South Beach Diet - help with portion control

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New to dieting
12-14-2004, 08:12 PM
Hi. I was wondering if anybody could answer a question for me about snacking when on the sbd. I have been following it for three days now in phase 1 and I feel like I am eating way to much food to actually lose any weight. Kind of this diet is to good to be true type of thing. My question was, did everybody pay close attention to portion control? I'm not saying I eat like a pig but they say this is not about calories. How could a diet not be? Do you snack on just more then your cheese stick between meals? Maybe have some nuts or celery too? Do you find it makes a difference in your weight loss? Thanks for any help you can give me.

12-15-2004, 12:36 AM
Welcome to the SBD... I am relatively new as well, but I found that portion control is necessary - particularily in regards to snacking. The frequently asked question section has food lists and in what portions you are supposed to eat those certain foods per day. When I initially started I didn't really pay too much attention to portion control and as a result me weight loss was fine in the beginning but tended to stall.

Now that I am focusing better on what I am eating, my weight loss is steady and I think manageable. But I rarely feel very hungry.. more of a mental shift to overcome with thinking that I must be hungry and must eat.. hope that makes some sense!

Hopefully some of the other chickies will be able to point you in the right direction.

12-15-2004, 07:44 AM
When I did phase 1, I was very strick. My snacks were 1 serving of nuts, cottage cheese, yogurt with flax seeds, or vegetable slices. I ate a lot of red pepper and celery sticks. hard boiled eggs, sometimes I would bring a big salad for lunch and a main entree and I would eat part of the salad a couple hours earlier for a snack.

In the first 2 weeks, the big thing to control is the nuts and peanut butter/nut butters. It's 1 serving a day, not one serving of each kind of nut and peanut butter. But other then that, eat from the foods to enjoy list and don't worry so much about portion control. At this phase you are trying to "detox" from all the sugar and processed foods you are used to eating.

Make sure you are eating lots of vegetables and drink your water everyday.

What are you snacking on usually?

You should be eating something like every 2-3 hours. Just remember that a snack is not a meal. 1/4 cup of beans with a little cheese is a snack, a can is a meal (or 2). Portion control will be important more so in phase 2. Think in terms of just a little to tide you over until it's time for the next meal, take the edge of the hunger, so you aren't ravenous by the meal time.

I have had people tell me that they have gained weight on phase 1, it seems to be they went crazy on the ricotta desserts and nuts.

12-15-2004, 10:32 AM
Yes, sarah is right - the first 2 weeks are more about learning this new way of eating and getting your cravings under control than about actual weightloss. Think of it this way - if you're hungry all the time you won't stay on the diet. So if you're hungry you should eat - but do try to limit the fattier/higher cal snacks (cheeses, nuts, etc.) to a few a day and eat veges the other times you feel hungry. You will still lose weight either way. Personally I don't like raw veges so most of my snacks on Phase 1 were cheese or nuts and I still lost some weight.

anchor weight
12-15-2004, 11:14 AM

Welcome to SBD. Hope you find it works well for you. I hope also that you have the book or at least can check it out from the library.

Portion control is essential to me. For instance on Atkins I really over ate. I can put away a lot of food if I want too. I had done Atkins several times and my average first two week weight loss was always 9 pounds. I decided on SBD to do the diet exactly how he had it in the book for the first two weeks - controlling my portions etc and I lost 16 pounds in the first two weeks. Controlling your portions helps to curb cravings that sneak up on you. Sometimes I feel like I'm forcing myself to eat (especially in the morning) but I'm satisfied with my weight loss so far.

Hope this works for you too!

12-15-2004, 11:33 AM
In general, yes, this is about portion control, too. What works well for me is to decide, up front, exactly how much I'll be eating, and not eat more unless I truly am hungry. For instance, if my snack is an apple and 2 Tbsp of PB, I don't eat anything else. Does that make sense?

If you do still feel hungry, try having some veggies without much fat, like red pepper and hummus. If I think I'm hungry, I tell myself that I can have some veggies. If I don't want to eat them, I know that it's "head hunger" and not "belly hunger" that's plaguing me and I find some way to distract myself or just sit down and think about what I'm feeling and why I'm wanting to eat.

I've found that with all the veggies, it's pretty easy to have portion get really full (and you get tired of chewing!) so you don't eat as much as you do with the same serving size of carbs. :dunno:

sweet tooth
12-15-2004, 01:07 PM
For me, I have not worried about portion control, but instead tried to learn more about what my body tells me about being hungry and full. I eat when I am hungry and stop eating when I am full...even if there is food left on my plate.

However, snacking is and always has been a problem. I really do watch my portions when snacking just to exercise some control and not overdo.

New to dieting
12-15-2004, 01:57 PM
Thanks to everyone that responded to my question. I will be really carefull with my snacking. If I am going to do this I am going to do this right. I weigh around 200 pounds right now and am only 5'4". Want to lose all of it so I will feel comfortable taking my toddler to swimming lessons next summer. Maybe I am aiming for too much to soon but will see how it goes. You have all been very motivational to me. I am so happy I found this website.

Thanks again,


12-15-2004, 02:55 PM
Jenny, be sure to keep coming here. And join us on The Daily!

12-15-2004, 02:57 PM
Jenny, I'm glad you find the site's been wonderful for me! I echo Ruth's invite to the daily! I look forward to getting to know you better!

12-15-2004, 03:14 PM
Hey Jenny welcome to the beach! Look forward to seeing you around on the daily chat.