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:

    We can end poverty, hunger, slums etc. for all humans. Click here to see how.
  • Week 1 - I have finished the first five days of the "Cruise Phase" on the Dukan Diet (I lost 2.8 pounds)
  • Week 2 - I finished my second week on the Dukan Diet "Cruise Phase" and lost 5.4 pounds during the past seven days (first encounter with asparagus)
  • Week 3 - A report on week 3 of the Dukan Diet Cruise Phase. The whole thing has become a straightforward habit, and the weight loss seems very consistent (I lost 2.6 pounds)
  • Week 4 - I finished my fourth week in the Dukan Diet Cruise Phase and lost another 2.4 pounds – plus I saw an amazingly good blood pressure reading and survived a pot luck dinner
  • Week 5 - I have finished my fifth week in the Dukan diet cruise phase and lost another 3.0 pounds – and now I know the secret to avoiding calories in an Italian restaurant
  • Week 6 - In my sixth week on the Dukan Diet Cruise phase I lost 1.8 pounds, and I am now halfway to my 50 pound goal
  • Week 7 - Today I finished my seventh week on the Dukan Diet cruise phase and lost 2.6 pounds - I have almost broken through the 200 pound barrier
  • Week 8 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase Week 8 - wherein I learn the perils of parties (I lost 2.2 pounds)
  • Week 9 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 9 - I've lost 32.0 pounds with no "plateaus" (I lost 2.6 pounds)
  • Week 10 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 10 – Lesson: Don't eat smoked turkey legs! (I lost 1.6 pounds)
  • Week 11 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 11 - Are my kidneys failing? Is my cholesterol exploding? Plus vacation (I lost 1.2 pounds)
  • Week 12 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 12 – Vacation transgressions take their toll and I gain weight for first time (I gained 1.0 pounds on vacation)
  • Week 13 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 13 – I get back on track and lose 3.2 pounds in a week
  • Week 14 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 14 – I lost 0.4 pounds this week
  • Week 15 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 15 – I lost 2.8 pounds this week, 40.2 pounds since starting diet (I lost 2.8 pounds)
  • Week 16 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 16 – I lost 2.0 pounds, have reached my Dukan target weight
  • Week 17 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 17 – I lost 0.8 pounds, learned to stay out of Cici's Pizza
  • Week 18 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 18 – I lost 3.4 pounds, now in striking range of the 170s
  • Week 19 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 19 - One really good day and one really bad day (I gained 0.8 pounds)
  • Week 20 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 20 – I tasted the 170s for one day and it felt great (I lost 2.0 pounds)
  • Week 21 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 21 – I hit the 50.0 milestone and reaffirmed the power of asparagus (I lost 2.0 pounds)
  • Week 22 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 22 – Yikes! I gained 2.0 pounds rather than losing weight
  • Week 23- Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 23 – I lost 3.6 pounds and fit comfortably into 32-inch pants
  • Week 24 - Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 24 – I am a little bit stuck this week (I gained 0.8 pounds)
  • Week 25 - Success! I lost 1.8 pounds and reached my goal of 175 pounds. Includes before and after pictures!
These articles can also be very helpful: 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

We can end poverty, hunger, slums etc. for all humans. Click here to see how. 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":

On the coming Singularity and Artificial Intelligence:

A Conversation with Marshall Brain from MIRI on Vimeo.

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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