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.