Ask Dani – Diet Dilemma (South Beach Diet)

This is an old-time diet. They thought that would work too.

Dear Dani,

I’ve been thinking about doing the South Beach Diet, but I’m not sure. There’s so much information on diets and I don’t know how to figure out what would be the best one for me. What diet do you recommend and how would you choose which one to go on?

Thanks, Dieting Dilemma

Dear Dieting Dilemma,

Dieting is such a dirty word. When I think of a diet I think of agonizing weeks of being hungry and wishing I could eat everything else, but what I’m allowed to eat. I can’t stop thinking about food and my whole day revolves around thinking about what I’m going to eat at the next meal. Most of the time I’m also counting how many days until it’s over, which means that all the hard work I’ve done over the past few weeks will be completely undone by a mega binge on some Coldstone Creamery, as soon as I can get my hungry little paws on it. So, as you can see I don’t like diets. They are only short-term solutions to long-term issues. It’s like putting a band-aid over a gun shot wound.

What you need is to learn how to maintain healthy eating for a lifetime, which doesn’t include cutting out whole food groups or restricting your calories so much that you’re constantly hungry. You can’t keep up that kind of thing for long and it will only backfire and make your problem worse. All of that being said, I don’t condemn the South Beach Diet. I think that it does a good job at teaching you balance, but that’s only true if you really follow their guidelines and treat it as a learning process and not a quick fix. The fact that they focus on whole-grains and fiber is a good sign, because so many bad diets will cut carbs out completely or tell you to restrict way more than you need to. Normally I would say that the fact that they cut out fruit for the first 2 weeks is bad, but I can understand them doing it in order to regulate your blood sugar levels and to kind give you a reset button. My advice though is that if you want some fruit in those first 2 weeks then have the fruit. But, if you want to really maintain your weight loss you need to do some homework, which may include keeping a food diary to track your patterns, keeping a journal to track your emotions, relearning your hunger cues and patterns, and trying to get past emotional triggers. A good diet will never dip below 1200 calories per day and will have a balanced mix of all the major food groups. Every meal should consist of a carb and a protein (so that means grapefruit diets and cabbage soup diets are a major no-no), and will never cut out fats entirely (you actually need good fats in order to lose weight, as well as for healthy akin and hair). You should never feel deprived and the emphasis should be on teaching you how to make better food choices and portion control.

If you have any questions on some of the things I mentioned, such as relearning your hunger cues or getting past emotional triggers, please don’t hesitate to ask me for help!

**Have a question that needs answering? Send em in! Every Thursday I ll be answering a new question, and it might just be yours!

The Dieter's Dilemma

Last week I read an article in one of the health newsletters that I get about staying away from red meat. While they did differentiate between fatty meats and lean meats, their overall outlook was to stay away from it all together, because even lean meats have the potential to raise your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

Wait, and here s the best part, they gave some meaty alternatives &.ready for it? Instead of sausage links at McDonald s, drive into your nearest Starbucks and pick up fresh hot oatmeal – just 140 tasty calories of hearty, whole-grain goodness. You can even ask to have it made with nonfat milk or soymilk. If your waistline is in good shape, ask for the Nut Medley or Dried Fruit Toppings.”
I don t know about you, but oatmeal doesn t even remotely remind me of a yummy juicy steak. And I love oatmeal!

Or, how about a big Granny Smith apple chopped into bite-size pieces and blended in a bowl with a half cup of cottage cheese (nonfat, low-sodium). umm, that s definitely not going to do it.

I m totally down with being as healthy as possible, but I m also human and know that you can t be on your game all the time. Hey, it s summer, and summer means grilling and the beach, and unless you re some sort of superhuman dieter (which isn’t great either) you most likely won t be able to abstain completely and you ll risk going overboard when you eventually give into your craving. If I were to give you one rule to follow, even though it s super clich

The Dieter’s Dilemma

Last week I read an article in one of the health newsletters that I get about staying away from red meat. While they did differentiate between fatty meats and lean meats, their overall outlook was to stay away from it all together, because even lean meats have the potential to raise your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

Wait, and here’s the best part, they gave some “meaty alternatives”….ready for it? “Instead of sausage links at McDonald’s, drive into your nearest Starbucks and pick up fresh hot oatmeal – just 140 tasty calories of hearty, whole-grain goodness. You can even ask to have it made with nonfat milk or soymilk. If your waistline is in good shape, ask for the Nut Medley or Dried Fruit Toppings.”
I don’t know about you, but oatmeal doesn’t even remotely remind me of a yummy juicy steak. And I love oatmeal!

Or, how about “a big Granny Smith apple chopped into bite-size pieces and blended in a bowl with a half cup of cottage cheese (nonfat, low-sodium).” umm, that’s definitely not going to do it.

I’m totally down with being as healthy as possible, but I’m also human and know that you can’t be on your game all the time. Hey, it’s summer, and summer means grilling and the beach, and unless you’re some sort of superhuman dieter (which isn’t great either) you most likely won’t be able to abstain completely and you’ll risk going overboard when you eventually give into your craving. If I were to give you one rule to follow, even though it’s super cliché, I would tell you to do EVERYTHING in moderation and follow the 80/20 rule. You have to restrain yourself in moderation as much as you have to indulge in moderation, so eat white meats and fish 80% of the time and indulge in your lean red meats the other 20% of the time. It’s absolutely important that you have some fun once in a while and don’t feel like you’re holding yourself back too much, because if you love it enough, you’re going to wind up eating everything else that’s around just to avoid the “forbidden” food, but in the end you’re just going to have it anyway. So avoid that by allowing yourself to have it, but only in moderation.

Happy barbecuing to you!

Have a question that needs answering? Send ‘em in! Every Thursday I’ll be answering a new question, and it might just be yours!