SBD Frequently Asked Questions - How do you manage to exercise on Phase 1?

Miss Maya
07-20-2009, 03:42 PM
Hi ladies,

I was wondering for those of you who are on Phase 1 or have moved on to Phase 2/3: do you exercise? If yes, HOW?

I find myself extremely tired and always feel like it is risky to work out if I have not eaten any carbs. Also, after working out you tend to be so hungry, what kinda of snack/meal would satifsy that meal.

I am on day 8 of phase 1 and I have not exercised at all but I really want to. I'm just not sure how to go about it. Should I do light exercise everyday, or moderate 3 times a day or just weight lifting.

I just don't know what to do about this exercise thing. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

07-20-2009, 04:00 PM
If you were not exercising prior to starting South Beach then it really isn't a good idea to start in phase 1. If you were then you should make sure you eat something that is on plan prior to exercising.

I like some peanut butter as a snack before hand. Since I normally exercise before dinner, I like to make sure I have my meal already planned so I am not tempted to think that I am to tired to fix it.

I have done my best at losing inches and weight and getting my blood pressure under control when exercising regularly.

07-20-2009, 04:04 PM
Protein is better for your muscles than carbs anyway, I usually go for a handful of nuts or a scoop of peanut butter and a glass of water. It's enough for me to get through my workout without feeling weak or yucky.

07-20-2009, 04:18 PM
Beans are a wonderful in p1. Good source of protein, fiber and carbs just the right thing to fuel a workout. Throw some lf or ff cheese and salsa on top and you got some tasty eating.

Walking is a great way to start with exercise, try to add more ADL (activities of daily living) park in the farthest parking spot at the store and walk briskly into the store, walk up the stairs at work or if you work in one those huge buildings-get off the elevator 1 or 2 floors below yours and walk up some. Drink a lot of water and walk quickly to the farthest bathroom, stuff like that. Use every oportunity to get in extra steps every day. A podometer is great for this. Wear one for a few days to see how many steps you are taking then for the next week add an extra 500 steps a day if you can. Eventually, they say you should be getting a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.

Good luck
Sarah in MD

07-20-2009, 09:15 PM
I didn't exercise in Phase I either. Maybe hold off until Phase II, then start gradually. I like the treadmill or recumbent bike so you can monitor you porgress and estimated calorie burn as you gradually ramp up your level.

07-20-2009, 09:35 PM
I was already exercising when I started SB, so I didn't modify my routine. I do water aerobics at an outdoor pool 4x/week for 1 hr. I have 2 water yoga classes per week. Stretching, but best of all helping my head. I ride my bike to the pool 2 1/2 miles each direction every day I can.

At my highest weight I was too sick to exercise. I couldn't ride my bike a block. When I board my bike every morning I feel a sense of freedom and accomplishment-it was one step at a time.

I don't need carbs in my life to do this exercise. I have my protein drink every day along with my vitamins. As I am walking out the door, I have a tbsp of almond butter. I don't have an opportunity to eat for at least 3 hours and I'm never hungry.

Find something that works for you, but the most important thing right now is to eat clean. Then you can take the next step. We didn't get fat overnight, and the reality is we're not going to get thin overnight, either. Waiting a week is not going to make a huge difference either way.

Best wishes and baby steps!!!!

07-21-2009, 08:24 AM
I wasn't exercising when I started so waited the two weeks to finish P1. That was the recommendation in the original book. When I did start exercising I was dealing with chronic pain from a disc problem and arthritis in my knees. Of course I was also lugging a lot of weight around. I started slow but daily. Most days that meant 15 minutes of walking or the 1 mile Walk Away the Pounds video. Speaking of WATP, I can't recommend that highly enough for new exercisers. It's a gentle, easy way to start and lets you exercise anytime of the day. After the first month I started to push myself a little. Chronic pain is different than acute pain and I knew that while the pain was frustrating I wasn't doing any damage. Every day I pushed just a few minutes into the pain, and eventually I was able to do more. I don't recommend this approach unless you've talked with your doctor though!

Start participating in the Exercise thread. I'm one of those people who do better with external motivation so it helps keep me on track. The thought of publicly skipping a few days in a row often got me out the door ;)

Post some of your menus in the Phase 1 thread. I bet you will get suggestions for changes that will help sustain your energy level. The most important thing is just to keep at it, even with baby steps. It's how we learned to walk, just a little at a time :)

07-21-2009, 09:12 AM
I was basically a slug during phase 1 and exercised with some dvd's during phase 2 (mostly fluidity) but not as much as I should have. I had lost the weight, but needed to tone up. I decided to join a gym last October and still hated exercising till I got into a routine and now LOVE it. (it's a great gym..more like a country club) I feel awful if I don't go and live for the steam room. I go every weekday and sometimes (rarely) on the weekends to give myself some time off.

