So I finished Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet on Sunday. (It was a 2 week phase.) Let me give you the breakdown on how it went:
Total Weight Loss: 5 lbs. That is actually a pretty good loss for 2 weeks. But I am a bit disappointed it wasn't higher considering that the book says you'll lose 8-14 lbs the first two weeks. AND because I lost four of those 5 lbs the first week and only 1 the second week. In fact, I lost that 5th pound the first day of week two, and nothing thereafter, so watching my weight plateau for 6 straight days was frustrating. Still, I can't complain too much for dropping 5 lbs so easily.
How It Went: I stopped doing daily play by plays of my food intake and stuff because I didn't want to bore anyone. But I continued to eat either eggs or my spinach pie muffins for breakfast with a glass of milk, usually a salad for lunch (or sometimes leftovers), and a lean protein with vegetables for dinner. My snacks mostly consisted of string cheese, nuts, hummus with cucumbers, or a PB eggnog. Except for the occasional feeling of being "proteined out," it was a pretty satisfying diet.
As far as hunger goes, after day 3 I hardly ever felt hungry. In fact, my hunger was way less on this diet than it normally is between meals when I'm not dieting. See, aside from the strong sugar cravings we all know we get from eating sweets, not eating any carbs made me realize that carbs in general are what cause hunger, that gnawing "I'm starving!" hunger. Because once I stopped eating carbs altogether, I simply didn't think about food and never felt starving. I often didn't eat breakfast until 9 or 10 (after waking up at 7) and often delayed meals and snacks because I simply wasn't hungry. What a novel experience...to be on a diet and not be hungry!! For that reason alone, I can highly recommend this diet. And the sugar/dessert cravings that usually plague me 3-4 times a day just went away. It's been 3+ weeks since I've had a single treat and although I'd enjoy one, I hardly miss it. But the main thing about this diet is, I feel good. I know the extra greens and veggies have done my body good. Like I said, occasionally my stomach has felt over-proteined and heavy, but then I'd eat a big salad and I felt fine again. So other than that, this has been the easiest and body-friendliest diet I've ever done.
Now on to Phase 2.
Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet is where the real weight loss is supposed to take place. Not at the high rate of Phase 1, but Phase 2 is the long-term diet. Phase 1 is really only supposed to cleanse your system of all the carb-havoc you've done, get rid of the cravings and the insulin resistance you've built up, and allow you to diet for real without feeling hungry and craving sweets. On this phase of the diet (which lasts as long as you still want to lose weight), you are supposed to lose 1-2 lbs a week. You slowly reintroduce good carbs into your diet (whole grains and low glycemic index fruits and veggies). In week 1 you have one serving of either fruit or whole grains a day. You monitor what your body does--if it doesn't gain weight or start up your cravings again, you go up to two servings of either fruit or whole grains a day in the 2nd week, and so on.
Yesterday, I started off with my new carb being a strawberry smoothy. I used to eat those on HCG--just strawberries, non-fat Greek yogurt, milk, ice and Truvia--and they are satisfying and healthy. But at lunch my whole grain Kashi tv dinner was calling my name, so I ate that (which had a small portion of whole grain rice-ish stuff). Then I decided maybe I'd take the whole day off my diet, and I had fajitas (with two tiny tortillas) for dinner. So I actually had 3 carbs yesterday instead of one, but today I feel fine, no extra cravings or hunger, and no weight gain. And the break was nice. I feel totally ready to go back to super-low carbing.
So, today I'm not sure what whole grain or fruit I'll have, but I'm only going to weigh myself 2x a week now--Monday and Friday. As long as I'm not gaining, I'll feel OK to increase to 2 carbs next week.