I have always been big. Even when growing up, I was the fattest kid in class and went through a lot of bullying especially in High school. This, however, did not affect my confidence; I found that making fun of myself before anyone did meant it hurt less. I continued being overweight through college and even in my adult life. However, as I approached 40 years my health deteriorated alarmingly.
My wakeup call was when my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic and predisposed to high blood pressure. Being a father of two, my obesity was no longer something I could simply laugh off. I had responsibilities and people who depended on me and this motivated me to try and shed off the excess pounds.
Hi my name is Anna and i am going to give you the full review of my experience using the South Beach Diet.
Why I Chose South Beach Diet?
Like any other desperate person trying to lose weight, I tried several other diets without any success. I was unable to stick to one and even the ones that actually helped me shed off some pounds failed to work in the long term. What I hated most about some of the diets that I tried is that they were unreasonable and too demanding. Coming from a place of overeating, there is no way that I could realistically adapt a diet that required to essentially starve myself to lose weight.
Nothing is more discouraging than trying out different options and failing each time. Not only does it take a physical toll on your but is also extremely frustrating mentally and affect self-esteem and self-confidence negatively. After exhaustive research both online and talking to knowledgeable and experienced professionals I came across South Beach Diet. By this time, I knew exactly what I was looking for in a diet. Some of the factors that attracted to a South Beach Diet include:
Seamlessly incorporates into my daily life
This diet includes healthy meals that are nutritious and low in calorie content. Additionally, they are quite easy to prepare, making them easy to include in my diet despite my very busy schedule. My experience with this diet has been extremely pleasant and I am happy to say that I am steadily losing weight and it stays off, unlike all the other weight loss strategies I employed in the past.
The foods included in the diet are nutritious and low in caloric content
At this point in my life, I was desperate to lose weight so naturally obsessed with the caloric content of every food type. I took my time to research all the foods that help in losing weight and their caloric content and how they aid health wise. Most of the foods in the South Beach Diet are not only healthy but also have low caloric content.
It has been only a year on this diet and I have to say the results are quite impressive. I am steadily getting back to my old self when it comes to elevating energy levels and remaining physically active.
As a father and middle-aged man, this is extremely important to me because I want to be able to play with my kids and I am Thankful that the South Beach Diet is slowly restoring me back to the active and involved father that I have never really been. In this objective review, I not only outline my experience with the South Beach Diet but also attempt to give you an honest and authentic look at it so that you are able to make an informed choice concerning weight loss.
Let’s start with the most common question everyone asks; does this diet really work?
While there is no single diet that works for everyone, I must confess that this diet gave me remarkable results and has improved the quality of my life substantially. I am healthier, happier and a better husband and father. It is a diet based on scientific evidence, what I love about how these diet works is that it does not alter how your body works but instead just enhances your body’s natural ability to shed off excess pounds. If I can do it then I believe anyone can, I have been big all my life and I never thought I could be of normal body weight. Now I am in the best shape of my life!
Why I have struggled with my weight all my life…
Ever heard of the saying, I am big boned? This is a lie that most oerw3ieght people tell themselves to get through the day, I know because I did it for more than 35 years. The truth is that bones don’t jiggle, it is fat. The main reason I have struggled with my weight is I am self-proclaimed foodies.
I eat too much sugar, sweets and in love anything deep fried whether it is chicken, fish or meat. I have learned that the first step to weight loss is to first acknowledge that there is a problem and you are willing to take the necessary steps to fix it. Being a site engineer, I am mostly on the field so my lifestyle is not sedentary at all, I attribute my weight gain to poor eating habits and this is why I chose to do dieting.
Unhealthy lifestyle caused fatigue, weakness and unable to perform well at work
I am extremely comfortable in my skin and have no problem with how I look. After all, I have always looked like that; there is really no basis for comparison. My biggest issue with my eight is the fact that it was not only affecting my weight but also taking a toll on my performance at work. As a structural engineer, I rarely sit during work hours; I am constantly on the move mobilizing and supervising workers. Performing at work became virtually impossible because of fatigues and running out of breath. South Beach diet did not only save my life but also helped in career advancement.
So what exactly is South Beach Diet?
