I tried the South Beach Diet for the first time in 2009, when I was still living in Cambodia. Working with a friend, who used to be a chef in Shangri-La EDSA before moving to Cambodia, we developed a menu based on the book. We didn’t follow it to the letter, though. We substituted ingredients here and there, depending on availability and my food preferences. For example, I hate fresh tomatoes but I love them when they’re cooked.
In two weeks of Phase 1, I lost about 25 pounds [11.4 kilos]. However, a week into Phase 2, I started cheating on the diet–which was probably exacerbated by my growing depression–and before the 4th week ended I was back to my old stress-eating habit. And I quickly gained back all the weight that I lost, plus more.
Fast-forward to 2012. To jump-start my new effort at losing weight, I decide on the South Beach Diet once more. But I want to do it correctly, i.e. not by myself. So I subscribed to The Sexy Chef. I actually considered another provider, which was admittedly cheaper than TSC. The deal-breaker for me was the fact that TSC’s kitchen was in New Manila while the other provider was in Pasig. New Manila was closer to my home and therefore, my food will reach me faster and presumably, fresher.
In two weeks, I lost about 20 pounds [about 10 kilos]. I have written about my South Beach Diet experience with The Sexy Chef HERE. I was satisfied with my experience, having enjoyed most of the meals that I received. However, the cost is prohibitive for me to be able to commit to it beyond 2 weeks. Anyway, the challenge of SBD is being able to move beyond the strict Phase 1 to a more relaxed eating habit that will maintain weight loss. This is the challenge that often fails the dieters.
Dieters like me? Well, I’m proud to say that I didn’t gain back the weight that I lost during my second stint of The South Beach Diet. However, I haven’t really lost anything else also after doing it. This is where I realized the value of having a supportive environment. My household is a treasure trove of bad eating habits. My elders are fond of snacking, they dislike eating breakfast and would eat well into the night, and they seem to believe that eating sandwich cookies are a good substitute for eating rice.
I’m not blaming my family. After all, it’s not as if I have a gun pointed at my head every time I join my family in snacking. But I realized that dieting should not happen in a vacuum if one wants it to really work. The people around the dieter must be involved in one way or another as well. And in my case, this is quite a challenge because it’s difficult to change the opinions of my elders in the house. I need to find a way to work around this so that my weight loss can proceed.