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  1. #1
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    South beach diet, should I stay or should I go.

    So here is why I have return, I am seeking some advice regarding my continueing weight loss goals.

    Last fall I took an aggressive approach towards weight loss and started to count calories on a daily basis. I targeted 1700 calories and diligently worked out approx. 3-4 times a week for an hour (biking, running, some light lifting, 30 min cardio videos, etc) Over the next 3 months I saw over 20 pounds of weight loss. In January I slipped while on vacation and stopped counting calories and didn't resume when I returned. Over the spring and summer I have maintained my waist line (judging by the way my cloths fit) but have put on a few pounds. I continue to work out although the summer finds me out of the gym and more yard work, bike riding, playing golf (walking). etc. Probably not as hard as 30 min cardio training at the gym, but I am satisifed with what I am doing to keep active.

    So, to the question at hand. My wife had been trying several different weight loss ideas and had little to no sucess. She decided to try the south beach diet and i agreed to try it with her. The problem is that I am on day 5, and I HATE it. I find myself craving carbs,

    So my question to the group is this... My wife never asked me to do the south beach diet with her, she was perfectly okay with me doing my calorie counting but the problem is that the calorie counting would not work within her low carb diet. I am afraid if I go off the diet she will not stick with it (and it is working very well for her) She has a larger pallet for vegitables than I do. I like veggies, but it seems like only when they are mixed with carbs (I love stir fry, but find it uninteresting without the rice / noodles) I love fresh tomatoes (when they are in a whole wheat Turkey wrap)

    So should I stick with it and become an increasingly miserable person? Or should I give up and try to find a comprimise that will help my wife stay on her plan?

    I feel like if I give up I will be abandoning my wife, but at the same time I feel like if I maintain it I will make myself miserable until I get to the stage that allows the foods I enjoy and then I will binge eat because I can.

  2. #2
    Cantankerous Old Fart XCSKIBUM's Avatar
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    Weight Watchers is a sound program where you track calories, fat & activity in a balanced approach that allows you to eat anyting you want (within reason) as long as you "track" what you eat.

    It has worked for me, I have lost over 80# since the beginning of the year & I still drink (light) beer & eat cheeseburgers W/Oreida (baked) crinkle cut french fries @ least once a week, but I also mix in a lot of vegetables & such.

    I also eat bacon & eggs almost every morning for breakfast. On the mornings I don't have bacon, I have a slice of 2% cheese in my scrambled eggs. I eat "light" bread/toast W/real butter too.

    Weight Watchers is not a "diet", but a change in lifestyle.

    "Diets" don't work because you can never stay with them in the long term.
    Last edited by XCSKIBUM; 08-19-10 at 04:29 PM.
    Cadillac (Kent) "MDS 2.4" W/Rockshox Recon 351 85mm-135mm U-turn fork W/Poplock & Fox RP23 rear shock : Specialized "Croostrail Sport" Hybrid

  3. #3
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    I found SB hard b/c the deprivation gives you solid results for a couple of weeks (phase 1), so you want to continue losing at that rate and so you stay on Phase 1 and by the end of three weeks you just can't take it anymore. and then you snap. and then you feel guilty.

    so, if you're going to do SB ****please**** move to phase 2 when they say to. that will help you stabilize for a few weeks, and then you can go back to phase 1.

    also, if you're going to go on a really long ride, try not to be overzealous about sticking to SB. a buddy of mine refused to drink Gatorade on a 65-miler "because it has sugar" and he totally bonked.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  4. #4
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I second XCSKIBUM's endorsement of WW. My wife and I started it in early April of this year and I've lost 42 pounds and she about 38. It seems extremely reasonable as weight loss programs go, though I freely admit that the first week or two I kind of chafed at the whole idea of having to "watch what I eat." But when the pounds began to come off, I started thinking that maybe my "eat anything I want" attitude was kind of immature. Actions have consequences.

    WW is all about changing eating habits and the way we look at food. It's kind of like being on a budget. You can "spend" your daily food points anyway you want, as long as you keep within budget. You begin to get a better understanding of what kinds of foods represent good nutritional "value" and what kinds don't. You get X number of points to spend each day based on your current weight, your gender and your general everyday activity level. Each point is roughly equal to 50 calories, but they also factor in fat and fiber, so it isn't always a pure 1-to-1 equation. And they give you an extra 35 points you can go into each week for those times when you just have to have something calorie-intensive, or for special occasions like holiday meals or going out with friends. Plus sustained physical activity adds to that "bank" of extra weekly points.

    Go to a meeting. See what it's all about.
    Craig in Indy

  5. #5
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    I read the OP earlier and was debating how to answer it.

