South Beach Diet?

Hi All,

Well let me start out at the beginning. I had a blood glucose test done last week and I have been having blood sugar problems. I am on the verge of becoming pre-diabetic. Let’s be honest - it is because of my weight and exacerbated by my PCOS (or vice versa, I’m not sure!).

My doctor wants me to come in for a non-emergency office visit, which I already realize will be a “change your eating/exercize habits now or else” type of appointment. I think that she will be telling me to go on the South Beach Diet. Has anyone tried this? I want good and bad feedback, so please don’t be afraid to share your experiences!


I have not done the south beach diet, have read about it and from the surface it seems like a good plan. My favorite weight loss plan is Weight Watchers b/c they teach you to manage your intake and exercise in everyday situations.
As for diabetes - check out the American Diabetes Assoc as they have some free info on controlling your diet etc that they will send you. You’ll probably need to cut out alcohol, caffeine, soda, desserts etc as they make it diffucult to control your sugar.
Otherwise, my advise would be to make one change at a time and stick to it for 2 wks before you attempt to make other changes. I find that otherwise the situation can seem overwhelming and then you are less likely to stick to those life changes.
Best of Luck

Be wary of the American Diabetes Assoc. Reading some of their cookbooks, I’ve been appalled at the ingredients they use… chocolate chips, sugar, white flour, etc.

To control my PCOS, what I have found the most helpful is removing sugar and grains from my diet. My mood swings have almost disappeared, hot flashes are gone, I have energy, no depression, and my cycle is 28 days. I’ve been on this diet for about 8 months now. I have lost some weight, but weight-loss was not my aim.

You’ve probably heard that soy contains phytoestrogens, and particularly for women with PCOS, these really exacerbate the hormone imbalances. What most people don’t realize is that grains also contain phytoestrogens, so if you’re eating grains they are most likely contributing to the severity of your PCOS symptoms.

I’m also leery of the SBD because they tout low-fat living. I happen to believe that fat is an essential part of our diets, and I know that you can actually starve to death by not eating enough fat. Their reliance on low-fat and whole grain cooking really turned me off.

You may also want to discuss Metformin with your doctor. It is not a cure-all, and it is not for everyone. But I know a lot of people do wonderfully on it… I just don’t happen to be one of them. The flip side of that is that taking Metformin means you’re automatically on a “low carb” diet… no grains, no sugars, no fried foods, or you’ll be sorry. Personally I chose to do the diet without the drugs and have had wonderful results. I’m only on Met right now because we’re TTC.

If you go on over to MDC, there’s a tribe of PCOSers who have lots of experience to share (in the Find Your Tribe section). And their nutrition boards are also great. There’s a lot to learn about nutrition, and the people there can really help. I haven’t been on there in a couple weeks, but there was also a tribe for us grain-free people (in the Traditional Foods section), and one for the sugar-free people (sometimes in Health and Healing, sometimes in Nutrition).


I really don’t think any doctors endorse South Beach . I know most doctors were ADAMANT against the Adkins diet. as it was a highly unbalanced diet and very potentially damaging to the heart.

Now some carbs are good because that is what the brain feeds off of. just as their are good fats and bad fats.

I’m a person that is at very high risk for stroke so I watch my diet even though I have low blood pressure.

I’m also at risk for developing the very rare case adult onset of type 1 diabetes, because I have low blood sugar (this is usually juvenile diabetes which usually develops at around 2 or 3, family history of developing as an adult instead)

My doctor tells me, I should be excersing 3x a week for at least 1/2, no more than 20-30 grams of fat a day, 1500 -1700 calories. and that’s basically it. he says to make my food choices to fit within that and I’ll be ok. He gave me a chart to make sure I get all my nutrients. there is a website that you can go to and it tracks what you eat every day and it tells you where you are at. nutrient wise, fat wise and calorie wise.

Oh, I’ll also point out that most doctors don’t know jack about nutrition. Even most nutritionists don’t know that much about it. They have been educated by a system that vilifies fat and pushes drugs at problems. Most doctors will tell you to eat less meat, and more grains, because that’s what they were taught by this screwed up system we live in.

A great article to read about this is “What if Bad Fat is Actually Good For You?”

Actually, there are doctors who endorse SBD, just like there are doctors who endorse Atkins. However they are in the minority. And calling Atkins “unbalanced” is rich coming from a society that tells us we should be eating more grains in a day than vegetables. Our wonderful tax dollars at work.

I heard that there aren’t many independent studies confirming the benefits of the South Beach diet. For the problems you describe, I would definitely talk to your doctor before starting a diet, since it’s more complex than “just” losing weight.

I know someone who got really ill and nearly killed himself on Atkins (however, in all fairness, he was only respecting parts of it). If you choose to go on a specific diet, make sure you understand it very well!

I had a decent amount of success with south beach when it first came out. The first 2 weeks are the HARDEST, I remember really feeling deprived.
I think if you take the main points of the diet, you can be successful without following the recipes they suggest (and, as an FYI, the egg-spinach cups in the book are :ick: :zombie: :ick: … make them with more cheese and about a quarter of the spinach and they’re good tho).

