mothers Day at 252 pounds…today I am 220…that is 32 pounds folks. I feel great. and I look great. I am down a full jean size and last years coats are swimming on me…Yes, phase 1 is very hard, but you can totally do it…just keep telling yourself that it is only 2 weeks. Once you can add fruit back into your diet, it will be so much easier…and the whole grain pasta and rice and tortillas and stuff will never taste so good after completely eliminating it for 2 weeks. It will taste heavenly. This is such a great lifestyle change! I feel so much better, and believe it or not, there arent the hunger pangs!! You feel full and complete after you get the crap out of your system! I do admit, that I slipped big time off of it when I went to Barcelona for a week. I was pretty good over there, but when I got back, the carbs, sugar and white flour and breads slowly came creeping back into my life again..I thought, “well, I screwed it up already, so this one piece of bread isnt going to hurt”…I gotta say, though, I was pretty suprised…I put back on a few pounds, but nothing outrageous…even after eating totally crappy…but if you notice a weight gain, then simply cut the carbs again and get back on track…youll be down a few pounds again within a week or 2. It isnt like Atkins where if you eat an apple, you gain a pound….it takes a LONG time to gain it back, unless you are completely off the radar and eating cheesecakes, bagels and white pasta everyday….it is fabulous and if you think you wont be able to cut the carbs and that this diet isnt for you…think again…if I can do it, so can YOU! It is how everyone in America SHOULD be eating…we do not need the refined sugar and carbs in our diets.

  15. I would suggest this lady read the book “Wheatbelly”. It tells you all about wheat and sensitivities!

  16. In 2003 I started south beach diet at 197 lbs. I was determined to take off the weight and get back to my normal body of 120 lbs. It seemed impossible but I did it! What’s more, I kept it off for 9 years! This past year, medical and personal problems threw me off track all together. I’m at 156!! Guess what? Back to phase one starting tomorrow. I loved the skinny me & so did my husband. The good thing about south beach diet is I know with some discipline I’ll be back in my skinny jeans by May!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Phase 1 day 3 and I have the worst headache, sugar was my weakness before I started..Anyone else experience this?

  18. Susie Q says:

    Am on phase 1 now for 2 weeks, Did anyone experience lightheadedness?

    • With headaches and lightheadedness make sure you are eating 3 meals and two snacks a day, drinking plenty of water and drinking 2 glasses of low fat milk a day. I have done phase 1 a few times and these were the things that got me through all of that. Also you are allowed beans so eat chili, bean soup or have a serving of beans salad it helps keep you full longer.

  19. I wondered if anyone had any good ideas for phase 1 snacks? I’m finding it really hard to snack without eating fruit or carbs or having to prepare myself a tiny meal! My two year old keeps offering me her strawberries!! I’m light headed and carb craving like mad, so I’m obviously not doing it right!

  20. Did you pay your garbonzo bean recipies? I would love to find them!

  21. Ooops I mean post.

  22. Nicki Johnson says:

    For anyrecipe that calls for tortullas or flat bread use a leaf of lettuce. I have phase one tacos by putting the low fat taco meat and cheese in a leaf of lettuce and have a taco. They are great and I don’t feel like I’m being deprived of my favorite snack.

    I use steamed broccoli in place of pasta and it is great.

  23. Jennifer says:

    I wanted to ask if anyone has a suggestion for the gas and the tired feeling?

  24. Does having garbanzo bean flour affect the weight loss during phase 1 . The south beach diet website doesn’t say anything about it. Thought flour of any kind is allowed from phase 2 onwards . On day 3 and still contemplating using flour from garbanzo beans . Please help

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