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” (Phase 1): 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 went through 25 weeks of “cruise phase” (Phase 2) and lost a total of 52 pounds, going from 221.0 pounds down to 175.4. (Days 6 through 179). You can see my before and after photos and a summary of my cruise phase exploits on this page.
- I am now on my first week of “consolidation phase” (Phase 3). I will admit that I expected to gain some weight back this week (especially since we went to an all-you-can-eat restaurant on Sunday), and it is fascinating to me that that didn’t happen. I actually lost 0.2 pounds, finishing the week at 175.2. I did eat more fruit this week, and I also ate a fair amount of popcorn, but those are the only two carbs that I added this week. Based on the results of this week, I would say that adding these two carbs has been harmless. Here is how the week unfolded…
Day 179 –
- On the scale this morning I lost another 0.8 pounds. I now weigh 175.4. I switched from Phase 2 to Phase 3 today.
- Today I was not the best with the food – perhaps a little bit of celebrating going on. I ate a pound and a half of chicken, a cup of cottage cheese, 600 calories of peanuts, 2 cups of plain yogurt, 2 cups of blueberries, 4 ounces of lunch meat, an eggbeaters omelet and 4 cups of popcorn (with olive oil). About 2,600 calories.
- The popcorn is actually part of an experiment. If I eat 4 cups of popcorn, does my weight balloon or not?
- I walked about a mile today. I did no significant exercise in an attempt to keep the popcorn experiment pure.
Day 180 –
- On the scale this morning I gained 1.0 pounds. I weigh 176.4 this morning.
- What this seems to say to me is that air-popped popcorn, even while being relatively “low” in carbs (6 grams per cup according to this page) pumps in a lot of carbs when you eat 4 or 5 cups of it. On a typical “Dukan day” I might get 20 or 30 grams of carbs total. Now if I double that by eating popcorn, the effect seems to be a carb-induced weight gain. What I am going to try to do today is have a normal “Dukan day”, get some exercise, and see where my weight is tomorrow.
- Side note: Leigh has suggested that air-popped popcorn with olive oil is actually a pretty good snack, relatively speaking. It provides a lot of volume and a lot of crunching per calorie (31 calories per cup for the popcorn, maybe 50 once you add the oil). It is technically said to be a “whole grain”. It has a lot of fiber (1.2 grams per cup). Is it as good as eating a fruit or a vegetable? No. Is it better than eating an Oreo? Yes. I think that if I were in a place one day where my body was in a “put something in your mouth now!” binging kind of state, popcorn might not be a bad food for binging, relatively speaking.
- So here we are in Phase 3. What to eat with my new-found freedom? Today I ate (in order of appearance): half a pound of Tilapia and a box of vegetables, a cup of plain yogurt and a cup of frozen blueberries (blended to make a smoothie), a pound of chicken and a cup of cottage cheese, an eggbeaters omelet, 350 calories of peanuts, half a pound of chicken and half a cup of cottage cheese, and half a cup of frozen blueberries, half a cup of frozen raspberries, half a cup of fresh strawberries and half a cup of plain yogurt (blended). That’s about 2,300 calories. Felt pretty healthy.
- For exercise I walked 2 miles (even threw in a little jogging) and did a round of push-ups, chin-ups and crunches.
Day 181 –
- I woke up twice to use the restroom last night, but even so I was shocked this morning to see 174.8 on the scale. I lost 1.6 pounds. I really would have expected my weight to be going up as Phase 3 starts, so this is a nice surprise.
- Today I ate half a pound of chicken and a box of vegetables, 400 calories of peanuts and walnuts, a cup of blueberries and a cup of plain yogurt, eggbeaters omelet, a pound of chicken, a cup of yogurt, half a cup of blueberries, half a cup of raspberries, half a pound of salmon and a cup of cottage cheese. About 2,300 calories.
- I walked 4 miles today.
- I rode my bike to the dentist today. My hygienist asked me about ketosis because she said she could smell a little acetone on my breath.
Day 182 –
- On the scale this morning I gained 0.4 pounds to weigh 175.2. Since yesterday’s food and the the food from the day before are nearly identical, I would chalk this up to a water fluctuation.
- Today I ate a pound of salmon, half a pound of chicken, 2 cups of cottage cheese, 2 cups plain yogurt, 2 cups of blueberries, half a cup of strawberries, a cup of raspberries, 400 calories of peanuts and walnuts and a box of vegetables. About 2,200 calories.
- We went to grandmother’s house today. Everyone had ice cream (really good ice cream too, with big chocolate chip chunks and some kind of chocolate fudge swirls), and I was offered a bowl ice cream. And strangely, a funny thing happened. I just didn’t have any desire to eat ice cream. That is very interesting to me. Technically I could eat it on phase 3 and call it a “celebration meal” kind of thing. But I didn’t. It wasn’t like “I resisted”. It’s like it’s been six months since touching ice cream, and now I know all the problems that follow super-sweet stuff like that, and I look at ice cream almost like I would look at a cigarette.
