Musings on the South Beach Diet

Everyone loves a good #tbt these days. I decided to throwback my diet to the early 00’s, back when the South Beach Diet was all the rage and Friends was originally airing.

I was reintroduced to the idea of this diet by my boss, who does the South Beach Diet with his partner every so often. They start it when they feel like they have gotten off balance from their otherwise healthy lifestyle as a couple in their golden years. At work, he started with the salads for lunch and explained that he was on Phase 1 of the diet. It sounded insufferable.

South Beach Diet, Phase 1 lasts for two weeks.

You cut out all carbs and sugar.

You can’t even eat carrots for crying out loud.

No alcohol.

You can eat reduced-fat cheese, artificial sweeteners, and turkey bacon though.

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Fast forward many months and I’m feeling a little out of control of my sugar intake and that the holidays are just around the corner. So, I decided to give the South Beach Diet a try and here I am after one whole week to tell you what I’ve been through.

Reflections on the South Beach Diet in 2015, Week 1:

Headaches, starting on Day 3 until Day 6. I woke up with headaches which sucks but coffee is a quick fix. This is probably a symptom of sugar detox and I hear that you have worse withdrawal symptoms depending on how bad of an offender you were. I was a felon-level sugar eater so I figure I had worse than average symptoms.

Cravings, gone by Day 3. When you suddenly can’t eat all the most delicious things in the world (I’m looking at you, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse), the cravings don’t come on so much. That’s how it seemed for me and for my boyfriend*. This is not to say that we don’t still want to eat chocolate cake and/or burger buns and fries. The cravings to eat subsided so we weren’t seeking out such decadent meals, and therefore tolerated eating less of those delicious things. For now!

Fruit, good god, I miss fruit. This seemed like the harshest adjustment because I have eaten a TON of fruit on a regular basis, all the time, for my entire life. This is literally the longest I’ve gone without a piece of fruit since I started eating pureed food as a baby. Phase 2 of the diet only allows one serving of fruit a day to start. This seems cruel.

Dreams, continuing with my heartache regarding not eating fruit, I had a dream about it. On Day 6 of Phase 1, I dreamt that I was in a market with a shopping basket. I ate about three purple grapes, then I took a bite from a pear and put it in my basket. Next, I stood in line at some kind of popcorn-mixed-with-pink-cake stand. This is when my boyfriend spotted me and I had to confess to him that I ate 3 grapes, a bite of pear, and had the intention of buying a popcorn cake

*Please note that I made my boyfriend do this with me because it would be impossible to do it alone while living in the same household as a non-South Beach Dieter. And I didn’t really force him into it, but it was my bright idea and I was very clear that this was a strict diet. He said that he was going to miss sandwiches, but he knew this was a good idea for us.

Meals, we have tolerated eating the following things: BLT lettuce wraps, banh mi lettuce wraps, chicken salad, cucumbers, non-fat yogurt with cacao nibs and a pinch of stevia, burger patties with all the fixings except for buns and ketchup, lots of cheese sticks, bell peppers, tomatoes, lots of salads.

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Gross, we ate some gross things at first. I made some bad marinara sauce with gross vegetables the first night. Morale was low. I also tried a few disgusting dessert recipes from some of the diet forum pages. Something with ice+yogurt+coconut milk, it was wretched. I made sunflower seed butter cookies that looked like day-old cat food sitting on a plate.

This was a crustless cheesecake made with low fat cream cheese, eggs, and stevia. That’s literally it. It was not good.

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Motivation, I have no energy at the gym. My legs feel tired just walking around some of the hills in my neighborhood. I knew we would have to do all that we could to stay motivated through this, so I made this chain to mark the fourteen days of Phase 1.

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Wish us luck as we finish out week two!

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