Is there a daily carb limit on the South Beach Diet or do you have to follow the guidelines exactly as written in the book?
With my personal experience, I followed the diet almost to the
letter for the first two weeks. After I got the hang of it, I
loosely followed the diet and continued to lose weight. I never
truly did "stage three," however. I did stage one longer than
recommended (about a month) and then stage two and then when I DID
start eating carbs, I'd buy whatever had the lowest carb amounts
(for things like wheat crackers, for example). Basically if the
dinner menu was supposed to be fish and I only had chicken in the
fridge, I'd eat chicken and it didn't seem to make a difference.
The great thing is that even on stage one, you could eat as much as
you wanted. If the entree was chicken you could eat an entire
chicken as long as it wasn't fried or breaded. And you'd still lose
weight. There is not a carb limit, partly because on South Beach,
the TYPE of carbs you eat is at least as important as the number.
So, 20 carbs of beans are ok and 20 carbs of sugar are not.
Instead, follow the "approved" and "discouraged" food lists in the
back of the book. You really don't have to use the South Beach
menus and recipes (which are a little flaky), but you do have to
follow the lists of approved foods, and eat in moderation.