South Beach Diet - New Here: Questions for Successful South Beachers

03-29-2011, 05:35 PM
I am obese and finally, finally am ready to lose this weight of about 50 lbs.

I have researched many diets and know in my heart that no way can I count points, carbs, fat grams, or even calories all day long.

I like that South Beach is simple and has no counting. It's almost too good to be true.

For those who have lost weight and been successful on South Beach, is it true that you do not need to measure your food except for oils, dairy and nuts on Phase 1? I know on Phase 2 you add in fruit and good carbs in limited amounts (I bought South Beach Supercharged), but it almost seems too good to be true.

Are you really losing weight eating this way? I am a volume eater so this concerns me. I thought I would get some feedback from those who are doing it and losing.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but this plan DOES seems too good to be true. Honest feedback would be so appreciated. I saw this forum and almost tripped over myself signing up and logging in to post this! Thanks.

03-29-2011, 05:43 PM
I'll be honest and tell you that I need to monitor portions to lose. I do think this way of eating is healthier and leaves you much more satisfied than any other, but I don't know anyone who doesn't have to monitor themselves in order to lose. Maybe in order to maintain you don't have to be as vigilant - I don't know, I'm not there yet. I'll be interested to see what others say.

03-29-2011, 05:44 PM
I lost the vast majority of my weight using a combination of weight watchers and south beach. i used weight watchers for the portion control and south beach food principles. i've since abandoned the weight watchers portion, but still maintain the south beach aspect of my diet. i now have less than 10 lbs. to lose.

i know a lot of us can do the diet successfully without any sort of measuring or portion control, but the honest truth is that we should all learn what a proper portion is because chances are, we didn't become overweight from eating proper portions of healthful foods (i know that when i started SB, the foods I ate weren't all that different from what I had been eating previously...I was just eating WAY too much!).

You have to decide what is best for you. I don't measure things like veggies, but proteins and stuff, i limit myself to 3-4 oz. per meal. If I am still hungry after finishing my plate (and I am working diligently to really learn my body and learn how to decipher true hunger instead of just wanting to eat more for whatever other reason), I allow myself more vegetables.

It is a learning game, and the true foods that you do have to measure are the ones that are called for in the book.

Does that make sense?

03-29-2011, 06:00 PM
Hey Happygal -

It truly works. It really helps to read the whole book so you can have a good feel for why it works - the portions end up partially controlling themselves if you listen to your body and not eat out of habit (my personal downfall). Since your blood sugars are better balanced by WHAT you eat and how often you eat, you will find yourself not wanting/needing to eat the same way you are probably used to - but training yourself to not eat just because has certainly been my issue.

This forum is a GREAT support. Come here often!!

Be well -

03-29-2011, 06:06 PM
Thank you so much for your honest answers. I really appreciate them. I do think my eating is out of control because of all the carbs I've been eating. But I also know that I could never be satisfied with the 3 oz. portion of chicken zeffryn mentioned. I probably eat double that.

But this is what I'm going to do. I am going to do what Bea says. Instead of just flipping through the book to the Phase 1 list, I'm going to read the whole book! I am also going to focus on slowing down my eating and get in touch with my hunger/satiety signals. I'm really going to work on that. I have also decided to start South Beach tomorrow. I'll keep reading and learning, but I do want to start this. I can't go on like this.

I really appreciate your responses. This is a fantastic South Beach forum.

03-29-2011, 06:24 PM

This is a fantastic forum! I lost a substantial amount of weight before starting SBD-just by making better choices and incorporating regular exercise into my plan. When I started SBD, I had a totally clean P1 and strictly ate only on plan foods for 6 months. I dropped 42 pounds and never was concerned with measuring except for the foods listed in the book. When I started having occasional off plan meals and stopped worrying about being so rigorous about on plan foods my losses stopped and I have maintained successfully for over a year. I have stuck close enough to plan to still feel great!

In February, a very dear friend had a life changing auto accident. I recognized this event had the capacity to influence out of control eating on my part. I decided that I would start monitoring my food (ie count calories). It's working great, too. I'm back to losing and can honestly say it is easier than I thought. The great thing for me, is I feel I'm really getting an education regarding portion control and roughly how much I can eat in order to lose or maintain. The nice thing is that I don't freak out if I have a meal or two that I can't track since I'm back to eating 99.9% OP foods.

