Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2) week 25 – I have reached 175 pounds, before and after pictures, heading to Phase 3!

by Marshall Brain

Here is my journey so far with the Dukan Diet:

– I wrote an article on the Dukan diet: How the Dukan Diet works – The French diet that is supposed to end the obesity epidemic

– I started with a 5-day “attack phase”: 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)

– I have been in “cruise phase”, also known as Phase 2, for 25 weeks.

And today I am reporting on my twenty fifth week (days 172 through 179) on the Dukan diet. It is a day of great news (for me anyway) – I hit the 175s today. In fact, I even witnessed 174.8 (more on that in a minute). And I thought I would celebrate with some before and after pictures.

Here is a photo of me and the Brain kids from April 2009. I am about 45 or 50 pounds overweight in this shot (and I am not a big fan of the hat either).

That stomach is just embarrassing.

These three photos were taken this morning (October 19, 2010) around 7:30 AM. I believe it is the same shirt, but the pants and belt are new:

The one that is most interesting to me personally is the last one. It is just amazing to have no stomach. It is worth pointing out that the Dukan diet web site gave me a target weight of 185. At 185, I still had fat around the middle that I didn’t like. I have gone 10 pounds lower to 175 and feel good about this weight.

To provide some kind of proof, Leigh is my witness and she took this photo of me on the scale at around 8AM this morning:

Officially I weigh 175.4 today, but the photo shows 174.8. Why? That’s because I usually weigh myself sometime between 5AM and 6AM, and I try to be consistent about it. I lose approximately 0.2 to 0.3 pounds per hour if I don’t eat or drink anything. So by 8AM, since I had not eaten breakfast yet, I was down to 174.8. Which is utterly amazing to me. If you had told me in April 2010 that I would weigh 175 in October, I would have laughed heartily. There was absolutely no way that could happen. Yet here I am.

This is how the week unfolded…

Day 172 –

  • I gained 0.4 pounds – This morning I weigh 177.2
  • Let’s start by talking about exercise. It was a gorgeous day/evening, so I walked 3 miles. Then I rode the exercise bike for 400 calories while watching episode 8 (or 9?) of Lost (the one about golf). And I have gotten into the habit, every other day or so, of doing a round of push-ups, crunches, chin-ups and curls/flys with a pair of small barbells.
  • But I also ate too much today. I ate half a pound of chicken and a cup of cottage cheese, 400 calories of peanuts and walnuts, a cup of plain yogurt, 800 calories of frozen Chicken Piccata, about 4 ounces of lunch meat, 4 cups of air-popped popcorn with olive oil and another pound of chicken. About 2,800 calories.
  • So it was a good thing I did a lot of exercise, because it balanced out.
  • I got my flu shot today.

Day 173 –

  • This morning I gained 1.2 pounds to weigh 178.4. I assume it is a combination of the exercise, too many calories and a lack of asparagus.
  • For exercise I walked 3 miles today and rode the exercise bike for 800 calories (watched 2 episodes of Lost). So I burned about 1,000 calories on exercise today.
  • But… I had a reason to do that. The day started OK. I used up my cottage cheese at breakfast. So I replaced cottage cheese with plain yogurt. For the day I ate half a pound of salmon, half a cup of cottage cheese, egg beaters (about 100 calories), 3 cups of plain yogurt, a cup of strawberries, a pound of chicken, 400 calories of peanuts and walnuts, 4 ounces of lunch meat and a box of vegetables. About 2,400 calories. And then Leigh made a batch of muffins tonight for the kids and I succumbed, eating about 500 calories worth. These were true pumpkin muffins (containing lots of real pumpkin), so in theory healthy, relatively speaking. So 2,900 to 3,000 calories for the day. I used all the exercise to offset the transgression.

Day 174 –

  • This morning my weight actually went in the right direction for a change – I lost 1.0 pounds and now weigh 177.4. Let’s hope that this is the start of a trend!
  • For exercise today I walked two miles, and the twins and I rode our bikes to cub scouts (about 4 miles).
  • Today I ate a pound of chicken, eggbeaters (100 calories), 400 calories of peanuts and walnuts, 2 cups of cottage cheese, 2 cups of plain yogurt and a cup of strawberries. About 1,900 calories.

Day 175 –

  • I lost 0.2 pounds this morning, down to 177.2.
  • Today I ate 2 pounds of chicken, half a pound of salmon, 200 calories of peanuts and walnuts, eggbeaters (100 calories), a cup of cottage cheese, a cup of plain yogurt, a cup of strawberries and a box of antioxidant vegetables. About 2,100 calories.
  • No formal exercise today, but I did ride my bike to the store (about 4 miles).

Day 176 –

  • This morning I lost 0.4 pounds and weigh 176.8.
  • Today is Saturday, and my goal this weekend is ZERO transgressions. I really would like to hit 175.0 sometime in 2010! Let’s see how I do…
  • So for breakfast I ate half a pound of chicken and a cup of cottage cheese. For lunch I ate 100 calories of eggbeaters in an omelet and half a pound of salmon. For dinner I had half a pound of chicken and a cup of cottage cheese. And that was it. About 1,300 calories. Let’s hear it for zero transgressions!
  • No significant exercise today, but I did do my rotation of chin-ups/push-ups/crunches.

