SBD Frequently Asked Questions - Prepare Yourself to Start South Beach

02-11-2009, 10:01 AM
Does anyone have suggestions how to preapare yourself before going on South Beach. By that I mean suggestions on planning, stocking, etc. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help.

02-11-2009, 10:20 AM
:welcome: to The Beach!

Be sure to buy and read the book.
Check out the Phase I Food List and other hints in the FAQ Section here.
Get rid of all temptations before you start.
Check out the Phase I thread in here for ideas for menus.
Stick around and post.

02-11-2009, 11:10 AM
What helped for me was to put *my* food in one cupboard and my hubby's food in another cabinet. I also put *my* food on one side of the fridge and his food on another. I organized the pantry so that the shelves at eye level were *mine*. This way, any time I opened a cupboard, the fridge or the pantry, I wasn't looking at food that I couldn't eat. This won't work for everybody, but it helped me.

02-11-2009, 11:20 AM
:welcome2: I read the book and then I keep a written journal of measurements, weigh ins and recipes I've tried. I also keep a spreadsheet of my meals and each week I plan meals (breakfast lunch and dinner) around what I have in and any recipes I'm going to attempt. Then I make a shopping list by grocery aisle. This way I don't even go near the naughty aisles!

Posting with the chix also improves my success rate. Good Luck, chick! :hug:

Good Luck

02-11-2009, 01:15 PM
when i started, i planned out 2 weeks worth of meals (used the sb online website) then went grocery shopping. after the first month, i had the hang of it and didn't so much need to plan so far in advance.

02-11-2009, 01:24 PM
:welcome3: What a great idea for a thread, BKStitch! :cp:

I highly second what many of the other chicks have said. Here are the things I did that really helped:

Read the book (if you can't afford a copy, check out your local library--they are bound to have it or be able to request it for you from another library in their system)
Read our FAQ's, especially the updated lists of Foods to Enjoy and Foods to Avoid, as they've changed a lot since the first book was written.
One thing that helped me was eating the things I liked a lot and knew I would miss. I can't recommend it to everyone, but it worked for me. I had a two week "binge," in that I ate whatever looked good to me, and I went at least a year before I mentally craved any of that stuff--I could still remember how it tasted and how sick I felt after eating it. :idea:
Get rid of anything in your house that isn't Phase 1 or 2 safe for SBD. I can't stress this one enough. Eventually, I was able to bring some things back into the house, like sugar (for baking for friends or for friends' coffee when they come over) and cookies (for DH's lunches), but it took a couple of years. There are some things that can never be in my house because I just can't avoid them. Getting rid of everything was cathartic for me and helped me get through those times when I was really yearning to eat off plan. I didn't have the option, because nothing in the house was off plan.
Tell everyone you know that you're doing SBD and that this is a change for life, not just a short-term diet. Get their support and help. Tell them what you need from them so they don't do things that make you feel bad (like ask, "Are you really supposed to be eating that???"). Knowing that everyone knows will really help keep you on track and will make them more supportive.
Let your family know what you need from them to support you on this journey. If your family isn't eating healthy, this is a great chance to get them moving in that direction, too. If your DH or kids eat things that you crave, but you feel you have to keep them in the house for them, consider ways to change that thinking. If they really need that food (and I'd have to question that...), they can get it outside of the house. If they love you, I'm sure they'd rather see you healthy and happy than eat their treats in front of you. I realize some people aren't able to do this. If you're one of them, just do your best to take baby steps in the right direction. Lentilbean's idea is a great compromise. I've heard of people whose spouses kept their treats in a locked box in the basement, in the trunk of their car, or who gave them to the neighbors so the kids could go over and eat them there. Do what works for you and your family, but don't think that willpower is the only tool in your arsenal. Out of sight, out of mind works just as well, if not better.
Sit down and think about what things might trip you up and how you can deal with them. Do you have a coworker that makes baked goods each week and puts them on your desk? How can you cut her off at the pass? Do you work in a bakery? Work night shift and find it hard to eat healthy? Are you busy and find it hard to make meals? Figure out your barriers and how you can change things to push them out of the way.
Set a good time to start Phase 1. Don't start it during your birthday, your family's big reunion, Thanksgiving, your daughter's wedding, etc. Set yourself up for success!
Plan on staying home to eat throughout Phase 1. It's very, very difficult to do a clean P1 while eating out. It's not impossible, but your life will be SO much easier (and you can eat much, much yummier things if you make them at home) if you stay home during P1.
Stock your home (and pantry) with P1 and P2-safe foods. If you find that the P2 foods are too tempting, don't buy them until after P1.
If you're not currently exercising, using P1 as a time to investigate exercise options you can start in P2.
Plan on eating lowfat (LF) and fat-free (FF) dairy, beans, bell peppers, and tomatoes in Phase 1 to avoid the "Phase 1 Flu" (the symptoms of detoxing from sugar).
Post here so we can help and encourage you!

