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Ask a loser: What did you eat on the South Beach Diet?

Posted Jan 23 2009 4:24pm
I have been studying South Beach for the last few weeks and have decided it's the path I'm going to follow for a while. My question for you is how closely you followed it especially in phase 1. Did you make every meal he tells you to or did you modify based on your likes and dislikes for food? - Kim

One of the reasons I didn't say what diet I was following in my book is because I don't want people think there is only one way to lose weight. If you are on a sane, healthy, balanced diet that results in burning more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. There are lots of plans that will get you there and South Beach is only one of them. I like South Beach, but honestly, I don't care what you're eating. (Unless you have a Cadbury Crème egg, in which case - Look! Over there! Something shiny! *PastaQueen steals chocolate-creamy goodness and stuffs it in her face.*)

That being said, I've gotten several inquiries into what I eat during different phases of the plan, so I'm just going to share some of the foods I munch on when I'm not swiping other people's chocolate. I have a list of all the meals, snacks and foods I can eat. When I have a food craving, I can refer to the list for ideas. It helps to focus on things I can eat instead of lamenting everything I cannot eat.

The South Beach Diet book has a list of foods to avoid and to enjoy during both phases of the diet which I used as my guideline. If you're going to do this plan, you should really just cough up the cash to buy a copy of the book. You can probably get it cheap at a used book store. I didn't use any of the recipes in the original book, but I've used some in other cookbooks I've listed here.

Phase 1
Phase one of South Beach is two weeks of a low-carb diet. It's meant to curb your carb cravings, but I suspect it's also there because you lose a lot of (water) weight quickly and get valuable positive reinforcement for your efforts. I only managed to do the suggested two weeks of this once when I started in 2005. I tried it again once in 2008 and lasted about 9 days before I cracked and had an apple. What did I eat when I wasn't dreaming about fruit?

Light mozzarella sticks
Fish (or as my friend calls them, swimmy meats)
Plain yogurt with artificial sweeteners (I don't care if my babies have 2 heads)
Omelets (lots and lots of omelettes)
Scrambled eggs
Grilled chicken
Green veggies (Broccoli, green beans, spinach, oh my!)
Lean Cuisines (one of the only TV dinners I've found that has low-cal meals without potatoes, rice, or pasta)
Ricotta-based desserts
Roasted veggies
Cottage cheese (sometimes with tuna and green peppers)
Protein shakes

Phase 2
Phase two adds carbs back in, but you still avoid white flour, white rice, and potatoes. It's also recommended that you stick to veggies, lean meats and other healthy stuff like that instead of eating a whole loaf of whole-grain bread.

Sweet potatoes (good in muffins and pancakes)
Whole-grain spaghetti
Flavored light yogurts
Fruits (sweet, sweet, fruits!)
Brown rice
Sugar-Free Fat-Free pudding

The other traditional tips apply. Prepare food in advance. Have it handy so you don't have an excuse to eat a candy bar. Eat until you're full, but don't pig out. If you have to pig out, try to do it on celery sticks. Losing weight is hard. It's more than just the food you eat, but hopefully this information will at least help you in that area.

Copyright Jennette Fulda. Read more at PastaQueen

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