10 Tips for a Successful First Week on South Beach

Article posted in: South Beach Diet
successful first week

Are you proud of yourself? You should be: You’ve decided to change your life once and for all and lose the weight that’s been holding you back. (Even if you haven’t yet made the commitment to start, you’re here. You’re researching. And that’s GREAT.) The first week on the program is the jumpstart of the South Beach Diet journey because you’re breaking your dependence on sugar and refined carbs. We call it a One-Week Reboot. Sugar and refined carbs cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash—and then make you want to eat the same junk all over again an hour later, which is how you gain weight. Avoiding these foods are the first steps to a successful first week on South Beach.

During your first week, you’ll fill up on proteins, vegetables and heart healthy good fats that nourish and satisfy. In the absence of carbs, your body will burn fat for calories and you’ll start to see results. BUT—it does take some mental focus to stay the course and make healthy eating habits into a lifestyle, starting with a successful first week on South Beach.

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Here are 10 tips for successful first week on South Beach:

1. Purge Your Pantry.

purge your pantry

The only way to truly avoid temptation is to remove it. Get those greasy chips out of the pantry; purge all of the ice cream from the freezer; and give the cookie dough to a friend. In order to have a successful first week on South Beach, you avoid carbs and reduce sugar during Phase 1. Later, these foods can be enjoyed in moderation. But for now, in order to achieve the best results with your meal plan, it’s best not to have them where you can see them.

2. Invest in a New Water Bottle.

new water bottle

Your body will take time to adjust to its new meal plan and there is no better way to cope with hunger or cravings than to keep your stomach full. Water does that quite well so we recommend drinking at least 64 ounces or eight, 8-ounce glasses a day. Yes, you could use a tally or use your South Beach Tracker to keep track of your water intake (more on the tracker in a minute!). To keep you motivated to keep hydrated, invest in a fun water bottle with ounce marks clearly labeled so you can be sure you’ve had the recommended amount. If you’re not a water fan, figure out how to make it work for you—try it hot, ice-cold or flavored with cucumber. If that doesn’t work, try calorie-free carbonated water or tea.

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3. Find Your Tennis Shoes.


Or sneakers. Or gym shoes. Whatever you call them, find them and figure out how you can work exercise into your daily routine. You will have successful first week on South Beach just by changing your diet, but adding in exercise can maximize results. Whether it’s a short bike ride, a 15-minute walk before work and then at lunch, or a trip to the gym for some elliptical and/or weights, you need to get your heart rate up for about 30 minutes a day in Phase 1.

4. Keep Track of Your Food.

tracker app

The simple act of keeping track of everything you eat can double your chances of weight loss success, says an August 2008 study published in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine. When you receive your first shipment of food, you’ll receive a tracker with lists of approved foods, tips and space to log your daily food, water and exercise. Write it down and also download our Track App. This way, when you’re on the go, you can grab your phone to log your food and ensure you’re staying on track. Log your food in the South Beach Tracker App here >

5. Find Your Routine.

successful first week

It may take a few days to figure out what time of day you want to exercise, when and how you will record your food, water and activity, and most importantly, how you feel. But establishing a routine can help you stay consistent on your new course. The more we exercise, the more likely we are to want to eat healthy. It’s called the transfer effect and is explained in the Journal of American College Nutrition (August 2015). Participants in the study who exercised for 30 minutes, five times or more a week, ate the most fruit and vegetables. Those who exercised the least ate the least. As the respondents grew older, they ate even more fruits and veggies. Why? Exercise and eating well lead to the same goal of better health so they’re easy correlations. Second, once someone makes exercise a habit, it’s no longer a mental effort. You’re more likely to just get up and go. So, get in those 30 minutes of light activity during your first seven days!

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6. Just Say No.

successful first week

Jan Chozen Bays M.D., author of Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food says we experience seven kinds of hunger on a daily basis. These “hungers” occur as sensations, thoughts and even emotions. When our senses are activated by food—even if we’re not truly hungry—we respond by putting food in our mouths. In order to not be fooled, Bays suggests we become aware of what urges us to eat—and why. For example, if you walk into your office and someone made homemade chocolate chip cookies, your “eye hunger” convinces you you’re hungry. Another example: “nose hunger” detects hot dogs at the baseball game or popcorn at the movie theater and instructs you to eat. Instead of giving in, listen to your body for hunger queues and eat small, nutritious meals six times a day so you don’t ever feel famished or inclined to eat whatever is there.

7. Have Snacks That Travel.

successful first week

Another way to prepare for temptation is to have your own South Beach Diet snacks and bars handy when fresh veggies and grilled chicken just aren’t available. Keep a Dark Chocolate Nut Bar in your purse—more than 663 dieters gave it a five-star rating. It has 130 calories, four grams of dietary fiber, and five grams of protein. Our Nacho Puffs are perfect for your office and can satisfy any salty craving you have. Crunchy, cheesy puffs with a whopping 17 grams of protein and only two grams of net carbs? Yes please!

 8. Eat Your Veggies.

successful first week

One of the biggest adjustments for a successful first week on South Beach is adding in at least three servings of non-starchy vegetables a day. Popular non-starchy veggies include cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, cucumber and tomatoes. Here are a few tips for sneaking those veggies in: At breakfast, make a farmers’ omelet or blend up a South Beach Diet Keto-Friendly Shake with a handful of spinach. At lunch, have a salad as your main course or a side salad with your South Beach meal. At dinner, rice cauliflower or roast spaghetti squash and serve your salmon or stir-fry on top. Between meals, snack on grape tomatoes and pre-cut peppers, celery and cucumber.

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9. Ask for Support.

successful first week

Anh Nelson lost nearly 40 pounds on the South Diet.* One of her secrets to success was talking to her family about her diet and commitment in the get-go. “Ask them to be mindful of your goals,” Anh says. “If you bring your own food to meals, tell them you’re not insulting them, you just want to be focused on your goal. Let them know once you hit your goal you will be able to give yourself a little more flexibility in what you eat, but right now, you want to succeed and their support will be appreciated.” Support is especially important for a successful first week, especially if you’re the chef in your house and it’s a DIY mealtime. Let your family know that healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be served when it’s time to cook for yourself (two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners each week).

10. Visit The Palm Daily.

successful first week

Okay, if you’re reading this, you’re already here. But don’t stop with this article. Our goal is to see you have a successful first week AND continue to see weight loss success throughout the program. We’ve compiled hundreds of articles and recipes designed to keep you energized, informed and satisfied. You can sign up to get our content delivered to you each day and when you stop to give us your feedback, we know what you want to see more of—recipes, articles, deals or tips. If you need to talk to someone one-on-one, don’t forget South Beach Diet has dedicated weight loss counselors you can consult (for free, as many times as you like) when you’re in need of guidance. Whether it’s via phone (1-866-496-0207), live chat or email (counseling@southbeachdiet.com), the counselors can be reached from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, EST.

Haven’t started yet? Get started on your weight loss journey with the help of South Beach today! >

*Expect to lose an avg 1-2 lbs per week. Weight lost on prior program. Casting Call volunteer, complimentary program provided.