Here is my journey so far with the Dukan Diet:
- I wrote an article on the Dukan diet: How the Dukan Diet works – The French diet that is supposed to end the obesity epidemic
- I started with a 5-day “attack phase”: Yesterday I finished a five-day “Attack Phase” on the Dukan Diet and lost 6.6 pounds – here’s a report on how it went (days 1 to 5)
- I have been in “cruise phase”, also known as Phase 2, for sixteen weeks. Here are reports on the first fifteen weeks:
- Week 1 (days 6 to 10)
- Week 2 (days 11 to 16)
- Week 3 (Days 17 to 25)
- Week 4 (Days 25 to 32)
- Week 5 (Days 32 through 39)
- Week 6 (Days 39 though 46)
- Week 7 (Days 46 though 53)
- Week 8 (Days 53 through 60)
- Week 9 (Days 60 through 67)
- Week 10 (Days 67 through 74)
- Week 11 (Days 74 through 81)
- Week 12 (Days 81 through 88)
- Week 13 (Days 88 through 95)
- Week 14 (Days 95 through 102)
- Week 15 (Days 102 to 109)
And today I am reporting on my sixteenth week (days 109 through 116) on the Dukan diet. It has been a really good week. I have lost 42.2 pounds since starting the Dukan diet. I was able to ride my bike 50 miles on Sunday morning and that felt great. I have also reached 185.4 pounds, and my Dukan diet target weight is 185. Here is how the week unfolded:
Day 109 -
- On the scale this morning I lost 0.2 pounds. I now weigh 187.4.
- Continuing the Attack Phase mentality, today I ate a pound of chicken, half a pound of salmon, half a pound of Tilapia, 3 eggs and 2 cups of cottage cheese. Also I had one transgression. Irena was eating a pack of honey roasted peanuts. I said, “Boy, those sure do look good…” and she said, “Here” and she handed me 8 peanuts. Not 8 packages of peanuts, or 8 handfuls – 8 individual peanuts. A thimbleful. What’s that, 20 calories?
– I ran out of time and got no exercise to speak of today.
Day 110 -
- This morning my weight was unchanged. I lost 0.0 pounds. I now weigh 187.4. It was either the lack of exercise or the peanuts…
- Today I ate a pound of chicken, half a pound of salmon, 2 cups of cottage cheese, some walnuts (maybe 3 handfuls?) and then a big restaurant salad for lunch (hard to know how many calories and how much salt it contained).
- Again no exercise to speak of, which is bad.
Day 111 -
- This morning on the scale I gained 0.4 pounds. I now weigh 187.8. I suspect that the salad yesterday plus the walnuts plus the lack of exercise are conspiring against me. I will buckle down and make time for exercise today.
- Today was a perfect day. I ate one pound of chicken, one pound of fish, 2 cups of cottage cheese and a cup of plain yogurt. That’s it. Zero transgressions.
- I finally got some exercise too – I walked 3 miles today.
- So what I would expect is to be rewarded on the scale…
Day 112 -
- On the scale this morning I did lose 0.4 pounds. I now weigh 187.4. Again. That’s what I weighed on Day 109. It’s like I am standing still.
- Today was interesting. I knew I was having lunch with friends at a restaurant at 1PM, so for breakfast I had 3 eggs. Then I simply stopped thinking about food and managed to make it all the way to lunch without eating anything else. For lunch we went to California Pizza Kitchen. I had a BBQ chicken salad, which seemed to be mostly a pile of lettuce and tomatoes with grilled chicken on top and dressing on the side. That seemed pretty safe, and not salty at all. The waiter put a small plate of bread on the table, and I should have asked him to remove it. After an hour of looking at it I ate some bread. The salad was so huge, and came so late in the day, that I wasn’t really hungry for the rest of the day. I had a package of Green Giant Antioxidant Blend vegetables for dinner – only 100 calories it turns out.
- I walked 3 miles tonight.
- I feel good about food consumption and exercise today, even with the restaurant meal in there and the bread transgression.
Day 113 -
- This morning on the scale I weigh 186.0. I lost 1.4 pounds.
- So why the sudden rather large drop today after several days of plateau? I don’t know. But I can think of two possibilities. First, I slept in today (the kids didn’t start rumbling around until 7:30 – Yay!)(also important – I woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and I was able to fall back asleep – yay!), so part of that weight loss has to do with the time in the morning that I am weighing myself. For the past week I have been weighing myself much earlier in the morning. Second, I didn’t eat cottage cheese yesterday, and cottage cheese contains a lot of salt. Maybe the lower salt intake caused water to be lost. If so, that water will all come back today. We’ll see what happens tomorrow morning. Maybe if I am good today I can make it stick. But today is Saturday and Saturday is not traditionally a “good day” for me, so we will see.
- Today I ate a pound of chicken, a pound of tilapia, 2 cups of cottage chesse, and then 2 mistakes. One mistake was getting into a can of salted nuts. Bad. Probably a 500 calorie transgression there if I am honest with myself (keep in mind that each handful is about 100 calories when it comes to nuts in a can). Then for dinner we had tacos. I took my portion of the taco filling (which is hamburger mixed with a spice packet, and the spice packet is mostly salt) and mixed it with oat bran. This, by the way, turns out to be a very good way to consume oat bran. But I probably had close to half a pound of hamburger and a lot of salt in the process.