This is a diet created by cardiologists known as Arthur Agatston. According to the crater, he specifically formulated it to help lose weight fast and also keep the weight off in the long term. The idea is to maintain normal and healthy eating habits essentially live a lifetime of optimal nutrition without deprivation of nutrients or hunger. According to the user of this diet, the meals are healthy, delicious and nutritious. It has a phased approach that helps to deliver an effective, safe and foolproof weight loss method. Since its official release in 2003, this well thought out diet has garnered popularity all over the globe. In fact, I think that it is because of this program’s popularity that I was able to come across it.
Let’s begin with the basics of the South Beach Diet
This well thought out diet has three phases and they are based on the idea of good/bad carbs and good fats/bad fats. Essentially this diet is specifically focused on strategically replacing the bad carbohydrates, this are mostly refined sugars and starches with good ones and the bad fats with good fats. This will largely entail including a lot of green vegetables, low-fat fish, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, and fruits into your diet. Additionally, you will also include lots of whole grains, eggs, olive oil, and nuts. It is also advisable to strictly avoid any preservatives and artificial ingredients. This means cutting out all junk and processed foods.
Using the foods that are included in this diet, you can be sure that all the three meals that you eat in a day are healthy, low in calorie content and also nutritious. It also does not hurt that although healthy the meals are extremely delicious. To help suppress appetite and curb craving, the diet also includes healthy snacks and a high protein diet that will help to fuel your body and keep energy levels elevated.
I have been on the South Beach Diet for one year and so far I have lost close to 70lbs. It is no longer just a way of helping me lose weight. It has become my regular diet regimen. It takes away the stress of doing meal planning and calculating calories because it has all been done for me. Since each meal comes individually packed and with instructions on how to do it right, you can be sure that taking this diet will seamlessly incorporate into your lifestyle. Nothing is more helpful than not having to count calories and carbohydrates.
What exactly are the South Beach Diet Phases and how long does each take
Being an engineer I love understanding how things work and that is one of the things that fascinated me about the South Beach Diet. There is a logical methodology that is based on tested and proven scientific facts. It is not just clams that cannot be substantiated.
This first phase takes just 14 days and I like to call it Day Body Reboot. According to the creator of this diet, the first two are best spent resetting your body so that it is prepared for rapid weight loss. This is essential because it helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels by focusing on feeding your body with high-proteins, gluten-free foods, and healthy fats. Additionally, the objective of the first phase of South Beach Diet is to help reduce cravings for refined starches and sugar which was one of my biggest issues being a sweet tooth.
Phase one is the strictest and most challenging part of this diet. When I started, t took all my mental strength and self-control to get throughout the first 14 days. What kept me going is my wife who decided to do the first days with me in solidarity. The meals in this phase are largely lean proteins such as seafood, eggs, beef, cheese, and poultry. You will get fat from virgin olive oils and avocado. Any carbohydrates and vegetables that will be included in the meals at this stage have to be low on the glycemic index. Additionally, in phase one, you will not even be able to eat any foods or even fruits that contain starch. Even fruits juices and alcohol are restricted. For someone who loves a glass of wine with my food, this was a huge challenge.
When you begin phase two, it is time to start adding more foods into your diet. This stage is not as strict as phase one. At this Stage, your meals will include good carbohydrates that are unprocessed. Other common components of your diet at this juncture include whole grains such as rice, bread, and pasta, low-refined sugar, a broader range of fruits and vegetables and even sweet potatoes. After 14 days of largely eating proteins, I was happy to reach Phase two. This is also the best phase to begin gradually exercising.
I have never exercised in my life so this was quite a challenge for me. I started slowly with simply walking and swimming since this is one of my favorite past times. I am still in phase two because I have still not reached my ideal weight. This phase is supposed to last until you lose all the weight you intend to. After following Phase 2 for more than a year now, I can say that the results are beyond what I expected, I have lost close to 70lbs, my goal is to shed 100lbs before I embark on Phase three. With the current trend, there is no doubt that I will be there soon.
What does Phase 3 Entail?
To me, this is the most important phase and I can’t wait to get there. This is because it involves celebrating your success by implementing efforts that will help you keep the weight off in the long term. There are no food lists in the phase, the main intention is to keep eating healthy and in moderation.
At this juncture, you know enough about choosing the right food and are also able to make a meal plan that is healthy, delicious and still does not encourage fat accumulation in the body. If you feel that you have gotten out of track then it is best to get back to either Phase ONE or TWO. This is the reason I want to be mentally and physically prepared before eventually moving from PHASE TWO to PHASE THREE.
