I Can't Lose Weight on South Beach Phase 1

The South Beach Diet is a weight-loss program that is centered around controlling your intake of "bad" carbohydrates, or foods that cause a spike in blood sugar 1. These foods are also high-GI foods, where GI stands for "glycemic index." However, some people do have trouble losing weight or seeing improvement during Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet 1.

Healthy Weight Loss

Stage one of the South Beach Diet lasts for two weeks 1. Healthy weight loss occurs at the rate of 1 to 2 lbs. per week. Thus, you should lose only 2 to 4 lbs. during the entirety of Phase 1. If, however, you are gaining weight or still feel as though you are overindulging in food, you may need to re-evaluate your dietary habits.

During Phase 1, you are supposed to eat low-GI, high protein foods such as:

  • lean meats
  • soy
  • beans
  • nuts
  • dairy
  • eggs

Lots of vegetables are also recommended during this two-week phase. Healthy fats, such as those found in extra virgin olive oil, are a plus. According to the South Beach Diet website, Phase 1 is designed to eliminate your cravings and stabilize the amount of sugar in your blood 1.


However, the fact that you are supposed to eat nutritious foods does not mean you can eat an unlimited amount. Any food can interrupt weight loss if it is eaten to excess. Nuts, for example, are healthy but calorie-dense: Just 24 almonds contain 180 calories and 14 g fat. It is still important to read labels before eating Phase 1 foods to ensure that you are not mistakenly eating too many calories.


Any weight-loss program should be accompanied by exercise. Exercise burns calories and boosts your metabolism, which means that you will burn more calories at all times of the day. In addition, exercise can help ensure that you are burning more calories than you are consuming. This concept is called "negative energy balance," according to the National Institutes of Health, and it causes your body to metabolize stored fat for energy. This is a desired effect that will cause you to lose weight.


If you are already mindful of the above tips but still struggling with weight loss, try keeping a food journal for a week. Write down everything you eat, and evaluate your habits at the end of the day. Are you snacking mindlessly on dense foods like nuts? Have you been miscalculating portion sizes? Do you overeat after exercise and negate the positive efforts of your workout? After a week of this behavior, you should be able to modify your behavior and begin the steps to healthy weight loss.