- I did lawn mowing and hedge trimming kind of stuff in the evening, but no exercise to speak of.
Day 114 -
- Given all the salt from the nuts and the taco filling, I obviously gained weight. On the scale this morning I gained 0.8 pounds and now weigh 186.8….
- …but today was a great day for exercise so I should be able to recover. This morning the plan was to ride 20 miles with Leigh’s father. But I wanted to go father than that, so at 6:30 AM I rode my bike to her father’s house (12 miles), then he and I rode the 20 miles we intended to ride, then I rode home (12 miles), and at that point I was so close to 50 that I added in a 6-mile loop and rode a full 50 miles. Like I have said before, I am no Lance Armstrong, so my average pace was 12.5 MPH and it took about 4 hours. It felt good to go that far. All the riding on the exercise bike paid off in the real world.
- Just to make this point again, everything we are told on commercials and in magazines about carbohydrates and exercise appears to be bunk. Before the ride I had a cup of cottage cheese and half a pound of chicken. At the 32 mile point I had a quarter pound of lunch meat (Hillshire Farms sliced turkey breast to be exact) that Leigh’s mother offered me. So I rode 50 miles on essentially zero carbohydrates, and at the end of the ride I felt fine. No carbohydrate loading, no carb-filled sports drinks, no Power bars, no high-carb snacks of any kind along the way, no pure glucose energy gels… Zero carbs. And yet it was a very pleasant 50 mile ride. Look at the quote on this page: “During a workout or race, no matter what type, you need to quickly absorb carbohydrate-based calories to replace the glucose you are burning at 400 – 600 per hour or you will begin to lose concentration and energy.” That is total BS as best as I can tell from personal experience.
- Today I was a good boy. I ate a pound of chicken, a quarter pound of lunch meat, a pound of salmon, 3 eggs, 3 cups of cottage cheese and a cup of plain yogurt. That’s more than I would normally eat, but all of it was Dukan-friendly and I had no transgressions.
- Given that I have been a good boy today, and that the number of calories burned in exercise today was high, plus the lack of transgressions, I am hoping to lose weigh tomorrow…
Day 115 -
-…but instead I gained weight. On the scale this morning I gained 0.2 pounds and now weigh 187.0. This is a classic case where weight loss makes no sense. How could all that exercise yield a weight gain? All I can do is keep at it, try to avoid transgressions today and see what happens tomorrow.
- On the good side, BP is 115/75 this morning.
- Today was a perfect Dukan diet day. For breakfast I had half a pound of sauteed chicken and a cup of cottage cheese. That was early, like 6AM. By 10 AM I was hungry so I had 3 eggs mixed with oat bran. That meant I could eat a late lunch, so I repeated breakfast and had half a pound of sauteed chicken and a cup of cottage cheese for lunch. For dinner I had half a pound of Tilapia and another package of Green Giant Antioxidant Blend vegetables as on Day 112.
Day 116 -
- Overnight I lost a lot of water, and this morning I weigh 185.4. I lost 1.6 pounds. So all the exercise on Sunday (the 50 mile bike ride) did pay off – it just took an extra day to see it.
- This week I had 2 nights where I lost more than a pound overnight. For dinner on both occasions I had eaten a package of Green Giant Antioxidant Blend vegetables, so I am wondering if that is a coincidence, or if these vegetables are having an asparagus-like effect on water retention (During Week 2 I discovered that asparagus seemed to help with water elimination). I’ll have to do some more experiments.
Whatever the cause, this has been a good week. I lost 2.0 pounds, bringing my total weight loss since starting the Dukan diet to 42.2 pounds. I am also now in range of my Dukan diet target weight of 185 pounds (this is the target weight I received when I went to dukandiet.co.uk way back when I started this process), which feels very good. It feels like I have really accomplished something.
Losing 42 pounds and reaching my Dukan diet target weight has made a huge difference in how I look and feel:
- My clothes feel much, much better (in fact, many of my pants, and even my underwear, had to be replaced because they became too loose).
- My ability to enjoy exercise like walking, hiking and bike riding has improved immensely. I have mentioned before that it feels like I have helium balloons attached to me. 40 pounds makes a huge difference when you are climbing a hill. Think about how different you would feel if you had been wearing a 40 pound backpack all day and you took it off.
- My kids no longer make fun of me for being fat (they used to call me “fat dad” as a term of endearment – that doesn’t happen anymore).
- I can wear a swim suit at the pool without being embarrassed about it.
- And so on.
But I am still not “thin” when I look in the mirror. I see no rippling abs, for example, because there is still a layer of fat there (might also be because there are no rippling abs underneath…). According to the BMI scale I need to weigh 174 to be on the outer fringe of “normal” (on the BMI scale, between 129 and 174 is the “normal” range for my height), and that is the scale most doctors use.
So I am curious to know what it would look and feel like to get down to 174. At the very least, I would like to try to get into the 170s, just to see. So I am going to spend the next several weeks in the attempt reach a BMI target weight of 174. If I do not succeed, so be it. But I would like to give it a try since I have made the Dukan diet an integrated habit in my life and it seems to be working well. In fact, it seems to work great except for my fairly consistent transgressions. So for the next several weeks I will try to avoid transgressions, exercise a lot while it is still summer-time weather here in North Carolina, and get down to 174. Onward!