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South Beach Diet

I’ve always hated fad diets. All the diets in the world are more contradictory than all the religions in the world. Carbs are bad. No, they’re good. No, they’re bad and good! Aaaahh!! It only convinces me that no one knows what they are talking about. How can you pick a legitimate diet among the detritus?

However, I need a plan of some kind, even if it ultimately is found to be flawed. I’ve tried my own lame-assed, non-researched plan of generally trying to eat less. It didn’t work. Cravings get the best of me and before you know it I’m inhaling Junior Mints and wondering if I’m just a weak person.

My younger brother has been prodding me to read The South Beach Diet ever since he lost 60 pounds on it. So I finally caved and have started on the plan. I’m relieved to find that The South Beach diet seems like less of a fad than other diets. It was developed by a cardiologist in the interest of saving his obese patients from future heart attacks. The diet is well-balanced and doesn’t exhort extremes of any kind. Yes, you need to cut down on pasta and white bread, but you don’t need to exile them from your life forever.

Of course, any diet book is going to play itself up. So I checked some medical websites and found that they all said it was a valid diet choice and was unlikely to cause any medical problems (unlike the controversial Atkins diet).

What I like best about the South Beach diet is the ‘user interface.’ As a web developer I know that even the best designed web site can frustrate visitors if they don’t find it easy to use. The South Beach Diet is very user friendly. It doesn’t require you to count calories or keep track of any numbers. (That has been a major stumbling block for me. I HATE keeping food diaries.) You learn some basic rules about what types of food to eat and about how much and then they set you free. You can do what you want with the permitted foods, allowing for lots of variety. Plus, you are supposed to eat until you’re full. Wow. A diet that doesn’t expect you to starve. All of these traits combine to make a diet that I think I can actually follow for a long period of time, hopefully the rest of my life.

Basically I have chosen the South Beach Diet because:

1) You start losing weight immediately

2) The regimen is not difficult to learn. You just learn the basic principles. What you eat is flexible within the rules.

3) I should never feel hungry or deprived

I hope it works!

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5 Comments

Skeptic • February 10, 2006 at 5:18 pm

I’ve always been skeptical of fad diets. It seems like they’re not designed to be a lifestyle change, so you end up yo-yo-ing instead of losing weight and keeping it off. I’m starting my own weight-loss adventure (which is how I found your site – absolutely amazing, by the way) and I was wondering if, now that a year has gone by, you found the South Beach diet to be beneficial and/or functional?

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PastaQueen • February 12, 2006 at 10:41 pm

Skeptic – I have found the SBD to be very beneficial and functional. I like that I don’t have to be a calorie accountant. It’s very flexible and it suits my life very well. I can’t guarantee it will work for everyone, but I’ve found it to be a great fit.

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Beach Girl • March 3, 2007 at 2:27 pm

Low carb is a lifesaver for lots of us. All the studies show they’re effective and safe, but you know the big crap-food manufacturers cranking out Starchy Puff Cereal Bites and Nuclear Orange High Fructose Juice-flavored Drink Mix aren’t going down without a fight. Again, congratulations on your fabulous progress.

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Dana • July 21, 2009 at 12:25 am

Atkins was a cardiologist too. Funny how that always gets overlooked. He also took a strong interest in diabetes, its causes and treatments–he was working on a book about that when he died, which some of his friends finished up for him. I’ve read it. It’s good.

I’ve been on his plan a few times and yeah, I missed the pasta but I don’t need it either. Even now when I am not on anything specific, 99 percent of the time I don’t touch regular pasta. Either I get Dreamfields or I use shirataki if I MUST have a noodle or three.

I more got a kick out of being able to eat things like full-fat yogurt without swelling up like a balloon. Sometime in ’07 I was on Atkins and actually managed to get down below 220. Sigh. It’s my own damn fault but it’s not easy to keep it up when nobody around you will put the damn bread away.

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swinglifeaway • June 3, 2011 at 11:12 am

I had a lengthy conversation with a friend of mine the other day. She has lost roughly 100 pounds in 2 years by using the Adkins diet. At this point, her body will not tolerate any sort of carbohydrate. She will literally become sick (throwing up, etc) if she eats one bite of bread or consumes even one spaghetti noodle. She thinks this is perfectly normal, but it’s by no means normal! Our bodies need a certain amount of every nutrient. I told her that if she thought this reaction is normal, she should mention it to her doctor to see what he says. The fact that she immediately said she would never consider talking to a doctor about her condition tells me that she knows what she is doing to her body is not beneficial to her health.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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