South Beach Diet - SB without sweeteners & NF dairy

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07-14-2008, 01:49 PM
I generally think of myself as following something of a mediterranean style diet and whole foods. I've drastically reduced sugar - a 1/4 tsp in my chai tea, none in my coffee, dark chocolate a couple times a week (~1/2oz), dessert about once a weekand that with less than normal sugar, unless someone else made it, and then I just have a very small portion. Almost only whole grains, and only 2-3 servings per day. Lots of produce, lots of beans, probably not as much meat as typical, but more than I'm used to. I don't really crave too much (except when it's in front of me :o), and I'm really pleased with how much less sugar I enjoy.

I keep thinking about doing Phase 1 to see how much more impact it might have on my appetite and taste for sugar & carbs. What kills me is the constant use of sweeteners (I'm having very little of those and will not start again) and I hate reduced fat cheeses. I've tried and they aren't worth the fat that is still in them. I'm not eating lots of cheese for snacks, just putting some on minestrone, chili, etc. I'm also using 2% milk and Greek yogurt, again for the taste. Portions are not large so I'm still low fat overall, and low saturated fat.

So is anyone doing Phase 2 with just real sugar but very little, and full fat cheeses and 2% milk/yogurt? And especially have they gone through Phase 1 that way? I realize it bugs people when you say you're doing some particular diet but you're not really. And I know I can just modify it myself if I feel like it. But I was hoping for feedback based on experience. The idea of doing a couple weeks with extra low carbs won't leave me alone, and South Beach seems reasonable & enjoyable to me, where Atkins doesn't. But I don't know if I should just forget about South Beach if the sweeteners and lowfat cheese / 1% milk are no-go for me.

07-14-2008, 02:16 PM
As far as the nf cheeses go...I feel your pain. I don't mind nf milk and yogurt (I love nf plain greek yogurt), but rf cheese is more often than not pretty bad. Whole Foods - and I'm sure other stores that have a good selection of cheese (not the typical supermarket) - offer quite a few reduced fat cheeses and allow you to taste before you buy. I've found some there that have actually been very palatable.

As far as sweeteners go, I try not to use them as much as possible - especially right now - It's a source of a bit of debate, but I use agave nectar in place of splenda. It doesn't cause me to crave. I also used stevia during P2.

07-14-2008, 02:25 PM
Thanks, I'll have to try the agave nectar. I have seen it at Trader Joe's. Does it dissolve well in cold drinks like a syrup, or more like honey which doesn't dissolve so well in cold drinks?

07-14-2008, 02:36 PM
Julie, I use agave too. It's not as thick as honey and dissolves well, and is sweet.
I like it better in tea than in coffee for some reason..I use splenda in coffee. But I find that it is great with greek yogurt. I've recently found "flavored" agave...I have a tangerine one and a vanilla one that are really good.

Another option for you may be stevia, which is a plant with very sweet leaves. I have a couple of stevia plants and will pop a leaf in my mouth every now and then. Most health food type store should have stevia in the powdered form.

On the cheese topic...I don't like "regular" low fat cheese..they taste like cardboard or paste to me. I now only use mozzarella and parmesan as they are made low fat anyway and they satisify me just fine...also a little feta occasionally. I don't eat cheese every day, but a few times a week and I find that I don't crave cheese the way I used to. Harvarti was my big weakness. I could eat the whole block back in "the old days"

07-14-2008, 02:52 PM
Agave dissolves really well in everything that I've tried it in. I made a simple syrup of sorts with it the other day to use in lemonade, I didn't use as much as I would have if it would have been real sugar....I just mixed it into water until it was sweet enough....although I like really tart lemonade...

Like Cat said, the orange and vanilla flavors are so good. I love vanilla agave in tazo chai tea.

Also, like Cat said, you may want to stick to full fat, hard cheeses which are quite low in fat compared to the typical cheddar.

07-14-2008, 02:57 PM
Julie, I am an agave nectar fan too, but I try to use just a little. There's no reason to use the sweeteners if you don't want to.
If your main goal for Ph1 is to get rid of sweets cravings it won't matter if you don't use the reduced fat cheeses or skim milk. You will still lose your cravings, but you will be taking in more fat calories which may slow your loss.
Keep in mind that the plan requires cheese to have less than 6 grams of fat/oz, and some cheeses fall into this category even if they are not "reduced fat." I bought my daughter some pepper jack the other day and noticed once I got it home that it had only 4 grams/fat oz, so was legal for me.