South Beach Diet - Transition to P2 - don't understand cravings

11-13-2011, 01:35 AM
Tomorrow is my last day on P1. I'm scared about transitioning to P2 because that's where I have fallen off the wagon in the past, but I'm also sick of eating the same stuff all the time! I have read a lot of other threads that talk about seeing how different carbs affect your cravings. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this concept. I don't think eating certain foods triggers cravings for me. I think my cravings are more "mental" - as in, I think xyz food would taste really good, so I want that. Or I see a commercial for something on TV and I really want it. The whole time I've been in P1, I haven't ever felt like I HAVE to have something. Like tonight, I saw my husband eating rice, and I sort of wished I could have that too, but I got over it. Is this a "craving" or is that referring to something different. Because I don't think that kind of craving would ever go away, even if I stayed on P1 for the rest of my life! How else can you determine what a good way to add back in P2 foods would be?

Thanks for all your advice! I need to plan my foods for my 1st week on P2 tomorrow so I need to get this figured out!

11-13-2011, 08:29 AM
For me with carbs, there are certain things I can eat easily as one serving (quinoa, oatmeal) and things that I literally cannot stop eating (TRISCUITS!!!). Some food will set off both a mental and physical intense desire for more food. I think when you start experimenting with adding things back you will experience this and understand it. If you've never noticed the difference, it's hard to imagine.

11-13-2011, 10:26 AM
hi there,

This is a great post because I have mental v. physical cravings all the time. I see a cheeseburger on TV and I want one (not my own mind you but a fast food one!). That is a mental thing. And while it hasn't gone away yet (I've been on SBD fully since July 1 of this year), those types of things have gotten easier for me to overcome as time elapses.

But there are physical cravings too - I know I can't eat fruit in the morning or I will crave sugar all day long (anything after noon is fine). I don't have any sensitivity to wheat like some of the other girls do but I do know that I have to have lots of veggies a day to see a loss.

You will get the hang of it. Do a search for Phase 1.5 on the's a good "intro" phase if you are worried about diving into a full Ph 2. Good luck!

11-13-2011, 11:39 AM
I agree with Matilda and Jenn. Much of it is a mental game. But I also seem to really react to certain foods. (Triscuits for me too!) They trigger overeating of them or other foods. I have absolutely found that the timing matters for me. One example is fruit. I do best to have it after dinner. If I eat it earlier in the day I want more and more. I don't eat many grains now because they set me off but I also found that I did best to avoid them until dinner time.

It's all trial and error and we are each different. You may be fine eating whatever whenever.

11-13-2011, 12:05 PM
I never knew the difference in mental vs physical carb cravings until after I was done with phase 1. It just kind of all of a sudden made sense to me after that. I think before I was physically craving carbs all the time and I just made the decision to delve into it anytime I wanted to. I thought because I would think to myself "boy, I'd really like to have such & such" it was a physical craving but I was wrong. THat is a mental thing. A physical craving is when you feel like your body needs it or you don't feel right. You should have felt that physical craving early on in PH1 when you took away all the bad carbs. You would have probably had some withdrawl symptoms.

For me, since the end of ph1 I haven't had any physical cravings for bad carbs. With the exception of the 2 times I went off plan, I had physical cravings for a little while. I would go back to ph1 for a few days to get rid of those physical cravings and then I'd be better.

I cant say I don't have thoughts of wanting something I don't need, because I do. Some days are harder than other days. But I've pretty much decided that those days are the times when my inner 3 year old is throwing a fit because she cant have what she wants. SO, I do the same thing to myself that I'd do to my daughter and tell her NO!!!!!

I heard something a while back on 3fc and I cant remember who said it. But dealing with physical cravings means you should strengthen your resistance muscle. The more you resist, the stronger your muscle will get. I kind of liked that so it stuck with me. I remember every time I resist eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream (my fav), my resistance muscle gets stronger and more powerful. I really like being strong and powerful!!!

11-13-2011, 12:05 PM
I have to be very careful with "snack" food. I can not even allow myself to eat hummus at home...only at work, already portioned out, no way to go back for "seconds". And Triscuits...not allowed in my house! If I eat them I get the urge to graze through the fridge. Other than that, I don't feel like I get true cravings, accept sometimes for something sweet after dinner and I just make a Ricotta Cream with almond extract and a little unsweetened cocoa and splenda. It really is all about testing different foods to see if you are satisfied after eating them, or did it cause you to start looking for more to eat.

As far as the mental/emotional cravings go...I just ask myself if the taste of the food is worth setting myself back a week on my weight loss (no matter how small the cheat is I tell myself it equals a week's set back). So far, no major cheats (I have been on SBD since October 13th). Thanksgiving however is going to be completely off plan, but I think that is part of what is keeping me on track now, just knowing that I have a PLANNED day in the near future to eat small portions of anything I want. This approach may not be the best...but it is working for me.

11-14-2011, 09:30 PM
Thanks, everyone. I think what's saved me is that I have been planning out my meals and snacks in advance, so if I have a craving for something, I just think, no that's not what's on the list for today. There are a few snack things that I will grab if I'm hungry (like deli meat, veggies, etc.) I'm going to try to transition slowly into P2. I only lost 1.5 lbs total in P1, so I really hope my pace doesn't slow down in P2 like it does for most people!