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MCFHARPIST SparkPoints: (65,592)
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4/21/12 1:12 P

KTISFOCUSED, just like so many other posters, you said it much better than I ever could! The two key words: Eat Right. Isn't it awesome when the lab numbers for your blood work are kickin' it! My cholesterol went from 238 to 213 to 162! And it was all because of what you stated: eating healthy. Of course, consistent exercise is an important component, too.

Eat less. Move More. Spark On!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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Posts: 9,717
4/21/12 11:00 A

One thing I want to make clear about my previous post: I'm not bashing any diet or eating style. While I refuse to "diet" and therefore won't go on any fad diet, I specifically encouraged the poster to QUESTION the doctor on why that particular regimen has been recommended. The doctor may have very valid reasons for recommending this diet... that's why I suggested asking, instead of just doing something else!

If you have a health problem where this kind of restrictive diet is indicated, great... but this doctor needs to COMMUNICATE THAT to the patient, and not just show a plan and say "here, do this!"

We have a right and responsibility to understand any action a doctor recommends, and doctors are human: They are fallible and make mistakes. Having a PhD doesn't mean your advice is golden and perfect always. HEnce why I suggested she ASK to find out why!

KTISFOCUSED Posts: 1,492
4/21/12 8:28 A

In this case I think the word "detox" might be being misunderstood. As a sugar junkie, I discovered that the more sugar I ate the more I wanted. I went on a diet that said NO sugar or white flour many years ago and it changed my life. I discovered that the answer to craving sugar/white flour isn't eating a little but eating none and my word "detoxing" from it. After about a week of unpleasantness (headache, tiredness), I felt so much better and the cravings went away and I was left feeling great. I'm thinking that this might be why your doctor wanted you to try South Beach.

There is a better way though. Just stay off the "bad stuff i.e. sugar, white flour and empty calories and get the carbs from fruit, yogurt, whole grain carbs that have higher fiber and veggies and then add lean meat and a little healthy oil or nuts. Maybe your doctor isn't a nutritional expert and just used the South Beach diet idea not knowing all the facts because it really isn't a detox and I don't recall it saying in the book that it was. I just believe everything in moderation but for me I do better just cutting out all the crap and eating more natural and clean and my recent bloodwork showed that my body likes that too. I log my food every day and run the nutritional reports and try really hard to meet all my goals for nutrition too and also my fitness too. It's not just about weight, it's about taking care of your body and giving it everything it needs. Good luck on your journey.

Edited by: KTISFOCUSED at: 4/21/2012 (08:31)
JWOOLMAN SparkPoints: (2,446)
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4/20/12 10:13 P

I don't know anything about salad diets - but if the reason for all the lettuce is just to have a boatload of food on your plate (lettuce isn't all that nutrient dense so several cups hardly adds up to anything) and you're not that fond of lettuce, maybe you can just dump it and focus on other raw veggies like cucumbers (seedless are very tasty), tomatoes and carrots (try to find organically grown for those two, they are really different and very very tasty), all colors of bell peppers, avocado, onions, good celery if you can get it, mushrooms, summer squash, cabbage, loads of others. If you're eating low-carb, here's your chance to pig out on a whole avocado! Really. Cut it in half, grab a spoon, and enjoy straight from the shell.

Anyway - if the food is tasty, maybe you don't need to have a huge plate of food in front of you. That sounds more like a "diet trick" than a necessity for low-carb eating or whatever it is you're doing. But if you want a little tasty lettuce occasionally, try different varieties to find out which one you actually like - I prefer either hearts of romaine or butter lettuce myself and can't stand iceberg lettuce (which I grew up with as our only lettuce, it's ok if the head is quartered and eaten with huge gobs of salad dressing though as we were able to do in the college cafeteria). Also look for organically grown versions of lettuce, huge difference in taste if you can find them. The only time I was able to get organically grown romaine, I ended up eating it all after washing before even finding a bowl for it. No salad dressing, it was just so good all by itself. I really don't need dressing if the lettuce is really good, I'll eat it on the side.

4/20/12 3:43 P

I used to think I hated salad, especially for lunch. Then I finally realised that what I hated was iceberg lettuce! So bland. Think outside the bowl! Now I chop up lots of different veggies--cherry tomatoes, celery, spinach, sweet peppers, carrots, a few ounces of sliced chicken or salmon, a couple of spoons of low fat cottage cheese, a sprinking of slivered almonds, some grapes or strawberries. And suddenly, it's yummy! Not boring at all. Different every day.

