I lost 6 pounds during my first week on the South Beach Phase 1 diet! I chose this diet because my weight had been plateaued for months and I had gained two pounds over the holidays. I was 19 pounds from my goal weight and wanted to jumpstart my weight loss plus reignite my motivation. Phase 1 is tough; for the last week my diet has consisted of lean meats, vegetables, cheese, nuts and 100 calorie desserts. No fruit, bread, or processed foods.
Needless to say, I am very pleased with these results but already concerned about how I will transition from this diet back to my regular eating plan after I finish week 2. I think if I follow the general principles of South Beach Phase 2 which reintroduces complex carbohydrates and whole grains, I will be okay. The only thing about South Beach I don’t like is feeling discouraged from eating certain fruits and vegetables because of their glycemic index. For example, I like carrots. Why feel bad about eating carrots? Are the morning fruit smoothies that I enjoyed in the warmer months a problem? They helped me lose more than 20 pounds last year.
So after my two weeks are up, I’m going to focus on the general principles found on the Harvard School of Public Health’s Nutrition Source at www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutrition
source. It’s based on the federal government’s my plate guidelines, with a few tweaks. Here’s the plan in a nutshell:
• Use healthy oils like olive and canola for cooking, on salad and at the table. Limit butter. Avoid trans-fat.
• The more veggies—and the greater variety—the better. Potatoes and French fries don’t count.
• Eat plenty of fruits of all colors.
• Drink water, tea, or coffee with little or no sugar). Limit milk/dairy (1-2 servings/day) and juice (1 small glass/day). Avoid sugary drinks.
• Eat whole grains (like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole grain pasta). Limit refined grains (like white rice and white bread).
• Choose fish, poultry, beans and nuts; limit red meat; avoid bacon, cold cuts and other processed meats.
• STAY ACTIVE!
Stick to this plan 90% of the time. Since there are 21 meals and 14 snacks a week, this means that each week, I can have two “junky” meals and one “junky” snack. I can save them for the weekend or disperse throughout the week. This will help me avoid feeling deprived.
I am now 13 pounds from goal. If I can stick to this plan, I should be able to get to goal in about 90-100 days.
Onward and downward!