South beach eating
May 15, 2010 4:45 PM   Subscribe

Am I doing phase 1 of the south beach diet correctly?

Inspired by the recent front page post about low-carb eating and many people recommending the south beach diet, I began phase 1 last week. It's only been 5 days and I haven't noticed any difference from a weight/mood perspective, and although I assume this may be too early to tell, I want to make sure I'm doing this correctly. Random questions below:

1) Condiments- I've been following the guidelines listed on most SBD sites and stocked up on compatible condiments for phase 1. I searched the grocery store for low-carb ketchup but couldn't find any...the closest I found was the organic gluten free stuff with "no sugar added." I don't know if this is the same as low-carb or there is something else, but the difference between my regular Heinz is negligible: each has 4 grams of carbs per serving, but the no-sugar-added has only 3 grams of sugar instead of 4. Is it really that much of a difference? Also, I bought tartar sauce with no carbs/sugar, yet most sites I've seen put tartar sauce on their banned list...weirdly enough, they don't list low-carb options like they do for other condiments, and the one I purchased doesn't specifically mention being low-carb.

2) Cottage cheese/yogurt- I know that dairy is supposed to be severely limited during phase 1, but low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt are allowed, 2 foods I enjoy greatly. Cottage cheese has only a few grams of sugar per serving, but most yogurt checks in at around 15-30 grams per serving...even the light and fit Dannon has 11 grams of sugar, 16 carbs net. Should I not be eating this? I've tried to find resources about this but only a few forums have turned up, with posters offering contradictory advice on what is "ok" during phase 1.

I'm probably being a little too neurotic here, but I want to make sure I'm doing this right...I'm also afraid I'm still eating too much, as the "eat til you're satisfied" motto has probably led me to overfeed. Any additional advice/anecdotes is appreciated related to the above categories, thank you-
posted by andruwjones26 to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Drop the yogurt; that's wayyyy too much sugar. Also pay attention to your portions -- you might be using low-carb ketchup, but if you're having several serving's worth, you're getting a lot of sugar that way.
posted by runningwithscissors at 4:53 PM on May 15, 2010

I'm guessing by yogurt they mean plain yogurt. Any flavored/fruit yogurt is going to have sugar in it, unless you get one made with artificial sweeteners.
posted by ishotjr at 4:57 PM on May 15, 2010

Yeah, they mean plain or sugar-free yogurt. Seriously, get the book. It's pretty cheap, and very helpful.
posted by runningwithscissors at 4:58 PM on May 15, 2010

If you want to eat yogurt, buy plain Greek style (non-fat). Fage and Chobani both make this.
posted by kmavap at 5:22 PM on May 15, 2010

You could try greek yogurt, which has less natural sugar & more protein than regular yogurt (assuming you're comparing plain yogurts; obviously anything sweetened with sugar/corn syrup will have more).
posted by insectosaurus at 5:23 PM on May 15, 2010

Yeah, they mean plain or sugar-free yogurt. Seriously, get the book. It's pretty cheap, and very helpful.

SBD's been updated since the book was first published. I went on a modified version earlier this year, and was surprised to find that plain yogurt is now allowed.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:32 PM on May 15, 2010

Based on circumstantial evidence, I'd say, yeah, you must be doing something wrong. I've tried South Beach a few times and the effect is dramatic. I always drop 2-4 pounds in the first two days (water weight) and another 6-8 pounds in the next week and a half. Weight loss slows dramatically after that but around 1-2 pounds/week. I never feel "full" on Phase 1, which is good and bad. It's nice not to have that after-lunch "carb coma" but I also never feel satisified. Which means I stop eating only because I'm sick of eating whatever my limited options are. I can barely handle that for the two weeks of Phase 1, but I get peevish. I also have to schedule meals and snacks so that I eat something every three hours or so or I just crash - can't concentrate, easily annoyed and very, very hungry without warning.

Others have said to try sugar-free yogurt. I think you're overthinking things with ketchup, though (how much ketchup can you eat?) "Satisfaction" is a funny thing and greatly affected by the speed at which you eat your meal and the tastiness. You may well be over-eating, as you say. Try eating slower. And if there's some Phase 1 food that you really enjoy (yogurt), you're probably eating too much of it. Also, strictness is important for Phase 1 - one or two cheat meals a week, even stuff that would be permissible in Phase 2, seems to cancel the effects of Phase 1.
posted by zanni at 6:36 PM on May 15, 2010

Correction: fat free plain.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:37 PM on May 15, 2010

The difference with the organic ketchup is it has no HFCS.
Also, have you considered just eliminating ketchup from your diet all together?

