And today I am reporting on my sixth week (days 39 through 46). This week I lost 1.8 pounds, for a total of 24.6 pounds since starting the Dukan Diet. Day-by-day this is what this week looked like:
Day 39 -
- This morning on the scale I lost 0.8 pounds.
- Today I ate chicken for breakfast, fish for lunch, stir-fried vegetables for mid-afternoon snack, chicken and cottage cheese for dinner.
- I finished up all the asparagus I had on hand yesterday so I ate no asparagus today.
Day 40 -
- This morning on the scale I gained 0.2 pounds. Probably an asparagus-caused water fluctuation.
- I ate chicken and fish today – it was a typical protein day for me.
Day 41 -
- I lost 0.4 pounds on the scale this morning
- I flew on an airplane twice today, which meant eating in an airport. What I noticed (again) today is that airports tend to zones of “death by food”. Every three steps you take someone else is trying to sell or advertise food. There are candy shops, ice cream shops, frozen yogurt shops, fast food places, news stands selling soda, candy bars and snacks, vending machines, push cart vendors, sit-down restaurants… It is quite oppressive if you are trying to not eat. And in all of this, there are very few options for people on the Dukan diet.
- One meal I ended up eating at at a Chinese place named Asian Chou. I asked them to skip the rice and had beef with broccoli and tofu & vegetables. Another meal was eaten at Charley’s Steakery. They had a salad with grilled chicken (McDonald’s Southwest salad with grilled chicken will also work in a situation like that, but I couldn’t find a McDonald’s).
- You just have to suck it up and ignore the thousands of other temptations and distractions in the airport food arena. As mentioned before, it’s no wonder Americans are fat.
Day 42 -
- Today on the scale I lost 0.6 pounds.
- The twins and I rode our bikes to the dollar store today. I gave each of them $1.10, and I sat by the window at the front of the store to watch the bikes. Ian bought a can of silly string. But Johnny’s purchase amazed me. For $1 he bought a box of six Mrs. Freshley’s individually wrapped honey buns. Each one has 210 calories and 27 grams of carbs. So for $1 he bought 1,260 calories and 162 grams of carbohydrates. For $1! How is that possible? That is less than a tenth of a cent per calorie – some of the cheapest calories in the world.
- I ate fish for breakfast, chicken for lunch, stir fry veggies and chicken for dinner and some lunch meat for snacks. Food-wise I was very, very good today. Yet…
Day 43 -
- I gained 0.4 pounds on the scale this morning. Is that fair?
- We cleaned the kitchen today, which meant we also cleaned the freezer out. We found some pizza dough, some mozzarella cheese and some chocolate chip cookie dough in the process. So I cooked the kids a big batch of pizza and chocolate chip cookies for lunch. And the amazing thing is that I didn’t eat any of it. I have done so well on this diet, and I feel so much better physically (and so much better about myself) that there simply is no desire to mess things up. I can actually conceive of losing a total of 50 pounds – I can taste victory, so to speak. Plus, the more I learn about how much damage we are doing to ourselves with carbs (see What if everything that we are taught about carbs is actually propaganda?), the less I want to have anything to do with carbs.
- Today I ate a lot of chicken (maybe a pound and a half) and fish (maybe a pound), as well as a hamburger patty, some lunch meat and two eggs. And I committed two transgressions. I ate a handful of walnuts, and I had 2 slices of swiss cheese on the hamburger. I am not supposed to be eating either of these things until phase 3.
Day 44 -
- Today I gained 0.6 pounds on the scale. Which is a little unusual. I am not sure, but I don’t think I have had two days of weight gain in a row since I started this diet. I’ll have to go back and look. So far this week I haven’t lost any weight at all. At the moment I am actually up 0.2 pounds for the week. So what is going on? Is this water weight I am gaining because I have not had any asparagus this week? Am I actually gaining real weight because I am eating too much? Have I hit some kind of plateau? Am I not getting enough exercise (now that I think about it, it was really hot yesterday and really busy, so I never took my prescribed walk). I don’t know. So what I will do today is try to watch my intake and get more exercise and see what happens tomorrow morning.
