This has been my journey on the Dukan diet so far:
- About four weeks ago I wrote an article introducing the Dukan Diet, entitled How the Dukan Diet works – The French diet that is supposed to end the obesity epidemic. It sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try.
- Three weeks ago I finished a five-day Dukan Diet attack phase, where you eat nothing but low-fat protein, and lost 6.6 pounds. This is Day 1 through 5.
- Two weeks ago I started on the first five days of Phase 2 of the Dukan diet, also known as the “Cruise phase”. If you are on the Dukan Diet, this is the phase where you will be until you are down to your target weight. It consists of protein-only days alternated with protein+vegetables days as described here. This is Day 6 through 10.
- Last week I continued the Cruise phase and also discovered an interesting property of Asparagus: I have finished my second week on the Dukan Diet “Cruise Phase” and lost 5.4 pounds during the past seven days. Here is a report on how it went, and a “secret ingredient” that may have helped. This is Days 11 through 17
At this point, the whole Dukan diet thing has become a habit. I am amazed that: a) I am never hungry, b) cravings are very easy to control, and c) that the weight loss is so consistent (none of the backsliding or “binge days” you might have experienced).
I also weaned myself off of asparagus this week. I was expecting to gain a lot of water weight. And I did gain some, but then it disappeared. Here is how Days 18 through 24 went:
Day 18 -
- Today on the scale I lost 1.2 pounds. I have lost 14.8 pounds total since I started the diet and 5.4 pounds during the past seven days of Cruise Phase.
- I ate what I have been eating – chicken, fish, lunch meat, asparagus, oat bran – and added a little beef. Leigh was digging through the freezer over the weekend and came across a pot roast, so I cooked it for dinner. I learned that if you are cooking a pot roast on the Dukan diet, you can’t really partake of the traditional potatoes and carrots that you boil with the roast. Nor can you have any gravy, because it is thickened with flour or corn starch. But the meat was good.
Day 19 -
- This morning on the scale I lost 0.4 pounds.
- I am using my belt as a crude way to measure waist size. The belt has 5 holes. When I started this journey I was using hole number 2. I moved to hole number 3 during the attack phase. I have been on hole number 4 since I lost 10 pounds. Hole number 5 is starting to come into range.
- Today I ate chicken, fish, a little beef, lunch meat and asparagus.
Day 20 -
- On the scale this morning I lost another 0.4 pounds.
- I am out of asparagus today, so I am going to see what happens when I stop using it for several days. I assume I am going to gain a pound or two of water weight.
- But before I gain that water weight back, I dug through my closet this morning and found an old pair of 34-inch jeans. It has been several years since jeans this size fit. They are actually wearable. They are not tight, but they are not loose either.
- Today I ate chicken, lunch meat and the chicken+stir fry vegetables I talked about last week. This is a Birdseye frozen-vegetables-in-a-bag product that comes with a sweet/sesame sauce in the bag.
Day 21 -
- Today, as predicted, I gained weight because I stopped eating asparagus. I gained 0.8 pounds on the scale this morning. On the plus side, I slept through the night. So what I am hoping is that my body absorbs however much water it needs to absorb over the course of a day or two to return to “normal”, and then my weight starts falling again. We will see.
- I used up my first box of oat bran today, so I had to go to Harris-Teeter to buy some more (fun fact: a one pound box of oat bran holding 2-3/4 cups of the stuff lasted me about 3 weeks). Leigh looked at the flyer and HT had some excellent sales on chicken breasts and london broil (which my mother used to make a lot when I was a kid, marinated in Italian dressing, and I haven’t had it in forever). With a coupon chicken breasts were $2/pound, and London broil was $2.50/pound or so. I will let the LB marinate overnight and grill it tomorrow.
- Today I ate chicken, beef (pot roast), chicken+veggie stir fry left over from yesterday and a hamburger patty (because I cooked hamburgers for the kids). The hamburger patty is probably outside the Dukan diet because of its fat content. Oh well – it tasted great.
- Today I had a real craving for pizza and cookies. And I would have loved to have a bun and a slice of cheese with that hamburger patty. Which is weird because I have been pretty much craving-free for a good while. I resisted however. At this point it is easy to resist because: a) it has become a habit, and b) who wants to mess up a good thing? I am losing weight consistently without any hunger pangs or problems. Why mess it up?
Day 22 -
- This morning on the scale I lost 1.4 pounds, which was a nice surprise. I have lost a total of 16.2 pounds since I started 3 weeks ago.
- I ate too much today. The marinated london broil (and I did some marinated chicken too) was soooo good. So today I ate london broil, chicken, fish, another hamburger patty and stir-fry veggies+chicken. Let’s say that today’s protein was too good. I’ll have to limit consumption next time I prepare LB.
- On the plus side, we had a long family walk today. Should be interesting to see what happens on the scale tomorrow.
Day 23 -
- On the scale this morning I lost 0.2 pounds. I will try to eat less today than I did yesterday.
- Today I ate fish, london broil, 3 eggs, stir-fry vegetables+chicken and some lunch meat. I successfully limited my consumption of LB.
Day 24 -
- On the scale this morning I lost 0.4 pounds.
- How do you celebrate your birthday if you are on the Dukan diet? The kids asked this morning, “What are you going to have if you can’t eat cake or ice cream?” It kind of shows another way that carbs/sugar permeate our lives. Leigh and I would normally go to lunch together, or we would take the kids to dinner. Instead we went for a long walk.
- I celebrated my birthday by eating fish and a little london broil. I skipped veggies today. Compared to, say, 2 days ago, I really didn’t eat very much today. Maybe 1.5 pounds of fish total, and 6 ounces of LB? Something like that. I just was not very hungry. It is hilarious to compare this to the amount I was eating, say, four weeks ago (or 6 months ago). I was always hungry then.
Day 25 -
- Today I lost 0.6 pounds. So I lost a total of 2.6 pounds over the last 7 days. Since starting on the Dukan diet I have lost a total of 17.4 pounds.
If I had to guess, I would expect this to be a “normal week” on the Dukan diet. The amount of weight I lost seems consistent with the number of calories I am taking in and the amount of exercise I am getting (see How Dieting Works for details). If I can string together 10 to 12 more weeks like this, and assuming there are no “plateaus” or setbacks, I hope to be able to lose another 30 pounds. And it really doesn’t seem like it will be that hard – as mentioned above, this has become a habit. Besides the fact that all this protein is getting a little boring, and the fact I have the occasional desire to lunge at a pizza or a cookie or an ice cream cone when I see one, it seems pretty straightforward.
If you have been thinking about losing weight (perhaps for years), you ought to try this diet. If you can make it past the first few days and all the cravings that you get when you start, it really is nice to be on the “other side”. I feel a little like a reformed smoker as I say that, but it really is worth a try. I have high hopes for getting down to a healthy weight.
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