02-12-2009, 11:32 AM
* Get rid of all "Non SBD" foods before you start.
* Have emergency "quick fix" foods on hand for those days you're too tired to cook or don't have time to cook. I usually freeze some soups, grilled meats, and have a few frozen veggies on hand.
* Beans and nuts are your friends. :)
* If you feel the urge to eat something, make sure you're eating because you're hungry and not because of some other reason (stress, depression, boredom, etc.).
* Brush your teeth before bed. This helps me with late night snacking.
* If you just have to have that snack/second helping/whatever, try to make yourself wait fifteen minutes before eating it.
* Discover marinades and spices. They keep food interesting and good tasting.
* (For those who exercise) - if you have a day where you don't want to go, tell yourself to just do fifteen minutes. I do this, and I ALWAYS do more than fifteen minutes.
* Get enough sleep. If I'm tired, that leads me to bad choices foodwise and keeps me from exercising.
* Trader Joes and Whole foods. My two favorite stores.
* Laughing cow cheese. MMMMMM.
* Don't starve yourself. If you're hungry, eat a snack (which is where nuts, laughing cow, celery sticks, cucumber slices, etc. all come in). Your meals during the day may not look like breakfast - snack - lunch - snack - dinner - snack - AND THAT'S OKAY, especially if you're within the daily allowances.
* If you don't eat eggs, eat "other stuff" for breakfast. I've been known to eat chili, pinto beans, cabbage, spaghetti squash, and other "weird" stuff for breakfast.

02-13-2009, 12:18 PM
Thanks for all of the input girls. I have done South Beach before and had great luck. I bought the new book and am reading it now. I like the idea to stay home and eat to get a clean phase 1. I have a few meetings next week so then after that I have nothing for almost three weeks. I am planning on getting the book read and making out menus for myself and start on the 23rd.
The main problem I have is cooking for myself. Does anyone else have to cook for themselves?
Thanks again girls, I will start posting on the 23rd. I will also let you know what I have done to get ready for this new way of eating.

02-13-2009, 12:54 PM
Bkstitch, I cook for myself so feel free to "brainpick" from me. I usually cook and freeze extra meals in my "stash".

02-13-2009, 09:49 PM
i cook for myself to. i find the best thing that helps me is ziploc steamer can take chicken breast, shrimp, fish...right out of the freezer throw it in the bag add veggies and in 10 minutes your done.

03-03-2009, 08:12 PM
How do you deal with an unhealthy eater for a co-worker that you share an office with?

03-03-2009, 10:20 PM
How do you deal with an unhealthy eater for a co-worker that you share an office with?

Don't eat her food.

03-03-2009, 11:42 PM
Don't eat her food.

Ha, ha! I work with about 15 other gals every day that eat like crap! I am no longer tempted by what they eat because I know how unhealthy their food is & how good I feel. I always take my meals & plan ahead for food emergencies.

