Inspired by my friend Jessica’s new year initiative, I’ve also hopped on the South Beach Diet wagon for my wedding day. I lost 16.5 lbs in 6 months following the spirits and principles of South Beach Diet. Jessica’s tips and the phase 1 and phase2 food lists keeps me making smart choices when I am on the go. My husband also lost 23 lbs in 6 months eating mostly the same thing. We both felt fantastic and looked exactly the way we wanted on our wedding day video! Look how much dress the seamstress had to trim off due to my weight loss 3 months before wedding day on my final dress fitting.
I didn’t follow any south beach recipe. I am more spontaneous in the kitchen. If you are familiar with the Legends (wonton, pizza dough, tofu, etc) on this blog, you’ve learned that I cook with whatever is already in my fridge and pantry. Following the principle of South Beach Diet is what worked for us: cut down sugar, fat and starch; eat fresh, from scratch, and never go hungry.
Reading labels in grocery stores becomes a fun hobby. We found lots of satisfying subsitutes to our old diet habits by reading the labels. For example: quinoa instead of rice; roasted seaweed chips instead of potato chips; tofu instead of cheese for lasagna or cheese cake; tofu instead of yogurt or ice cream for smoothy; mung bean noodles (green bean noodles or glass noodles) and spaghetti squash instead of white noodles and pasta.
Our snacks now include almonds, walnuts, fat free greek yogurt, coconut chucks, fat reduced baby bell cheese and low sugared popsicles. Low fat content proteins such as boiled shrimps, hard boiled eggs, chicken breasts strips and skinny Starbucks tea latte are also mid afternoon snack options we’ve been enjoying. Are chocolate allowed? It’s a life style change, not a diet. Of course chocolates has to be part of life. Choose your chocolate wisely, the higher the cocoa content (70% or more) the lower the sugar content.
I usually prepare salad for 2~3 days in one night to save time, and my vegetables are often used up before they rot. A little salad dressing goes a very long way when all ingredients are fresh and flavourful. Fruit vinegar mixed with olive oil serves as great salad dressing, and the variations are endless whenever you add a different spice or rub from your kitchen. I totally recommend stocking up with no salt added spices at home. They add tons of flavour to whatever south beach friendly dishes you enjoy at home. Find me on twitter where I show a salad a day for you to consider.
This diet has done so much for us beyond the benefit of weight loss. We both feel more energetic since we no longer experience the sugar crash, and the afternoon coffee with cream & sugar is no longer necessary. We are able to make good food choices easily by keep fresh and healthy ingredients in my kitchen. My husband was raised on beef and potatoes, and now he files formal complaint when there is no salad for lunch. It has become a craving for us. We don’t feel guilty having a little treat of chocolate donuts, a bag of buttery popcorn, or a few pieces of candy when going to the movies because we know majority of the time we are having foods that are good for us and for our waistline.