- Since I haven’t lost any weight so far this week, today I paid close attention to what I ate. Here is a complete listing:
I ate about 4 ounces of fish for breakfast – 200 calories
I cooked and ate 2 pounds of chicken breast today for lunch and dinner – 900 calories
I ate 2 cups of cottage cheese during the day as snacks: 200 calories
I ate one beef hot dog (no bun) at a picnic – 180 calories
I had a serving of steamed asparagus – 20 calories
So I ate 1,500 calories. Which is nearly identical to the number of calories I ate when I kept track of exact food intake on Day 10.
- Yes, I did resort to asparagus tonight. I went to the store and bought some this evening, and I ate a serving for a late snack. Am I addicted to asparagus? Maybe. But the reason I bought it is because I am on this diet to lose weight, and if the asparagus helps, I guess I am going to use it. The other reason is that my blood pressure is up this weekend. For the last week my BP has been pretty consistently in a 110/70 to 115/75 kind of range throughout the day, which is excellent, and even lower after exercise. But yesterday and today it is more like 125/90, and today’s exercise had largely no effect. I am trying to figure out what has caused the change, because obviously low blood pressure is better than high.
- I also went for a 22-mile bike ride today (which I talk about in this post). The whole idea (which people I talk to are constantly mentioning) that I will be “weak” on this diet and unable to exercise seems to be a red herring. I, personally, have seen no such effect.
- I used up my second one-pound box of oat bran yesterday. I went to Harris-Teeter today and bought a third box.
- So the hot dog (under the brand name John Morrell Bistro Natural) I ate today is probably is outside the realm of the Dukan diet because 140 of the 180 calories in it came from fat when I read the nutrition label. But it was nitrite free and it had only 3 grams of carbs. And the rest of the day was excellent food-wise.
Day 45 -
- I lost 1.0 pounds on the scale this morning, thanks I assume to the asparagus.
- My BP is 125/90 this morning, which is kind of a mystery to me. It seems like something has changed to pop it back upwards, and I would like to figure out what it is. I know that several years ago I figured out that eating one serving of BBQ pork ribs would elevate my blood pressure for two or three days. I don’t know why that is, but it is repeatable. So I wonder if I have stumbled across another food that has that effect. I just have to figure out what it is. Walnuts? Swiss cheese? Hot dogs?
- Here’s what I ate today:
I ate about 8 ounces of fish for breakfast – 250 calories
I ate 8 ounces of fish and 8 ounces of chicken for lunch – 470 calories
I ate 2 cups of cottage cheese during the day as snacks: 200 calories
I had stir fried vegetables and chicken for dinner. Maybe 200 or 300 calories.
I had a serving of steamed asparagus for dinner – 20 calories
Day 46 -
- Today on the scale I lost another 1.0 pounds. So I have lost 1.8 pounds this week, for a total of 24.6 pounds since starting the Dukan diet a month and a half ago. In two days it looks like my body dumped 2 pounds of water through the power of asparagus.
To be honest, when I started this process 46 days ago, I NEVER would have imagined losing nearly 25 pounds in a month and a half. At the beginning of this process I really had no confidence that the Dukan diet would work, simply because I had tried a bunch of other stuff and none of it had really worked. So this whole process has definitely been a success. And, since my long range goal is to (ideally) lose 50 pounds, I am nearly halfway there. It is amazing.
But this week was a little disappointing. I “only” lost 1.8 pounds, and it really looks like I was forced to eat asparagus to achieve that, because the asparagus appears to have a big effect on how much water my body retains. I don’t particularly want to have a week where I gain 2 or 3 pounds of pure water and show no progress on the diet, but maybe I am going to have to bite the bullet and let that happen.
The other disappointment this week is the blood pressure. It had been doing soooo well, but since Saturday it has come back up. For example this morning my BP is 125/90, where it had been running in the 110/70 range up until Saturday. I have no clue what caused this rise. My feeling is that either I have eaten a food, or stopped eating a food, that has caused the change. But that is just a feeling – I really don’t know at this point. So we will have to see what happens in the coming week.
Psychologically I am now getting within reach of a big milestone. It is theoretically possible that I will drop below the 200 pound point this week. In reality it will probably take two weeks, but it is theoretically possible, and that feels really good. Onward!