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Old 02-19-2008, 06:00 PM   #1  
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Default three weeks and I still don't have this right

Hi Chicks--
I posted a couple weeks ago when I was frustrated at my slow P1 loss (2 lbs). Got lots of good support and advice, including that maybe I wasn't eating enough (seemed hard to imagine), and that I should check it out on Fitday.

Took me a while to get around to that, but I finally entered all my meals into Fitday and found that I was eating under 1000 cal/day! Made changes and got up to 1200-1300 cals (sometimes more). I also discovered that I wasn't getting some nutrients (I had stopped taking those wonderfully chewy Viactives cuz they have corn syrup and fructose), so I found new vitamins. I ended up sticking to P1 for an extra week cuz I had 3 'challenges' last week (Valentine's dinner; dinner party; anniversary). Total loss was 4 pounds.

Decided yesterday to add oatmeal in. Also had wine (which I'd had in week three, to no detriment). Rowed for an hour. And ta-da -- gained a pound this morning.

Rummaging around for clues, I have found a couple things that I don't understand and I hope you chicks can straighten me out. One was a signature line goal (I don't remember who) of consuming daily 45% protein; 25-30% carbs; 25-30% fat. Someone else mentioned a goal of consuming 110-120 grams of protein each day.

Looking at Fitday, I ain't close to either of those. Are these goals mentioned somewhere in SB? Should I focus on upping my protein in P2?

With this last gain, Fitday tells me that I've lost 1.1 lbs/week -- very discouraging, given all the hoop-la about weight 'melting' off in P1. It projects that I'll blow my May goal weight by 10 lbs (my total loss goal is 25 lbs), and that I won't achieve the weight I'd hoped by today until March 15! And since we're going on vacation from Mar 5-12, I have the awful feeling that even a small gain then could pretty much put me back where I started.

Any advice from all you SuperChicks?
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:36 AM   #2  
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I wouldn't consider myself a SuperChick, as I'm still learning when it comes to South Beach, but maybe you could post a few sample menus of what you normally eat in a day? I typically eat a lot of protein (100+ grams per day). I guess if you haven't been eating fruit or grains or starchy veggies in Phase 1, I'm not sure how most of your calories are NOT coming from protein. Unless you're eating nothing but beans, dairy, and veggies all day? I have protein in every meal and snack--chicken in my salads, a serving of almonds, eggs in the morning, tuna salad as a snack, etc. If we know what you're doing now, maybe we can offer some suggestions
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:55 AM   #3  
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Hi Jill-
Thanks so much....Your message makes me think that maybe the protein balance is the thing. I don't know. I haven't cheated --no fruit, starches, grains. Here are two menues from past two days:
B: oatmeal (not instant) with NF milk.
S: tomatoes
L: V8, cottage cheese on bed of mixed greens; head of raw broccoli
S: Laughing Cow, tomatoes
D: LF cheese, salad (greens, sweet peppers, onion, tomato, celery), turkey, cinnamon yogurt dessert, red wine
Calories: 1212: 26%protein; 47% carb; 16% fat.

B: cottage cheese, V8
L: cottage cheese on mixed greens; head broccoli; 20 peanuts
S: hard-boiled egg
D: LF cheese; salad; turkey; cinnamon yogurt
water: 96 ounces
Calories: 1023: 36% protein; 39% carb; 23% fat.

OK -- I realized that cal count for yesterday was low. But I wasn't hungry either, and I think my metabolism is pretty slow. Was pretty sedentary.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:20 AM   #4  
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How much total weight are you looking to shed? I still think there maybe an issue with your calorie intake? As far as the protein goes, I try to sneak some into every sitting. For example I put peanut butter in my oatmeal (don't laugh it's really kinda tasty!). What about adding beans to your salads?

Don't get discouraged I am sure one day of eating oatmeal did not make you gain a pound. The scale is only a tool, certainly not a know all be all. Are you taking measurements, are your clothes fitting differently? Our bodies are a funny thing, in a weeks time my weight will flucuate 2-4 pounds.

Be patient, you will find the right combination and feel free to vent to us. I know I haven't shared much insight but hopefully the other chicks will help too!
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:09 AM   #5  
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Hi, Seaduck!

I don't think I saw your first post, but it sounds like our Beachies did a great job (as usual) of giving you advice.

Oh, hon...first of all, if you were eating under 1,000 calories, your body DEFINITELY went into starvation mode. It's going to take a while (I'm not a nutritionist, so I don't know how long...) for your body to believe that you will keep feeding it before it lets go of some of your weight. Please, please keep entering your food into Fitday until you have a handle on what's going on. If you keep bouncing up and down on how many cals you're eating, you're going to end up with health issues. 1200-1300 calories is the smallest amount of calories you can eat without going into starvation mode. Most people eat at least 1500, though every body is different. I read an article in Real Simple this month about diet myths and they said that studies have found that people who lose weight on very low calorie (1200-1300) diets are much more likely to gain the weight back in the next 3 years.

