For the past week, my husband and I have been experiencing the first week of Phase One of the South Beach Diet by Dr. Agatston. Surprisingly, we have felt wonderful, almost never hungry, and we never feel guilty for a little nibble here and there of carbs (breaded something or other or croutons on salad).
For those of you who are not familiar with South Beach Diet, I’ll fill you in a little. The diet was originally created to help people get their blood chemistry back on track to avoid health complications due to insulin resistance (or prediabetes), Type II diabetes, heart disease, etc. After several of the patients went on the diet and additionally lost weight, they passed it along to others who have been using it to simply lose weight and keep it off. The principle tenet of the diet is to choose better carbs.
The diet consists of three phases. Phase One lasts for two weeks and is restricted to a variety of meats and seafood, vegetables, and legumes. It’s meant to clear the blood chemistry of an excess of glucose, insulin, cholesterol, etc. Phase Two allows you to add in a few healthy carbs occasionally to re-introduce them back into your diet. Emphasis is placed on whole grain and high fiber carbohydrates which will help slow the absorption of carbs into the blood stream from the stomach. Phase Two lasts until one reaches their target weight. Phase Three is the maintenance phase where you boost what you eat just enough to stabilize weight without gaining. If at any point you gain weight, you’re supposed to return to Phase One for a week and then continue on Phase Three to continue maintenance.
Jake and I start the second week of Phase One tomorrow. We have been surviving very well on string cheese, omelets, grilled meats and steamed veggies. We’ve also have a variety of salads. The best part of Phase One is that you only have to cut out the starches (rice, potatoes, pasta, cereal, etc.). The biggest woe for me was giving up rice. I had already switched to eating short grain brown rice before we began the diet, which I found to be a great substitute to the medium grain white rice I grew up on. Jake has had to give up all of his sweets, bread, and pasta. Luckily, he’s been able to have desserts that fit into the diet (jello, ricotta creme shots, and frozen fudge bars).
Reading the book about the diet really helped us understand the diet inside and out. It also provides recipes and meal plans for the different phases to try. Something the book points out that we didn’t know was that low fat and fat-free foods (excluding dairy) use sugar and carbs to replace the fat. Adding that much sugar into your body can give you an unnecessary sugar rush that floods your blood with glucose which jumps your pancreas in overdrive to produce insulin. Enough of this over time causes us to go into insulin resistance where the body doesn’t use the insulin to process glucose in our blood and move it into our organs for use. This, obviously, causes diabetes later on if not stopped.
That is the reason we started the diet. While Jake is fine, I was recently found to have hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone), Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and insulin resistance. My OB/GYN prescribed me a thyroid medication for regulate my thyroid hormone levels which may clear up my problem of not having periods (related to PCOS) and increase my metabolism (which should conquer some of my fatigue and weight gain). Getting off the carb train and choosing healthier carbs will help slow the absorption of glucose into my bloodstream and help my pancreas to slow down and produce insulin at a slower rate. This should, hopefully, help my body retreat from insulin resistance and eliminate the risk for Type II diabetes developing in my near future. All of this so I can have children someday! I think it’s a worthy venture
So… I’ve told you all about the diet and our reasons for starting it. What are the results?
Jake has lost 3 lbs. in the first week. I lost 4 lbs.
That is more success than we ever saw with Weight Watchers Online. On top of that, we never feel hungry! We don’t worry about having enough points or eating too much because we just eat until we don’t feel hungry, not until full. This means double helpings of veggies, lots of protein, and the ability to eat cheese. Weight Watchers DOES NOT let you have a lot of cheese (or any dairy for that matter).
If you’re interested in giving this no-cost (aside from purchasing the book) diet, check out the link below for the Kindle version of the text that we read to help us get on track. We’ll be posting our progress as well as recipes and meal ideas in the future. We’d love to hear about your progress, too! Until the next time, healthy eating!