    I really have a bitter hate towards "diets" (like South Beach, for example) due to the obvious reason: it's very difficult to stick with for the long run and only works if you do. I went a completely different way and just decided to make smarter choices and count calories. I still eat and drink whatever I want, I just stay within reason and make sure I'm within an acceptable calorie range at the end of the day. That is all WW is, essentially. The major difference is that I count my calories myself and don't have to pay the people at WW any of my hard earned $$$.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Crazydad's Avatar
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    "Diets" are evil and very rarely work.....You lose weight while eating to the plan but you are miserable and if you don't break and/or binge you just go back to eating the same way after the diet is over and gain the weight back. There was no real change that will cause lasting weight loss.

    I have struggled with my weight my whole life and while I could write a book about why, I have finally accepted that there are only a few things needed to lose weight and keep it off.

    1) Balance the meals - put more veggies and fruits on the plate
    2) Portion control - A full sized plate of pasta is NOT 1 serving.....
    3) Anything in moderation - a small handful of m&ms is ok, a whole bag is not
    4) Put the remote down and get moving

    While it sounds so easy when you write it down, we all know it is not. But without fundamentally changing who we are and how we view food, few of us will see lasting change. When I finally had reached my breaking point, I started by riding at 6am every morning because that was the only time I could really do it. I just focused on that and really didn't think about the food - I just concentrated on the exercise. That was May 3rd of this year and since I kept that up, I have noticed that my eating habits have changed. Some of the bad foods I used to eat a ton of now upset my stomach or make me feel like garbage (physically, not mentally). Or if I eat too much of something, I hate it.

    Of course, everyone is different so what works for me may not work for someone else. But the bottom line is that permanent weight lose is a complete lifestyle change that involves much more than just food.
    James
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Pfishingruven's Avatar
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    +1 for the lifestyle change!

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazydad View Post
    "Diets" are evil and very rarely work.....You lose weight while eating to the plan but you are miserable and if you don't break and/or binge you just go back to eating the same way after the diet is over and gain the weight back. There was no real change that will cause lasting weight loss.

    I have struggled with my weight my whole life and while I could write a book about why, I have finally accepted that there are only a few things needed to lose weight and keep it off.

    1) Balance the meals - put more veggies and fruits on the plate
    2) Portion control - A full sized plate of pasta is NOT 1 serving.....
    3) Anything in moderation - a small handful of m&ms is ok, a whole bag is not
    4) Put the remote down and get moving

    While it sounds so easy when you write it down, we all know it is not. But without fundamentally changing who we are and how we view food, few of us will see lasting change. When I finally had reached my breaking point, I started by riding at 6am every morning because that was the only time I could really do it. I just focused on that and really didn't think about the food - I just concentrated on the exercise. That was May 3rd of this year and since I kept that up, I have noticed that my eating habits have changed. Some of the bad foods I used to eat a ton of now upset my stomach or make me feel like garbage (physically, not mentally). Or if I eat too much of something, I hate it.

    Of course, everyone is different so what works for me may not work for someone else. But the bottom line is that permanent weight lose is a complete lifestyle change that involves much more than just food.
    This is great advice and pretty much what I have learned in the last 4 months.

    Good luck...

  8. #8
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    oh yeah, I should mention that I'm done with diets too, even though I told you how to do SB if that's what you want to do.

    but I find the main problem with diets is deprivation+guilt. that is, at some point down the road, whether it is weeks or months, you are going to "snap" and have a bowl of ice cream or piece of cake or slice of pizza or SOMETHING FORBIDDEN and then you are going to feel bad about yourself. and that guilt will make you tell yourself you're no-good and can't do it, and so on. and then you'll eat more.

    I have given up on the "forbidden foods" approach. and I've done them all (Scarsdale, Atkins, SB, you name it). I just can't take the deprivation and guilt. your mileage may vary

    what I do now is quite simple, actually. boring old calorie-counting. yup. I have an app on my smartphone that lets me easily jot down what I eat during the day. at first I needed to look up the calorie content of a lot of foods, but by now I know most things.

    with this approach, you end up focusing on eating good things because you *want* to, not because Dr. Agaston told you you *ought* to. why? because you have a # of calories for the day, and you decide how to use them. so, I know I could eat 2000 calories for breakfast with an omelet, bacon, and a stack of pancakes, but that would only give me 500 calories for the rest of the day and I don't want to starve. so, instead of eating "empty" calories I find things that will fill me up - and those tend to be healthy foods. BUT if I really, really want that Cinnabon, I'll spend 1000 calories on that and accept I'm going to be hungry. that's a tradeoff, but it's *my* tradeoff.

    of course you should ask: but what keeps you sticking to the daily calorie allotment? well, that's where cycling comes in. before I took up cycling, losing weight was always and end in itself. "I should really drop some pounds" or "my clothes are tight" or somesuch. now, it's very simple: I stick to my calorie budget so I can climb hills and keep up with the group. I want to show the zero-body-fat crowd that my legs are plenty strong. I can't force them to carry two 60-pound dumbbells in a trailer to slow them down; I have to speed up by dropping ballast.