Please make sure you're getting protein with every meal/snack, and include veggies too for fiber and fullness. Note that even though milk and yogurt have protein in them, your body processes them as a carb, so don't include them as your only source of protein. Soft and hard cheeses (i.e. cheddar, cottage cheese, cream cheese, Laughing Cow Light, etc.) are processed as protein, so you can have them alone with veggies for a meal and count them as protein.

Are you vegetarian? If so, you can definitely make SBD work for you, but you have to be very careful to make sure you're getting enough protein. Let us know if that's the case for you and we can help with suggestions, okay?

Okay--first of all, the 110-120g of protein is my sig, and it's something my nutritionist has asked me to do, not an SBD thing. I went through a bunch of testing at my nutritionist's office after nearly a year of not losing anything, and they found that my metabolism is messed up (think it's called hypometabolism?). Basically, while I should be burning about 1800 cals if I just sit still all day, I'm burning 1350. The extra protein is to help raise my metabolism back to normal. It does seem to be working, because I've been losing again since August. : I have a really big body (big bones--no joke--and I'm 5'11), so even though I don't know what the protein amount would be for a smaller person, I'd assume most people would be eating less. However, my nutritionist assures me that the excess protein should be fine, even for a couple of years. Please do check with a doctor or at least a nutritionist/endocrinologist before changing your diet, though. Excess protein can cause harm to your body--especially your kidneys.

I visited with a different nutritionist several years ago (she was fabulous) and she gave me the following advice about protein:

One thing I forgot to post that I thought might be helpful for everyone is the calculation for amount of protein you need. She said for a healthy person, you need 0.8 g for each kilogram you weigh. So to figure out how much you need a day, just multiply 0.8 by your weight in kilograms (find your kilograms here: )and that tells you how many grams of protein you need. . Mine is 73g, which is 10 and a half ounces, approximately (7g in an ounce).
I hope that helps!

A couple other things--
  • You didn't gain a pound from the oatmeal and wine. Like Stephanie said, the scale is a tool--don't let it make you make crazy decisions, okay? I know the urge, but please fight it!
  • When you make a change in P2, do it for a week and wait until the end of the week to decide how your body deals with it. One day is not nearly enough time to decide if your body can handle oatmeal or wine. If you try them both at the same time, you won't know which one (or if it's both) is affecting you. So do one at a time, okay?
  • You'll find guidelines for adding things to P2 in the How to Add Things Slowly in Phase 2 thread. There's also some basic guidelines in the What's Your P2 Combo? thread, along with tons of great advice on how the Beachies have decided upon what works for them in P2!
  • I know that it can be hard to get rid of this kind of thinking, but please be cautious in setting goals with specific dates that you feel very anxious about. If you decide that you have to lose a certain amount of pounds by a special event, you're not likely to set yourself up for success. You're far more likely to pick how much you think you should lose rather than how much you think you could lose. When you don't lose it, you'll feel bad and are more likely to binge or go off plan. So, set yourself up for success--don't set any goals until you have P2 down. Like I said in some of the threads above, many of us (including me) gained while figuring out P2. But we all lost that weight quickly once we had our combo down, and then continued to lose. I gained some weight in P2, but lost over 100 pounds after I had it down!
  • Once you have P2 down, figure out how many pounds you are sure you can lose in the given amount of time for your goal, then add a couple pounds to make it a challenge. You're almost guaranteed to lose it as long as you stick to the plan, and that's much more likely to keep you on plan!
  • As for your vacation in March, losing a certain amount by that point isn't going to make you any less likely to gain or lose during your vacation. But figuring out how you can eat and avoid cravings will help you. Make plans for success on your vacation--bring food with you, figure out how you can eat healthy (look up restaurants on the web and check out menus and nut'l info, etc.), and talk with the people who are going with you so that they support your work to eat healthy and stay on plan. I've gone on dozens of vacations on SBD without going off plan. Of course, you could plan to go off plan for that week and do Phase 1 when you get back. But I think that this early in a new WOE, you might really damage what you're learning by doing that. Just my $0.02.
  • When it comes down to it, your goal needs to be to make a change in your eating habits for life. If you follow SBD only until you lose the weight, then go back to your old habits, you're just going to gain the weight back. We all lose a combination of fat and muscle when losing weight (how much strength training you do during your loss will affect how much muscle is lost, but you'll lose some no matter what), but when we gain back, we usually gain just fat. Fat only burns 2-3 calories while muscle is burning 14! If you replace muscle with fat, you burn less calories. It's just one of the many reasons why "yo-yo dieting" is bad for your health.
  • Losing 1.1 pounds a week is GREAT!!!! Seriously! You want to lose 1-2 pounds a week and no more, especially when you've got a small amount to lose, like you do. (I lost 3-4/week when I started because I was severaly overweight and had over 150 pounds to slowed down a lot after a while) Slow weight loss is much more permanent. It allows you to truly make a habit of your new WOE. It gives your skin time to ease back into place so you don't end up with sagging skin. Best of all, you're less likely to gain it back when you lose it slowly. So please be patient and kind to yourself. You're doing GREAT!!!

