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Old 11-06-2011, 03:10 PM   #1
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Default Calorie Counting & South Beach

Hi Everyone!

After almost 2 years with Weight Watchers, I've decided it's time to try something different. I've heard so many wonderful things about South Beach and already had the book, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

A few years ago I tried Atkin's with much success, I lost 60lbs but went off track and gained everything back. To me, South Beach is a better option because it's not as restrictive as some plans.

So here's my question! My goal is to be at 140, should I be counting calories at this point or should I eat freely as long as I stay within what the book lists as acceptable foods? I am so used to counting points, it would be weird if I didn't at least count something!
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #2
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There is no real counting involved in SBD. That's a big part of what makes it so easy to follow (at least for me). Just make sure you get in all of your veggies and dairy. Eat the 2 snacks to keep your blood sugar stable to you don't get "crazy hungry" by meal time and you can control your portions of protein pretty easily.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:36 PM   #3
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Some people eat by South Beach principles but count WW points to monitor portions. I know I sometimes need that accountability. You can certainly try it, especially if you are thinking about transitioning to the South Beach way of eating. You are so close to your goal, shaking things up might be really helpful. We all find it so helpful to post on the 'on plan' thread what we are eating. Hope to see you around here~

Last edited by Mmckellen; 11-06-2011 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:01 PM   #4
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I did calorie counting from January until September when I started following SBD. What freedom I feel in not having to measure, weigh and log everything. I know some people still do it, but I don't!!!!! And am so glad to be free!

1/3/11 BMI 40.7
6/24/11 BMI 37.5
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:16 PM   #5
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I followed SBD for about 4 months without counting anything. Unfortunately food and I have issues so I do now count calories as a back-up. The sad truth us that I can overeat anything, trust me I have I envy people who can just follow the Beach and I know plenty do. We each have to find the combo that works for us. good luck! You've done amazing already
Maintaining 57 lb loss since 2008, working off regain to a sensible maintenance level.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:32 PM   #6
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I can stall even on Atkins and Induction and South Beach Phase I, or any plan that is unlimited or relies on "intuitive eating," so I need a portion control element. For some reason (and I've tried many times), I have not been able to learn to distinguish "real hunger" from "false hunger." On high-carb diets I'm constantly hungry no matter how much I eat, and on very low-carb diets I never feel hungry. On very low-carb the only hunger cues I feel are irritability (which hubby is more apt to notice than I am) and if I don't eat soon, then a very sudden nausea, and light-headedness when I'm about to pass out from low-blood sugar.

When I tried South Beach, I lost weight for a couple weeks on Phase I without counting, but I couldn't lose on Phase II, so I went back to Phase I, and lost for another couple weeks, and then couldn't get the weight to budge for months. I finally decided to add a portion counting element by "translating" South Beach into an exchange plan (using the exchange plan to count the calories, and using South Beach guidelines for my food choices).

I went on to further experiment with different proportions of exchanges, and to read other books which have influenced my food choices.

The books that have most influenced my food choices South Beach, Volumetrics, The End of Overeating, Good Calories Bad Calories, Primal Blueprint, Neanderthin, and Refuse to Regain (one of the few books written specifically on weight loss maintenance).

I have difficulty with grains, so I have to restrict those a little more than South Beach normally advocates, but I still think South Beach is one of the best eating styles for all but the most insulin-resistant or grain-sensitive folks. I really suspect that most people can do well on South Beach (I even think I could have, if I had discovered it before I became morbidly obese and insulin resistant).

I'd recommend trying South Beach as written (without portion control), because if you don't have to add a portion control element, you might as well use the least restrictive plan that works.

If you just won't feel comfortable without counting, there's no harm in counting, along side of South Beach (when I first tried South Beach, I did just out of habit). I've done exchange plans for so long, I have the exchange values memorized for most foods (and therefore also the estimated calorie counts, because all foods within an exchange have similar calorie counts. For example a fruit exchange will contain between 50 and 70 calories, and a bread exchange will contain between 60 and 80 calories).

So even when I wasn't limiting portions/calories/exchanges, I still kept track in a food journal (because writing it down helps me stay on plan - and helps me evaluate what is and isn't working), and I'd jot down the exchange values/estimated calorie counts in the margins and would total them at the end of the day, just out of habit, to get a calorie estimation.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:50 AM   #7
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I've not counted calories. You should try it without but if it's too engrained to stop cold turkey, feel free to calorie count! I just know between beans and cheese, I'd go nuts counting calories!
Weight Lost Since January 3, 2015 via South Beach Diet
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