South Beach Diet - Maybe another diet would be better for me?

06-24-2011, 12:42 AM
So far I've lost 5 lbs, can't say it's been easy - I love carbs. I do think this diet is working well and is somewhat possible to stay on.

However....I'm wondering if perhaps I should be doing something else. I live in Mexico part time and will be leaving in 5 weeks for 3 months there. My eating habits are very different there. Some of the things that I'm subbing for carbs right now can't be found. My general diet there is fruit and more fruit - I don't really want to give that up as it is healthy and so wonderful tasting. It seems wrong to give it up but it seems that any weight I lose might just come back. I also usually eat one larger meal in the day. I now know that I need to watch the white flours and bad carbs - I will work hard on that while there.

Any thoughts? Someone wrote be about a forum for ex-pats or people that live in other countries but I can't remember where it was if anyone else knows.


06-24-2011, 07:18 AM
You can have fruit on South Beach once you move into Phase 2. There are certain fruits that you can't have (like watermelon) but there are so many that you can. And, it seems to me, although I've never been to Mexico, that mexican food is very SBD friendly - meats and fish, beans, avocado, cheese, tomatoes, etc. etc. You will probably just want to avoid the tortillas and rice forthe most part (and the chips of course) but you could reach a compromise and allow yourself one tortilla a day or something.

Frankly, too much fruit is bad for you. Read Gary Taubes latest NY Times article on the subject of fructose, which is the sugar in fruit. The latest research suggests that fructose is worse for the body than sucrose. I can't post the link, but you can google "Gary Taubes fructose" and see what comes up.

06-24-2011, 08:05 AM
I remember one of my fitness instructors years ago didn't eat fruit because her theory is that sugar is sugar no matter what the source. But seems all the other experts line up in the camp that most fruits are actually good for you.

I'll share what I personally have learned, but remember that everyone is different. For me, I have no problem with eating fruit on SBD if I eat it later in the day. Right now I am eating tons of berries but mostly not until dinner time or afterwards. Sometimes late afternoon. Every so often I have fruit with lunch but usually not. If SBD is working for you, why not hang in there and see how you are able to fit it into life in Mexico.

06-24-2011, 11:35 AM
I agree with Mmckellen. There is plenty of wonderful food in Mexico that satisfies SB.

Also, I don't know what ethnicity you are, but I am part indigenous Mexican. And I can say that in my family there is a lot of diabetes (even in young people). We also tend to gain weight on our mid-sections, which is unhealthy for the organs.

There are a lot of different ethnicities in Mexico (and I don't even know if you are from Mexico), but some people like my family members would do well to use SBD. So that is something to think about if you are of Mexican decent. Of course you mentioned ex-patriotism, so I do not know.

I have never felt better on any diet than SB (except for maybe a raw veg/fruit juice diet, but that is really expensive, restrictive and not maintainable). But I'm not a big carb/sugar lover anyway, so I don't really know what that is like.

When I get into phase 2 and 3 I plan on eating a lot of different types of fruit frequently. Fruit has lots of vitamins and antioxidants.

06-24-2011, 12:32 PM
Try calorie counting or Weight Watchers. It doesn't restrict you at all. It is all about planning and portion sizes. The most flexible way of losing weight in my opinion. I can't and don't want to cut out certain foods because I think it is not a temporary diet for me. I love food and need to be able to eat whatever I like. I am on WW and I still can. I just have to plan for it.

06-24-2011, 03:21 PM
Also, if you feel like you will fall off the wagon completely if you can't stick exactly to SBD, you can do calorie-counting or Weight Watchers from there but still trying whenever you can to stick to SBD principles! I did that for a while, just choosing foods that for the most part are SBD-friendly. That way you have some flexibility to diverge from SBD without it turning into a free-for-all off-plan extravaganza (which is what I tend to do :( ) ... I think the WW Points+ is very close to SBD now.

If you stick to the one rule of making sure you get 4.5 cups of veggies per day, it (in my experience) has been difficult to go terribly astray... My problem lies in making bad choices *instead* of the veggies because I'm too hungry or grumpy or whatever.

As long as you can wash your produce well, you will be fine for wonderful veggies. I agree, the fruit is amazing there. Maybe try to always have it with something else, like plain yogurt (I had that when I was there last but it was probably full-fat) or cottage cheese if that is available, or nuts.

ALSO - I just saw that you said you tend to eat one meal a day... look into the Intermittent Fasting thread! It consists of eating during a defined "window" of time, usually 5-8 hours, and nothing else except maybe a splash of milk in coffee during the other hours. It works for some people, especially those who don't like to eat in the morning anyway. You do have to make sure you get enough nutrients/calories in that window, though, so you would have to plan some additional food to your one meal, probably. I have experimented with this (using SBD foods, but obviously not the B-S-L-S-D-S schedule) and there is at least one other person on SBD who has mentioned it.

When I have lived abroad, I have had to hunt down the natural/health food stores to stock up on things like ww flour and brown rice. I haven't ever stayed in Mexico long enough to know about the stores there, but in other countries, I have been surprised to see things like Laughing Cow cheese and "fitness" bread in very unlikely small grocery markets. So you never know, but you will have to hunt around and/or journey away from where you are staying and/or bring what you can with you. I traveled with aseptic pack tofu and brown rice on my last trip! And I actually made tortillas and refried beans and salsa because I missed these things and it wasn't possible to find that in stores.

I would start by searching for stores in your area. Searching for vegetarian in Mexico will give you some natural/health food stores. For example, this list (

Anyway, you will be fine because you are thinking ahead and you will have a plan in place before you go. Also - plan exercise. Don't know how easy it will be where you are (are you lucky enough to live near a beach or mountains with hiking trails?). For long trips, I travel with exercise bands, a yoga mat (thin; packs easily) and some DVDs (30-day Shred - but you would need weights - belly dancing, pilates )

Have fun! I am jealous!!

06-24-2011, 03:24 PM
Oh, and here is the World Cuisines/Expat support group ( you were asking about.

06-24-2011, 06:50 PM
My doctor actually told me it was okay to skip phase 1 and just go to phase 2, maybe you need to do that. The initial weight loss won't be so dramatic, but then again you want a slow steady loss and if you just want to eat healthier carbs??

06-24-2011, 07:02 PM
Depends on what part of Mexico you will be living in, if you are near the ocean you can get wonderful fresh fish.

06-25-2011, 01:02 AM
Thanks for all the ideas and advice. Unfortunately I'm not a big veggie eater ... believe me I do try and I will continue to. The ideas I have are perhaps to order 3 chicken soft tacos (corn) and then just eat the meet from two and the one with the small corn tortilla.

In the morning a few times a week I do enjoy a fresh fruit plate - if I want to do that is it best to eat something else with it (protein?). I didn't know if that might help with the sugar level spike.

I love Mexican soups, sometimes they have some tortilla strips in them but there are great varieties, especially bean soup which I love. I also drink lemonade (but its made with limes) and now I realize that is alot of sugar, same with juices. I guess I will still do so but in moderation along with more iced tea and water.