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

by Marshall Brain

Here is my journey so far with the Dukan Diet:

And today I am reporting on my fifth week (days 32 through 39). This week I lost 3.0 pounds, for a total of 22.8 pounds since starting the Dukan Diet. Day-by-day this is what the week looked like:

Day 32 –
– I neither lost nor gained weight today. I lost 0.0 pounds. I lost 2.4 pounds this week, for a total of 19.8 pounds since starting the Dukan diet.
– I ate nothing but chicken, fish and oat bran today. A pure protein day.

Day 33 –
– On the scale this morning I lost 0.6 pounds.
– Today I ate chicken, fish and cottage cheese, along with some asparagus. As previously mentioned, I really like asparagus (steamed, with a little salt), and it is still really inexpensive (relatively speaking) at the store right now. And this is also an experiment – Let’s see if asparagus has any dramatic effects on my weight like last time.

Day 34 –
– I lost 0.8 pounds when I got on the scale this morning. That’s not as dramatic as last time I tried asparagus. But combining that 0.8 with the 0.6 pounds lost yesterday, that is a pretty significant loss for two days, considering that I am pretty deep into this process. I have enough asparagus to last me for several days, so we will see what happens. Do I gain weight back tomorrow or the next day to compensate? (i.e. is today’s loss nothing more than a water fluctuation?)
– Today I ate chicken, fish, eggs, cottage cheese and asparagus.
– I really would have enjoyed some pizza today. The kids had some for dinner, and it really would have tasted good. And the kids had lasagna the other night, meaning there have been lasagna leftovers in the refrigerator for a couple of days. I made them finish those leftovers off today because they were calling my name every time I opened the refrigerator door. I am an absolute addict when it comes to lasagna. But all that you have to do to resist is look at the nutrition label, for example on the pizza box – one slice of pizza has 41 grams of carbs in it! Here’s a typical pizza from Papa Johns – Tuscan Six Cheese Pizza. There’s 320 calories in one slice! But I could never eat a single slice – Since I am a pizza addict, I can easily eat half a pizza without thinking about it – and that’s 1,300 calories! I think I am going to have to swear off pizza for life. Or start burning 12,000 calories a day like Michael Phelps.
– I also did a post today on your Ideal body weight if you want to be healthy. The ideal weight, from a medical standpoint, is calculated with the Body Mass Index (BMI). For me, the “healthy” range stretches from 135 to 175 pounds – a huge range of 40 pounds. I would be ecstatic to hit 175, but at 135 I would be skeletal. See the article and comments for a discussion. The part about rapper 50 cent is interesting.

Day 35 –
– Today on the scale I lost 0.2 pounds.
– Today I ate chicken, fish and cottage cheese during the day. For dinner the kids had chicken nuggets, etc. and I will admit I ate one that was left over (my second transgression while on the Dukan diet). I wasn’t paying attention to the time so I never got around to cooking asparagus for dinner because…
– A newly married friend from the west coast was in town and we met downtown for dinner. We went to an Italian restaurant called Cafe Luna. Italian food kind of clashes with the Dukan diet, so I ended up ordering an appetizer as my entree. It was described on the menu as: “Salmone Affumicato – Smoked Salmon, Cream of Cucumber and Bruscetta, $6.95″. The smoked salmon was presented on a small bed of mixed greens, Cream of Cucumber was on the side and the bruscetta was two tiny pieces, perhaps 2 inches by 1 inch each and half an inch thick, topped with little sliced tomatoes. So I ate everything but the Cream of Cucumber. Yes, I ate the bruscetta. At most there were two cubic inches of it. But this was my third transgression on the Dukan diet. Considering I was in an Italian restaurant, and considering what I would have eaten there two months ago, I was pretty proud of myself.
– By the way, this idea of ordering an appetizer and having it served as the entree worked really well in this situation. I was able to eat very little while at the same time not looking weird by not ordering anything.
– So to summarize my failings for today, I didn’t eat asparagus, I ate one chicken nugget and I ate two cubic inches of bruscetta. Therefore…

Day 36 –
– On the scale this morning I gained 0.8 pounds. I do not know if there is a direct cause/effect relationship, but it certainly looks suspicious. Or it could simply be a water fluctuation. I will be more rigorous today.
– Overnight and this morning I made Greek Yogurt, so today I ate Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, fish, Tandoori chicken (made with Greek yogurt) and some asparagus.

Day 37 –
– Today I lost 0.6 pounds.
– We went to the big Clarke family Memorial Day picnic today (Leigh’s maiden name is Clarke). This means it was the Brain family, plus the families of her two sisters, plus her parents. The main course was hotdogs, and then there was Mac and cheese, baked beans, pasta salad, chocolate cake, popsicles, and lots of cut-up fruits and veggies. So… knowing this would be the menu (Leigh and I have been married 15 years…) I brought some chicken breasts in a cooler and cooked them on the grill after the hot dogs were done, and I ate a healthy serving of cantaloupe because it tasted so good (maybe a cup of diced cantaloupe? Many a cup and a half). I will admit I ate one big spoonful of mac and cheese because I was in charge of cooking it and I am an addict, but I stopped at that one spoonful. These would be my fourth and fifth transgressions on the Dukan diet.
– While at the picnic, nine of us went for a three mile hike through the nearby woods, and that was a lot of fun.
– The rest of the day I ate fish, cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.
– In the evening Leigh and the kids had the car and I needed something at Lowes (2.5 miles away) so I rode my bike there and bought it.
– This weekend Leigh finally uncovered our blood pressure meter, which has been lost in a box since we moved last fall (we are STILL unpacking). So last night I was able to take my blood pressure after all that exercise and I recorded the lowest blood pressure reading of my adult life – 94/57.

Day 38 –
– This morning on the scale I lost 0.8 pounds. My transgressions yesterday did not seem to affect me, perhaps because of all of the exercise. I may start eating more cantaloupe – it was fantastic and a huge relief after all this protein.
– I am easily fitting into the last notch on my belt today. It will soon be time to find a new belt or poke another hole in this one.
– My blood pressure this morning is 114/65. This whole blood pressure thing is such a nice, unexpected side effect of losing weight and eating low-carb.
– Today I had fish for breakfast, a little leftover Tandoori chicken for a snack, cottage cheese and chicken for lunch and eggs and asparagus for dinner.

Day 39 –
– This morning on the scale I lost 0.8 pounds. So I lost 3.0 pounds this week, and a total of 22.8 pounds since starting the Dukan diet 39 days ago.

It has been a good week on the Dukan diet, probably aided by an unusual amount of exercise over the Memorial Day weekend. Onward!

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

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