I also decided that I would buy the best produce I could afford. That way you don't feel so deprived, because everything is so tastey.

RONNIEHUEY Posts: 12,033
4/20/12 12:56 P

You can do it! Take it one meal at a time.Put stuff you love in your salad. Avocado,Bacon bits,sunflower seeds pieces of fruit.Years ago I went on a strict diet of one salad a day- lettuce,dill pickles,bananas,celery .with of all things thousand Island dressing.I lost 33 LBS. Now I know better ,I would change a few things.Light dressing add cheese plus other fruits and cottage cheese.A salad is what you make it!Good luck!

MAYBER SparkPoints: (120,147)
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4/19/12 9:34 P

Never have liked the word "DIET" or limiting myself to certain foods
Eating everything in moderation and sensibly is the way am striving toward my goal
One day at a time
emoticon emoticon

CARDAMOMMA SparkPoints: (21,057)
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4/19/12 4:59 P

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in (I think) November of 2009 suggested that people lose about the same amount of weight over time whether they're restricting carbs or not, but that those people who restrict carbs tend to be in a less good mood overall than those who instead restrict fat a bit more than carbs. But then again, you do need healthy fats in your diet, so not too much. Low carbs can hurt your mood, so I avoid doing that.

But who knows? It's just one study.
It's all so complex; I'm for moderation, like most of the commenters here.

Edited by: CARDAMOMMA at: 4/19/2012 (16:59)
AHAPPYLIFE SparkPoints: (107,411)
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Posts: 5,579
4/19/12 4:31 P

It's my understanding that the South Beach diet was designed by a physician for patients with cardiovascular conditions. Personally I have a tough time giving up carbs but I do what works for me & you should do what works for you. If it's what works for you & you're able to be healthy (following doctor's orders is probably a good thing) - WOO HOO - you've got my support!!

POLSKARENIA SparkPoints: (164,262)
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4/19/12 4:28 P

Use the foods that you enjoy in the salads and they'll be fine...

NAYPOOIE Posts: 12,088
4/19/12 2:44 P

There are no essential carbs. You don't need to eat carbs.

4/19/12 2:39 P

Be careful everybody! Some of us have issues for which a doctor will recommend going very low carb . We are not all alike. Most people can handle and lose weight on a reasonable amount of carbs but some of us have metabolic issues and we just can't process them like normal people.

While those of you that have dissed the low carb thing may have normal metabolisms and no metabolic issues don't think that what you do is good for everybody.

I and my daughter suffer from some of these and no diet or "healthy eating" helped us until we did this. Many endocrinologists and gynocologists are recommending this for these conditions.

Just sayin' maybe this person's doc knows more than you do!

POPOLUSHKA SparkPoints: (20,635)
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4/19/12 11:47 A

I did South Beach for a while (and kept it off till I got married. Curse you, buffalo wings!) Variety comes from help. Check out kalyn's kitchen. She cooks and blogs and does South Beach.

CATHY639 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/19/12 11:47 A

I'm not crazy about salads either unless its loaded with dressing.
I like steamed brocolli, cabbage, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, callliflower, kale, spinach.
just ideas. Hope this helps some.

CATHY639 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/19/12 11:37 A

Lower carb diets help control the spikes of insulin which help some of us stay in control. A small slice of cake or a very small piece of candy throws me into a binge because I can't seem to control my cravings. Yes we all should eat healhy and eat small controlled portions but if we all could do that we wouldn't have a weight problem. So I'm just saying: don't throw South Beach or low carb under the bus unless you have tried it and/or have similar issues. And I have to say that ANYTIME you go off a particular program whether it be Low Carb, South Beach or Weight Watchers and you go back to your old eating habits you will gain the weight back. I agree that a lifelong healthy eating plan is necessary to keep the weight off and I am happy you are able to accomplish this. I however, have to keep my insulin spikes under control.

OPTIMIST1948 SparkPoints: (27,515)
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4/19/12 10:17 A

You got some great advice here. Eat food you like, because if you dont, your progress will be lost when you bring back "normal" food. (normal for you).

For summer, I would also look at gazpacho. Its a spanish soup, usually made with tomatos and other veggies in a blender, served cold. Its fantastic! I'm sure SP recipes has a few that you could choose from.

LMULLINS4LIFE Posts: 1,733
4/19/12 10:10 A

I JUST finished Phase 1 of South Beach. Yep, it was a LOT of salads. Luckily, they are starting to grow on me and I normally enjoy them. I actually just posted a blog yesterday about my experience with Phase 1 and my decision on my future eating plan (which is not South Beach). You should check it out!

