South Beach Diet - Watermelon?

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06-22-2009, 11:55 AM
It's that time of year again...even with all the wonderful fresh fruit that we can eat on this plan, it's far too easy to be tempted by the slices of watermelon that are ever-present this time of year. Here's why you shouldn't indulge until Phase 3:

From the Daily Dish, 6/22/09:
You can enjoy watermelon in Phase 3 of the South Beach Diet. One serving equals a cup of watermelon chunks or a slice the size of a small wedge of pie.

Watermelons, native to Africa, are a good source of nutrients and vitamins A and C. Since they're composed of about 92 percent water and 8 percent sugar, they're also super juicy. Before you indulge, keep in mind that watermelons are limited on the South Beach Diet because they may cause a rapid blood-sugar increase, which may lead to intense cravings. Therefore, it's best to avoid watermelon until you've reached your target weight and have acclimated yourself to your new lifestyle. If you reintroduce watermelon in Phase 3, be sure to monitor your body's response to see if any cravings return. Otherwise, enjoy!

06-22-2009, 06:16 PM
Thanks Laurie:sunny: for clarifying. I must have missed reading that as I was wondering.

I don't want my cravings coming back!!

06-23-2009, 08:55 AM
From the Daily Dish, 6/22/09:
*snip* keep in mind that watermelons are limited on the South Beach Diet because they may cause a rapid blood-sugar increase, which may lead to intense cravings.

OK, I had to roll my eyes at this one when it hit my email. Intense cravings??? I don't get any cravings. Not physical ones anyways. Mental ones, yes...but that's a whole other issue. ;)

I hear about don't eat this or that on SBD because you will get cravings. It conjures up images in my mind of SB dieters running mad through their kitchens flinging open cabinet doors frantically looking for food. Do SB dieters really suffer from all these cravings or is this just something Dr. A continually mentions to keep us on the straight and narrow? I really prefer the advice on healthy eating rather than the dire warnings of cravings that may or may not affect people.

Now I will concede that having fruits (sugars) early in the day or on an empty stomach or without protein will cause sugar spikes in the blood. That is scientific. I know I can't have fruit first thing in the morning for this reason. I don't get cravings but I do get an uncomfortable, shaky feeling from the fruit sugar blast.

FWIW, I have eaten watermelon all along in PH2. As my diet has to be low oxalate, low-acid/high-alkaline it is one of the few fruits that I can eat. I often have it as an afternoon snack w/one of those little LF cottage cheese cups. Tasty, healthy, low-cal...and no cravings. :p

06-23-2009, 09:47 AM
Everyone is different - results may vary.

06-23-2009, 10:03 AM
I have learned a lot from the South Beach diet, and while I'm not following it (I can overeat even the lowest GI foods, so a portion control component is necessary for me - so I chose an exchange plan), but I still consider South Beach style eating my goal. I "can" choose white bread for my starch exchange, but if I want hunger control, I need to eat South Beach style.

All that being said, every summer I go on the Watermelon/sweet corn diet. Two foods scorned by South Beach during the weight loss phase, but I always lose weight. By watermelon/sweet corn diet, I don't mean a wacko crash diet (at least not intentionally) - I just LOVE sweetcorn and watermelon. So much, that during peak season, I will occasionally eat watermelon and sweetcorn and not much else (and will even use real butter on the sweetcorn).

I'm not completely sure why the watermelon/sweet corn diet "works," but suspect that it's because if it does increase hunger I respond by eating more watermelon/sweet corn. The fiber and water content fill me up, so even with the high GI, I'm not going to eat enough to gain weight. However, if I chose corn as my vegetable with dinner all year round, or watermelon as my fruit, I think it would be a bigger problem. So, I think part of the question is what is the food replacing and how does it affect hunger/appetite and ultimately weight loss.

06-23-2009, 01:02 PM
I have to admit that I think Dr. A missed the boat in the rewrite by sticking with the glycemic index rather than glycemic load. I have never had a problem with watermelon or other low glycemic load foods, but YMMV. That said I'm not encouraging anyone to go rogue ;) just offering another viewpoint.

06-23-2009, 01:24 PM
I agree, Cyndi. Glycemic load makes a lot more sense to me. We keep reading more about resistant starch (which is in corn) that's supposed to be so beneficial. Honestly, the only thing that has ever given me cravings after eating is bread/crackers/pizza crust type of food. Even after eating 100%whole grain I seem to crave more. Also, when we eat a food, frequently it's mixed with other food in our stomachs, which affect absorption too, so it's really variable how quickly it gets into our bloodstream.

06-23-2009, 01:48 PM
I sometimes sneak in the occasional piece of corn or carrot and it doesn't seem to have impacted my weight loss too much...I also think it's more about glycemic load (i.e. refined flour, etc.) as opposed to high GI foods like carrots and corn. I also read somewhere that you'd need to eat a lot of carrots to really affect your blood sugar...I don't eat very many carrots (usually a few shreds in a salad or the like)...which might also be why it doesn't seem to impact me too much.