I think reading the book and doing a clean p1 are two really helpful things. When I was temped to eat something off plan during p1, I just reminded myself it was only 2 weeks and I could live without anything for 2 worked.

03-29-2011, 06:27 PM
I didn't count anything during phase 1, basically eating as much as I wanted as long as it was on plan... and I lost 9lbs! Unfortunately, my loss stalled when I transitioned to phase 2 as my portions remained unchecked. I began tracking my calories on myfitness pal and started losing again. I think I'm in a good place: eating the right amounts of the right foods.

03-29-2011, 06:38 PM
I count pretty much everything just to make sure I don't go overboard (I love to eat it's a problem). That being said I probably eat more like 6-8 oz of protein for dinner, I can't do smaller portions. For things like fish specially I'll eat 8 oz, chicken and steak more like 6 oz.

It's a great plan but you have to control portions to an extent.

03-29-2011, 06:43 PM
I only do 3 oz. of protein now that i've lost the majority of my weight. I weigh less and am satisfied on much less than I used to be. I stop eating when my body gives me a full signal. If that means that I eat again an hour later, fine, i just make sure that it is on plan (and more often than not, it is leftover veggies from dinner)

03-29-2011, 08:40 PM
But I also know that I could never be satisfied with the 3 oz. portion of chicken zeffryn mentioned. I probably eat double that.

Sometimes I eat double that too, especially at suppertime. For lunch I frequently have 3 oz of fish or meat plus 1/2 cup or so of beans on my salad. I usually eat a whole chicken breast half, sometimes a few bites more if really hungry, for my evening meal. I eat huge amounts of veggies, because I do best if I feel really full and satisfied. I rarely eat an off plan snack that way. That has been key for me. I never used to eat many vegetables before. I do measure my nut servings and limit my cheese in Phase II to 2 daily servings. I eyeball my fat servings but don't worry if I don't get them in as I eat almond butter daily. Eating lots of protein and veggies has been a successful plan for me.

03-29-2011, 09:47 PM
I lost the first 47 pounds without counting fats and portions. However, I do think really soon I'm going to have to tighten it up a bit to get to my goal weight, because I do feel like I am probably (well, I know actually ;) ) eating more than a portion. I do have to add the disclaimer though that I exercise pretty regularly.

And yes, this diet REALLY works wonders. REALLY. :) Good luck!

03-30-2011, 04:55 AM
I'm not a big stickler for measuring my portions. If I have sauteed chicken tenders I will eat 2 (I don't know what that measures out to). I don't bother measuring my veggies. I don't measure my rice or pasta, but I make sure it's a small portion (I did measure my rice ONCE, actually). For me the biggest thing is following the meal/snack/meal/snack/meal rhythm. Do that and you'll find yourself eating smaller portions simply b/c you're not STARVING from going 5 or 6 hours w/o eating. And it absolutely DOES work. I thought I would NEVER be able to lose weight and yet here I am, almost a year later and a whole 94 pounds lighter!!!

03-30-2011, 08:53 AM
Wow, great success stories here. I was reading South Beach Supercharged. Dr. A is really not a proponent of counting calories, measuring food except for oils and nuts (and other stuff once you get into phase 2). He said eat slowly, savor your food, and wait 20 minutes before you go back for seconds. Sounds good to me! THAT I can live with.

I am starting Phase 1 today. Thank you so much for all your answers. What success stories!

03-30-2011, 03:38 PM
The only time I measure anything is if I'm having a starch like ww pasta or brown rice. (I love me some pasta!) Otherwise, I'll do a random check here and there to make sure my eyeball portions aren't getting out of hand. (after calorie counting for so long, I'm pretty darn good at eyeballing portions.)

I usually eat 4-6 oz of meat with my evening meal. I have found that as long as I eat my 5ish cups of veggies a day, I'm full without issues. (And, if I do add up my calories, I'm usually under) With this plan, I usually have to concentrate on adding extra calories because I'm full on less.