South Beach Diet: A Defense

9 May

Morning friends! I’ve never participated in WIAW before because frankly you people read enough about my life, I don’t need you creeping on my afternoon snack. However, this Wednesday is a little bit different.

As I round third plate on the run to my wedding day (#30days), I’ve decided it’s seriously time to clean up my eats and make that final push to looking my best for the 10,000 photos of myself I’ll have to look at for life.

For me, that means heading back to the basics of the South Beach Diet.

In a lot of ways, I think “diet” has become something of a dirty word in this day and age. In many ways that’s a positive thing because the connotations of “diet” equal “temporary, painful, and unsafe”; many have swapped diet out for “healthy living”, which equals “eating whole foods, balance and lifestyle”.

Clearly I am all for healthy living – heck, it’s in my tagline – but what happens when we get off course? When sugar cravings have crept back in and taken over without our noticing? And what if we are looking to find our “happy weight”, and eating balanced meals just isn’t getting us there?

For me, this is where the South Beach Diet comes in. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – early 2000 fad diets, Y2k, and the death of Boy Bands (RIP). But stay with me here. I’ve found something that works for me, that keeps me on the healthy living path, and I’d like to share it.

3 South Beach Diet Myths

1. It’s a no carb diet. If you define a “carb” as bread, pasta, and sweets, then technically you’re partially correct on this one. The first 14 days of the South Beach Diet do cut out foods that are very high in carbohydrates – even the good ones, like whole grains and fruit. But this is just the first 2 weeks, and the purpose is to cleanse yourself of sugar cravings. Yes, whole grains and fruits are healthy for us, but ultimately they metabolize in our bodies as sugar and can help stimulate cravings. MANY carbohydrates are still allowed in the first 2 weeks – tons of vegetables (YES, those are carbs!!), and after Phase 1, grains & fruits are re-introduced when we’re ready to handle them.

2. I’ll be hungry all the time. Possibly the most common mistake when pursuing a low carb cleanse is cutting out high carb foods without a real plan. On the South Beach Diet, it’s crucial to sit down on a Sunday and plan out your days. As per the book, I’ll eat breakfast, a mid morning snack, lunch, a mid afternoon snack, dinner, and an approved dessert. Aren’t you full just reading that?? You WILL be hungry all the time if you try to simply eat the good old trifecta of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your body needs fuel; gas up with low carb snacks!

3. I’ll just gain all the weight back when it’s over. If #2 wasn’t the most common mistake, this one has to be. I wish the South Beach Diet wasn’t called a DIET because in reality, it’s almost like a Master’s Program in eating well. Yes, Phase 1 is difficult and severely limits the types of foods you can eat. But like I said before, the entire purpose of that phase is to kick bad habits to the curb and reset your body, which has been confused by sugar. In Phase 2 you will slowly reintroduce your favorite whole grains and fruits, working your way up to 3 servings of each per day. Finally, Phase 3 is designed for lifelong maintenance.

If you complete Phase 1 and promptly celebrate with a bowl of pasta alfredo, yes, you will gain it all back. But if you’re seriously, earnestly trying to stay on a well-balanced path for life, the South Beach Lifestyle could be worth a shot for you.

If you’re considering giving this method a shot, definitely pick up a copy of the book by Dr. Agatson!

Be Well 🙂

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