SBD Sass
03-04-2009, 12:14 AM
And no matter not mess up in P1. If you have to mess up then do that in P2. The faster we get in and out of P1 the better. Those two weeks are tough on some of us, but it is the prerequisite you must take and pass in order to ensure you are successful in P1.5 or P2. Never give up!

03-31-2009, 02:19 PM
I just joined this community - thank you - and have a quick question. I did phase 1 already with just a couple beers sneaking in as cheating. I lost a couple pounds. When I went from phase 1 to phase 2 I got off track and have stumbled the last 4-5 days with being on and off plan. I am losing motivation.

Should I start phase 1 again to get back on track??

Thank you!!!

03-31-2009, 02:58 PM
Most suggest a clean Phase I (the whole two weeks). Sounds like the cheats may be your problem. Sorry, I would start over. Dr. A says beer is a no-no.

03-31-2009, 05:33 PM
Thank you for the response. Beer really is my biggest setback when dieting. I know it's sad - but I love my beer! I just ordered the book and the dining out guide, so I hope that helps me as I re-prepare for Phase 1!

10-02-2009, 04:33 PM
Here are some tips from today's Daily Dish on preparing your kitchen for Phase 1 that I thought were helpful in this thread:

Stocking Up Your Kitchen

The journey of reaching your weight-loss goals starts in the kitchen. Taking stock of the foods that you will be cooking and eating as you follow the South Beach Diet is a good way to improve your results. This means removing certain foods altogether. To help you get started (or to serve as a reminder), we’ve created this checklist of foods that should be eliminated for Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet. Most of these foods can be reintroduced two weeks later, once you enter Phase 2. Learn how to create a healthy kitchen with this easy Phase 1 cheat sheet:

Foods to Avoid in Phase 1

Baked goods: Breads (even those made with whole-wheat flour), cakes, cookies, crackers, cupcakes, muffins, pastries, and waffles

Beverages: All fruit juices, sodas, and any other drinks containing sugar, fructose, or corn syrup, as well as all alcoholic beverages

Cereals: All varieties of cereals

Condiments, dressings, and seasonings: Barbecue sauce, honey mustard, ketchup, and any other condiment, sauce, or salad dressing made with corn syrup, molasses, or sugar

Dairy and cheese: Whole milk; cheeses made with anything but 1% milk, part-skim, or fat-free milk; creamy cheeses except for low-fat cottage cheese

Flour: All cornmeal and flour, including pancake and waffle mixes

Fruit: All fruit and fruit products, including dried fruits

Meat and poultry: Anything processed using sugars (honey-baked or maple-cured ham, for instance); fatty fowl such as duck and goose; pate; dark-meat chicken and turkey (legs and wings); processed fowl (such as packaged chicken nuggets or patties); beef brisket, liver, rib steaks, and other fatty cuts

Oils and fats: All solid vegetable shortening or lard, butter, and hydrogenated oils

Pasta: All pasta, even whole wheat

Rice: All rice, even brown

Snacks: All packaged snacks are off-limits, both sweet and salty varieties, except for one-ounce packages of dry-roasted nuts

Soup: All powdered soup mixes (many are full of trans fats)

Sweeteners: All sweeteners, except sugar substitutes

Vegetables (starchy): Beets, carrots, corn, green peas, sweet and white potatoes, pumpkin, turnips (root), winter squash, and yams

11-01-2009, 06:13 PM
For the first phase, can't I have unlimited veggis. I do have the book but I didn't read front to back. I thought you don't have to count calories or weigh your food.

11-01-2009, 08:28 PM
gfallo, you don't have to weigh your food or count calories on the SBD, and you should be eating at least 4 1/2 cups of approved vegetables every day.

11-02-2009, 05:20 PM
And please, PLEASE read the book thoroughly. It's very important. You should also check the Phase I Food List in this Forum which will save a lot of confusion.

