There are some guidelines I have struggled to follow, but for the most part, I've stuck with the diet and maintained a diet of no real sugars or carbohydrates. It hasn't been easy, but it also hasn't been quite as difficult (or depressing!) as I feared it might be.
I have another seven days to go on this part of the diet. I'm sure I will have more thoughts on the South Beach Diet next week (and hopefully better recipes). But for now, here is a glimpse into the thoughts bouncing around in my carbohydrate and sugar free mind.
1. I am still on Phase 1. I have not given up or thrown in the towel.
2. My cravings were relatively non-existant all week. And then I came home Friday night, and they hit full force. The weekend was so, so hard. All I wanted was macaroni and cheese or pizza or anything fried.
3. Restaurants do not offer a large selection of healthy vegetables (AKA vegetables allowed on South Beach Diet Phase 1).
4. I am sick of broccoli. I ate it two or three times every day last week.
5. Broccoli tastes much better dipped in hummus then eaten by itself. I ate it only with hummus (or cooked) the first week but am trying to cut back on the hummus for week two.
6. I ate a lot of steak over the weekend. Meaning I had steak three times over the weekend. I couldn't get myself to order chicken or fish at a restaurant when I know that's what I will live on during the week. (I think this is one of the main reasons I made it all week on the diet. Huge thank you to my in-laws for feeding me steak on Saturday and Sunday!)
7. You can overseason catfish. And it doesn't taste good when overseasoned (especially when overseasoned with lemon pepper - tastes too much like lemon).
8. You can also overseason aspragus (again with the lemon pepper plus some minced garlic).
9. Frozen aspragus does not taste as good as fresh aparagus. But it is cheaper and tastes better than canned aspragus.
10. I miss ice cream.
11. I feel stronger. And I have more energy.
12. I am sick of egg scrambles. I've made several varieties of this. Some include: mushroom, spinach and cheese; broccoli, mushroom and cheese; broccoli, canadian bacon, and cheese. Some days I have made scrambles with three whole eggs. Other days with one egg and two egg whites.
13. Egg scrambles keep me full for longer periods of time in the day. Especially the more yolk I eat.
14. I can only make egg scrambles. I tried fried eggs and an omelette. They both needed up messy and turned into egg scrambles even though I didn't mean for them too.
15. You don't have to count calories on this diet (but I have been).
16. I am eating less than I was before, and it is easier for me to stay between 1500 and 1600 calories consumed on this diet.
17. I don't miss egg noodles. But I do miss alfredo sauce. And macaroni and cheese.
18. I also miss sushi and baked potatoes. And pita bread to go along with my hummus.
19. I have more of an appreciation for real food. I depended on frozen food for the first few months starting this new lifestyle. I know that sometime I will need a frozen dinner for lunch or.. dinner, but I much prefer making a homemade taco salad (without the taco shell) or chicken with spinach and goat cheese.
20. I have more self-control than I thought I did. I had ample opportunity to "cheat" and eat bread or potatoes this weekend. Or dessert. And I didn't. I made the diet work and wasn't afraid to tell a restaurant to hold certain things (like carrots) or pile my husband's plate with the onion strings Saltgrass Steakhouse gave me along with my top sirloin.
21. My work-outs have been more intense. The picture was taken Sunday following 25 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes on the bike, and 25 minutes of weight lifting. On Saturday, I rode the bike for 15 minutes and then did circuit training for 30 minutes. I thought I was going to pass out after the circuit training. It made me proud of myself for pushing myself so far. I also didn't look pretty, so I must have done it right.
I realize that South Beach Diet is not for everyone. So please don't take this an "endorsement" as the South Beach Diet or use it as a reason to do the South Beach Diet. Find what works for you.
I'm not sure if South Beach Diet will be my lifestyle of choice for the rest of my life. But I do know that for right now, this is the best choice for me. And getting healthy is all about making the choices that are right for you - not necessarily making the choices that are right for someone else.
The way I chose South Beach Diet was through a friend. I started not knowing if I could actually stick to a diet that restricted carbohydrates and fruit and sugar.. all of the things I love. All of the things I eat too much of.
By participating in Phase 1, I have shown myself that I can make healthy choices. I have also shown myself that I can survive (and thrive!) on protein and vegetables. I've started to rethink the way I eat, and I am excited but nervouse for leaving the restrictiveness of Phase 1. But I know the tools I am gaining from these two weeks will guide me well in the weeks that follow - whether I adhere strictly to the South Beach Diet or not.
And the best thing about this week so far? The scale is moving, and it is moving in the right direction. For about two weeks, I plateaued on my weight. No matter what I did, I couldn't seem to lose, and I started to lose steam and eat more of the things I shouldn't eat (like ice cream and pizza). It could be that just cutting those items out of my diet is what is causing the loss, but I choose to believe it's that I am feeding my body with better items and relying less on processed foods.
What diet/eating plan/nutrition works for you? Why do you think it works so well?
(title from "nicest thing" by kate nash)