YMMV, though...

06-23-2009, 03:17 PM
I had a Weight Watcher's leader say, "No one is in this room because you ate too much watermelon." I have to agree....

06-23-2009, 04:11 PM
Dead on, Chelby. I agree that dealing with the glycemic load works better but we really can't argue with the official South Beach Site. Let's just smile and carry on.
A piece of watermelon would be great right now!

06-24-2009, 07:39 AM
I have to respond to some discussions re/cravings....I realize that each person is different and unique in their approach to food and can only say what really works for me...I came to SBD in May 2007 after many unsuccessful attempts to loose and maintain the weight loss...Weight Watchers, lo fat, you name it, I had tried it and all would last for a little while... then the desire to eat sugar products, flour based, etc, would take over and my diet would go out the door...I am not someone who understands "just this once"...When I initially went on the eating plan for SB, I was amazed in just 2-3 days of strictly following the diet, including giving up caffeine, I experienced no cravings for sugar, fat, flour based products.etc...I lost 30 pounds over the first 6 months and reached my goal in November, 07...For me, the cravings that I had experienced before were gone...I do not eat bananas, watermelon, pears, mangos, heavy sweet fruit, I occasionally eat a slice of bread, brown rice or a sweet potato...This is just a personal choice...I never added back the sugar products, flour products etc....Although, I could with the phase 2 and 3 of SBD...I am totally happy with my weight maintain and with my body...To Dr. A and South Beach, I can only say, "thanks you!!!". For me, I have found my perfect eating plan...I could eat these things but why mess with success...Again, this is only a very personal life style choice for me...:hug:

06-24-2009, 12:02 PM
Wow...I'm amazed at some of the things in this thread--happy for those who've posted, but totally amazed, nonetheless!

While I understand the point that no one is overweight from too much watermelon, the reason that SBD works so well for me is that if I have even a tiny amount of sugar (white flour), I find myself shaky, crazy, and pretty much feeling like doing just what mizski described, though I realize she was being sarcastic. I get terrible physical cravings. They make it hard for me to concentrate on anything else--all I think about is wanting to eat. It occupied almost all of my time before I started SBD.

When I go off plan now (usually while traveling abroad), things are a little less crazy, since I usually have many months, if not a year, of time on plan to back me up. But I get those same crazy cravings. I spend way too much time thinking about my next "fix." I get exhausted, shaky, worn out, cranky, and mentally confused. It's a truly dramatic difference.

I've never been a huge watermelon fan, so I've never tried it while on plan. But I've been experimenting with corn for about a year now, and I have to say that it's really not the best for me. It's not as dramatic as, say, sugar is, but it definitely affects me. If I were really being serious about this, I'd cut it out entirely. :(

Of course, every body is different. And there's nothing wrong with experimenting and finding out what works for you, but I'd suggest that you wait until you've figured out the Phase 2 combo that works for you and have done it for some time before messing around with things like corn or watermelon.

Though I know you were being sarcastic, Mizski, yes, for some (many?) of us, cravings really are a problem. We can have emotional cravings too, but these are true, physical cravings, brought on by the cycle of low blood sugar and then eating things that spike the sugar and make it fall back down again. My DH doesn't suffer from it, but he's rare...most of the people I know do. :shrug:

BTW, notice the serving size posted in the OP. How many people do you know that stick to "a slice the size of a small wedge of pie" ;) The slices at a party are usually a quarter of a watermelon wide--2 servings at least. It's hard to stop at just one slice. :shrug:

I added to an in-progress thread on Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load ( If you are confused by either term or want to learn more, check it out--Cyndi and Murphmitch made some wonderful contributions.

06-24-2009, 12:21 PM
In my seven months on SB this thread has provided me the best explanation of cravings. I truly did not understand what all the fuss was about & while so many write that they cannot have [whatever] because of cravings I just could not figure out what they were talking about.

Perhaps because my diet was always on the savory (rather than sweet/starchy) side this isn't a problem for me? I don't know. But thanks to everyone for a most interesting & informative exchange of thoughts. And please know that my original post was never meant to put down or belittle was just written from a chubby chick who didn't get it. Now I do. :)

06-24-2009, 12:36 PM
Not sure about everyone else, but I still have cravings and I'm on Phase II. Last night I wanted pizza hut breadsticks like nobody's business1 :) I had a salad instead.

06-24-2009, 12:58 PM
The crazy thing about cravings for me is that I also have healthy cravings. I often crave greens in the winter. I suspect they started out as my body's way of waking me up when I wasn't getting something I needed but got screwed up by a diet high in simple carbs, fat and salt. For me white potatoes in any portion size will probably always be off limits along with all simple carbs and high impact sugars. I have to be careful with dried fruits too because I can slide into overeating and then into cravings with them.

Laurie- Check out How To Overcome Overeating if it isn't already on your to read list. Lots of good info there about exactly this sort of idea.

06-24-2009, 02:12 PM
Refined flours send me into a more white bread for me! I tried to do regular sourdough bread, but I think it sets off cravings as well.