CICELY360 Posts: 4,140
4/19/12 9:44 A

I like Healthy Choice meals and I experiment with different foods.

EMGLOSS Posts: 1
4/19/12 9:14 A

I have little time to prepare lunch so I buy Healthy Choice Asian General Tso's Spicy Chicken with 300 Calories and add to that frozen broccoli stir fry veggies. I get twice the veggies and very little added calories and all within 3.5 min. It's quick easy and cheap at $2.50 a dinner. Plus it makes it much more filling. Otherwise I could eat 2 meals at a single sitting.

MISSILENE SparkPoints: (63,957)
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4/19/12 8:28 A

Great topic ~ great replys. emoticon

JEN040219 Posts: 426
4/19/12 6:15 A


Now, I can see restricting them--or trying to be on the low end of moderate--or trying to get majority of them from veggies, but yes... cutting out carbs completely is a rough course of action, one you're likely NOT to stick to unless it's a reasonable limitation you're putting on yourself. (I am a reformed Atkins yo-yo dieter. And I still limit carbs--they wreak havoc on my cravings and insulin levels, but I don't aim for less than 100 g a day.)

However, if there's a health reason the doc would like to get you down in your carb counts, I can understand that....

My lunchtime alternative to salad is soup.... I cook up a LOAD of it--like 12 3/4 cup servings--over the weekend. Just stock/broth and veggies and lean chicken (great place to dump leftovers). Comes in around 130 cal per serving and is quite reasonable carbohydrate-wise. (I splurge and let myself have a couple saltines with it even!) Watch sodium in prepared boullion/stock/base, though. Holy COW you can easily get 2 days' worth of sodium in a cup of soup....

Another GREAT way to cut a few carbs is replacing your sandwich bread with those big beautiful artisan romaine lettuce leaves--I load them up with tuna, chicken, or egg salad--or with normal sandwich fixings (anything goes pretty much except the peanut butter jelly route--EW!).

I also use the low carb tortillas--there's carb in them, but the majority is FIBER (non-digestible) and REALLY important for your inner workings. As a matter of fact, most gung-ho low carb folks use "effective carbohydrate" counts when they track (subtract your fiber from the overall count, and that's what's truly making it into your body). Don't skimp on your fiber and don't even consider it carbohydrate (your body doesn't hang onto it anyhow).

And if you're cutting them out low as sort of a "shock" to get rid of cravings or regulate insulin levels, do work toward adding them back in gradually and making note of when they start affecting you negatively and maybe try to stay under that range. Like most folks have said, carbohydrates are important and not likely to be something you can ditch for the long haul.....

Good luck!

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,045
4/18/12 10:50 P

I would look at what you are putting in your salad. You need things that you like. Also I can't eat any bottled dressing. I always make my own and this makes the salad so fantastic. I truly believe the dressing is key.

My kids even eat salads at a young age, but really they love the homemade dressings I make. Whatever dressing you like in the store you can just google a homemade recipe for it and make it at home. Way better.

MCFHARPIST SparkPoints: (65,592)
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4/18/12 9:24 P

DRAGONCHILDE, I love what you're dishin'! You said it way better than I ever could! I mean really, those half baked diets are just that: half baked and full of crap to boot! Have you heard about the latest craze: the sensa diet? You sprinkle this stuff (looks like salt) on your food and then you eat less. Riiiighttt! What a bunch of bunk. Anyway, it just bugs me so much how our weaknesses are played for complete fools and idiots!

Sparkpeople is my shield and refuge!

Spark On!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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4/18/12 8:37 P

Why exactly did your doctor recommend this course of action? Carbohydrates are not our enemies; in fact, most of your diet SHOULD come from carbohydrates! Those of us who are active especially need them to fuel our bodies when we exercise. If you don't like salad, you shouldn't have to eat it; there's plenty of healthy alternatives to salads.

Anything that involved "detoxing" is usually hype and nonsense; our bodies aren't toilets, and don't need to be flushed. Fad diets like Atkins or South Beach (or whatever the flavor of the week is) may work for short term weight loss, but don't teach lifelong healthy habits, and have a high recidivism rate... that means most people who lose weight on such highly restrictive diets simply don't keep it off, gain it back, and sometimes more as they go back to their regular eating habits.

You need to grill your doctor; why is he or she recommending this course of action? Why specifically is this good for you and your efforts? What is the goal of this particular "diet", and what are the advantages over a healthy, balanced diet with calorie restrictions such as the healthy lifestyle espoused by Sparkpeople? What makes you lose weight is eating fewer calories than you burn... not cutting out necessary food groups.

