diet tricks that would change your life {south beach diet update} by Lisa Leonard

some of you have asked how we’re doing on the south beach diet–so here’s an update!

the first two weeks are called phase one and it’s fairly strict–mainly lean meats, cheeses and lots of vegetables. i got creative with lots of spices and yummy cheeses. we ate zucchini lasagna, grilled chicken on the bbq and had salads with spinach, fresh basil and mozzarella. the food was delicious but the sugar withdrawls were pretty painful. on day two i almost didn’t think i could go into the workshop because i felt to nauseous.  i ate breakfast and took a couple tylenol and then i felt a lot better. after the first week i actually felt more energetic.

now we are in phase two. we’re adding fruits and whole grains back into our menu. i am surprised how flavorful {and sweet} the fruit tastes–it’s such a treat.  i’ve lost about 4 pounds and steve’s lost at least 12 pounds.  we’re going strong! my favorite foods these days are homemade granola with plain yogurt and berries, scrambled eggs with fresh basil and mozzarella and grilled salmon. yum!

do you try to watch your sugar intake or do you just indulge?

p.s. sugar, i still love you and i miss you!


  1. I’m happy with my weight — but, I know I can’t just eat “whatever.” I recently started using the MyFitnessPal iPhone app (it’s free) & I LOVE it!! You begin by entering your height/current weight/age/gender/current activity level & then input your goal: lose ‘x’ # lbs, maintain current weight, etc. Then, it lets you know how many calories you can eat each day to keep on track for your goal. It’s pretty much a food diary – and has a data base of practically all foods! You also input any exercise you do each day. You can look to see all sorts of nutritional info. of what you’ve been eating that day/week/month. It is such a no-brainer and actually fun to use — I strangely love inputting every thing I eat. 😉

  2. i could not follow SB the second time around. i was extremely tired and had absolutely no energy. it did make me think twice before snacking and it made me more conscience of choosing healthier. yay, for you and the hubs!

  3. congratulations to you! i’ve wanted to try the south beach diet but i’m soooo bad at following guidelines. as soon as somebody tells me “don’t”, i do!! lol! because of that, i haven’t eliminated sweets but i keep it down to small portions and only once a day.

  4. Sugar and I have definitely had quite the love-hate relationship. I try so hard to eat healthy and it really isn’t so bad since there are so many wonderful healthy food options I love…Until…the sugar cravings rear their ugly head and there I am looking for something sweet in the pantry. Oh, how I try to fight.

  5. Type 2 Diabetes kind of makes you watch your sugar. Still indulge in some things I probably shouldn’t. But I did SB to fit into my mother-of-the-bride dress for Liz’s wedding. Should have continued. Good job, you two. You’re inspiring me to do even more to eat healthier, esp. since I’ve been told to lose another 50 lbs., which would help with my knee pain, I’m sure. Thanks for updating. love you

  6. I do watch my intake- I find that too many indulgences leave me feeling yucky.
    Glad to read that you and your husband are doing and feeling well on your new eating plan!

  7. I should watch my sugar, because I know I eat too much, but it is so good. I think I could do the diet, but I am not sure if I could cut out Dt. Coke if I need to…my head would be killing me.

  8. that actually sounds like a super yummy diet!! (besides the lack of sweets). lately i have been baking like crazy so, yes, i have been splurging on sweets. and i can’t say i really feel guilty about it.

  9. I’m off sugar too!! It is SO hard. I haven’t been perfect, but after two months its getting easier all the time. When I really need something sweet I blend frozen bananas with some milk and a spoonful of peanut butter. Tastes like ice cream if you’re used to going with out! 🙂

  10. Isn’t the South Beach great? We pretty much live on phase 2 now, and it’s really not difficult at all. Phase 1 was a little tricky, and I experienced pretty bad headaches for a few days, but luckily it only lasts for 2 weeks! Great job!