I think it makes it a lot easier to eat great healthy food if you aren't worrying about what to slather all over it.
posted by zephyr_words at 6:51 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

I did SBD a couple years ago, and can't remember the specifics on what's allowed and isn't, but the first phase is really really restrictive. There is no way you should be eating 11g of sugar in the yogurt... yikes. You need to be looking for sugar-free yogurt; it was always have some sugar from the dairy (which is why it's so limited in phase 1), but there shouldn't be any extra added. My fat-free, no sugar added Yoplait Source only has 4g of dairy per serving, for example.

Basically, it boils down to carbs (and hence sugar) are to be avoided, especially in the first week. If in doubt, and you want to do it right, skip it or eat only in very limited moderation. Personally, SBD wasn't for me -- it was too hard to remember what was and wasn't allowed, and I ended up missing even whole grain carbs too much. Hopefully you'll have better luck!
posted by cgg at 6:56 PM on May 15, 2010

Seriously, guys, fat free, plain yogurt has somewhere between 10 and 20g of carbs thanks to lactose, but by the time you eat it much of that will be consumed by the active yogurt cultures. It's not as simple as counting carbs--but then, the SBD isn't really all about carb counting in the same way that, say, Atkins is, anyway.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:08 PM on May 15, 2010

Heinz has a one carb ketchup sweetened with Splenda. It's fine.
posted by kindall at 7:10 PM on May 15, 2010

Thank you all for the great/helpful responses...I've been looking over what/how much I've ate the last few days, and I'm thinking portions are probably the thing hurting me the most, but also the carb intake isn't allowing me to lose weight. I'm probably packing around 2k calories a day, with like 40 grams of fat...maybe the daily avocado is a little too much. It seems that I really, really need to cut the carbs better though if I expect to not retain the fat from that.

Regarding ketchup and yogurt, its not that it's be horrible to go two weeks without them; it's just that if they're allowed, even in moderation, it would allow for greater variation in the diet. Especially with ketchup, where its application helps spice up a lot of meals. Guess I'll have to go heavier on the mustard in the meantime.

I'm heading to my library tomorrow to pick up the book, there's only so much I can get from random websites. One big thing I left out of my post (that I've seen in a lot of sample meal plans) is to have tomato juice in the morning. I bought individual V8 cans that have 6 grams sugar/11 overcall carbs, and have been drinking one each morning; could even this little amount be counter-productive? I'm eager to learn more from the book, but what I've gathered from the internet is that a small amount of sugar in this stuff is permissible, while the more I think about it it's best to avoid sugar at all costs.

Thanks again for the advice!
posted by andruwjones26 at 7:17 PM on May 15, 2010

...also, my math on the 40 grams was wrong, more like 50-55 I'm thinking.
posted by andruwjones26 at 7:18 PM on May 15, 2010

When I tried the South Beach I found this forum super helpful. People seem really up on what's in and what's out, and willing to look over your eating plan and refine it with you. Good luck!
posted by grapesaresour at 3:00 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

The thing with ketchup is it's really hard to stick to the portion size. One serving is a tablespoon which is not enough ketchup for lots of people. Measure it out and see if that's what you're using. If you ramp up to 4 or 5 tablespoons, well you've crossed out of lower carb.

If you can find the 1 carb ketchup, that might be a good option for you. Food 4 Less carries it here, but you may need to try a few stores to find it. It's 5 calories instead of 15 calories in regular Heinz. Another option is to purchase ketchup packets and use them to enforce portion control. Personally, I'd steer clear of ketchup and go with a more flavorful condiment like really hot salsa, chili powder, balsamic vinegar. You'll naturally use less of those and you'll get the tart, salty or savory flavor you're normally getting with ketchup.

Tomato juice or yogurt or ketchup - probably not a problem. All 3? Not going to work.

This may help you a bit. With any diet, you can undo a lot of good choices with one or two poor choices. That's compounded if you have a hard time limiting portions on a bad choice. Eating the official portion of 2 Oreos wouldn't be a problem, but I think the portion is about 8 cookies...maybe 10. In about 5 minutes I can eat a third of my daily calories. Unfortunately, most crap choices seem to be tiny sized calorie bombs. Is ketchup worth undoing a day of good choices? Probably not.
posted by 26.2 at 4:56 PM on May 16, 2010

When I was doing lower carb eating, I substituted pizza sauce for ketchup a lot of the time. It even comes in a convenient squeeze bottle. It's very different tasting from ketchup, of course, but it's good on a lot of the same things ketchup is good on, such as burgers and hot dogs. (Not fries, but you won't be eating those anyway.)
posted by kindall at 10:39 AM on May 18, 2010

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