Out of dozens of diets to choose from on google, The South Beach Diet takes the cake. Unlike most diets, the South Beach diet is realistic and delivers long term sustainable results. On this diet you’ll eat plenty of nutrient dense food, such as healthy carbs, fats, fiber, and plenty of protein.
If you’re are looking to get beach ready or simply feel healthier The South Beach Diet is for you. For best results, make sure you exercise.
Phase 1 Carb Restriction
This is the hardest and most restrictive phase of the diet, but also extremely rewarding. During the first two weeks of this phase you will experience rapid weight loss.
But first you’ll have to say, “see you later carbs, I’ll miss you.” At this point, you’re not allowed to eat any carbs, including “good carbs” such as sweet potatoes and fruit.
Going cold turkey would be tough for anyone, including myself. Before initiating phase 1, I spend a few weeks cutting out processed carbs from my diet. This is a hard task because I love baked goods and ice cream. It’s also important to mentally prepare yourself for the long haul. Losing weight requires plenty of patience and perseverance.
Eating natural carbs in moderation and being mindful helps transition into phase 1 without going into shock.
If you’re mentally prepared and motivated, go for it, take on phase 1 full steam ahead. For many people, this is a big jump and too restricting. The likelihood of succeeding is extremely low.
What type of foods can you eat?
Phase 2 Reintroduce carbs in moderation.
What type of carbs can you eat?
How long do you stay on phase 2?
Phase 2 is not as painful as phase 1 because you are reunited with yummy carbs. You camp out in phase 2 until you reach your target weight goal.
Tips For Weighing In
Stick to a consistent time and day when you weigh yourself. First thing in the morning on an empty stomach yields the best results.
It’s important to understand that your weight will fluctuate during the day. At the end of the day you might be up to 5 lbs heavier from your morning weight.
For example, the night before your weigh in, eat a generous helping of spaghetti and meatballs, and don’t forget the garlic bread. When you weigh yourself in the morning you won't be too happy with the scale. Don’t worry it’s not fat, it’s just food and water.
Our good friends Mr. Carbohydrate and salt love water. These guys are like a sponge. They soak up water and can leave you feeling bloated.
It’s important to mention that woman will hold on to more fluid during a certain time of the month.
Once you have reached your weight goal, it’s all about maintenance and making it a part of your lifestyle.
Now, you should have developed some good habits and a better relationship with food. Your diet should consist of whole foods and little processed boxed carbs.
Because of my all in or nothing mentality, this stage is difficult for me. I’m either going to eat a box of cookies or not have one. I’m envious of those special individuals who can eat one small square of chocolate and be satisfied.
For long term success and sanity, practicing portion control is a skill that needs to be mastered. Otherwise, it’s easy to fall back into old habits and start binging on goodies.. Besides, depriving oneself from an occasional slice of chocolate cake or even a glazed donut can be depressing.
Eating is a fundamental human need that should be enjoyed. The smell of a home cooked meal can help us reminisce of a simpler time... the sight of of a banana creme pie triggers memories around Thanksgiving. My grandmother was noted for making the best banana creme pie topped with a mile high perfectly toasted meringue. That was one of my grandmothers specialties around Thanksgiving. My sisters and I would always fight over the last slice. That recipe goes back to over 50 years.
I know with practice and being mindful this is a behavior that can be learned in time by anyone.
Why is The South Beach Diet so Effective?
Phase 1 Eliminates an entire food group (carbohydrates) out of your diet.
When you go to the market, you’ll spend most of your time shopping the perimeter stocking up on non starchy vegetables and protein.
There is nothing magical about a low carb diet. However, you consume less calories without knowing it. Vegetables are low in calories and rich in fiber, they leave you feeling full.
Did you know you can eat 5 cups of broccoli for only 155 calories, that’s a pound of broccoli, challenge anyone? Or you can eat a pound of potatoes for 350 calories.
Do you see how the low carb thing works? Leafy green vegetable take up a lot of volume for little calories. Picture 5 cups of broccoli spread out on the countertop compared to a single potato.
I’m not saying that carbs are bad but they are easier to overeat compared to fibrous vegetables. If you eat less calories than you need you’ll essentially lose weight.
Carbs that come from a factory, such as oreos may be delicious, but lack nutritional substance. They are what you call empty calories. They provide lots of cheap energy and temporary happiness, but that’s it. In less than an hour you’re hungry and maybe feeling guilty.
Foods that come from a farm have it going on. They provide it all, energy, essential vitamins and minerals, and even happiness. No one has ever felt guilty from eating too many cucumbers.
Whole foods compared to boxed carbs need more effort to chew and breakdown, because of this it enhances fullness. As a result, you eat less and feel good.
Let’s compare a baked potato to potato chips. Which one do you think takes more effort to eat? The potato of course, especially if you eat the skin. Potato chips practically dissolve in your mouth. A baked potato requires quite a bit of chewing.
Finally, if you are to succeed in living a healthier lifestyle you will have to be patient, consistent, and mindful of what you are putting into your body. This journey is a marathon and not a 20 yard sprint.