Thanks as always to oldpjams for his suggestions, edits, improvements and for all the positive things he does here!
Good luck and Happy Transitioning!!
Welcome to Phase 2 (P2) of the South Beach Diet! You are about to embark on the most important and exciting part of SBD -- losing fat at a healthy pace while maintaining good nutrition AND learning how to plan and execute a healthy menu for long-term success.
Hopefully after the past two weeks on P1 you have eliminated your cravings for simple carbohydrates. You may also have been fortunate to notice some weight loss as well. Some of this weight may have been fat; much of the weight was likely water.
This is because your diet over the past two weeks has not included grains and has been somewhat low on carbohydrates. This has depleted your glycogen stores.
Carbohydrates from fruit, bread, pasta, etc are converted into glucose (blood sugar) by your body and used for energy throughout the day. Glucose that is not used right away is stored by your body in your liver and muscle tissue in the form of glycogen. Several pounds of water are stored along with the glycogen. As you have depleted your glycogen stores, your body has released the associated water weight.
As you enter P2 and reintroduce carbs you may notice a slight jump in weight as your body replenishes its glycogen stores and some of the associated water. This is healthy and natural. It is NOT a sign that you are doing anything wrong by transitioning to P2!
Some advice on the transition from P1 to P2:
1. Do not follow the menu plans for P2 in the blue book at the very beginning of P2! The book suggests too many grains and carbs too quickly and is a prescription for undoing much of the progress you have had to date. The menus represent what your diet will look like 6-8 weeks into P2.
2. Pay attention to what you are eating and how you react to things along the way. It is more important to pay attention to how you feel (your appetite, your energy level) than what the scale says on a daily basis. Did having oatmeal leave you famished an hour later? Did a banana leave you craving sweets? If so, do not panic! This is the LEARNING phase of how you will structure the general guidelines to fit YOUR specific metabolism and food sensibilities. We are all different, so what works for one, may not work for another. Perhaps oatmeal will be fine for you, but only a small portion on the side, or, maybe your body will accept oatmeal if it is paired with an egg. A grain or fruit that is affecting you in a negative way at breakfast may be fine at lunch or dinner -- or spread throughout the day in smaller portions.
SBD is not a cookie-cutter way of eating. My personal belief is that the guidelines were intentionally left vague to force us to go through this process for ourselves. Also many people seem to uncover food sensitivities and allergies that they may not have known they had prior to adopting the SB dietary program. So pay attention and be prepared for perhaps a variety of discoveries about yourself, the foods you eat and your overall relationship with food.
3. Expect mistakes. The good news is that this is often how we learn the best. The first month or two of P2 is largely a trial and error process and YOU are the lab rat! It is not called a trial and success process! Don't beat yourself up if you stall or even gain some weight back. If you are in it for the long haul as a lifestyle change it will work over the long term. Expect some speed bumps along the way. Weight loss is NOT a linear process!! (Also, some suggest charting your progress so you can see longer term general trend lines even when you are in the middle of zig or the dreaded zags!) Missteps are healthy, and what you do following a mistake is far more important than the mistake itself.
4. Don't be afraid to move into Phase 2. In fact we had a very good mult-page discussion on how common this fear is and why we have to overcome it to be healthy and successful. Try to avoid what I call the "P1 spin cycle" where you find reasons to keep starting over on P1, to avoid going into P2. It is not healthy for you and P1 was never intended by Dr. A to be a sustainable dietary program. That is what P2 is for! I've included a link to our earlier discussion at the bottom of this post, although I am going to extract some of it here as well. I encourage a reading of the entire thread, "Anyone Else Scared to Leave P1?", as there were a lot of worthy contributions from many posters.
OK dude, so what should I do? Here are excerpts from the official SBD website that were publicly available, so I don't think I'm violating any trade secrets, copyrights, or information on the paid site that isn't freely available.
The following excerpt is from a Daily Dish (the official site's free newsletter) on starting P2:
The SBD Daily Dish wrote:Day One of Phase 2
So you've made it successfully through Phase 1--now what? Proceed with caution as you begin Phase 2. Moving too quickly can cause cravings to return or weight loss to stall. Here are some tips on how to reintroduce carbs.