I know this post is already really I'll stop here. Please continue to post if you have any concerns or need help. I know you can do this, hon!

Last edited by beachgal; 02-20-2008 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:25 PM   #6  
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Stephanie--Thanks so much! My total goal is to lose 25 pounds. I wish I could say the clothes feel better even tho' the scale isn't moving, but that's not true. Maybe my face is slightly less puffy. I appreciate your encouragement -- esp as I'm feeling very discouraged.

Laurie--Thank you, thank you for the long wonderful post. I'm not a veg. Re goals: when I started at 156 pounds, I tried to be realistic. For most of my adult life, I was 120-125. I'm now post menopause, so I figured maybe 130 would be reasonable -- I'd certainly know as I get close. I confess I do have a May event in mine, but when I started that was 15 weeks away, so I figured with the famous P1 meltdown <g>, I could average under 2 pounds a week and make it realistically. Now, of course, on Fitday, I see that little red goal line, and I am steadily moving to the right of it. And now that I'm stuck at 153, Fitday this morning cheerfully told me that instead of averaging a loss of 1.1 pounds a week, I'm now only at .9 pounds!

I really thought protein might be the issue based on those percentages I quoted, but I just tried your protein calculator. At 153lbs, I weigh approx 69 kg, which multiplied by .8 is 55 grams of protein. And that's actually much, much less than I've been consuming. Maybe protein isn't the issue? If so, I don't really know where to make changes. As I look back on Fitday, the times when I lost weight was when I was drastically undereating (e.g 950 cals).

I've upped my water intake and am recording that now -- yesterday drank 96 oz in addition to my 1.5 mugs of coffee in the morning and mint tea at noon. I think I'm well over the 4.5 cups of veggies (unless that's 4.5 cups of ground-up powder-form veggies!).

Thanks, too, for the advice about vacation. I started to think about that. We'll be in the Caribbean, where finding lots of good fresh veggies is often hard, and I'm assuming that the grocery won't have all the low-fat cheeses and dairy stuff that's so easy to find here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Last time, I brought bags of baby carrots and roasted peanuts for snacks and hors d'oeuvres -- but I probably shouldn't be thinking of falling back on those too much.

Sigh. Is there anyone that SBD just doesn't work for? Tho' I have to say, I feel that the quality of what I'm eating -- esp no corn syrup or fructose and no refined flour -- is good and I like the idea of that. Maybe there are some people who lose so slowly that it doesn't show? <g> I guess that if I knew I was only going to lose, oh, half a pound a week, I would adjust my expectations and try to take comfort in maybe having less saggy skin. But I would sure like to know that was what was going on.
And if I'm just whining, please tell me so! <g>
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:00 PM   #7  
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Laurie, I love those points you put at the bottom of that post. Thanks so much.
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:35 PM   #8  
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Lightbulb Thanks for all the advice, I was eavesdropping.....

I too am relativelynew to South Beach. This is the best food plan I have ever been on. I knew if I could have unlimited amounts of lean steak it had to be for me.

I didn't know that about how much your body needs for protein but again that is one of the key secrets Dr. A mentions in his book. It is the lean protein that gets your metabolism revving again, as was just pointed out.

I have found that going no-sugar for me is the best way to avoid all cravings! Period! No if, ands or buts.

Since one of the main reasons for Phase 1 is to correct the way our bodies utilizes foods as they breakdown (read: glycemic index) I would be really leery of the wine so early in this plan too. I know he throws that in as a "sure, why not" but since it has sugar in it if your body takes longer to disconnect the malfunction of how it has been processing sugars (insulin) you might be stalling your weight lose plan before you even get off the ground.

He also mentioned about "insulin resistance" being caused by our body's inability to process food sources of sugar (ie insulin). Again, this is why you need to be careful about what kinds of foods you add back into the diet. I wish he would have emphasized that more strongly because unfortunately those of us out "here in the field" are the ones who are learning quickly what works and doesn't. And, usually at the expense of slow, stalled or even a weight gain!