    anyway, each night I enter the day's calories in a spreadsheet along with my weight for that day. I then subtract from the calories consumed my basal metabolic rate (calculated from the daily weight) and the # of calories burned cycling. (I don't try to add calories burned for walking and other tasks, just cycling.) that gives me my "daily calorie deficit", which tells me how much weight I should be losing or gaining. It's pretty much been within a pound or two of my actual weight for the last few months.

    hope this helps and good luck with your journey
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    oh yeah, I should mention that I'm done with diets too, even though I told you how to do SB if that's what you want to do.

    but I find the main problem with diets is deprivation+guilt. that is, at some point down the road, whether it is weeks or months, you are going to "snap" and have a bowl of ice cream or piece of cake or slice of pizza or SOMETHING FORBIDDEN and then you are going to feel bad about yourself. and that guilt will make you tell yourself you're no-good and can't do it, and so on. and then you'll eat more.

    I have given up on the "forbidden foods" approach. and I've done them all (Scarsdale, Atkins, SB, you name it). I just can't take the deprivation and guilt. your mileage may vary

    what I do now is quite simple, actually. boring old calorie-counting. yup. I have an app on my smartphone that lets me easily jot down what I eat during the day. at first I needed to look up the calorie content of a lot of foods, but by now I know most things.

    with this approach, you end up focusing on eating good things because you *want* to, not because Dr. Agaston told you you *ought* to. why? because you have a # of calories for the day, and you decide how to use them. so, I know I could eat 2000 calories for breakfast with an omelet, bacon, and a stack of pancakes, but that would only give me 500 calories for the rest of the day and I don't want to starve. so, instead of eating "empty" calories I find things that will fill me up - and those tend to be healthy foods. BUT if I really, really want that Cinnabon, I'll spend 1000 calories on that and accept I'm going to be hungry. that's a tradeoff, but it's *my* tradeoff.

    of course you should ask: but what keeps you sticking to the daily calorie allotment? well, that's where cycling comes in. before I took up cycling, losing weight was always and end in itself. "I should really drop some pounds" or "my clothes are tight" or somesuch. now, it's very simple: I stick to my calorie budget so I can climb hills and keep up with the group. I want to show the zero-body-fat crowd that my legs are plenty strong. I can't force them to carry two 60-pound dumbbells in a trailer to slow them down; I have to speed up by dropping ballast.

    anyway, each night I enter the day's calories in a spreadsheet along with my weight for that day. I then subtract from the calories consumed my basal metabolic rate (calculated from the daily weight) and the # of calories burned cycling. (I don't try to add calories burned for walking and other tasks, just cycling.) that gives me my "daily calorie deficit", which tells me how much weight I should be losing or gaining. It's pretty much been within a pound or two of my actual weight for the last few months.

    hope this helps and good luck with your journey
    thank you to everybody for the excellent advice. I see the benefits of the South Beach and I think it truely could work, my wife is estatic with the results she is seeing. At this point, I have decided to return to counting calories. I was using fitday in the past with great sucess and will return to it. At 215 pounds, I have alloted myself 1700 calories a day with daily calorie burn being closer to 2500 that equals 1.5 pounds a week. this worked in the past and I was loosing weight and watching calories, etc with this system. however, in addition to this, I am going to try to follow the south beach guidelines (skip the sugars, processed carbs, ie avoid the foods that cause your blood sugar to spike)

    last night for instance I made myself two taco/fajita things. they were excellent, SB phase 2 friendly and had me within my calorie budget for the day.

    Thank you everybody for the insight.

  10. #10
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    The whole deprivation/guilt thing is a fine line to have to tread, but it will always be there, save for the very few among us who are able to change their total view of food to one of nothing more than fuel for the body (my brother is among those kind of people, and it drives me nuts that he can make that change and I can't). Most of us have a lifetime of emotional attachment to certain foods that are very hard to break, so you learn to live with them and try your best to keep them under control.

    Even with plans like WW, where your daily food choices are your own and you have some extra weekly points "cushion" you can dip into, it's vitally important that you understand that fine line and learn how to walk it. You don't want to beat yourself up over occasional indulgences, since that leads to an "all hope is lost, I might as well quit" attitude. But at the same time you can't succeed by thinking those moments off the wagon are perfectly OK, with no attendant consequences. It's rough.

    But then we're a rough bunch, aren't we?
    Craig in Indy

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    also, if you're going to go on a really long ride, try not to be overzealous about sticking to SB. a buddy of mine refused to drink Gatorade on a 65-miler "because it has sugar" and he totally bonked.
    +100. This happened to a buddy of mine on a ride a while back as well. We were all begging him to stop at a convenience store and eat something, and he refused. He finally collapsed in the last 5 km, and someone had to go get him a car. You can burn 1,000 calories in a single serious ride, and your diet needs to reflect this.

    Also, nothing wrong with getting your summer exercise outside the gym. It's good to have a change, and will reinvigorate you come the fall.

    I also hate South Beach. Over time, all of these weird diets seem to get discredited. I agree with others that eating a simple, balanced diet with reasonable portion sizes is the way to go.

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