After how long can I expect noticeable positive results? Is South Beach Diet Fast-Acting?
Yes, this diet works extremely fast, by the end of the first 14 days; I had lost an incredible 7lbs. This I believe is because I lost all the water weight. I believe this is the reason I felt less bloated. Within the first two weeks of consistent use, there is no doubt in my mind that you will notice positive results. Seeing these changes is what motivated me to keep going and not give up on the diet. The customer care representative advised me to always drink at least two liters of water a day and also maintain an active lifestyle which wasn’t hard for me since I am always walking at work. Keeping a journal detailing my experiences when it comes to weight loss also helped me a lot.
My wife and I absolutely love entertaining and as a result, we have family and friends over for drinks, food, and laughter. It was extremely hard for me during this get together since all I could participate in without derailing my weight loss efforts is the laughter. To ensure I stayed on my diet, I drank a lot of water and ate salads with greens vegetables such as kale and spinach or a simple fruit salad consisting mainly of berries and avocado. I must confess that the hardest part was resisting the fries and medium rear steaks which are my absolute favorite.
Phase two was much easier and I finally had the courage to set a goal. I finally set a goal to lose a total of 100lbs before moving to Phase three. One of the things I love most about South Beach Diet is that you do not have to but the actual food supply, you can decide to buy the book and follow the guidelines.
How did my Health Improve?
By the end of the 3 months, I noticed just much better I was feeling. Things that had troubled me in the past such as shortness of breath, acid reflux and heartburn were not a common occurrence anymore. I was more energetic and best of all the scale indicated that I was steadily shedding of the excess pounds. By now I knew this diet was exactly what I needed to achieve a normal and healthy body weight so I decide to buy the South Beach Diet Guide Book and follow the instructions keenly.
Lets us now look at what exactly the South Beach Diet meal plan includes…
Before we tackle a detailed look at the specific meals in this diet, it is important to keep in mind that unlike another diet that restricts the user to only but food supplies, in this case, you can opt book and simply make the food according to guidelines provided. Because of my busy schedule, I decided to opt for the ready-made meals. Since I chose the option of prepared meals, I receiver three weeks worth of pre-prepared meals. The first shipment that I got included:
- Phase 1 foods that would get me through the Day reboot which took exactly 14 days. The foods were mainly specially selected breakfasts, dinners, and
- Additionally, the first package also included 5 days of the Phase 2 foods.
You are free to choose a menu or leave it up to the professional chefs. There are more than 50 options and these include:
- Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate breakfast shake
- Cheese omelet and Farmstand garden
- Chicken Roma
- The Caribbean inspired chicken
- Broccoli and Garlic ginger beef
- Taqueria-Style Beef & Cheese Skillet
For a full list of the menu options, there is an extensive list on the South Beach Diet’s menu page, this list details how the food I prepared, nutrition facts in addition to all the ingredients. As a foodie what I liked most about South Beach Diet is the fact that they have a collection of junk free and delicious protein based snacks such as chocolate ice crush, sea salt-kissed nuts, fudgy graham crumble bar, butter bar, and even chocolate dipper nut. I strongly believe that without these tasty treats, I would have cheated and fallen off the wagon before I could achieve my goal.
Exactly how much will you be expected to pay for each meal and do they really deliver solid value? Before we get into these extremely important questions, let us first and foremost take a look at just how much weight you can realistically shed using the South Beach Diet. According to the data provided by the company one can expect to lose 8 to 13 pounds in the first two weeks, this is during Phase one of the South Beach Diet. In the first two weeks, I was able to lose 7lbs which is close to the company’s expectations. In the first week, I realized that most of the weight I shed was from my midsection which as we all know is a stubborn area for many people who are overweight. After that IA know lose 1 to 2 pounds every week which according to the Centre for Disease Control is healthy and a reasonable pace when it comes to long-term weight management.
My Doctor Approves the South Beach Weight Loss Diet!
As an obese man trying to get healthy, I realize the importance of regular medical tests to ascertain the state of my health. I had never gone back to the doctor since the first he told me that I was pre-diabetic and predisposed to high blood pressure. After the first 4 months on the South Beach Diet, I felt confident enough to go back to the doctor and see where I was health-wise. The doctor was pleasantly surprised not just by how I looked but how much better my heart rate and breathing was. I talked to him about South Beach Diet and he was even more impressed.
