Posts Tagged ‘south beach diet’

Biggest Loser vs. South Beach Diet

September 19, 2008

Every diet that is designed to help lose weight has to address the following question:

How do you keep from eating too much food?

The South Beach Diet (SBD) teaches you about fats and carbs, specifically the glycemic index. It teaches you that cravings are going to come if you eat too many high glycemic index carbs as the blood sugar levels drop off too quickly. And it addresses the question above by imploring you to eat 3 meals a day and have snack in between with a dessert after dinner. You are never more than 3-4 hours from a meal this way (unless asleep) so you find it more difficult to get ravenously hungry. 

My problem with the SBD is that you really don’t know if you are going to lose weight. You get in your head that a few nuts are ok, then you find yourself putting nuts in the ok group and you eat a few more. The focus of the diet is not to count calories, so by not doing so you don’t see the drastic amounts of overeating that go on as you grab three small handfuls of cashews over the evening. The diet of course is not at fault, it specifically tells you to eat only one 15-nut portion per day. But the rest of the diet is eat when you are hungry the foods that are ok to eat and you just confuse the nuts as being on that list. The whole glycemic index is important, but it isn’t king. Calories are king. If you don’t track calories you can get screwed.

If you are doing the SBD, I would recommend trying the food log thing for a week. To maintain your weight you need to eat about 10 times your body weight in pounds if you are not active. My last post will go into more detail than this if you really want an accurate number. If the SBD is not having you eat below this number then you will not lose weight. I just switched to the Biggest Loser Diet and found out what my problem was with not losing weight on the SBD. This exercise of logging calories is very helpful. It only takes a short time, if you eat the same things many days then you might not even need to do it for a whole week. Just do it for the foods you tend to love to eat to make sure they are working for you and not against you.

The Biggest Loser Diet (BL) teaches you about calories and how much to eat and then also forces you to exercise. You get a set amount of calories and thats it. There is a pyramid to follow so that hopefully you will fill up with lots of unprocessed foods with fiber in them. You also eat snacks between meals, so it is the same as SBD in this respect that you don’t get too hungry cause you just ate recently. You simply eat 7 times you body weight in pounds in calories. This guarantees you will lose weight even if you don’t exercise. You can cheat a bit with a few calories, and just use willpower to overcome the hunger for a day. For example I ate a half burger the other day that was 250 calories. It was easy enough to fit this in and not go over the limit for the day. This may not be the case when I get closer to my goal weight, but for now a craving here and there can be subdued inside the framework of the BL plan.

You need the extra portions of carbs you get in the BL as compared to the SBD so you have energy when you are working out. The feeling of having your brain in control and getting you on the workout equipment to only have your body feel weak and unable to perform from lack of blood sugar sucks. That is what happened to me on the SBD. This is not going to happen with all the fruits and grains you get on BL. For example, my favorite snack to eat so far is only 150 calories. I cut up a few strawberries about 2/3 of a cup and mix up with 1/2 cup of plain unsweetened lowfat yogurt and a packet of sweetleaf stevia. I am so surprised how darn good this is compared to a yogurt that has all the fruit and sugar already mixed in. Not to mention there is way more fruit than a pre-mixed yogurt. It tastes 10 times better and no processed fruit. You get some carbs and it is only 150 calories for about a cup worth of yogurt. I feel like I am eating a dessert, and I suppose it could be eaten that way, but the beauty of it is that this does not go in the “other” column. It is fruit and dairy, both of which are part of the pyramid of foods you get to eat from without guilt.

There is a weakness for the BL diet. The one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb to me is the part where they tell you not to eat white potatoes. They are nutritous, but just don’t eat them as they will make you hungry. They do not even mention the glycemic index. If you are doing the BL diet and don’t know what the glycemic index is, you should learn. I think it will help me to do the BL that much more effectively. I have already felt the effects of eating higher glycemic index foods. I combat this by moving a higher glycemic index fruit snack closer to the meal. For example, if I am going to eat pineapple and cottage cheese for a morning snack I need to eat this closer to lunch say 10:30-11:00, where a snack of celery and carrots can be eaten around 9:30-10:00. This way the cravings that start to happen will come right as I did into lunch and they won’t be there early.

Another mistake I made with the BL was getting all gung ho on eating fewer calories. I am supposed to eat about 1500. One day I ate 1100 because of all the pre-planning my wife and I did. She has to eat fewer calories so when I eat the same things I tend to be low (this is how I can fit a half-burger cheat in by the way). So one day I just stopped at 1100. I figured, “cool”, 400 calories for free that much quicker. But I felt a bit weak the next workout. I don’t think the diet talks about this at all but I think it is important to stay at this level to have the energy required to do the intense workouts.


I will randomly choose a winner, not unlike MizFit often does, and send snail mail with a prize in one week. If…

If you read this post I would like to ask you to leave a comment. I know there are a lot of readers and of course a lot of search engines that crawl the web. I would like to see, by way of response, how many people and not computers read my blog.

You can tell me that you like it or don’t like it or just simply say ” I read it”. It will only take a few seconds and I want to know how many of you, with eyeballs, there are.

So even if it is months down the road, leave a comment.



South Beach Diet Dessert – Chocolate Milk Substitute

August 27, 2008

OK, I finally found something worth writing about that uses stevia. I have not been trying all that much and when I do I run into the taste problems. Not a big deal to me, but nothing to share as if it was a breakthrough. If there is a large tradeoff in taste then I am not going to suggest it. This chocolate milk substitute is perfect however. It has a delicious taste. It is very simple and almost can’t be considered a recipe.

