South Beach Diet - How often do you plan to eat off plan?

03-05-2011, 09:34 AM
Hi, everyone. So, I was just wondering how often you all take a meal/day off plan, and how do you feel after (increased cravings, overly full, anxious to get back on plan, like you don't want to go back on...)?

I take one meal off per week, not a whole day, just a meal (possibly with a dessert). I realized last night, however, that after my piece of pizza and ice cream cake, I actually wanted to get back on plan today. With other diets I've been on in the past, I've anxiously looked forward to going off plan and dreaded returning, even stretching a day off to a full weekend off, until after a few weeks or so, I wasn't even on a diet anymore. That's not the case with SB though. I feel good when I'm on it, there's enough variety to keep me interested and satisfied, and I do not feel deprived at all! I was actually excited to get back on plan today, and was thinking of all the wonderful SB meals I will be making this week! Is this the case for anyone else? If not, what are your opinions?

03-05-2011, 09:49 AM
This is something I've had to be brutally honest with myself about recently. When I eat on plan 99% of the time (so a couple of my Mom's cookies at Christmas, a piece of cake on my birthday, and one dinner of fried clams, no fries, at the beach) my weight maintains easily. The minute I start going off plan more I gain. That's not true for everyone and I know no one wants to hear that. Neither do I, but for me it's true. I'm also maintaining a weight I've never maintained before. I could probably maintain around 150 and eat off plan once in awhile. I just don't want to do that. For me it's a trade off - lower weight or off plan foods.

03-05-2011, 09:50 AM
I'm not on south beach but I thought i'd weigh in anyway. I count calories so nothing is technically off plan but I try to limit the "whites" and eat whole, unprocessed food.

I figure I'll eat off plan about twice a month, usually when i go out with friends. I try to make healthy choices but I focus more on being out with friends than fretting about the food. I never get cravings after these events, even if I have dessert.

On the other hand, recently I've been allowing myself the occassional (once a week or so) cadbury caramel egg and I definitely am fighting sugar cravings now. So yesterday, after thinking about it long and hard, i realized I can't allow myself straight up sugar like one of those eggs. It would seem that a dessert after a meal doesn't have the same impact on my cravings that a piece of candy does. Or maybe it's pyschological because one is special "out with friends" and the other is a fast treat when i fill up with diesel.

Whatever the cause, i'm still committed to my plan and the cravings did not and will not derail me. I enjoyed the couple eggs I had and maybe Easter Sunday I'll have one as dessert after dinner. But as yummy as they are they aren't worth the cravings.

03-05-2011, 10:03 AM
I've been maintaining on SB for close to 3 years now, so I'm not obviously trying to lose anymore. When I was actively losing I never cheated. Granted it only took me about 4 months to lose the weight I wanted to. In maintenance though, I can plan whole weekends where I will not be OP, especially when it's a holiday or special occasion. I go right back on plan on Monday and my weight by the end of the week is back to normal. I have seen a tiny creep upward in the last year or so. I'm 54 and post-menopausal so I attribute it to that mostly. I used to maintain easily at 115 but now bounce around between 115 and 120. Still, I'm very happy with this. Before SB I could only maintain my weight for 6 months or so (on WW). I constantly thought about food and never felt satisfied. I eat a lot healthier on SB and like you, feel much better eating this way. Heartburn and medication for it are gone. Sleep better, less bloating.

The potential problems with planned cheats are not getting back OP as planned, complete binging as opposed to having an off plan meal, doing the cheating too often or having cravings as a result of the off plan foods. You have to be pretty careful and disciplined about it or it could really be a problem.

03-05-2011, 11:34 AM
Ya, I'm just shocked how for the past month I have had no desire to binge. Even when I tell myself I can eat off plan for a mean, I do not want to go crazy because I don't really feel deprived in the first place. It's liberating to realize this and to feel like I finally have some control. And since I go off for an evening meal, I actually don't feel an increase in cravings either! It's wonderful.

03-05-2011, 12:08 PM
I can honestly say that I have not planned to eat off plan one time during the past five months that I've been on the beach. That being said though, I have slipped accidently off the beach a few times and felt physically sick each time and so wanted back in the worse way but it wasn't easy to make the climb back. The day may come that I do a planned off meal but so far I just haven't felt anything was that important.

03-05-2011, 12:37 PM
My experience is much the same as others who have posted. I have no real compulsion to go off-plan, so I mostly don't. Once in awhile, though, life's circumstances require otherwise.

For example, tonight I am attending a birthday dinner for a friend whose dinner request was to have homemade raviolis, which I am always in charge of making. They are a lot of work and delicious, so I will go off plan. I will limit my consumption to 6 raviolis, stick with my homemade marinara sauce instead of the alfredo, eat more salad than pasta and pass on the dessert. I may have an extra glass of wine.

Since I calorie count in addition to eating SB, my only "sin" will be the 6 raviolis... I'll be able to handle that. I'll feel like I'm participating, will thoroughly enjoy the raviolis but will also be glad to get back to my regular plan tomorrow morning.

Unless a special occasion calls for it, I don't go off plan. It's funny; I don't even want to. That's what I love about South Beach!

03-05-2011, 02:35 PM
Ya, I'm just shocked how for the past month I have had no desire to binge. Even when I tell myself I can eat off plan for a mean, I do not want to go crazy because I don't really feel deprived in the first place. It's liberating to realize this and to feel like I finally have some control. And since I go off for an evening meal, I actually don't feel an increase in cravings either! It's wonderful.

This is my experience too. After two months of being "on the beach" I just don't have the desire to binge. I do eat off plan once in a while, but it's in a controlled manner and doesn't lead to more more more. I really feel that I have broken my addiction to white carbs and that is a great feeling.

03-06-2011, 02:30 AM
I don't plan to go off plan on any type of regular interval. Instead of planning to go off plan for the sake of going off plan, I detour for a specific reason- generally for the food choice itself. I didn't go off plan on my birthday last year, I picked a restaurant that I could stick close to plan with and worked around it. I did, however, go off plan at a seafood restaurant in Monterey two weekends ago- a dinner that I dreamt about for a year, and will fantasize about until I have it again. I didn't lose any weight that week (I never do on weeks that I splurge) but even that doesn't tamper my enjoyment of that meal. That is the type of thing I will schedule an off plan meal for.

When I go off plan for remarkable meals, I get back on plan immediately and easily. When I go off plan for something mundane or just because, I struggle with getting on plan. Overall, though, I found that staying on plan is much easier than getting on plan. So, I don't schedule any type of off plan behavior, I just choose take detours for food experiences that are truly worth the stall they create.

03-06-2011, 05:29 AM
Yes, i too dont plan an off-plan vacation from my eating..its just a way of life i have adapted to. I dont really miss anything that i cant have anymore..ive grown used to everything..when i do go offplan.. i find i actually feel really sick after i eat what i eat..cause its not what im used to body feels foreign to the bad food and it makes me i remember that feeling anytime i think about wanting something i cant have ...should my life succumb to a state in which i want to eat off-plan i must choose wisely..cause i know the next day it will haunt me in the bathroom.