- Easy to follow
- Weight was mainly lost in my belly area
- Cheaper than most diets
- Initial weight loss comes off quickly
- Lots of resources and recipes for those on SBD
- Phase One was absolute torture
- As with any diet, exercise is necessary
- Frustration and boredom may develop from lack of variety
Its a diet that works!
I started the South Beach diet almost 3 months ago and I'm extremely happy with it. As a woman, I have fallen into the "fad diet" trap many times and had yo-yo dieted for many years. I would start a diet, be very happy with the initial weight loss, and then get frustrated when I would reach a plateau. I mean, what woman hasn't gone through this? Aren't we all destined to this torture for our entire lives?
A friend of mine lost 50lbs on the South Beach Diet a number of years ago. I decided it was time to try yet another "fad diet" and see how this one worked.
The beginning of SBD is detoxing your body. This is known as Phase One. Essentially, you are not allowed a single carbohydrate (except for approved vegetables and beans) for two weeks. Think about it... no bread, rice, pasta, cookies, cake, etc for two weeks. You cannot eat any "white carbs," as I liked to call them. The thought of this scared me. I love pasta; I love bread; I love sweets; I love all those things. Not to mention, during this initial phase, you are not allowed any alcohol. None. For some people, that might not be so hard, but I have been known to have the occassional beer after a hard day of work.
I started the diet. The first two days were very tough. You have to eat large amounts of vegetables with every meal, and then have healthy snacks. SBD is a low-glycemic eating plan; this means you do not eat much sugar (i.e. simple carbohydrates aka "white carbs") and concentrate on complex carbs and protein. This keeps you full longer and doesn't cause your body to crash after a sugar rush from eating "white carbs." Eating the bad carbs causes you to become hungry sooner than you should be, which results in you over eating again... filling your belly with more "white carbs" which leads to another crash later on in the day... which causes you to become hungry again... it is a never ending cycle.
I had some headaches the first few days, which some refer to as "carb withdrawal." I had to teach myself how to invent new ways to eat veggies, since I would get bored with them very quickly. I had to completely clear my pantry and fridge from anything that might tempt me. I was not allowed soda, juice, fruit, sweets... you know, all the good stuff. My daily drink was water, and some low-fat milk in the morning.
After a week, I was ready to leave the diet. But I stuck with it. I had to develop strong will power, as my friends were constantly eating foods that I wasn't allowed. I packed my breakfast and lunch every night to bring to work with me, so I wouldn't be tempted and grab something on the run. Every night when I came home from work, I had a meal planned out ahead of time so I would not wander the kitchen looking for something to snack on while wondering what my food vice for the evening would be.
By the end of the two weeks, I was surprisingly happy with my new diet change. I discovered that I would not eat as much throughout the day, and if I didn't eat my vegetables, my body would feel weird. I lost a total of 8.5lbs during this time, and I did little to no exercise (although exercise is highly recommended).
I have now lost a total of 20lbs in almost 3 months and have reached my plateau. I'm not worried about how much weight I am no longer losing, but happy with my new diet and lifestyle change. I definitely eat a lot more healthy items, never eat fast food, and the thought of a pre-packaged meal for dinner makes me sick to my stomach. I have developed cooking habits and skills I never thought I would have, purchase only ingredient items from the grocery store, and rarely eat any "white carbs."
It is an amazing diet. Not just for the weight loss, but the lifestyle change. I would recommend it to anyone over any other diet.