My Dukan Diet Experience
(I lost 52 pounds on this diet)

by Marshall Brain

I started with the Dukan diet innocently enough. I had read about the diet and wrote an article about it on my blog:

- How the Dukan Diet works – The French diet that is supposed to end the obesity epidemic

It sounded really interesting, and after a week I decided to try it out. I had "nothing to lose", as they say, but I really did need to lose some weight - I have been trying to lose weight for years. So I started with the the Dukan diet's "attack phase". The first day I tried it, I completely failed by noon. So I waited two days and tried again. It went much better the second time, as described here:

- 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)

That worked incredibly well - much better than I ever would have suspected - so it was completely natural to stick with the program and enter Phase 2, the Cruise Phase (see How the Dukan Diet works – The French diet that is supposed to end the obesity epidemic for details on the phases of the Dukan diet). Here is a week-by-week diary of my experiences on Cruise phase:

I also made this video on the Dukan diet and obesity, which you may find helpful (and which also shows a "before" picture):

My Dukan Diet articles have been read by millions. It really was a great experience. I was interviewed by ABC twice, I appeared on the Dr. Oz show, etc. But then let me tell you what happened next...

Phase 3

This all sounds great. You can see that Phase 1 and Phase 2 went well for me. I did reach my target weight of 175 pounds after I started at 227.6 pounds, so I lost 52 pounds. You can see before and after photos here. I am now in the consolidation phase (phase 3) of the Dukan diet.

So what happened in Phase 3? I would say that I am still learning to master Phase 3. Here are some thoughts.

I can tell you that, for me personally, the reintroduction of carbs in Phase 3 has not been something I manage very well. I am not unique in this - I have several friends who experienced the same thing.

What my friends and I find is this: when carbs are reintroduced, they seem to be accompanied by overeating. Then overeating escalates. Weight comes back on very quickly. Then the only choice is to go back to Phase 2 for weeks and weeks to take the weight back off. I have done this a couple of times, going back to Phase 2, losing weight, trying once again to enter Phase 3 and re-introduce carbs... and then things spiral out of control.

I had dinner with a friend this week. He has just come off of Phase 2, having gone back down to his target weight yet again. He said, "You know, last night I ate an ice cream cone, and I said I would eat just that one, but before I knew it I had eaten three. And then an hour later I was asking myself, 'what am I doing?!?!'" Whenever I reintroduce carbs, that is what seems to happen to me too. I cannot explain it. He cannot explain it. But it is a consistent thing in both of our lives.

Each time I reintroduce carbs I think, "OK, this time I will be able to control it!" Each time I fail. I fully realize that it is my brain and my mouth - I should be able to use my brain to keep things out of my mouth. When I am in Phase 2, trying to abstain from carbs totally, I am not perfect but I am OK. I will have bad days (or even very bad days), but then I can get back on the wagon. But if I am allowing carbs in on a regular basis, it is a problem.

If you have read this far, you might have the following thought: "Wow, your behavior around carbs sounds a lot like an addiction. You are able to abstain, but then when you re-introduce them, you lose control. Former alcoholics often experience the same kind of cycle with alcohol." These two articles help illuminate why that may be:

As best I can tell, if I want to not-be-fat, my only option going forward is to either be in Phase 2 (i.e. no carbs) or to be on full-time conscious calorie restriction (with carbs). And the problem with carbs is that it is soooo easy to slip up. I really have had no luck with "conscious calorie restriction" if I am eating carbs. It really has been difficult to manage. Conscious calorie restriction does not work for me when I am eating carbs.

I really am starting to believe that the right path for me is to be in Phase 2 (nothing but protein and vegetables) for the rest of my life... But that is so painful to think about - to never again be able to eat pizza, or ice cream, or chocolate cake, or Oreos, or whatever, is painful to think about.... but then if the alternative is a lifetime of obesity, it is a sacrifice that must be made... but why is this so hard???? And so on. This is the dilemma. Nonetheless, I really am starting to believe that the right path for me is to be in Phase 2 (nothing but protein and vegetables) for the rest of my life...




You may also enjoy this in-depth interview, "Marshall Brain on Singularity 1on1: We're approaching humanity’s make or break period":

See Also

About the Author
Robotic Nation
Robots in 2015
Robotic Freedom
Robotic Nation FAQ
Robotic Nation Evidence
Basic Income
Discard your body
Manna - the book
Science on the Brain
Careful Parents
Star Wars
How God Works

How to make a million dollars

Reviews
Salon
Wired
LiveScience
LATimes Editorial
Geek of the week

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