South Beach Diet Q&A: Can I Stay on Phase 1 for Good?

The South Beach Diet

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I understand that Phase 1 of the South Beach plan produces the most noticeable results. I have a lot of weight to lose. Should I just do Phase 1 and skip the rest?

- Cameron B.


If you have a lot of weight to lose you can do Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet for an extended period of time, but not permanently. If you are considered obese you can extend Phase 1 to one full month.

If you are morbidly obese, you may stay on Phase 1 for up to two months, but be sure to check with your doctor first.

Those who are not considered obese -- or who are only trying to reduce belly fat -- should stop Phase 1 after two weeks. No one should try to follow Phase 1 permanently.

Phase 1 does in fact lead to significant weight loss and reduction of belly fat, but its true purpose is to help alleviate your cravings for bad carbs and sweets.

It's not meant to be solely a way to lose a lot of weight really quickly.

It's very important to progress to the next two Phases to ensure long-term success. The latter two Phases allow you to add foods you've been avoiding back into your diet.

Being able to eat those carbs again will keep you from feeling deprived and provide you with more variety in your meal plans. Phase 3 is the way to adjust to the SBD as a lifestyle.

You will probably lose more weight per week on Phase 1 than someone who is more slender.

However, as you enter Phase 2 you will find you level out at losing 1 or 2 pounds a week, which is ideal.