South Beach Diet

By: Gen Wright

It is so frustrating to be grossly overweight after being thin for most of your lifetime. I used to be slim. All through my growing years, I was never round or plump. I was skinny thin. Until I noticed a lump on my neck when I was 28, sought medical help, and was diagnosed with possibly having hypothyroidism. After going through laboratory tests, the endocrinologist prescribed thyroxine hormone pills. I found the fortnightly trips to the endocrinologist too taxing and I never liked taking pills. To cut the story short, I woke up morning to realize that I have become bigger in size. I was fat. There is really nothing wrong with being fat, except that I was fat because I was sick.

Several years and one pregnancy later, my combined weight gain was more than I could handle. It was affecting my self-image. I kept on dieting but nothing ever worked. It is not as if I ate a lot. On the contrary, my food intake was about half of the food intake of each of my friends. And while I smiled every time people would notice my roundness, deep inside I was seriously hurting. It was time for me to take action. If I could afford it, I probably would have gone for a gastric bypass surgery. But diet and exercise was all I could afford.

The South Beach Diet was mod during my weight crisis and I decided to give it a try. In the beginning , I was not sold on it as it entailed food lists. There were doubts on my mind if I could live without sugar and pasta. But I persisted. I read the book, flipped through the recipes and made my own menu based on the food I preferred from the diet book’s foodlist. First few weeks are supposed to be absolutely carbohydrates-free and sugar-free. Even fruits and vegetables that contained starch and sugar were forbidden foods. The next couple of weeks or so reintroduced certain natural sugars, and then as a maintenance diet, a little more variety in fibrous foods containing starch or sugar were included.

I stuck to the food list. I ate nuts whenever I felt hungry, which was not too often. Breakfast was mainly scrambled eggs, some form of protein and whole wheat sugar-free crackers. Even coffee was stricken out of my daily sustenance because I cannot take it black. Water was the only beverage I drank – no sodas, no fruit juices, no energy drinks. Major meals were usually composed of a couple of slices of lean meat or chicken, some vegetables like beans and mushrooms, and a slice of whole wheat sugar-free bread – again downed with water. I got used to it after a few days and I was not hard to maintain.

Weight loss for the first couple of months was significant, more than what I have been able to successfully lose for years and years. I lost around 20 pounds in nearly four months. And then I continued losing several pounds, about two pounds per month. I noticed that I was also losing inches on my “problem” spots like my belly, my upper arms, my thighs. I was not only losing weight, I was also losing inches!

Not even a year after I started the diet, I was already thin enough to fit into my pre-marriage, pre-pregnancy clothes. My weight was back to what it was before it all started. South Beach Diet was the only diet that worked for me. Maybe it is because it is the right match for my metabolism. Maybe it is because I am more determined now more than ever to shed those pounds and feel good about myself. I am still on the South Beach Diet but I am able to take in occasional doses of sugar and sugary food. Pasta is now back in my menu but I use whole wheat pasta. I would say Dr. Agatston is correct in saying that the South Beach Diet is not a fad diet, but a lifestyle. There is no feeling of deprivation with the South Beach Diet, but only a feeling of satisfaction both in the mental sense and in the gustatory sense.

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