  11. i definitely watch my sugar intake! too much sugar is so common in the american diet, and so unhealthy. i enjoy treats still, but in controlled moderation. i don’t feel deprived at all, and find that things like greek yogurt with nuts, or a cup of tea with cream and a little sweetener totally satisfy a sweet tooth. good job you guys!! xo

  12. Sugar definitely zaps energy. I have a major sugar/chocolate sweet tooth, but when I keep it in control I feel much better and have much more energy. We follow the paleo diet because my husband and son both have a lot of food allergies. I don’t have the allergies so I splurge a little more here and there, but I feel best when I stick to it 100% with them.

  13. I went on a large, medically supervised diet over 4 years ago. And it wasn’t about sugar intake as much as watching your overall caloric intake and what type of calories they are. If I drink any soda, I absolutely refuse to drink anything but Diet! I definitely give it to my sugar temptations, but I workout a lot and watch what I eat…so I deserve it once in a while 🙂

  14. Go you, Lisa. Does South Beach allow or work in occasional splurges, or is it more strict about cutting those things out as much as possible?

  15. I found out last fall that I am allergic to dairy and yeast. It’s easy enough to adjust to a dairy-free lifestyle, but the yeast allergy has caused major problems. Not only do I have to dump all foods that contain yeast, but I can also no longer have any sugars, grains or products that might have mold in them because of the way they are processed…like nuts, seeds and dried herbs. Literally I can only have meats, veggies, most fruits, eggs and beans l while green tea is my only option for a non-water beverage.

    Yes, it is all a huge pain and has caused a lot of heartache. However, 20ish years of chronic, vague medical issues are clearing up. I haven’t felt this good since I was about 15!

    And yes, this is for life!

    So keep up the good work, and remember… could be worse!

  16. We have been watching our sugar intake for a little over 2 years now ~ when my husband was diagnosed with diabetes. We buy whole grains: breads, pastas…and really try to stay away from anything white. It was very difficult at first, but now we are very used to it, and we all eat much healthier! Our one splurge: ice cream! Although, I have to say, my husband sticks to his sugar free ice cream…. he’s good. 🙂

  17. You are so brave, I so need to try it. Just told I am type 2 diabetic; not good. keep up the good struggle.

  18. I have been doing low carb for 4 weeks now and have only lost 2 pounds. It is so frustrating because I thought that giving up all that sugar and starches would produce a higher weight loss. I am keeping with it and hoping to drop 15 pounds. Good luck.

  19. You totally rock! Bri and I are still doing the Abs Diet, and though the scale hasn’t moved much for me, the body is looking much different from the food and the weights… I can actually start seeing my abs. Definitely motivating! But yes… I’m with you on the grumpy sugar withdrawls (also for me the caffine–because w/o the sugary creamers it just doesn’t taste as good). That was a hard first week or so! Let’s keep going!!!!

  20. Yeah!
    It makes it so FUN to do it together!
    Do you make the granola~
    would love the recipe!
    I do watch my sugar.
    You make the South Beach Diet sound YUMMY!
    Keep on keepin’ on SWEET girl!
    Happy Day to YOU!

  21. I gave up {processed} sugar for the month before my birthday this year. I was surprised at how many things {bread, crackers, chips, etc.} have added sugar. The first week was hard, but I felt really good the rest of the time and it really helped curb that ‘need’ for sugar after every meal.

    Good job on your success so far! Happy Day!

  22. When I’m not 9 weeks pregnant we adhere to the Paleo diet and are very careful about our sugar intake. Our whole family has been doing it for over a year now with great results – our son’s pretty extreme seasonal allergies prompted us to make some dramatic changes that have helped tremendously. I ran across this article a couple of days ago that you might be interested in.

    Mercola in general has some great health resources.

  23. Hi Lisa! A faithful blog follower and jewelry ‘wearer’! I just made homemade granola with my triplets last week, do you have a great recipe? I eat vegetarian (and fish sometimes) and try really hard to watch my sugar (and that of my kids!) blessings!

  24. I’ve done south beach and was so pleased with my results in the first couple of weeks! I love that you and your hubs are doing it together. Teamwork!

  25. I am attempting South Beach. It seems easier to do in the summer when there are lots of fresh vegetables in season. I miss sugar, too. I work in corporate food service and this has really made me stop and think about what I eat. Temptation is every where. No more mindlessly picking up croissants and danish in the morning and no more cake.

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