If you're paying this doctor for anything regarding this diet, immediately leave that practice and get another doctor. You don't need that kind of biased advice.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 4/18/2012 (20:43)
BRITOMART Posts: 8,342
4/18/12 6:26 P

I doubt you will get as much sympathy as polite criticism for anything 'detox' on this site.

Your brain runs on carbs (broken down into glucose; protein provides glycogen--not nearly as efficient for brain function). Think about that, before you cut your carbs too drastically.

Edited by: BRITOMART at: 4/18/2012 (18:30)
MCFHARPIST SparkPoints: (65,592)
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4/18/12 4:33 P

If you read ANYTHING that uses the word "detox", run the other direction as fast as you can. It's all hype. It's complete nonsense. It's a buzz word that means absolutely nothing.

Instead, invest your valuable time and effort into Sparkpeople. It will never steer you wong. Ever. Go to the Start page and begin the expidition that will take you to the Mt. Everest of your dreams.

Spark On!

Edited by: MCFHARPIST at: 4/18/2012 (16:34)
MELNEL80 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/18/12 2:45 P

Thanks guys. I'm still going to try the two week no carb thing, mostly because my dr recomened it. I do however know some changes I'll be making to what I bring to work. and thank goodness for snacks!! low fat cheese sticks are my new favorite thing.

MICHCLEARY SparkPoints: (87,042)
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4/18/12 2:36 P

Casey''s giving some good advice. I started out at 261 so I weighed more than you did. That was almost 4 years ago. I've lost and maintained around 90 lbs and it wasn't through any detox, surgery, or weight loss diet. It was from Clean Eating, working out and being accountable and responsible for my own choices. You can pick up a clean eating magazine at walmart. There's really nothing special there except healthy eating and more frequently.

I eat 6-7 times a day and it's all food I love so it's a lifestyle that I can maintain. If it's not a lifestyle change it's not going to work. Try changing up your salad with things that you really like so that you'll enjoy it. My favorite dressing is Newman's Own light basalmic vinagrette. Which I can never spell!

The other part to that is exercise. Check out some of Coach Nicole's videos on the healthy lifestyles tab and get moving!

CASEYTALK Posts: 1,573
4/18/12 2:02 P


Weight loss is only part of what you're trying to accomplish here, right? I mean, once you've lost the weight, don't you want to keep it off and be healthier for the rest of your life? The way to do that is to develop habits that you'll be able to keep up even after you've lost the weight. Choking down food you loathe isn't something you can or should do for the rest of your life.

Read the SP information on detox. Your liver removes toxins from your bloodstream. Nothing you eat will change that, nor will it change how effectively your liver does it. Detox is a marketing idea that is really effective at getting people to buy into detox programs.

One thing that is going to help you on your journey is to take the time to discover what healthful foods you LOVE to eat. I look forward to my lunches because I've packed them with nutritious, delicious foods in reasonable portions. Once I've lost the weight, it will be much easier for me to maintain my weight loss (fingers crossed!) because I'll have taught myself eating habits I'll be able to keep up for the rest of my life.

Don't torture yourself! Enjoy your food! Throw out that nasty salad, make one that you like using Archemedes's suggestions or eat other food you like. Just make sure it's healthful and in reasonable portions. The nutrition tracker will help you there.

The South Beach people are making a fortune. SP doesn't take money. Which is more likely to give you sound, unbiased nutritional advice? .

MELNEL80 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/18/12 1:33 P

Thanks. I think I just didn't have the right dressing for it today. And knowing that all I can eat for the next week and 5 days is veggies and lean protien.....makes me not want to eat veggies at all.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (201,343)
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4/18/12 1:25 P

I love salads ! There are plenty of ways to make a salad more enticing. If you're using iceberg lettuce, ditch that in favor of romaine or green leaf. Add some grape or cherry tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, slices of red or yellow pepper, slices of red onion or green onion and a little goat cheese. If you don't like goat cheese, how about feta ? top with a light balsamic vinegrette... yummers.... and if you want to add some protein, slice a hard boiled egg into your salad or add some grilled chicken. tuna works too.

Check out the spark recipes section for lots of different ways to add variety to a boring salad. I could eat a salad every day. In the summer, I do.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 4/18/2012 (13:26)
MELNEL80 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/18/12 1:13 P

On a carb detox (first phase of South Beach per my doc) and am trying to choke down a's not going well but I NEED to eat it all. UGH

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