05-20-2010, 07:24 PM
I found this thread incredibly helpful when I went back to South Beach at the end of January (2010).

This year, I have struggled with being away from my own home, being on the road, being in other people's spaces with lots of temptations. I sat down recently now that my life has (hopefully) calmed down a bit and tried to figure out what is the minimum I need to have on hand at all times to do what I consider a good job of eating by South Beach principles. There of lots of OTHER foods that I include sporadically but I am getting the basics down so I don't ever have an excuse for not eating well. It helps me to not get bogged down with all the things I COULD eat, but just the minimum I want to have on hand. It also helps with simplifying my shopping - I can always add stuff on, but a good place to start is to keep up with the basics.

Anyway, I don't know if anyone else operates this way, but it helps me to have a manageable, specific list of what I CAN have rather than what I have to AVOID - if I have this stuff on hand (of course with the other stuff gone) I have no excuses.

I am posting my list in hopes it helps anyone else who is just beginning to formulate their own list. I limited it to 40 items total. Like I said, there are lots more things that could be added :) but I tried to keep it simple. I didn't include the really basic staples like spices, onion/garlic, oils & vinegars, lemon juice, etc etc ...

Happy Beaching!! :D

[NOTE: I am mostly veggie, but try to incorporate more fish in my diet.]


1. Tea
2. Nuts, any kind, but especially almonds and walnuts
3. Peanut butter, natural
4. Tahini (to make hummus) or prepared hummus
Proteins (& dairy):
5. Tofu/tempeh
6. Eggs
7. Veggie sausage
8. Frozen fish: tuna steaks and/or salmon fillets
9. Shrimp, frozen
10. Canned tuna and/or salmon
11. Skim/lowfat milk or unsweetened soymilk
12. Cottage cheese, lowfat/nonfat
13. Parmesan cheese, shredded
14. Cheddar cheese, lowfat
15. Mozzarella cheese, fresh and/or mozzarella cheese sticks
16. Greek yogurt, fat free
17. Vegetable juice
18. Cucumbers
19. Tomatoes
20. Broccoli
21. Cauliflower
22. Cabbage
23. Celery
24. Red/orange Bell peppers
25. Green leaf/Romaine lettuce
26. Radishes
27. Green onion
28. Spinach, fresh and/or frozen
29. Edamame, frozen
30. Pinto beans
31. Refried beans
32. Garbanzo beans, canned – for salads and for making hummus

Phase 2 additions
33. Carrots
34. Sweet potatoes
35. Berries (especially blueberries), fresh and/or frozen
36. Other fruits, a selection of oranges/kiwis/apples/pears
37. Quinoa
38. Brown rice
39. Steel-cut oats
And the bonus:
40. Dark chocolate

07-28-2011, 07:35 PM
YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Welcome . . . come over to the daily chat threads and the daily meal posting . . . makes things MUCH more fun!

Be well -

09-03-2011, 10:37 AM
Just remember how much healthier you are becoming each day!!!

01-05-2014, 11:43 PM
I wanted to see what this looks like tomorrow is my first day of the south beach diet...I don't even own a scale I just want to shrink and loose those damn carb cravings how do I get one of those little scale thingys

01-06-2014, 07:48 AM
What type is scale are you referring to? Most stores with a housewares section sell scales to measure food. Personally I don't measure anything I eat. Check in often it helps :) a Good luck

01-11-2014, 09:26 PM
jesscar - you have to have a certain number of posts in order to get the ticker...

01-20-2014, 07:10 PM
One thing I found useful was shortly after I started SB I bought a Collected Recipes cookbook. It is essentially a 3 ring binder with pages like the photo albums of my youth: a sticky page with a plastic protector sheet. There were also pages for conventional recipe cards available and of course, dividers. Whenever I print or hand copy a recipe it goes in there, either on cards, hole-punched, or on whatever scrap of paper I used. That way I have my favorite recipes in 1 spot.