I would be afraid that you might not be giving yourself enough time on correcting that aspect of slow weight lose. Again, going back to the point made about underutilizing how calories you take in. It is not just about calories (which is why Dr. A emphasizes that this is not about counting calories) it is about how your body (and my body and every other body here) UTILIZES those calories.

I reread and then read again some of the book's portions until I decided I was going to go on the assumption that losing weight with my body is going to be like the proverbial pulling of teeth ----imagine with a tweezer! It's going to be hard.

I could cry "foul" (and I don't mean chicken either) but instead I have decided that I am going to not take any liberties with this food plan. I have a feeling some of us just will have to take a more strict approach than others.

I too am in that age group and I have noticed as I am passing through menopause (not quite post yet) that losing weight becomes harder and harder. Cuss words aside, I am also determined that I am not going to let middle age "spread" any farther than it has.

Keep up the good work. You are among those in the trenches. I copied and pasted that advice. I know it was for you but I needed it too.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:18 PM   #9  
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Ok, chiming in since I am also one of the menopause ladies. Went through it twice, once naturally and once again after a hysterectomy. I did not lose the huge amounts on phase 1 that some other people did. BUT, I did lose it and lost it slowly. It took about 10 months to get to my goal to take off somewhere around 50lbs. (I'm not really sure exactly what I weighed when I started...I hadn't stepped on a scale for 2 years before I started SB and didn't get on one for a while after I started)I know that 10 months seems like a long time..but it was well worth the wait. I don't have any skin hanging etc. Slow really IS better. My arms are firming up pretty good too and my butt looks great in a pair of jeans!. My goal was not a weight, but a size. I wanted to be in an 8 by the time that my 2 sons graduated from college (which will be in December). I want to wear the perfect "little black dress" and look good so my sons are proud to introduce me to people (and so I look better than all the ex inlaws that will be there!) I made that goal a couple of months ago and bought a pair of size 6 pants last week. This sounds horribly vain but I'm almost 53 and don't look a day over 40..a young looking 40...and I am thrilled. I got tired of looking in the mirror and seeing my Grandmother!! Now, I see me in the mirror again and it is great.

So, my point being, keep plugging along and don't give up. Don't dwell on waiting for the weight to come off and over think it when it doesn't . Some weeks I lost a couple of lbs, some weeks, maybe 1 lb, some weeks none at all and sometimes I stalled for weeks..Just eat healthy and focus on your health first and the lbs will follow. It is harder to lose when you are older and it is slower if you don't have a lot to lose, but it does work...I promise!

Last edited by femmecreole; 02-21-2008 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:22 PM   #10  
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Seaduck I'm a bit suspicious about cheese. I find that it usually interferes with weight loss. You may have a food sensetivity. I'd try going without dairy or grain for a few days see if it helps. I do a weird weight loss pattern of stall gain and drop that fluctuates 10lbs or so sometimes only over a couple days. I go more by measurements.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:29 PM   #11  
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Carribean fresh fruits and vegetables. make sure to soak your unpeeled fruits and veggies in a diluted bleach solution before you eat it. Whats available Tomatillos are good onions and garlic are good. Spring vegetables should be in.

Look for frozen vegetables at the store. If your eating out salsas are good and you can usually get plain beans. Corn tortillas are usually whole grain. The white cheese is actually fairly low calorie. Its called Queso Blanco in spanish.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:39 PM   #12  
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Everyone -- Thanks SO much for all your support and advice! It means a lot. I'm working on changing my mindset as much as my diet -- to stop thinking in terms of the Big Melt that I never saw in P1, and to think maybe my P2 is going to be really slow, too.

Pamatag-- I agree about sugar. If nothing else, purging the corn syrup and fructose (recently noticed it was even in the Arnold Whole Grain bread that I always thought was good for us) has got to be good over the long haul. You may be right about wine, tho' I haven't noticed a correlation between stalls and wine consumption. I'm OK going w/o, but my husband is really into tracking interesting wines, so it's part of our pattern. But you may be right -- I may need to rework that pattern. Like you, I'm committed to this. I'm not deliberating sabotaging myself or cheating. But I may be misinterpreting the guidelines!

FemmeCreole: You are an inspiration! Wow! And I am so interested to hear about not having saggy skin. If slow does the trick, I can do slow. After all, I gained weight over a long period of time (10 years or so) -- tho' I sure as heck hope I can lose it faster than that! But I suspect that you have the mindset that I need to focus on.

Spirit: I know what you mean. I wondered about that, too. But without cheese, I'm kinda stuck in terms of alternatives that will boost protein as snacks. I'm definitely consuming more cheese than I used to (fine cuz I like it) but I also wonder how it affects cholesterol counts over the long haul. Many thanks for the vacation food suggestions! I'll keep a look out for them.

You are all wonderful!
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