Our Experts Weigh in: 8 Top Tips for Phase 2Article posted in: South Beach Living
As you ease your way into Phase 2, your body will start to be in steady weight loss mode, which means that you’re primed for great results. So get excited! This is where the good stuff happens. And don’t worry—we’re here to make life easy for you with some simple diet tips and tricks.
Phase 2 lasts until you reach your goal, and there are a couple of differences in the way that you’ll eat now that you’ve reset your body to burn your fat as its primary source of fuel. Get all the details on how Phase 2 works right here>
Here are the top eight diet tips for Phase 2 from our experts:
1. Add in your starchy vegetables slowly.
In Phase 2 you get to welcome some starchy vegetables—like sweet potatoes, peas and corn—back into your meal plan. Starchy vegetables are limited to two of your five veggies each day, but we recommend you add them back into your diet slowly, maybe starting with one serving per day for the first week, working your way up to two servings a day if you wish. This will help your body adjust to the addition of these good carbs back into your diet.
2. Be aware of hidden sugar.
Another new food addition in Phase 2 is fruit. We suggest reaching for fresh fruit as often as possible, however, if you’re adding frozen, canned or dried fruits, be sure to read the label first to make sure there is no added sugar. Even “healthy” options can have hidden sugars, so don’t be afraid of doing a little detective work to help keep these out of your diet.
When adding back in grains, keep in mind that even foods like whole grain bread require some sugar for the chemical reactions needed in the bread making process. So, while 100% whole grain bread is allowable, check the label to make sure that it hasn’t been made with high-fructose corn syrup. Also, try to include some variety in your whole grain choices—enjoy bread one day and maybe go for brown rice or whole grain pasta the next day.
3. Embrace variety.
Speaking of variety, we often get in a habit of choosing the same foods over and over again—whether we’re on a weight loss program or not. Avoid spiraling into a meal plan burnout by trying a variety of foods. Shop the produce section and make a goal to try one new veggie each week. Pack a different type of fruit every day. Vary your protein choices, like adding a serving of fish each week as part of a DIY meal or snack (we love tuna salad and celery!).
Not only will this add excitement to your meals and snacks, when you include a variety of food choices in your menu, you also ensure you’re getting a variety of essential vitamins and minerals in your diet as well.
4. Remember to drink your water.
Staying hydrated is one of our very important diet tips when it comes to overall health and wellbeing. Water helps flush toxins and waste out of your body and it helps transport all of the wonderful nutrients you’re taking in to all the right places. Becoming even mildly dehydrated can manifest in your body in ways that can be detrimental to your diet: hunger, fatigue and trouble with digestion.
Need help developing a good hydration habit? Check out these tips!
- Turn your water bottle into a timer by adding lines on the side to indicate how much you want to sip by different points throughout the day. For instance, you might want to aim to drink a quarter of your bottle by 10 a.m., half by noon and the whole thing by 5 p.m. Set the times according to what works best for your schedule!
- Add a reminder on your phone or calendar to drink every hour. Keep your bottle filled and nearby, so when it chimes, you can take a quick sip or two.
- We count on apps for a lot these days, so why not try a hydration app to keep track of how much you’re drinking each day? Most versions have the option to set reminders, too, in case you need a nudge.
5. Stay positive!
This is one of our diet tips that is an integral part to staying on track. As you’re moving into steady weight loss in Phase 2, this might look different than what you experienced in Phase 1. Don’t get discouraged! Phase 1 was created as a fast jumpstart to your weight loss, while Phase 2 was designed to produce sustainable, healthy results. Your progress might seem a little more gradual in Phase 2, but it will be steady. So stick with your meal plan as it’s laid out, and pay attention for other signs of progress: increased energy, your clothes fitting better, having fewer cravings for sweets and junk—basically all the benefits of living healthy that don’t depend on the scale. That’s how you know you’re on the right track! The South Beach Diet is a lifestyle—a new way of eating and thinking about food that’s literally changing your life—and that’s pretty awesome!
If you’re feeling stuck or in need of motivation, remember you can always reach out to our expertly trained weight loss counselors. They are here for you every step of the way! For one-on-one support, chat with a counselor online, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-841-2620.
6. Plan ahead.
Schedule some time at the beginning of the week to think about your DIY meals and snacks for the week ahead. Schedule it in your calendar and set a reminder if that helps to make it a priority.
Once you’ve got it figured out, hit the store for any ingredients you need—nothing puts a hole in your healthy eating plan like not having the right foods on hand when you need them!
We like to make our own snack kits—sliced turkey and veggies, almonds and string cheese, apple slices and almond butter—packed up in resealable bags or containers so they’re ready to grab as we’re running out the door. You can also prep the ingredients you’ll need for your DIY meals—grill or roast chicken breasts, cook lean ground beef, wash and chopped veggies. This way you’re set up for easy, healthy eating no matter what the week brings.
7. The salad bar is your friend.
This is one of our diet tips that is an time saver when you forget to pack your lunch! Check out the options at your local grocery store salad bar—this may be a great way to purchase smaller amounts of veggies that are pre-washed and pre-cut. You can stock up on snacks for the week, or get easy toppings to add to your South Beach Diet meals (we love adding fresh spinach, artichoke hearts and tomatoes to the Garlic Cheese Flatbread >).
Many salad bars also have hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, cottage cheese and other lean protein options, which may be a more cost-efficient way to get these items in the exact amount you need. And since they’re already prepared, you save major time in the process!
8. Include at least 30 minutes of activity.
In Phase 2, you’re cleared to ramp up your daily movement. Try out new exercises and find the ones you enjoy the most. Schedule time in your planner, like you would do for a work meeting, to make sure you have time set aside to do it every day.
Or, if you’re more crunched for time, build activity into your day—take a 10 minute walk before work, during lunch and after work—and by the end of the day, you’ve gotten in your 30 minutes without having to commit to a big chunk of time or effort to do so!