Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 10 – Lesson: Don’t eat smoked turkey legs!

by Marshall Brain

Here is my journey so far with the Dukan Diet:

And today I am reporting on my tenth week (days 67 through 73) on the Dukan diet. This week contained a major error on my part, so I lost only 1.2 pounds, for a total of 33.2 pounds since starting the Dukan Diet. Here’s how the mistake unfolded…

Day 67 –
– This morning on the scale I lost 0.2 pounds.
– Today I ate a pound of chicken, half a pound of Tilapia, a cup of yogurt, a cup of cottage cheese, a handful of walnuts, and maybe a quarter cup of rice and cheese that I made for the kids.

Day 68 –
– This morning on the scale I lost 0.4 pounds. I weight 195.2.
– I got zero exercise today because…
– I was on the road much of today. So I ate a pound of chicken, a cup of cottage cheese, an apple, a “Southwest salad” at McDonald’s and a restaurant meal that consisted of salmon, vegetables and a salad. It seemed like a pretty good day given that I was on the road, but…

Day 69 –
– Today on the scale I weighted the same as I did yesterday. I neither gained nor lost weight.
– Today I ate half a pound of chicken, a pound of Tilapia, a cup of cottage cheese, a big serving of stir fry vegetables and chicken, a handful of walnuts, and a serving of asparagus.
– BTW, Why did I eat an apple yesterday? Being on the road, I got into a situation where I was hungry, but I was in a Dukan-adverse environment. In that environment, the apple was by far the best of the available options, even though it was a transgression. Given a choice between that, potato chips, ice cream, soda, etc…. with no protein of any kind on the horizon… the apple was the best thing to do.

Day 70 –
– This morning on the scale I lost 0.6 pounds. I weigh 194.6.
– Today is the Friday morning before the 4th of July weekend. Stretching out before me (starting tomorrow) is a 3 day weekend of a hundred picnics. By next week, will I have gained weight or lost weight? I’m really kind of curious, because my track record at picnics and parties is not so good. We will see…
– Today I ate about a pound of chicken, a cup of cottage cheese, a handful or two of walnuts, two turkey burger patties, three eggs, a cup of watermelon, a serving of stir fry vegetables and chicken and a serving of asparagus.
– The weather was absolutely gorgeous today. Instead of being 100 degrees F, it was 82 degrees and bright sun. So we took a huge family walk and walked about 4 miles.

Day 71 –
– This morning on the scale I lost 0.4 pounds. I weigh 194.2. I kind of thought I would do better than that, since I held it together pretty well on food yesterday and walked so far. C’est la vie.
– Because of today’s picnic schedule I ate too much, but almost all of it was Dukan-friendly. I ate 2 cups of cottage cheese, 4 turkey burger patties with BBQ sauce, a pound of chicken cooked in curry sauce, a pound of Tilapia, and then we had smoked turkey legs. Have you ever gone to a place like Disney World or the State Fair and seen smoked turkey legs? They had them for sale at BJ’s and the kids were adamant that we were going to have them for the 4th of July weekend. So we bought them (only $1.69 per pound), cooked them and they were outstanding. Better than any we’ve ever had before. However, this is pretty fatty protein, and it is very salty protein, and it tasted great so I ate too much (maybe a pound or a pound and a half? hard to say – the kids had lots of leftovers), and then there were also these spicy pecans sitting nearby that were delicious, and I also may have eaten a large spoonful of mashed potatoes and gravy….

Day 72 –
– … but even so, I was totally unprepared for what happened this morning. I got on the scale and weighed 197.0 – I gained 2.8 pounds over the last 24 hours! Holy cow. I have never seen that much weight gain in a single day while on this diet. I have to believe (hope) that all that salt from the turkey legs is the primary cause of this monstrous weight gain, and also hope that by being good today I can whittle this down. But how utterly depressing.
– So today, despite a big 4th of July picnic, I managed to hold it together and ate a pound of chicken in curry sauce, 2 cups of cottage cheese, one hot dog (come on – how can it be 4th of July without at least one hot dog???), a couple slices of watermelon (ditto), one handful of walnuts, a pound of Tilapia and a serving of asparagus.

Day 73 –
– Question: Why does someone on the Dukan diet get upset over losing 1.2 pounds? Answer: Because the day before he gained 2.8 pounds in a major eating transgression. Today on the scale I weigh 195.8, which is a whole lot better than the 197.0 I weighed yesterday, but a huge distance away from the 194.2 I weighed just two days ago. What the heck happened on Saturday? Is smoked turkey leg a death food? I have to believe that it is.
– So today I tried to hold it together again on the eating front, and it was pretty easy. I had 3 eggs for breakfast (then went on a 20 mile bike ride), then a pound of Talapia, a cup of cottage cheese, a handful of walnuts, half a pound of chicken, one ear of corn on the cob (see the “hey, it’s 4th of July” logic from day 72) and a serving of asparagus.

Day 74 –
– So this morning on the scale I lost another 1.4 pounds, bringing my weight down to 194.4. I have lost 33.2 pounds since starting the Dukan diet. The problem is that a week ago I weighed 195.6, meaning that I only lost 1.2 pounds this week. In other words, this is my worst weekly performance since starting the Dukan diet.

It really does appear that there is something about smoked turkey legs that “caused” this problem. Why do I think that? Because I went and looked up the nutrition information for it:

Turkey, drumstick, smoked, cooked, with skin, bone removed

A typical drumstick weighs something like 2 pounds. Let’s assume half of that is bone, gristle and skin, so there is one pound of actual meat. If you look at the nutrition info in the previous link, that is for one ounce of that meat. So you have to multiply by 16. The calories are not so bad (44*16 = 704 calories), but the killer is the salt. If you eat a pound of this meat, you get 3,300 milligrams of salt!

Digging a little deeper on that day, the turkey burgers were also salty (about 1,200 milligrams total for the 4 patties), and the curried chicken was salty (I have no idea, so let’s call it 1,000 milligrams). And then there is the cottage cheese. Did you know that half a cup of cottage cheese has 360 milligrams of salt??? I had no idea. So that’s another 1,440 milligrams of salt from the cottage cheese. And I know there was salt in the pecans, and in the BBQ sauce, and in the Tilapia too. If you add it all up, I probably took in something on the order of 8,000 milligrams of salt in a single day! And I had no real idea that it was happening. I have not really been paying that much attention to salt.

It’s no wonder I gained so much weight in one day. 8,000 milligrams is a ton of salt. And apparently it is taking me multiple days to excrete it.

This may explain also why going to a restaurant and eating a “normal” restaurant meal can cause me to gain two or three pounds in a single day – restaurant food tends to be salty, and it could simply be all the salt that causes the bulk of the weight gain.

The interesting thing will be to watch what happens next week. Do I keep excreting that salt and water, and lose more-than-a-normal-amount-of-weight next week as the remaining water weight falls off? Or did all the food I ate on Day 71 cause a permanent dent? I “should” have lost 2.5 pounds or so this week had it not been for Day 71. But I “only” lost 1.2 pounds this week. So am I carrying an extra 1.3 pounds of water weight at the moment? Or did I put on actual weight on Day 71 from all the food I ate? We will see.

And obviously there is a lesson here. Smoked turkey legs are bad. I also need to be paying more attention to salt intake. I am utterly amazed that I could consume 8,000 milligrams of salt in a single day without even realizing it.

[[Click here to find out what happened next…]]

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