07-22-2009, 09:28 AM
:welcome3: Miss Maya! This is a great question, but there are two answers:

1. Don't start exercising in Phase 1 if you haven't already been exercising regularly. It's too tough. However, if you're still feeling tired on day 8, you might not be getting enough good carbs, protein, and/or water. A lack of any of them can make you tired.

2. When you start Phase 2, work your way into an exercise program that includes both cardio/aerobic exercise (i.e. Walk Away The Pounds videos, walking/running on the treadmill, using the elliptical, Jazzercise classes, water aerobics, etc.) and strength training (lifting weights, using machines AND free weights like dumbbells). You can learn a lot about both in our Fitness forums (, but I believe there's also a wealth of information on exercise in the new South Beach Diet: Supercharged! book. Did you read the older SBD book before starting the program? If you didn't read either, I highly advise you to read it as soon as possible. It's really difficult to do this plan without reading the book, plus Supercharged will help you figure out what exercise is best for you.

Glad to have you with us!

07-22-2009, 12:14 PM
I was exercising previous to South Beach, so I didn't stop during phase I. I did eat a lot of beans and peanut butter during phase I though.

08-18-2009, 07:04 PM
The updated SB diet recommends you start exercising in Phase I. You may also find that, once you start exercising, you have more energy.

I would recommend you start with walking for 5 minutes. Each day, increase how long you walk by 1 minute. You can walk for 5 minutes, right? And one more minute doesn't sound like too much, right? But after a month, depending how often you walk (4-7 days a week), in a couple of weeks you will be walking 20+ minutes.

If you continue to experience extreme fatigue, you need to see your physician. You could have some thyroid issues, anemia, depression, etc that needs to be addressed.

Good luck!

09-25-2009, 05:31 AM
well the exercise that worked for me was walking. near my job there is a loop and its exactly one mile so at least 3 times a week id make it a point to walk the loop 2 times . so in that week id walk 6 miles ..
but it wasnt always beautiful weather to walk so when it would rain i would box i have dummy at home.. or i would ride my stationary bike. to me its harder to work out at home just because i know when im tired i can just give up and go inside but when im walking its not like i can give up when i walked half a mile .. i hope this helped you...

10-06-2009, 10:58 PM
I peronally am not having an issues exercising while on PH1, though my job is super active I was not exercising before (I was months ago, but not recently). My favorite exercise is stationary biking :) (Simply because I can study for class while I sweat ;)).

12-27-2009, 05:42 PM
I've been doing strength training with some pilates. I do find that I have more energy then when not working out. I would just start out small and work your way up, even if its something for 5 minutes that you dont normally do!

12-27-2009, 05:52 PM
Thanks for reviving this thread :)

I've become a fan of the 10 minute workouts. I can always find 10 minutes, often several times a day and they are actually good workouts. I've got two of the Fitness Ball DVDs and love them. They got me back into strength training, something I let go because I didn't have enough time ;)

08-08-2010, 10:15 PM
I had started exercising about a week before I started Phase 1. I made it 6 days the first time, cheated for a long weekend and then started up again. Tomorrow will start phase 2 for me. (*jumps for joy*)

Let me tell you, I was NOT exercising before this, so I started with simple weight lifting. We had two three pound weights hanging around the house. I started with 10 curls. That was it. Then I added more (arms out to the side, arms in front, lifting above my head). As I started my current phase 1, I added pelvic tilts and simple leg lifts. Just a few days ago I started incorporating crunches (ugh! Boy do you feel those!).

I'm in the process of figuring out what I'll add for cardio. I have a Wii Jillian Michael "game." (I don't know if "game" is really the right word for it. lol) I really didn't like it, but I'll try again soon. I could join a gym or walk on the bike trail down the road. I'm living with my parents and we really have no room for an exercise machine. We do have a glider sort of thing, but it's in the basement. It's too dusty, so I only go down there for laundry. We'll see...

08-11-2010, 06:56 PM
If you like lifting weights and want to add cardio, you should check out The Firm exercise videos. They combine both those workouts and the results are amazing! I am doing The Wave workouts and you really do see results in 10 workouts.