Day 177 –

  • Today I gained 0.2 pounds and weigh 177.0. That makes no sense to me after being so good yesterday, but there it is.
  • I was hungry this morning, so I ate 100 calories of an eggbeaters omelet, half a pound of chicken, one quarter pound of salmon and half a cup of cottage cheese. For lunch I had half a pound of chicken and a cup of cottage cheese. I had a southwest salad at McDonald’s for dinner (about 500 calories). But “the day” today ran from 3AM to midnight – a very long day. So during the rest of the day I snacked, and ate a cup of plain yogurt, a cup of blueberries, 400 calories of peanuts, another quarter pound of salmon and half a cup of cottage cheese, and another eggbeaters omelet. About 2,600 calories for the day. That was a fairly good day given that I was awake for 21 hours. But I would consider the peanuts and blueberries to be transgressions.
  • For exercise today Johnny and I spent 2 hours tromping around in the woods looking for the corner stakes on a piece of land. Sounds simple, but it was all brambly and the stakes were well hidden, so it took us far longer than expected. We found all kinds of things in the woods along the way and had a great time, but I have a hard time saying how much “exercise” it was. Let’s call it “walked 2 miles”. Plus some yard work. And Leigh and I went for a Kayak ride.
  • The North Caroline State Fair opened this weekend. Leigh and I and the kids, in the past, have gone every year. It is a huge event in Raleigh that lasts for almost 2 weeks. A major, major attraction of the State Fair is the food. This article describes some of it. Typically, in my prior life, we would go to the Fair for a full day and eat our way across it – funnel cakes, turkey legs, roasted corn on the cob, real churned ice cream, sausage sandwiches, blooming onions, salt water taffy, cotton candy, roasted peanuts, kettle corn, corn dogs and all the rest. This year we probably are not going to be able to bring ourselves to go the Fair. Leigh and I have talked about it, and in our heads the “State Fair” and “Food” are so inextricably linked that we don’t think we could handle breaking the two ideas apart (Leigh has gone every year for her entire life, just to put this into perspective). It makes me wonder how many other events in America get inextricably linked to food like that.

Day 178 –

  • On the scale I dropped 0.8 pounds today and now weigh 176.2.
  • Today I ate half a pound of tilapia, half a pound of salmon, a pound of chicken, 4 ounces of lunch meat, an eggbeaters omelet, a cup of cottage cheese and a box of antioxidant vegetables. About 1,600 calories.
  • I walked 2 miles today and David and I rode 6 miles to his boy scout meeting.
  • Given the frequency of restroom stops today, I would say that my body has decided to dump some water. Which, as far as I’m concerned, is great. It’s about time!

Day 179 –

  • On the scale this morning I lost another 0.8 pounds. I now weigh 175.4.

So, I am going to end Phase 2 of the Dukan diet today and enter the consolidation phase (Phase 3).

Let’s review what has happened over the last 179 days. I started this diet back in April with a starting weight of 227.6. That’s a BMI of 32.7. Since official obesity is defined as a BMI greater than 30.0, I was certainly obese – more than 50 pounds overweight.

I started the diet on a whim, after writing this article. As you can see here, I failed the first time I tried the Dukan diet. I only lasted about 4 hours before collapsing from carb withdrawls. But I started over again a couple of days later and have been able to hold it together, for the most part, for 179 days.

Here we are 179 days later (almost exactly half a year), and I have lost a total of 52.2 pounds on the Dukan diet. I weigh 175.4 pounds (or 174.8 if you are lenient). My BMI is now 25.2, right on the cusp of a “normal weight” on the BMI scale. I could probably afford to lose 1 more pound to be officially normal.

I feel amazingly better, and amazingly better about myself, having lost all this weight. It makes life so much nicer, and easier. It is easier to put on socks, easier to get in and out of cars and kayaks, and it is incredibly easier to exercise. I have been able to ride my bike 100 miles in a day since I lost the weight. I can now run with the kids. I am up to 10 chin-ups today. Chin-ups are amazingly easier if you drop 50 pounds.

Try this experiment if you would like to understand/appreciate how I feel today. Go to the store and pick up a 50 pound bag of dog food. Walk around the store carrying the dog food for just 10 minutes. Think about how you feel carrying all that extra weight around for just that little bit of time – never mind 24 hours a day. Now put the bag down and notice how much better you feel. That feeling is amazing. That is how it feels to lose 50 pounds. It has an unbelievably positive effect on body and mind. And joints.

Along the way I have made a group of new friends in the comments, and I would like to thank all of you for your encouragement, criticisms, ideas and conversations. I have learned a lot from you!

So now I am going to try Phase 3. I can eat fruit and nuts without guilt, mostly. And I would like to try legumes, and the occasional slice of bread too. I am going to be trying to maintain my weight at 175.

I will never be able to go back to “the way I used to eat” before this diet, because before this diet I inhaled carbs — 3,000 or 4,000 calories worth per day. Breakfast cereal, pizza, pasta, lasagna, potato chips, fruit juices, sweetened yogurt, rice, potatoes, french fries, burgers, etc. I won’t be able to do that or I would be obese again in no time. However, he Dukan diet has educated me in a big way on the problems with high-carb diets and all the blood sugar swings that they induce. And the Dukan diet has also showed me what I can eat, and I will be trying to apply what I have learned as I enter Phase 3.

So, thank you Dr. Dukan for coming up with a diet that actually works, and thank you friends for your comments and suggestions, and let’s see how it goes in Phase 3. I will continue with the weekly updates for those who are interested.


PS – I had talked in previous posts about going as low as 170 pounds in Phase 2, so that I could eat a high carb meal and “bounce back up” to 175. Instead I am going to stop here and skip the high carb meal. At my current pace, it would take me awhile to lose another 5 pounds. I think I will simply skip the high carb meal, start eating more fruit, and see what happens as I enter Phase 3.

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