Why South Beach? At the time I started it, South Beach was the trendy weight loss plan/diet. In reality, South Beach encourages you and helps you to make lifestyle changes. Changes that you can maintain and tweak as necessary when the weight starts creeping back on. Or you wake up one day 25 lbs heavier.
For me, South Beach provided the structure that I needed at still find successful today. I need rules. Allof this “eat in moderation” “just have 2 bites” business does not work for me. How can I only have 2 bites?? There’s so much cake left, staring at me!
South Beach also allowed me to eat normal foods and not feel like a freak-hermit at age 22 because I could not go out to eat or eat in front of friends. While it is strict and cuts out certain foods, it also leaves you with a wide range of meat, dairy, vegetables, and fruit to enjoy. Even now that I am back on Phase 1, I can eat out with friends an at work functions. I stick to the sesame tuna salad and away from the bread bowl, but it is very doable.
South Beach is also not about calorie counting. It recommends eating every few hours- especially in Phase 1. They claim (and I fully support) that you are most likely to eat crap when you are hungry and unprepared with healthy food. I am bad at specific portion control and knowing the calorie counts of everything I eat. I enjoy cooking and would much rather know that all of the ingredients in a particular dish are SB friendly thank count calories and chide myself for eating 1300 instead of 1200 one day.
Phase 1 is also helpful if you are like me and craze sweets. I do not crave bread or pasta. They are both delicious. BUt I crave cake and pastries. Delicious baked goods.
Through the first 2 weeks of Phase 1, you lose (or at least) control sugar cravings so that they are not prevalent once you start to work in more healthy carbs in Phase 2. It is difficult for me to not eat fruit for 2 weeks, but it is also doable.
Although not as much of a priority as it was 8 years ago, it is still important for me to feel like a (semi) normal person. I can cook and eat out and lead a normal life without counting points or calories and bringing my own prepackaged meals with me everywhere.
I have recommended South Beach to many people. Some have tried it and found success. Others have tried it and gave up on Phase 1, claiming it was too restrictive. For me, SB is that magical place where there are rules and structure yet the freedom to eat out and not feel so different form non-dieting friends and family.