South Beach Chronicles

I probably should have started blogging about this two weeks ago but better late than never, right?

I started Phase 1 one the South Beach Diet 2 weeks ago. Overall, the goal is to attain a healthier lifestyle that I can sustain for the rest of my life.  South Beach is broken up into 3 phases.  Phase 1 lasts just two weeks and you cut out all unnecessary sugar from your diet.  This means no starches (no potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, grains or starchy vegetables like carrots or beets), no fruits, no desserts and no alcohol.  The purpose is Phase 1 is to stabilize your blood sugar and to eliminate cravings for sugar and starches.

I made the mistake of starting this diet the week before Miriam rented a cabin at Disney’s Fort Wilderness.  We invited a bunch of our friends and family over for a weekend of luxury camping (which involves swimming, grilling out, canoeing, copious amounts of food, desserts and special beverages…) My dad even baked his famous Eli Ganache Chocolate Cake for us to enjoy.

Having started Phase 1 only days before, I had to steel my nerves and not be distracted by Heinken, Blue Moon, chocolate cake , fish tacos, hamburger buns, or even fresh pineapple.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought.  I prepped a lot of food ahead of time including plenty of chopped fresh vegetables for snacking, delicious Giada’s Pecorino and Bean Salad, and homemade pico de gallo.  I brought sugar-free fudgsicles for my own dessert so I had something sweet to enjoy while everybody else ate chocolate cake.

Amazingly, I didn’t cheat and even went running over the weekend in addition to all of the swimming, canoeing and basketball we did outside.

I only felt “foggy” and slightly low-energy the 2nd day in and then I felt like my body adjusted pretty well.  The only thing was getting used to exercising without a quick carb fix to fuel me.  It felt a little bit harder to run 3-4 miles at first.  The most difficult cravings were not rice which I thought it would be (since I’m an Asian girl who loves white rice).  The most difficult was actually junk food that I shouldn’t be eating too much of anyway.  I was tempted by a singular french fry, a slice of pizza and also the idea of ice cream.  But I was good and didn’t cheat.

Now, Phase 1 is officially over and I’m starting Phase 2 which gradually reintroduces good carbs (multi-grain or whole grain starches as well as whole fruit).  I had a whole wheat bagel thin this morning with some low fat cream cheese.  I have an organic apple to snack on with some cheese later this afternoon.

I haven’t weighed in since before last weekend but at that point I had dropped 5 pounds in only 9 days.  It’s typical to lose 8-14 lbs. during the first 14 days of South Beach so I should be on track.  The purpose of Phase 2 is to slow down weight loss to a more normal rate (1-2 lbs per week) so it’s more likely to keep the extra pounds off in the long run.  I’m also ramping up my exercise plan with running, swimming, some strength training and interval training.  Overall, Phase 1 of South Beach has been a success!

I’ll keep you posted on the chronicles of Phase 2…

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