South Beach Was Great at First

by B. Reese

I have always been a few pounds overweight and over the years have tried tons of different diets. I usually am successful for a few weeks, then fall of the wagon.

This was the case with my South Beach Diet experience. It started out great, I lost about 10-15 pounds and I was really happy with the results, but as I tried to slowly go off the strict diet routine I was unable to maintain the weight loss while adding foods back in.

My mother and father were the ones who recommended the South Beach Diet plan to me. They bought the book and started the diet together as a couple. My mother didn't need to lose any weight but she supported my father. He was very strict in following the guidelines.

Phase one of the South Beach Diet is only supposed to last 2 weeks, he maintained it for closer to six weeks before moving onto Phase 2. Even when he did, he was able to continue to lose weight. I saw my dad's example and was excited to try it for myself.

I borrowed the South Beach Diet book from my parents and started full force. I immediately cut out all excess carbs, sugars, etc. as instructed in phase one. The hardest thing for me to eliminate was white breads and fruit because those are two of my absolutely favorite things. But I did my best. I really liked that the book had detailed lists of foods that were appropriate for each phase because it helped me do my grocery shopping. If it wasn't on the list, I didn't buy it.

I also really liked that they included simple and easy recipes in the back of the book. Two of my favorites were the Mini Quiche cups and Turkey Roll Ups. They were easy to prepare and store in the fridge for a simple lunch. I did really well for the first few weeks.

My only complaint with the South Beach Diet is that eating more eggs, meat, and cheese products left me feeling a little sluggish and made my breath stink. I also felt hungry all the time, but tried to help by eating small snacks of vegetables.

I was seeing results. In the first two weeks on the South Beach Diet plan, I lost about 4-6 pounds. I noticed that most of it was in my belly area which is one of the things that the diet emphasizes-that you will lose belly fat. I was really happy.

There are a lot of official South Beach Diet foods at the grocery store, especially in the freezer section, but I found that they were really expensive. It is not something I could afford to buy for every meal. It was fairly easy to eat out at sit down restaurants because I could substitute fries or a potato with steamed vegetables. Fast food restaurants were easy if I ordered a salad and had the dressing on the side.

I moved onto phase two of the South Beach Diet and still had minor success each week in losing weight. I stayed on phase two for about a month, and added in some vegetables and even fruit that were not allowed in phase one. I felt better about myself and didn't feel so sluggish.

I stayed on the South Beach Diet for about 2 months overall. During that time, I had eliminated junk food - especially pizza and only drank diet soda. But after about 2 months, life got busy and I didn't continue to maintain the lessons I had learned during the South Beach Diet. It has been over a year and I have gained all of the weight back and then some. I was really disappointed.

I still have the South Beach Diet book on my bookshelf and have thought about starting the diet again, but don't feel it is the diet that will work for me personally in the long run.

I would recommend this diet to someone only if they are disciplined and willing to make a lot of lifestyle changes. If you are looking for a fast diet, this is not for you. The South Beach Diet works, but only if you continue to maintain the steps over time, otherwise you will just gain all your weight back.

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