I've started the South Beach diet. I've been playing around with this diet for a few months now; I incorporate various aspects of this diet from the books I read but I haven't followed it as it's meant to be followed. The diet consists of three phases:
Phase one is approximately two weeks of "retraining" one's body to process food properly. That means cutting back on carbohydrates, eliminating sugars (from all sources, so even yummy fruit juice), cutting back on starches, eliminating fats, and so on. This period is somewhat like a detoxifying, in that we limit a lot of the excesses we don't really need. It's not meant to last very long, and that means about two weeks, depending on the target weight.
Phase two lasts until we've reached our target weight. During this phase, we can reintegrate certain things we've eliminated from our diet on a case by case basis. For me, it will be pasta. When I'm ready to add pasta back into my diet, I'll do so slowly. I'll monitor my weight to make sure I'm not gaining it all back, and if that looks good then I can add something else that I've eliminated. The idea is to do this somewhat slowly while maintaining weight loss. If weight gain occurs, then once again eliminate those food items from the diet.
Phase three is the 'maintenance' phase, and theoretically when we reach this phase, we'll be eating this way for the rest of our lives. By this time, we're simply maintaining our weight (hopefully, we've reached our target by this phase) with occasional treats. Something I like about the diet is that it's designed by a doctor, and wasn't created as a way to 'look sexy' or obtain a stick figure. Arthur Agatston developed it simply as a way to maintain heart health. I avoided the diet because of its name - it made me think of skinny bitches running around Miami Beach in their butt-floss not-bikinis and their big fake boobs. I'm glad I finally decided to look into it further, because I think it will make a very positive difference in my life (thanks Cymbelyn).
I've talked Jeffery into giving it a go, and today is our third full day on the diet. We both feel a little different, not really better. We've experienced a number of effects that surprised us both: heaviness in the limbs, weakness, lack of energy, lethargy.
I've gone through many periods in my life when I ate better than at other times, and always an improvement in food choices and quality left me feeling better not worse. The only thing I think might be causing these symptoms is the lack of carbs.
For dinner tonight we had oven-roasted veggies (squash, zuchinni, asparagus, onion, and orange and yellow bell peppers), sirloin steak (grilled), and an edamame/radish/cilantro salad. It was all very satisfying.
Snacks on the SB diet include cheese sticks (part-skim, low moisture), sugar free gelatin, reduced fat cheese wedges (we like Laughing Cow), peanuts, and some other nuts.
Something Dr. Agatston talks about in his book is not going hungry. I think a lot of people set themselves up for failure on a diet because they put unreasonable expectations on themselves; they can't maintain them for very long so they end up being very unsatisfied until they decide to go overboard and eat a box of donuts or a bag of chips to get the thing they feel they are missing. I cannot withhold food from myself; I can minimize portions, or cut out excess snacking, but something I just cannot do is keep myself from eating if I am hungry.
I'm not very good at this sort of journaling, but I'm going to try to keep up with my progress here.
As of Thursday, August 9th, I weighed 106 lbs. Today I weigh 104 lbs. That's definite progress.