Although I was late to go to a doctor, the same does not have to apply to you, as a rule of thumb always visit a doctor before getting on a new diet plan or even when you decide to do weight loss supplement pills. To be on the safe side, it is better to go to a doctor who exhaustively understands your medical history and is committed to helping you become healthier.
Why South Beach Diet worked for me
It is straightforward and its simplicity is extremely convenient. There are no demanding rules when it comes to this highly effective weight loss program. It is a practical diet that takes into consideration the fact that transitioning from an overeater to a healthy eater is challenging. I strongly believe that I was able to stay on the diet thanks to the normal sized meals and the healthy snacks which help me curb by hunger pangs and cravings for junk and sugar in between meals.
Does the South Beach Diet Work Long Term and does it really work without exercise?
Yes, absolutely it works and this is why I have been able to lose weight and keep it off after one year. The South Beach Diet is now part of my life now not just something I was doing to lose weight. The first six months, I just stayed active thanks to my demanding job that makes me walk a lot during the day. Exercise is however great because it makes the diet more effective.
While there is no doubt that you can depend on the diet without necessarily exercising, it is always better to have a physically active lifestyle when you are trying to lose weight. One year into the South Beach diet and my energy levels have improved substantially. I even decided to join a gym and start working out regularly. I have learned when it comes to weight loss, there is no option, you must eat healthily and accompany this with physical exercise to help burn off excess fat and also boost metabolic rate.
In just less than a year I had lost more 70 lbs!
Honestly having been overweight all my life, I have never really been this healthy and energetic not even when I was a teenager. I am surprised by some of the simple things I could not do before. As a dad, I was more of a passive person in my kid’s lives but now I ran around with them, play football together and I am now even thinking of becoming the assistant coach of their school’s soccer team. South Beach Diet has literally transformed me from me into a better father and husband.
It took patience, determination, consistency, mental strength and discipline to get to where I am today. I really help when you have moral support from loved ones. My kids and loving wife keep me going when the challenges were taking a toll on me physically and mentally.
Looking back, some of the benefits I have gained from the South Beach Diet include
- No more heartburn or acid reflux
- Elevated energy levels
- Higher self-esteem and self-confidence
- Better sleep
- Better breathing
- Ability to resist cravings for carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
- Helps drink more water
Emotional Struggles are part of the Journey…
Taking on the South Beach Diet meant quitting foods I loved such as fried chicken, steak, chocolate, processed snacks, and cakes. Additionally, it also required staying clear of tempting situations such as wine outings and weekly barbecues with friends and family where I was dared to eat right. with friends which I loved and parties which often led to alcohol and binge eating.
What kept me going? Support from my husband and kids motivated me to stay strong no matter the emotional toll it took on me. At the same time, reading other people’s testimonies and reviews of the Nutrisystem diet was encouraging and inspiring, too.
Did I experience any negative side effects?
While any diet is a shock on your system especially if you were an overeater like me, I have to confess that I really did not experience any detrimental side effects. The key to getting it right and enjoying this diet is following the instructions as outlined by the creators. For instance, the first phase is restrictive and should only take 14 days, more than this you will be subjecting your body to too much stress and depriving it of essential nutrients.
Speaking to my doctor the only caution he had is that the first phase is too strict and can be harmful to your health when done for more than the recommended two weeks. This is because restricting carbohydrate intake excessively leads to ketosis which normally leads to blood chemical changes, dehydration, headaches, problems concentrating, dizziness and sometimes even bad breath.
Finally, let’s take a look at Southern Beach pricing….
If you are on a tight budget then perhaps the best option for you is the South Beach books that guide you on how to implement this diet on your own at home. The book is currently priced at $14 on Amazon. This book details the meal plans and also outlines the nutritional value and calorie content of every food type. This is quite affordable and is the option I chose because my wife was willing to help me out with food preparation.
The other option when it comes to purchasing the South Beach Diet is to simply sign up for the South Beach meal plan where you are given three options.
- 21-Day Auto-Delivery: $329.99
- One-Time Delivery: $507.68
- Snacks: $25
If you decide to go with the auto-delivery option, it means that you will continue to receive a three week supply of food every 21 days and each time you will be charged a total of $329.