This same kind of thing happened yesterday. I was in the freezer section at the grocery store getting frozen fruit, and they had some fancy kind of frozen pizza on super-sale. It really was a good deal, and the pizza was thin crust, and gourmet, and it looked really tasty. But then I looked at the nutrition label. I would have, in a former life, eaten a whole pizza like that without a second thought. But the nutrition label indicated that, even with a paper thin crust, it would be 1,000 calories, 84 grams of carbs, 3,000 mg of sodium and a lot of fat. I could have bought it and eaten it as a “celebration meal”, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I wonder if this will last? I would never, ever consider picking up a cigarette. I wonder if 6 months of Dukan training has re-programmed my brain to avoid certain types of food in the same way.
- For exercise I walked 2 miles and did a round of push-ups, chin-ups and crunches.
Day 183 –
- This morning I gained 0.8 pounds and weigh 176.0. I don’t really see a reason why.
- Today I ate half a pound of salmon, a pound of chicken, an eggbeaters omelet, 400 calories of peanuts and walnuts, a cup of cottage cheese, 1 cup of plain yogurt and 1 cup of blueberries. I also had about 5 cups of air-popped popcorn with olive oil as a snack in the afternoon. About 2,100 calories.
- I rode the exercise bike for 400 calories tonight and did a round of push-ups, chin-ups and crunches.
Day 184 –
- On the scale this morning I was back down to 175.0. I lost 1.0 pounds.
- This kind of contradicts the popcorn experiment from earlier in the week. I ate popcorn and lost weight today.
- Today I ate half a pound of salmon, a cup of cottage cheese, a smoothie with a cup of plain yogurt, half a cup of strawberries and a cup of blueberries… And then we went to a local buffet restaurant called Golden Corral to celebrate Grandpa’s birthday. Being an all-you-can-eat place with everything from chocolate fountains to donut machines to a huge dessert bar to every high-cal carb in existence, Golden Corral is a minefield and a potential diet graveyard. So my approach was simple. I ate a big (huge!) salad to start with (lots of lettuce, spinach, carrots, broccoli, etc.).Then I ate protein and nothing else – grilled fish, grilled chicken, steak, etc. I ate a lot more protein than normal, but still avoided all the carbs and desserts. We’ll see how much weight I gain tomorrow, and how long that weight lasts. In the afternoon/evening I tried to go light on the food – I ate 200 calories of peanuts and walnuts, an eggbeaters omelet, a smoothie ( 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup blueberries) and half a pound of tilapia.
- For exercise today I walked 2 miles with the twins and did yard work.
Day 185 –
- As expected after a trip to Golden Corral, I gained weight. 1.6 pounds to be exact. I now weigh 176.6. Let’s see how long it takes to take that back off…
- Today I ate half a pound of chicken, a smoothie (1 cup plain yogurt, 1 cup blueberries), 200 calories of peanuts and walnuts, a cup of cottage cheese, an eggbeaters omelet, half a pound of salmon, a cup of cottage cheese, 7 meatballs (400 calories), 3 cups of popcorn and half a cantaloupe (that we grew in our garden!) . About 2,100 calories.
- For exercise I rode 400 calories on the exercise bike and watched an episode of Lost (the one about the case). And I did a round of push-ups, chin-ups and crunches.
Day 186 –
- On the scale this morning I was very pleased to see that Golden Corral was all water weight, probably from salt. I lost 1.4 pounds and now weigh 175.2. A net loss of 0.2 pounds for the week, and I wasn’t even trying to lose weight.
I must say that the nicest part about moving to Phase 3 this week has been losing the guilt. I ate fruit, and I didn’t have to feel guilty about it.
I mentioned in past weeks that I was a little fearful going into phase 3, because I do NOT want to start eating more normal foods and regain the weight I have lost. So my intention this week has been to add in one carb – fruit. I noticed this week (see above) that I was offered ice cream, and had the opportunity to eat pizza, and I was a little repulsed by both of them. The analogy that comes to mind is cigarettes. I would never even consider smoking a cigarette, and I find myself feeling something similar when I now look at pizza or ice cream. I know that these foods will a: cause me to gain 3 or 4 pounds of water weight, and 2) lead to additional cravings, which will only snowball the problem. Knowing these things, why would I eat them? I really, really like “the new me” – it is almost like getting a new body. And I really do not want to blow it. An interesting psychological shift has occurred in my thinking, it would appear.
Let me also say a word about popcorn. In Phase 2 I used lunch meat when I got the munchies. Lunch meat is not the greatest – it is high in salt. Now that the “protein” thing is a little more relaxed in Phase 3, I ate more popcorn this week. I will admit that I am kind of liking popcorn. I can eat 4 cups of it (which is a lot), and it only costs 200 calories. Four cups of popcorn provides a lot of crunching (which is nice from a psychological standpoint I think), and I find it to be very filling. It doesn’t seem to have caused any problems with weight gain.
So, first week of Phase 3 went well, and I find myself to be a little surprised at how my mind now looks at pizza and ice cream. Let’s see if this continues next week…