Start Small: Choose one carbohydrate--like a piece of fruit or a slice of whole-grain bread--and add it to one daily meal for one week. If after one week you're still losing weight and are free of cravings, then you can move on and begin adding more carbs. If your progress stalls, try a new carb until you find one that works.
Start With Something You've Missed: Dieters typically complain about missing their breakfast cereals the most when beginning The South Beach Diet (TM). If your cereal means a lot to you, try reintroducing that first, but make sure it's made with whole grains.
Expect Changes: The rapid weight loss associated with Phase 1 will not and should not continue into Phase 2. One to two pounds of weight loss per week is a healthy and achievable goal once you begin adding carbs back into your diet.
You can try introducing new items faster or slower depending on how you are reacting. The one a week process is simply a guideline. Like most things about the SBD, the actual implementation process is entirely up to you and what you are comfortable with.
5. I tend to view the transition as a continuum, not a demarcation line. I see it as kind of moving to P1.25, then P1.5, then P1.75 and eventually into a full fledged P2 at whatever level of added grains and carbs in whatever source and configuration and at whatever times of day WORKS FOR YOU! (This is just my terminology to try and describe the process as I see it and not anything you will find in the book.) All of these things will vary by person and need to be discovered and revealed by each person about themselves along the way. We'll be here to support you, but realize that advice that worked for anyone of us might not work for you. You need to "own" your own program. We can't figure it out for you. You are the greatest resource you have in being successful. You may also be your own greatest detriment.
6. If and when you read through the "Anyone Else Scared to Leave P1?" thread linked at the bottom of this post, be sure to read the post by berkgal33 on the first page with a Q&A conversation with Dr. Agatston on this subject. I used to have berkgal33's post in here, but have removed it in favor of streamlining this already lengthy post since it can be read if you take the time to go to the links.
7. Expect some plateaus and stalls, sometimes quite lengthy (6-8 weeks is not uncommon) along the way, likely even fairly early on as your body adapts to yet another change in your dietary intake. You may in fact "be doing everything right", but just not seeing any immediate results. These can be particularly difficult days of the SB program in my experience and it is easy to question yourself, the program, and often both at the same time! Find other sources of what qualifies as "success" and remember how far you have already come, and maybe not stress how far you still might have to go. You may just have to have some faith and trust in the whole thing that it will work out in the long term. Focus on your overall health instead of just the scale or whatever you can do to keep moving forward. Stay involved in the forum. There have been numerous people who felt that when they strayed from the forum, they strayed from the program.
8. Enjoy life! Eating a SB way of life isn't a death sentence, it is a LIFE sentence! Embrace it and find a way to make it work for you! You CAN do this!! Many Phase 3 SBDers have noted that P3 is not all that different than Phase 2 -- they eat almost the same menu but perhaps allow themselves to use real sugar in moderation or perhaps they indulge in real deserts or a favorite meal somewhat more frequently. For this reason itâ€™s not inaccurate to say that Phase 2 is at times somewhat like P3! Because this is a "WOE" and P2 may be quite long for some SBDers, it is very important to understand that "life happens" and you will, on occasion, find yourself eating an off-plan meal or a slice of birthday cake. Enjoy! Do not berate yourself, and most importantly, DO NOT GO BACK TO PHASE 1! Get back on track with a healthy P2 diet, continue to exercise, and move FORWARD. P1 should only be revisited if your cravings have returned or youâ€™ve been off of P2 for a long time.
Good luck to all as you undertake the transition! And as always. feel free to post any other experiences or advice I may have missed along the way!!
Edited to renumber in a consistent manner. Posts below that referred to the old numbers may no longer make sense relative to the new numbers. I apologize for the confusion.
Re-edited to make a sticky and to put the link behind a title.
Re-edited again on 2006-03-21 to include intro and edits from oldpjams and to reorganize a bit more and add some additional relevant links contained below.
Thanks again to oldpjams for his edits and additions!
Links to additional threads on this and related topics:
Anyone Else Scared to Leave P1? by Caterpillar
Phase 2 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) by Kimboroni
Craving vs. Hunger by snotzalot
Those doubters of phase II transaction by nascar24fan
Phase 1 IS NOT the weight loss phase by Ph.D. 2 B
Good luck on your transition and your lifelong journey.