What to eat on South Beach.
August 3, 2005 3:55 PM   Subscribe

What foods can I eat on the South Beach Diet?

I am midweek through my second week of phase 1, and the food situation is starting to really get me down. I find that I'm really enjoying my dinners, which I think is because I have the time to make something delicious. The big problems are breakfast and lunch, when I'm always running late and pressed for time.

I'm anxiously awaiting the end of the first two weeks and getting to introduce more variety into my diet.

I know some of you have had great success on South Beach, so I was hoping for some help. What did you eat? Any tips on things I can either make quickly or prepare ahead of time and reheat? What do you eat in a day?

Thanks in advance.
posted by anonymous to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I actually started my third week on Monday. I have to admit, though, that I started "Phase II" two days early becuase I just couldn't take Phase I anymore (mostly becuase it's summer, and to me, summer means fruit, damnit).

Lunch was a salad almost every day. Lots of cheese - Laughing cow and string. Celery and peanutbutter. I've never eaten so many eggs in my life.

I lost 8 pounds in the first two weeks. I drank a lot of water, and by the end of two weeks, I really did stop craving the junk.

Phase II is much easier! Hang in there.
posted by dpx.mfx at 4:38 PM on August 3, 2005

Not to say JFGI and it seems like you're looking for personal recs here - but I recall discovering exactly that sort of information in 10-15 minutes of poking around the top two google results a few months ago. Short answer: eggs and will power.
posted by hugsnkisses at 4:42 PM on August 3, 2005

Why is this anonymous? Did someone's stomach post this?
posted by yerfatma at 4:58 PM on August 3, 2005

I did it once. My favorite breakfast was a container of plain yogurt with Splenda, a little almond extract, and crushed up almonds or walnuts. I couldn't deal with eating that way, but finding a breakfast I liked helped a lot. Honestly, I think you'd be fine to start with Phase II. I mean, if you're miserable, it's no good. Better to lose the weight more slowly and have a few foods you like. I decided long ago that any diet outlawing oatmeal and bananas isn't for me!
posted by abbyladybug at 5:32 PM on August 3, 2005

No Yogurt on Phase I.

Seriously, though I think abbyladybug is right - just skip to Phase II and go slowly if you have to.
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:39 PM on August 3, 2005

If you do "skip out" on a bit of Phase I, do be sure that you're cured of your sugar addiction. I'm going to take the opposite stance of the rest of the folks and say that if you're "down" about "the food situation," that's for a reason; you're addicted to bad food! Seriously, over-sugarization is the root of a lot of problem weight. For me, my Phase I was for 3.5 weeks because I still had cravings.

South Beach is well worth it. It's not too expensive, and you get a healthy heart, not just a smaller waistline.

I started in February, and I'm down 35 pounds (that I *know* won't be coming back), and that's with minimal exercise -- just paying attention to my body, and how it reacted to certain foods.

I will say, though, that I miss potatoes more that I thought would be possible. Have you ever been physically distracted by a colleague's hash browns before, and made a fool of yourself? I have. :(

Hang in there!
posted by chota at 7:17 PM on August 3, 2005

You could make a killer low-fat seafood omelette with the Phase I ingredients listed here. Tasty chilis and stir-frys, too. Do you cook for yourself at all? If so, try searching for recipes using a combination of those ingredients, which look like fairly basic building blocks for a variety of delicious entrees, Atkins Phase I or not.
posted by mediareport at 8:32 PM on August 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

Wow anon- we started this diet at the exact same time! So far I'm down about 8 lbs, and I think I'll stick with phase one for another week (total of 2.5 weeks).

I've been doing well with salads for lunch- the key being the night before when I make some steak or chicken or shrimp, I cook some extra to put on my lunch salad the next day. Then I change up which veggies go in the salad, sometimes bell peppers and onions, sometimes tomatoes and olives and cheese- you get the idea. That and I found a great oil based salad dressing.

For breakfast I've been having eggs- lots of eggs. Either on omelette with lots of good stuff in it (cheese, peppers, olives, mushrooms, onions, etc), or scrambled as well as some turkey bacon or canadian bacon.

