Thursday, April 2, 2009

South Beach, Tweaked (Phase 1)

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I've given up sugar and refined carbs for the sake of eliminating my cravings and, hopefully, my binges. So far, so good. I wanted to clarify a bit exactly what I am doing, because I am not *exactly* doing the South Beach Diet. I am sort of "anti-diet" in general, and don't like to label myself. I think every person has unique physical and psychological needs surrounding food, so what works for one may not work for another. And I did the "South Beach Diet" by the book back in 2003, and while it did help me for a few months, it didn't work long term (obviously).

I decided to go back and use the Phase 1 Food List to get a grip on my sugar cravings because frankly, it works. It works really well, and the pounds do come off. Will I stick with this "plan" forever? Oh, I dunno, we'll see how it goes. But for now, I am sticking to a particular list most of the time, and in another week or two I will do as the South Beach Diet advocates and add back in my healthy carbs slowly and gradually. Stuff like whole grains and fruits. But I hope to keep the "bad" fats, refined sugars and flours, and processed junk out of my life permanently, the the vast majority of the time.

So I looked around online until I found an accurate "official" South Beach Diet Phase 1 Food List. It's kinda long, so I went through and deleted the foods I never eat, summarized the groups a little bit, and stuck the "foods to avoid" under the foods to eat so they are together at a glance. Here's my own, simplified Phase 1 Food List that I eat from as much as possible:

Lean (10g total/4.5g sat or less fat per 3.5oz)
Bottom Round, Eye of Round, Flank Steak, Extra lean ground beef, Lean Sirloin, London Broil, Sirloin Steak, T-bone, Tenderloin (filet mignon), Top Loin, Top Round
NO jerky, brisket, ribeye, prime rib, skirt steak

Cornish hen, ground breast of chicken, ground breast of turkey, Low-fat turkey sausage (3-6 grams of fat per 60 gram serving), Turkey bacon, Turkey and chicken breast

All types of fish and shellfish, Water-packed tuna and other canned fish

Boiled ham, Canadian bacon, Loin chop or roast, Tenderloin

Chop, Cutlet - leg

LAMB (Remove all visible fat)
Leg - Center Cut, Loin chop or roast


Boiled ham, Deli sliced turkey breast, Lean deli roast beef, Smoked ham, Smoked turkey breast

SOY BASED MEAT SUBSTITUTES 6 grams of fat or less per 2-3 ounce serving
Soy Burger, Soy Chicken unbreaded, Soy Crumbles - 1/4 cup (2 oz) suggested serving, Soy hot dogs, Sausage Patties and Links, Tofu All varieties - 1/2 cup suggested serving

CHEESE (Fat Free or Reduced Fat )
for hard cheese, look for varieties that have 6 grams of fat or less/ounce.
American, blue cheese - does not come in reduced fat so use in moderation, Cheddar, Cottage cheese: 1-2% or fat-free, Feta, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Part-skim Ricotta, Part-skim String, Provolone, Swiss

whole eggs, Egg whites and egg substitute

2 cups allowed daily, including yogurt
Greek Yogurt, nonfat Low-fat milk (fat-free and 1%), Fat-free 1/2 & 1/2 (2 tablespoons), Low-fat plain, vanilla, or artificially sweetened soy milk (4 grams of fat or less per 8 ounce serving). No High Fructose Corn Syrup.
1% or fat-free buttermilk, yogurt (low fat or nonfat plain)

BEANS/LEGUMES fresh, frozen or canned (no added sugar)(Start with 1/3 - 1/2 cup serving)
Black Beans, Black-eyed peas, Cannellini Beans, Chickpeas, Edamame, Fava beans, Great Northern Beans, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, refried beans - fat free, Split Peas, White Beans

may use fresh, frozen or canned without added sugar, eat a minimum of two cups with lunch and dinner.
Artichokes/hearts, Asparagus, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage (green, red, Napa, Savoy), Capers, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Greens (all), Green Beans, Hearts of palm, Jicama, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce (All varieties), Mushrooms (All varieties), Onions, Peppers (All varieties), Pickles - Dill, Pimientos, Sauerkraut, Snap/Snow Peas, Spinach, Spaghetti Squash, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Tomato,Water Chestnuts
NO Beets, carrots, corn, green peas, white or sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash

NUTS AND SEEDS(Limit to one serving per day as specified. Dry roasted recommended.)
Almonds - 15
Brazil Nuts - 4
Cashews - 15
Flax Seed - 3 TBS (1 oz)
Macadamia - 8
Peanut Butter, Natural, and other nut butters - 2 TBS
Peanuts, 20 small (May use dry roasted or boiled)
Pecans - 15
Pine Nuts - 1 ounce
Pistachios - 30
Pumpkin Seeds - 3 TBS (1 oz)
Sesame Seeds - 3 TBS (1 oz)
Sunflower Seeds - 3 TBS (1 oz)
Walnuts - 15

FATS/OILS: Up to 2 Tbsp. per day.
canola, olive (particularly extra-virgin)
Other Fat Choices:
Avocado - 1/3 whole = 1 TBS oil
Guacamole - 1/2 cup = 1 TBS oil
Margarine - Trans Fat Free 2 TBS
Mayonnaise - Low Fat - 2 TBS (avoid varieties made with high fructose corn syrup)
Olives (Green or Ripe) 15 = 1/2 TBS oil
Salad Dressing - 2 TBS. Use those that contain 3 grams of sugar or less per 2 TBS. Best choices contain canola or olive oil.

All spices that contain no added sugar, Broth, Coconut Milk -Light, Extracts (almond, vanilla, or others),Horseradish, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Spray, Lemon/lime juice, Salsa (check labels for added sugar)

sparingly (check labels for added sugar and MSG):
Cream Cheese fat-free or light - 2 TBS
Low carb condiments, may only be used if they are transfat free and contain no added sugar.
Sour Cream, light and reduced-fat - 2 TBS
Soy Sauce - 1/2 TBS
Worcestershire Sauce - 1 TBS

SWEET TREATS (Limit to 75-100 calories per day)
Drink mix sugar free, sugar free Jello, sugar-free Gum, sugar-free Syrups
I personally also include agave nectar in this "sweet treat" list and use it instead of artificial sweeteners.

caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea (drink caffeinated in moderation)
diet, caffeinated and decaffeinated sugar-free sodas and drinks
herbal teas (such as peppermint and chamomile)
sugar-free powdered drink mixes

That's it! Anyway, I have a long day of cleaning ahead. Enjoy your spring weather if you have it, and be nice to your body!


Krista "Phoenix" said...

best of luck to ya! That's quite the list! I tried South Beach once a looooong time ago, it wasn't for me, but sounds like you are viewing it as more of an eating guideline rather than a "Diet" per say... I wholeheartedly support that concept! The principals of South Beach make sense, but the first stage wasn't fun for me! I'll be cheering you on though! You're going to do GREAT! I look forward to reading more about how it's going for you!

Sassle said...

Nice list Lyn, I love the SBD it's the first one that has worked for me since I gained all this weight or maybe I should say it's the first one I have followed since I gained all this weight. What I love about the SBD is it truly does help the sugar cravings, however once I hit Phase 2 and was allowed to include fat free sugar free pudding my tongue still thought I was eating sugar which made my brain think I was eating sugar which made my mind think I WANT MORE SUGAR! It hasn't triggered a binge or anything but I think it'll take me awhile to stop associating deserts with the need to have more then one portion. Does this make sense?

Lyn said...


makes perfect sense! You are "allowed" to have sugar free fudgesicles on the official SB phase 1, but they really throw me off and make me want cake. So I don't eat them.


Since the South Beach people changed the Phase 1 list a bit (including yogurt is new I think) it isn't as bad. If this made me feel icky I SOURE would not do it, or I would add some stuff in and make it my own. You're right, it's just a guideline for me! Because SB says limit watermelon, but there is no freaking way I am going to limit fresh watermelon in July and August!

skinnyhollie said...

I don't know if you've read my blog today, but I have also decided to cut the sugar. You inspired me to do this, because I also have a problem with sugar and sweets causing binge-eating. I am cutting out artificial sweetener, too, because it does the same thing as sugar. I am scared, though.