One cup of this stuff has 2 grams of carbohydrates, which are not sugars, and 1 gram of fiber, 3.5 grams of mono and poly unsaturated fat, no transfat or saturated fat, and 2 grams of protien. You add the Stevia bulked up with erithritol based on how sweet you want it between 2-3 teaspoons, and you have yourself a drink that tastes sweet and lucious, not like fat free milk that tastes watered down. I cannot lie, it doesn’t taste exactly like chocolate milk, but the stuff is made from almonds so it has sort of a creamy flavor all its own that adds to make the flavor better. I imagine after I buy this a couple more times I will probably prefer it to chocolate milk. The amazing thing is it has less carbos than a tablespoon of salad dressing, yet you get to drink a whole 8 oz portion. It is perfect for diabetics as well, which I suppose is who this product, since it is unsweetened, is aimed at anyway. There is a version that has added sweetener, so be sure to avoid that if you are going for the super low carbs. The stevia is a bit spendy, but once you can find it in your local supermarket and don’t have to pay for shipping it should be worth the cost.
Chocolate Unsweetened Almond Breeze
Stevia Packets

I bought the unsweetened almond breeze in my local store, but they have no stevia yet, I bet the cargill brand — truvia will work too, but I just bought some of the wisdom stuff today. I am hoping for less aftertaste than the steviva brand I bought when I first found the product.

If you are new here and are wondering why stevia is better than nutrasweet or splenda then read these if you have time:
Nutrasweet is Unsafe
Nutrasweet vs. Splenda

South Beach Phase 2

August 13, 2008

My wife and I were both really starting to drag, and there is no way we both were getting just the same amount of sickness that it slowed us down but didn’t actually make us sick. It had to be the South Beach Diet Phase 1. Some days I could do a great workout and others I couldn’t. Last Saturday I started my normal workout routine with the swimming first. I could not do any better than 15:30 for the 500 yards, which is way off the pace I had gotten the week before by 2 and a half minutes. Then I could not keep up any pace on the elliptical and I had to cut it short from lack of caring. I was beat. After that we decided to start a special phase 2. This is where we add two carbs per day but otherwise follow phase 1. This should give us more energy to workout. One will be a fruit and the other a whole grain something. So we started on Sunday with a whole wheat hot dog bun, and a beer. Yeah, sue me, I thouroughly enjoyed it and it was a light low carb beer.

My Sunday morning weigh in was 211.2, so the week saw me drop 8.4 pounds. Monday weigh in was two pounds higher and Tuesday was another pound. I think the South beach diet starts off with water weight, cause I didn’t overeat Sunday. I may have gone a little heavy on the cashews Monday but I certainly didn’t eat any more than I should be burning off in a day, like something around 2000 calories. I have been very busy at work lately and when that happens we tend to get in a rut and have trouble with meals, they are a trip to the fridge instead of a prepared thing which means we don’t do as well. This is going to be difficult in the coming weeks too.

I swam 1000 yards today. I have been watching the Olympics and trying to get some tips. The distance I am trying to swim is 25% more than the 400 meter race. These Olympians can do it in a 50 meter pool in roughly 4 minutes. That would be 15 seconds a lap in my pool. So they would take 5 minutes to do the 500 yards, so now I have an upper limit to shoot for that I will not be able to beat.

One thing that upsets me is that I read online somewhere that you are supposed to breath on alternate sides. Not one of those Olympians do that. They breathe every other stroke and only switch if they need to take a peak on the other side to see if anyone is catching them in the early qualifying heats where they just need to move on. So the fact that I cannot go all out and alternate sides is not a big deal, they don’t either. Maybe on long distances, I have not watched those yet. I am looking forward to the 800 meter races to see about that.

Another thing the Olypians don’t do is take 11 strokes to get down the pool. I read that online and someone also told me that, so I am going to look into it more when I get some time. Their pool is twice as long, so it would be 22 strokes, but they are all going over that. Again maybe in the longer races, but not in the 400 meter and below. I counted some of the women taking 36 strokes. The first length is always better since they dive in, but there is that red line in the middle of the pool where it is easy to start counting and see how many strokes it takes once they are swimming before they get to the wall. This number was 16-20 for the women and I don’t rememebr counting one better than 14 for the men. So either they are just turning over their arms faster than they need to since it is a sprint and what do Olympians have but a little extra in the tank for just such a reason, or the 11 is a bunch of poppy cosh.

When I did my swimming I found that it was very difficult to swim and breath on one side cause my feet were sinking more with my head spending more time up out of the water. I got better times for 50 yards when I tossed in a couple of switches to each side or really concentrated on keeping my head down and breathing on the side trying not to lift it. Taking a leisurely pace down the pool and breathing on one side gets me just as tired because I lose all this efficiency I have been working on. So I just don’t know what I am going to do.

One thing I learned watching the Olympics is the back stroke is easier than I thought to get moving fast. It is a little more to the side than straight down like I thought it was. There is also the same deal like with freestyle where you keep your forearm vertical as long as you can. They do this motion like you were trying to wipe a bunch of water off a table top with your forearm, keeping it straight to sweep as wide a path as possible. I was able to do 50 yards in 1:08 where the old way I was doing it I couldn’t beat 1:30. Now on the down side I get just as tired as if I was doing freestyle, so it isn’t like it is a break down the pool, I got my head out and can breath the whole time so it allows me to over do it like sprinting. At least I have the efficiency down if I want to take it a little easier and actually rest I will get some and still can hold a 13 minute pace. I signed up for the triathlon and they make you estimate how long it will take, that is what I put, 13 minutes, so I got a little more work to do to even out my swimming and do it all at the same pace. I think they make you swim in a lane with people that swim at about the same pace, so all the wrestling around to get your space around you to swim is probably going to slow me down and drink lots of pool water. We shall see.