High fiber, low fat, low sugar, whole grains, leafy veggies… that’s the basics. I lost 30 pounds, but I hated every second of it :teehee:

good luck!

Hi, thanks for your response. I am already on Metformin and have not had any side effects regarding diet and I do eat grains and a rare occasional fried foods. My MD originally put me on it to regulate my cycle. Thanks for the information tho!

Adkins was obese when he died and had major arterial blockage. so yea I don’t think his diet worked for him.

You can add protein to your diet without adding unnecessary fat. instead of eating a burger without a bun. have a chicken breast sandwich. if you want a burger then get the kids burger which has 17 grams not the burger that contains 60 grams of fat. Humans were not meant to consume that much fat when we are not hunters and gathers anymore.

My doctor is into holistic medicine as well as western medicine. I LOVE my doctor. he says the worse thing you can do is take away foods that you like. then that all you will think about. its all about portion control and calorie counting. hence my example above. My doctor did my blood to see how i metabolized my nutrients. and that’s is how he decided my diet.

Hi Hildie, that would be the type of diet I would probably be most interested in anyway. It sounds balanced to me. I do understand the importance of a balanced diet … it’s just a matter of balancing it! :thumbsup:

Dr. Atkins was [B]not[/B] obese when he died, nor did he have “major arterial blockage”. Atkins didn’t have clogged coronary arteries, he had viral cardiomyopathy - an infection that weakened his heart muscle. Atkins contracted the virus three years before his cardiac arrest, and had been undergoing treatment for two years.

Dr. Atkins slipped on an icy sidewalk. He was taken, unconscious, to a hospital, where he died eight days later, never regaining consciousness. When he entered the hospital, Atkins weighed 195 pounds, when he died 8 days later he weighed 258 pounds. Where does 63 pounds come from in 8 days spent unconscious in a hospital? Not his diet.

After 5 years, you would think people would stop bandying about false information. Let the guy rest in peace.

Both my parents went on South Beach for a while, and both lost weight, especially my dad. The diet does help you lose weight. Both of them have been off it for about a year and some, because for them, it was just not a practical diet for their lifestyle. It just got too hard for them to constantly stay within the requirements. Right now, they’ve just started keeping track of all their calories, and are just doing a low calorie diet. Which means they can eat whatever they what as long as they stay within their limit. (And, obviously be sensible about it, not eating or eating very little of bad things.) This is also helpful for them because it really shows them what they can and cannot eat. It really enforces the whole lifestyle change.

I also just want to point out that SB and Atkins are extremely different diets. Atkins is high fat, high protein, no carbs. SB is low fat, low carbs. And the carbs are good, high fiber carbs. Before my dad started SB, all of his numbers were very high. Within a half a year, he was around normal.

If you’ve ever read Atkins’ book, you would know that this is not true. This is more false information as it has been presented by the media. At no point does Dr. Atkins recommend “no carbs”. That would be a diet of nothing but meat. In order to be eating zero carbs, your diet would be limited to beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, shrimp with no spices, no herbs whatsoever. At [B]no point[/B] does Dr. Atkins recommend this. Dr. Atkins tells you to eat certain fruits and vegetables, dairy, herbs and spices. All of these things contain carbohydrates. He also tells you to avoid grain for 2 weeks, and to avoid all sugars as well as caffeine for those same 2 weeks. Those 2 weeks are to allow your body to “de-tox” from all the crap we as a society eat. After those 2 weeks, he tells you to slowly add these things back in until you find what works for you.

I really wish people would check their facts before repeating things that are easy enough to verify.

that basically what my doc told me besides my fat limit. (which is funny cuz i think he thinks i may be too skinny)

my bf who is a health nut and a workout freak is the same way. he always knows exactly how many calories and fat he can have and how it will affect him

Sorry about that. What I should have said is Atkins is still much more limited re: carbs then SB.

Actually, they’re both somewhat similar. You can still eat veggies with the Atkins, even in the induction period, I believe.

Thanks, Cristeen, for helping squash some of the myths about low carb dieting and the horrible things that were said after Dr. Atkins died. (The weight gain was all fluid, which is very common after head injuries).

Although it sounds crazy, most people who truly follow a diet that is low in carbs and emphasizes carbs with a low glycemic index (like Atkins and South Beach) actually wind up [B]lowering[/B] their cholesterol and improving their lipid profiles. There is an increasing body of medical literature that blames simple carbs and their affect on insulin regulation for atherosclerosis.

Also, chronic inflammation, like from gingivitis, also seems to be a factor in developing heart disease.

Flossing and staying away from simple sugars and simple carbs can probably go a long way toward protecting your heart. This is especially important for women, as we tend to have atypicial symptoms of heart disease that don’t get picked up by a doctor as quickly as the symptoms men have.

(stepping off my soapbox)…