Since the first phase is meant to curb your cravings for refined sugar and other bad carbs, the diet in this 14-day phase is quite limited. The nutrient- and fiber-rich foods found in phase one are meant to level out your blood sugar, rather than cause it to spike like refined sugar and starches do. Essentially the idea behind low-carb diets is that "bad carbohydrates" have a huge impact on your blood sugar levels, while "good carbs" have a minimal impact. You want to regulate your sugar levels so that you're avoiding spikes (like what might happen after you have a double scoop of your favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor). By stabilizing your blood sugar level, you'll curb your desire to eat those bad carbs [source: The South Beach Diet Online].
Phase one foods are meant to fill you up, so you'll find a lot of protein-rich items on the allowed food list. Meat is definitely a major player, but only the lean cuts are advised. Beef, poultry, seafood, pork and veal are all foods you can eat when you are in the induction phase.
If you are a vegetarian, you don't have to worry about not being able to find food to eat. Though meat is a mainstay during the induction phase, there are still several non-meat options from which you can choose, including low-fat cheeses, nuts, eggs, beans, milk, yogurt and tofu [source: Hager].
Vegetables are also recommended at this level. And it's best to look for green options over other colors, since vegetables like carrots are frowned upon because of their sugar content [source: Web MD].
Keep reading to find out what's in store for you if you decide to move on to phase two of the South Beach plan.