If you're in a hurry in the morning, microwave eggs aren't too bad. Take an egg, a bit of milk, some spices and tabasco, and microwave in a coffee cup for about 45-60 seconds. Stir it up and voi la! instant scrambled eggs.

Good luck, and drink lots of water and chew gum- that helps me when I think I'm getting hungry.
posted by gus at 9:07 PM on August 3, 2005

I really can't remember what I would bring for lunch on phase one- it is not very much fun but, as chota said, incredibly important to get rid of cravings. But you're almost through it and phase two will feel so freeing!

One easy lunch was cooking cubed chicken breasts, adding a can or two of beans and some mexican seasoning and letting it simmer for a few minutes. When it's done, sprinkle some cheese on it. Put it in the fridge in lunch-sized portions. Take it to work, heat it up and eat it over green leaf lettuce. We did many variations of chicken/beans. It is a great amount of protein to make it through your day.
posted by wallaby at 3:26 AM on August 4, 2005

Definitly what Chota said about the sugar cravings - mine went away after about a week, which I didn't think was possible. I knew that for me, the real problem was going to be BOREDOM in phase I, and I'm not in any real hurry to lose the weight.

Good luck!!
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:56 AM on August 4, 2005

I found it helped to disregard traditional breakfast food guidelines-- so I'd have some cold cuts with an herb mayo and scallions, stuff like that. I lost about 15 pounds and felt great. I was strict phase 3 for a couple of years as well, and the bonus is that I can now occassionally eat things with sugar or bread or potatoes and not become crazed. I still try to avoid them, though.

I also found during phase 1 that the ricotta dessert things were only palatable if I bought the highest quality ricotta. It's much less grainy.
posted by miss tea at 6:06 AM on August 4, 2005

I feel your pain. I'm on day 10 right now, and although I was doing well the first week, boredom has set in and I'm looking forward to branching out. It doesn't help that I don't each meat, so my salads tend to be pretty similar.

As for menus, my breakfast is usually egg white omlettes [from a carton] with lots of fresh veggies and a soy sausage. Lunch is a salad variation w/ some sort of protein. Dinner is tofu stir-fry, more salads, grilled veggie burgers, bean dish, etc. Snacks are hardboiled eggs, string cheese, natural PB with celery, or raw veggies with homemade hummus.

A few specific suggestions: I recently made the chick pea chili from this website and it was *amazing*. Great flavor and very filling. I'm planning on making these falafels [baked, not fried] this weekend. If you want to experiment with breakfast, try blending 1/4 c ricotta, 1 whole egg, 4 egg whites, cinnamon, and splenda. Pour into a skillet and it makes several "crepes." Can also be made smaller and thicker to resemble pancakes. It can be made the night before and poured into the skillet in the morning if you find you run low on time in the AM.

And if grainy ricotta isn't your thing, I recommend blending it with vanilla extract, splenda, cocoa powder, and a little skim milk for a truly tasty chocolate pudding. It's also good baked for 25 minutes so it has the texture and taste of cheesecake. Mmm!
posted by Bella Sebastian at 12:11 PM on August 4, 2005

I did phase 1 about 9 months ago, and it was a little trying because I literally felt hungry all the time. To the point that I would finish a huge meal and feel a little less hungry, and worry that maybe I had eaten something I shouldn't have (some cornstarch in the tofu, perhaps?)--but 10 minutes later the hunger would come back. I was dying for a meatball hero and a beer during phase 1.

The good news is that phase 2 and 3 have been much easier, and 9 months later I am still at my target weight. And now I can occasionally eat meatball heroes, though I still try to avoid the beer these days.

While I was in phase 1 and 2, I ate a lot of hard-boiled eggs, chicken caesar salads, beans, Chinese food (sans rice and cornstarch-enriched thick sauces), falafel, humus, and babaganoush, Indian food (without rice or roti), and I loved a good prosciutto/tomato/fresh mozzarella salad. I would order sandwiches and ask for them to be served on a salad instead of bread. I also drank a lot of water--I would buy liter bottles of seltzer at lunchtime and 2-liter bottles to drink at home after work.

Once I got to phase 2 a simple whole-wheat "wrap" from a deli was heaven. Hang in there.
posted by hashashin at 7:01 AM on August 5, 2005

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