I Tried the South Beach Diet 7-Day Reboot—and Here’s How Much Weight I Lost

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Unlike a lot of popular plans, the South Beach Diet can actually improve your health while you lose weight. The quickstart approach of this “reboot” helped one woman reclaim her body, her energy, and her confidence.

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What is the 7-Day Body Reboot?

The South Beach Diet is a low-carbohydrate approach to weight loss, and the 7-Day Body Reboot focuses on the Phase 1 part of the diet. In general, you’ll be cutting back on bread, white rice and pasta, sugary treats, and alcohol while adding in lean proteins like fish and chicken along with emphasizing healthy fats such as those found in nuts and avocados. The goal of the reboot is to reduce cravings and jumpstart your weight loss.

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Why Anh Nelson decided to try it

Beginning in her early 30s, California-based mom Anh Nelson (now 42) started to gradually gain weight—around three to four pounds a year. Before she knew it, Nelson had put on nearly 40 pounds. “I was extremely disappointed in letting myself go. On my 39th birthday I was determined to lose the weight, to celebrate my new body as I entered my fourth decade of life,” she says. To get started, she tried to walk more, setting a goal of 10,000 steps a day. The exercise wasn’t enough—she didn’t lose much and felt like her 40th birthday was lackluster as a result. That’s when she turned to the South Beach Diet and gave the 7-Day Reboot a try. “One of the obstacles I had to weight loss was portion control—and spreading my meals/snacks out throughout the day. After learning about the ease of meal preparation, portion control and seeing the variety of food offered by the program, I realized that this might work for me,” she explains.

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What’s the 7-Day Body Reboot like?

Nelson completed Phase 1 and managed to drop an impressive 7.4 pounds over the next 14 days. For Nelson, the straightforward guidelines were a blessing. “Phase 1 offered an easy-to-follow nutrition plan, and the ‘foods to avoid’ helped tremendously,” she explained. “For example, I would assume edamame is a vegetable and that would be permitted in Phase 1, but it isn’t. Knowing is half of the battle when you want to succeed in a new weight loss plan.”

Portrait of a young Chinese Asian woman doing strength training at the gym. She is tanned, toned, muscular and fit and is focused on lifting the weights.

What it felt like to complete Phase 1

Despite the difficulties of resisting high-carb treats, Nelson says that completing phase one was life-changing for her. Dropping the weight helped motivate her to keep going and follow-through with Phase 2, and she felt much better. “I began to notice an increased level of energy. I was actually excited to move to Phase 2 and be able to spend more time at the gym lifting weights and running. The extra energy truly motivated me to see if more physical activity could help in my weight loss goals,” she shares. “Being able to see the results—on the scale, in my clothes, and in my pictures—gave me the confidence to try new exercises at the gym. I had this new ‘I can do this’ attitude, and I felt this level of confidence throughout my entire life.”

Young woman holding bottle with protein shake indoors

What the rest of the diet was like

Nelson’s favorite part of the diet—and why she recommends it to others—is the variety of food options. “If I didn’t feel like a prepared meal, I could grab a bar or a shake. If I was traveling for work or vacation and couldn’t pack my frozen meals, I could grab bars, shakes, and even the new food line of microwavable pouches,” she says. Over the course of seven months, Nelson was able to drop 40 pounds, and her cholesterol levels fell to much healthier levels as well. “Staying healthy is not just about the pounds you shed but about your overall health,” she adds.

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What Nelson learned

If you’re interested in trying the 7-Day Reboot to begin your South Beach Diet journey, Nelson says to remember it’s not a magical cure—it’s just about following a plan to reach success. “Weight loss is 80 percent what you eat and drink and 20 percent exercise. Exercise alone will not result in weight loss. You need to fuel your body with the right combination of healthy fats, veggies, lean proteins, and the right amount of carbs,” she says. Another helpful tactic for Nelson was tracking her meals; she also became a big fan of drinking water—lots of water.

She says mindset is everything: “Believe in yourself! The weight you put on did not happen overnight, so don’t expect it to come off overnight. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. I gained 30 to 40 pounds over the span of 10 years, and South Beach Diet helped me get that weight off in six months—and taught me how to live healthy for life,” she says.

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