I'm on day 3 of South Beach. I did the diet program once before back in November, and ended up losing 45 pounds, which I've kept off with little effort. I started South Beach at 270 lbs, and while's I'm tall for a woman (5'9), that's too much weight for my frame to carry. I found myself, at 29, the heaviest I had ever been, the unhappiest I had been in a long, long time, and something had to give.
My mother and sister had experimented with South Beach, so after reading up a little online, I started working myself up to it...it takes some real preparation when you lead the life I do. It's a 3-Phase diet that focuses on lean proteins, certain vegetables and extremely low carbohydrate intake. This means no fruit, no bread, no carb-rich vegetables, no alchohol, no sugar, at least for Phase One which lasts two weeks. For me, this sounded like a true challenge, as I never cook at home. For several reasons, I'm seldom found at my apartment during traditional meal times, so I end up eating out for just about every meal. That means a lot of cheap, fatty, greasy fast food or slightly more expensive restaurant tabs for better (sometimes?) food. Ideally, I should be baking chicken and turkey breasts, grilling steaks, hand making salads of romaine lettuce, boiled eggs and turkey bacon. Well, as my Honda Civic didn't come with a factory installed oven, though it feels that way in mid-August in New Orleans, and boiled eggs feel like eyeballs in my mouth (I have SID, or at least my doctor thinks I do), that wouldn't work. I know myself; I knew that I would not alter my busy lifestyle in such a severe way to accommodate a diet. I'd accommodate the diet to suit me.
No doubt, I cooked a couple of times, but I lost 45 pounds with very little excercise and not eating in my or anyone else's kitchen. My staples? Low carb choices like Wendy's chili, cheesburgers with no bun (and little to no ketchup), grilled chicken sandwiches (same thing: no bun, no ketchup) made any fast food restaurant accessible. At regular restaurants, it was just as easy: salads with proteins and light italian dressing or vinaigrette (no root veggies, like carrots, which are high in carbs), and dishes like salmon teriyaki with sauce only on the side (toss it...it's full of sugar) and edamame instead of rice. I did this strict Phase One for three weeks before beginning Phase Two. I felt like a million bucks.
The biggie: no more regular soda. Diet drinks or water only. And if I wanted an alchoholic beverage after Phase One, no beer. Crown Royal and diet Coke became my carb-free drink of choice.
What worked for me? How adaptable the diet is to any lifestyle. Also, your body only wants to eat so much protein in one sitting; it's dense and filling. My cholesterol dropped along with the pounds...I thank the lean proteins and veggies for that. The diet also encourages snacking (yay, cashews) and eating til you are satisfied. FYI...you will be "satisfied" long before you finish that 2 lbs of bacon in front of you.
What didn't work for me? I had to start really watching my salt intake. Restaurants using not-so-fresh meats and vegetables tend to use salt to compensate for the lack of natural flavor. Snacks like nuts usually come salted, and chicken-broth soups contains tons of sodium more often than not. Drink more water to try to compensate, and ask the restaurant for low sodium options or preparation.
I've 60 lbs or so that I'd like to lose until I'm where I should be. I'm at 225 nowadays; well, 224 since I started on Monday. 59 to go.
Op Eleanor - Year 4
2 years ago