Part 2- And so it begins…
You might ask why did I choose the South Beach Diet? Well for one thing, it was easy for me as I already had the book at my disposal. The second thing was that my sister did it and had such success with it; therefore I knew she could be my touchstone for any diet related meltdowns, queries or questions. And while I know there are various diet options out there and you don’t necessarily need a DIET to lose weight…I decided that I did, IN FACT, need it.
As I mentioned in Part 1, I always made sure my daughter ate so healthy, why wasn’t I doing this for myself? I know many people have great success with Weight Watchers, but the problem I saw with Weight Watchers was that I didn’t want to join a “program” (not that you have to join the program part of it) and I didn’t want to have to count anything (I don’t like math). So, January 2, 2013 my diet began!!!
I was very prepared for it, almost looking forward to it in fact, and I have to say it was also NOT quite as hard as I expected. I had read the book so many times and I had semi-started following it in December, so believe it or not I was actually excited to start the diet!! Even with all of the holiday junk I ate in December I had felt results working already, and that kept me very motivated. I became even more motivated when I actually saw results on the scale. I went out and bought myself a scale for the first time in my life and weighed myself religiously every morning. Most women hate to weigh themselves and once I started to gain weight I became one of them. However, on this diet I was seeing such wonderful results that as soon as I woke up in the morning to the lovely sounds of my daughter humming and babbling in the next room, I gave my husband a good morning kiss and hopped out of bed to go weigh myself. January 2 was my D-Day, my “Diet Day” where it all officially started! I hopped onto that scale that morning and saw that just semi following this diet in December I had already lost 6 pounds!!! Even with all of the holiday food, I couldn’t believe it…needless to say I was extremely motivated as I saw that weight go down!!!
What’s this diet all about?? I will give you a quick run-through…The South Beach Diet is a diet plan designed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician, Marie Almon. The original purpose of the diet was to prevent heart disease in Dr. Agatston’s real patients. But then in the early 2000s, word of the diet spread so quickly and gained such popularity, that he wrote a book on it. I believe the South Beach Diet philosophy is relatively simple to follow in principle as it replaces “bad carbs” and “bad fats” with “good carbs” and “good fats.” What does this mean? I will explain…
The diet is divided into three phases, with each progressively becoming more liberal, or easier if you ask me. Phase 1 is the first two weeks of the diet (unless you decide to stay on it longer) and in my opinion is the hardest phase of the diet. This phase eliminates all sugars (which I as very afraid of), processed carbohydrates, fruits, and some even higher-glycemic vegetables as well. And how can I forget…during Phase 1….NO ALCOHOL!! But hey, I gave up alcohol for nearly 10 months while pregnant, so how hard could two weeks be? Well, it was HARD, for some reason, maybe that precious little fetus growing inside of you makes it easier to give up alcohol while pregnant, go figure! The main purpose of this phase is to get rid of the hunger cycle you are in. And it really does, although I will say the first 4 days of this phase are pretty tough, and you feel your stomach churn missing your old food, but after a few days, you get used to it, and your stomach stops making weird noises that sound like “feed me.”
I found it so liberating to see such wonderful results in such a short period of time. I lost the bulk of my weight during this phase, and you know what’s really awesome? You see the weight melt off on your STOMACH first, and the continuing motivation was seeing the scale number go down every morning! During Phase 1 I lost about a pound a day, sometimes more, making my total weight loss during phase 1, 15 pounds. My goal was to lose 30 pounds total, and since I had already taken off 6 POUNDS in December and had lost 15 on Phase 1, my total weight loss already was 21 pounds, so I only had 9 pounds left!!! I was thrilled, but did not want to get ahead of myself.
What was the most difficult part???? Switching to a sugar substitute was very difficult, even for someone like me who does NOT have a big sweet tooth, it was just hard to get used to that “fake sugar” taste. I tried Splenda, Stevia in the Raw, and Truvia. Truvia I thought had the best taste and it was actually considered to be a “natural” sugar substitute, so that is what I stuck with. (Now it is months later and I actually prefer Splenda, but mostly now all of them taste the same because I am used to them) Taking bread out of my diet I wasn’t as worried about, because while I do love bread, I thought it was only two weeks right? Well maybe not, slices of bread themselves, and rolls and such were easy to give up…the difficulty was that I began to realize just how much bread is in so many things!!! Or I guess I should say how much flour is in so many things! Regular white flour is just empty calories, it is delicious but it is truly that. Now I read the ingredients and nutritional facts on all foods before I buy them.
A fun part was I began to make new recipes everyday, which I found to be exhilarating too. Not only was I feeling better physically, but also feeling better mentally. I had three meals a day, and two snacks (if I needed it) and a dessert after dinner, all south beach approved of course. My whole self felt better and even my back pains were diminishing, leaving my visits to the chiropractor almost non-existent.
Moving onto Phase 2, there is no real timeline here for Phase 2, it basically continues as long as the dieter wishes to lose weight. It re-introduces most fruits and vegetables and some whole grains as well. I welcomed the things I could reintroduce to my diet, plus you can have wine again!!! YAYA!!! However, while I was on Phase 2 for four weeks, I hit a plateau. It was so awesome to see the weight drop so quickly during phase 1 that I got a little discouraged during Phase 2 as the weight was coming off much slower…I know, I know it takes some people years to lose the weight they want to lose, but it was tough to hit the point where your weight stayed the same or you barely lost when you are on a diet, as losing the weight was what motivated me the most. As a result, after four weeks of Phase 2, I decided for one full week I would go back to Phase 1 to try to lose those last remaining few pounds quicker. And this actually worked!
In two months (8 weeks exactly) of strictly following the south beach diet I lost 26 pounds, and adding those 6 pounds I lost in December (just loosely following it) brought my total weight loss to 32 pounds!!! I was so proud of myself!! I was able to fit into ALL and I do mean ALL of my old clothes again. This was very exciting, but as many of those old clothes were out of date and some were actually even too big, I had a new problem, a nice problem to have, but still hard nonetheless (unless you rich), I needed more new clothes that fit properly. Now, here comes the other hard part…the maintenance!
The maintenance is where I am now and well that’s what they designed Phase 3 of the diet for. That’s why this diet is so brilliant! Phase 3 is the maintenance phase and its supposed to last for life. There is no specific list of permitted and prohibited foods. We are expected to take what we have learned and apply it to our life without any guidance.
How am I maintaining my 32 pound weight loss? Part 1 told you how I arrived at the decision to go on a diet, Part 2 explained to you all about the diet and how much I lost and now stay with me for the final part… Part 3, where you can learn all about what exactly it was that I ate on this diet to get me to my goal weight!!! Read Part 3 here: https://juliettesworldblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/part-3-the-final-frontierwhat-exactly-did-mommy-eat-on-this-diet/