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Sunday Morning Sunshine
Sunday Morning Sunshine

Two Weeks in South Beach

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After a recent vacation in beautiful Florida, I started looking for a little spark to get rid of the extra pounds I picked up while away. Given that I had just been in South Florida, and I love trying new things, I decided to give the South Beach Diet a try.

SBDLogoI set the following guidelines for myself:

(1) Follow “Phase 1” of South Beach for the full two weeks

(2) Count my WW Points while doing so, with a goal of staying in the “reducing” range of points vs. the maintenance range

(3) Blog about the experience and the results

So here we go…

Getting Ready for South Beach

PinkPalmsI’ve done enough eating (diet) programs now to realize that a little preparation goes a long way. So before I dove in to South Beach, I took some time to review the Phase 1 Foods to Enjoy and mapped out a game plan. I tried to keep it simple, sticking to foods that I like and that I know how to prepare.

The toughest thing for me was figuring out how to replace my fruits with vegetables. For instance, my afternoon snack for over a year has been a cheese stick or a yogurt and a banana. On Phase 1, the cheese stick is fine, but no banana, and no flavored yogurt of any kind.

My “go to” snacking veggies ended up being grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas and sliced jicama, which has a flavor and texture vaguely reminiscent of apples. Carrots are not allowed on Phase 1.

Breakfast also required a makeover. No more supercharged oatmeal for a little while. I replaced this with a fruitless green smoothie plus egg white omelets that featured spinach, mushrooms, feta cheese and occasionally tomato.

Lunch and dinner didn’t require quite the overhaul, although I did have to find ways to work in some sweeter accompaniments since there was no fruit to be included. I added a big green salad to both meals, which seems easier to do in the summertime.

Armed with my plans, I took the South Beach plunge.

Day 1 – Dazed and Confused

I don’t know whether it was the fact that I started the diet the day after I returned home from vacation, or because my planning hadn’t been as thorough as I had hoped, but I found myself really kind of lost the first day on the South Beach Diet.

I felt a little sluggish throughout the day and had a hard time focusing, which again I put down to post-vacation hangover. I also had a hard time staying un-hungry. They encourage you to eat every 2 to 3 hours, before the cravings hit, which was fine, but I found I had a tough time getting filled up.

It seemed to be better after dinner which included a very healthy sized 6 oz portion of salmon, as well as some roasted cauliflower.

I’m getting the impression that the protein density PLUS the amount of healthy oil in my food are important aspects of making the SBD work for me.

Day 2

I woke up amazingly hungry given the amount of food I had on Day 1. I had thought about not tracking my WW points for the first two days just so I could focus on getting the hang of the food plan without having the added layer of staying within my WW points. However, after the amount of food and suspected points that I consumed on Day 1, I began keeping close track on Day 2.

Breakfast alone was 11 points and I was starving by 11:00AM.  Whoa.

I did make it through the day with more veggies. I went to bed a little early and a little hungry.

Day 3

A great surprise when I got on the scale this morning – a 2 pound loss! Now that’s what I call motivation!  I (tried) to attack the day with more vigor given the fantastic start.

I was a little less hungry during the daytime on Day 3, but still fairly ravenous by nightfall. After about the third attempt at a nonfat yogurt concoction to help fill me up, I finally had to admit to myself that low-fat and non-fat dairy products simply do not provide that “tummy fully satisfied” feeling for me. The protein in them might help to stretch the satiety of a vegetable-based snack, but alone, they just urge me to eat more.

Duly noted.

And by the way, when I say dairy products don’t fill me up, I include egg whites in that as well.

Day 4

Woke up this morning less ravenous than yesterday, which was a plus. Will definitely be staying within my WW points in order to make this work.

Speaking of, I’ve increased my overall WW daily points target to 35 instead of 26 for this experiment. That seems to work reasonably well given that I’m not having any fruit. Overall caloric intake is around 1300 – 1500 cals daily, if you’re counting that way.

My point being – it’s not unlimited amounts of as much butter as you want. Calories still count.

Day 5

grumpycatMy hunger has abated somewhat, but I’m starting to get a little grumpy and the sluggishness continues.  Maybe I’m grumpy because I’m tired?

As I’ve talked about in previous blogs, Kim + Tired does not equate to good things on the food intake front.  Today I overate due to tired and grumpy, which ended up in too many almonds and too much peanut butter. Weight Watchers P+ for the day well over target (something like 45P+).

Not surprisingly, the scale showed the results of my “efforts” the next day.

Day 6

OK, by today I must say that the shine is off of South Beach, and I can’t wait to get done with Phase I.

I’m tired, I was up on the scale this morning, so I’m at a net loss of zero for the week, and I still can’t have a banana. My green smoothies are not the same without strawberries, and frankly, without the antioxidants in the strawberries, it’s less effective as a skin tonic (my skin normally glows from daily green smoothies – now it’s all rough and starting to break out).

Too much dairy? Not enough veggies? What gives?

I’ve checked the internet and others have had some challenges with South Beach, but of course, at the moment I feel like I’m on my own… and living for the day that I can have a piece of fruit again.

Don’t worry, I will see this through the end of Phase I. I’m hoping that I’m in for an upside surprise…

South Beach Wrap Up – Week 1

So I can’t say that my first week on the South Beach diet has been “amazing.” Some challenges I’m noticing:

(1) “Cravings” haven’t gone away. I still want something sweet at the end of meals, and I still like the idea of bread. Yes, my hunger levels are lower, but I’m wondering if that’s simply because the food options are not very appetizing.

(2) Calories still count. High protein, low-fat, no carb, high fiber, all dairy all the time, no dairy anytime – it seems that calories still count no matter what. Without a calorie deficit, there’s no weight loss. While the body might prefer to utilize certain types of fuel, bottom line is that if I take in more than I expend, I will gain weight. Period.

(3) Hard to get full. With the primary food groups being protein and vegetables, and vegetables being the less calorie dense option, it’s a little hard to get full. When I do opt for the more calorie dense choices, especially nuts and peanut butter, I can’t seem to create that calorie deficit.

(4) Low energy. I’ve had a really difficult time finding my energy this week. This general sense of sluggishness is frustrating as I’m usually pretty upbeat and productive. This has filtered over into my level of interest (or lack of) in exercise, which has made it harder still to create that calorie deficit.

During Week 2 of “Phase I,” I’m planning some adjustments. First, I will be adding strawberries back into my green smoothie (heresy, I know, but I’m doing it). Second, I will be keeping the peanut butter and nut jars closed this week. It’s just too easy for me to get started on these particularly yummies and very difficult to stop.

Stay tuned for tales of Week 2…

 

Wishing You a Carbolicious Day,

Kimi

 

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