Why I Quit the South Beach Diet Phase One Early

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South Beach Diet Phase One

Source: Diet and I

If you've been reading my blog since the New Year, you might have read a few posts concerning my try at the South Beach Diet.  I'm definitely on a quest to get healthy and completely overhaul my junk food-laden diet.  The reason I chose the South Beach Diet program to begin with is because I liked how it began with a detox portion and then slowly introduced more and more foods, eventually ending with a healthy, nutritional diet that is to be maintained for life.

The South Beach Diet Phase One though is definitely no joke and much harder than it looks.  During this phase, you are allowed no fruits, little to no dairy, no starches or carbs and even some vegetables, like carrots, are restricted.  I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but not exactly for the reasons I had originally thought.  I thought that I would be craving sugar and carbs like crazy, but was surprised when this didn't happen.

You see, I'm not the biggest fan of food and actually don't enjoy eating a lot.  I eat when I'm hungry and I like feeling full all day.  Perhaps this is why I would typically snack on starches, carbs and dairy...they always did a great job of filling me up.

Unfortunately, with these foods excluded, I was left to dine on just vegetables and protein sources like meat, nuts and eggs.  This left me feeling quite hungry and made it so that I had to eat every couple of hours.  If I didn't, I felt horrible and grumpy.  When I did eat, I still never felt full and was usually hungry right after I finished eating.  Since all foods on the South Beach Diet Phase One need to be freshly prepared, that left me needing to cook something else again, even though I just ate.  Also, because I recently was placed on hormone meds due to my Hashimoto's disease, I couldn't eat as often as I needed to because this would interfere with the medicine itself.  Again, this left me feeling QUITE hungry.

After seven days of this, I decided to call it quits on phase one.  I no longer had any unhealthy cravings and my husband and I had systematically rid our pantry of anything and everything processed or containing high amounts of sugar.  Also, the South Beach Diet began to interfere with a few of my definitions of "healthy eating."  For instance, when I began this plan of eating healthier, in my mind that also meant avoiding any and all artificial sweeteners and eliminating processed foods from my diet too.  If a food item contains enriched anything, more than 5 or so ingredients, artificial colors or other stuff I can't pronounce, then it's out.

South Beach DietThat's primarily where the South Beach Diet and I disagree.  During phase one, you are encouraged to eat tons of egg substitute, cream cheese substitute, fat-free and low-fat varieties of all approved foods.  Also, sugar-free Fudgsicles, gelatin, gum, popsicles, etc. are designed to help curb your sweet tooth, but all of these products contain artificial sweeteners.  This is why I found following the South Beach Diet Phase One so challenging.  I was trying to stick to my new whole foods goals on a diet that didn't necessarily believe the same thing.

The good news is that I lost 3.6 pounds and 1.5 inches in my waist during my seven day stint on the South Beach Diet Phase One.  I was completely surprised by this, since my hormone levels are virtually non-existent thanks to my Hashimoto's disease.  Of course, as soon as I reintroduced just a few servings of fruits and grains back into my diet, I gained 0.5 pounds back each day.  This might not be the fault of my diet though, for right now I am in a highly hypothyroid state.

All in all, I still think the South Beach Diet is a great way to get healthy.  It's just that for me, it wasn't ideal.  I still plan on using their cookbooks to prepare great tasting meals for my family and am happy that after nine days, I haven't cheated once.  My new dietary goals though seem a bit different from the classic South Beach Diet plan.  Here they are in a nutshell:

  • No processed ANYTHING...just whole foods with minimal ingredients.
  • Eat at least 1.5 cups of fruit each day and 2.5 cups of vegetables, as recommended by the CDC.  (They have a cool tool here to help you calculate the amount of fruits and vegetables you should eat for optimal health.)
  • All foods eaten should help keep my blood sugar levels steady and not cause unhealthy spikes.

What's more, I'm lucky to have found a great cookbook which offers plenty of yummy recipes that support my healthy eating plan.  It's called The Sugar Solution Cookbook from Prevention Magazine.  I cooked a delicious and extremely healthy dinner using a recipe from this cookbook, which I'll be sharing later this week.  Stay tuned!

What's your idea of "eating healthy?"  Do you have any food-related goals you're trying to stick to this year?

 

I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa
Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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