Thanks for posting the food list. I have the SBD book somewhere but haven't looked for it yet.

Anonymous said...

I've been trying this thing: which seems to be similar to South Beach (before I didn't know what that one even was! I thought it involved getting an orange tan and fake boobs) except for the soy products and dairy. It makes me feel like I'm not necessarily on a diet, but rather a doctor's eating regiment. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself :)

Lucrecia said...

We do a modified to suit us low carb too. I 100% agree with you that it does work to cure the cravings - once you can get past the first week or so anyway! All the things that are off limits are things I tend to way over eat on and will wait to add them back in until I feel strong enough to eat them moderately.

Keri said...

Thanks for sharing the South Beach Phase 1 tweaked. I think I might be able to do this. So, no fruit for a few weeks?
I love your blog. I love the before and after pictures. I looked at the 60 pounds gone and you look fabulous!Do you happen to live in Utah? It is still snowing here off and on! It's weird. In the morning the ground and cars are covered in snow. In the afternoon it feels like Spring!

antgirl said...

Educating ourselves, starting with a guideline and then doing what suits best is what worked for me. You're right, we're all different and we need to take that into account when devising a plan we can stick to for life.

Good job!

Lyn said...


They say nothing off the list (like fruit and grains) for 2 weeks, and then add them back in slowly. Like one item per day... and if anything "triggers" you to want more sugar, cut it back out for awhile.

I might go longer than 2 weeks, maybe 3 or 4 but have an occasional whoe grain or fruit. I had oatmeal yesterday. I might have a grapefruit this week.

Lyn said...

p.s.... not in Utah, but have been there! Love the mountains!

katie ann said...

It says: "NO Beets, carrots, corn, green peas, white or sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash"

Are those high in natural sugars and starches or something?

Lyn said...

katie ann~

yes. They're high in natural sugars, and have a higher glycemic index than other vegetables. You go off them for the two weeks when you're trying to stop the sugar cravings and then you can add them back in slowly, in moderation.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think the South Beach Phase 1 is a great way to get rid of the sugar cravings but its also smart not to think of it as a diet or try to follow its guidelines long term. Good luck!

Cee Jay Kay said...

I've been on SB for three years. I was not greatly over weight, but I wanted to shed 15 to 30 pounds. I took off fifteen and kind of tapered off, but I didn't gain it back! I don't look at SB as a diet, but rather a way of life.

about to let go said...

Here's my biggest issue: diet soda and other sugar-free foods are "ok" The artificial sweeteners in these kinds of foods are far worse for you than regular sugar! I have been weaning myself off of all artificial sweeteners and cutting way back on sugar in general. I do like the agave nectar and honey- they seem to be great sweeteners. I really just don't like anything that's supposed to be healthy encouraging you to use stuff like aspartame!

Anonymous said...

hi just reading along what every has to say about south beach diet.Istarted it in April 2010 second week in April,followed it carefully losted 13 pounds in 2 weeks.I seriously was afraid of my results i received. It was an incredible feeling being that i never did a diet before.Icontinued with phase 1 for months than gradually went to phase 2.sweets did not bother me because your body does not crave for it like it use to .I started out at 220 pounds and losed 60 pounds and will continue on it.Ihave been on it for 3 years which is NOT a diet it's a life change for your health .I am 48 years old happy to have helped many people who were serious.I HELPED my cousin weighted over 300 pounds in Dec 2010 losted over 100 pounds by Dec 2011.This south beach diet really works you must follow it results will definitely show hope this helps.

Dianie said...

I'm back to South Beach as it truly is the only one that has worked for me. I gained all my weight back and after losing it w SB and had gotten back into the sugar and other refined carbs... This is about day 10 and I can't believe how much better I feel already. My doctor wants me to do anti inflammatory and gluten free so it's even more restrictive but I'm making it work. Just want to keep it simple and not do all the fancy cooking!

Food Art Dance said...

It really works better if you increase your calorie output, I.E exercise every day. Which from my experience is about just of hard.

I am ending my first week and have lost 7 lbs. I look forward to eating some apples, a week from Monday.