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

by Marshall Brain

Here is my journey so far with the Dukan Diet:

And today I am reporting on my seventh week (days 46 through 53). This week I lost 2.6 pounds, for a total of 27.2 pounds since starting the Dukan Diet. Day-by-day this is what this week looked like:

Day 46 –
– Today on the scale I lost another 1.0 pounds.
– Today I ate about one pound of chicken, one pound of Tilapia, one cup of cottage cheese, one big serving of chicken and stir-fry vegetables, and one serving of asparagus.

Day 47 –
– On the scale this morning I lost 0.4 pounds.
– I did a pants check today. Recall that at the start of this process (see Day 13) my largest pair of 36-inch jeans (my “fat jeans”) were tight. I was using the second hole on my largest belt. I am now comfortably on the fifth (last) hole of that belt. My 34-inch jeans are now comfortable, maybe starting to feel a bit loose. I now fit into 33-inch jeans, and I could wear them all day. They are not tight, but I could stand to lose a pound or two more to say they are truly comfortable. My 36-inch underwear is starting to feel loose, but elastic is amazing stuff and they are still wearable. There will come a day maybe 10 pounds from now, however, where the elastic waist band simply has nothing to hold on to and it will become necessary to replace them.
– Today I ate almost exactly the same thing as yesterday – about one pound of chicken, one pound of Tilapia, one cup of cottage cheese, one big serving of chicken and stir-fry vegetables, and one serving of asparagus.

Day 48 –
– On the scale this morning I lost another 0.4 pounds. Reaching the psychologically important 200 pound threshold, as discussed in this post, has for some reason become extremely important to me, so I am focused on that and am very disciplined right now about food and exercise. I would really like to reach that threshold this week if I can.
– BP this morning is 125/90. What changed last week?! This is a very interesting mystery. Why has it gone from a pretty consistent 110/70 to a pretty consistent 125/90? A mystery for now…
– Today I had a “protein emergency”. I had run out of both chicken and Tilapia, but thought I had a bag of frozen chicken in the freezer. However, when I went to get it this morning, I was wrong. The only Dukan-approved food in the house was half a container of cottage cheese and a leftover serving of stir fry vegetables and chicken. I had been saving a can of tuna fish for just such an emergency, so I dug that out of the pantry. Leigh offered to go grocery shopping in the afternoon, so breakfast and lunch consisted of 2 cups of cottage cheese, a small can of tuna fish and the veggies – maybe 400 calories. In the evening I kind of overcompensated (I was hungry!), so I had half a pound of salmon (500 calories), half a pound of chicken (250 calories), 3 eggs (250 calories) and some asparagus.
– I got no exercise today.

Day 49 –
– On the scale this morning my weight was unchanged. I lost 0.0 pounds.
– BP is 125/80
– I ate half a pound of chicken, half a pound of salmon, a cup of cottage cheese, half a cup of yogurt.
– No veggies today.
– David had a big (successful) event in his life today, and he asked for pizza for dinner to celebrate. So we bought the kids a large pizza, went to a local park to have a picnic with it, and then took a 3-mile family walk. Neither Leigh nor I had any pizza…
– Which brings up a good point. 6 weeks ago pizza was an essential part of my food pyramid. But now, having learned so much about the problem with carbs and having seen how much better off I am by eliminating carbs, pizza looks almost as poisonous as cigarettes to me (and similarly addictive). Where did we get the idea that: a) huge does of carbs are harmless to our bodies, and b) that we “deserve” these kinds of foods? We know that pizza, chips, cookies, ice cream, etc. are not good for us – that’s why we call them “junk food”. Yet we have been mentally conditioned to believe that we “deserve” these foods. It is very odd. See this article for a further discussion.

Day 50 –
– This morning on the scale I lost 0.6 pounds. I have 1.6 pounds left to hit this week’s goal of 200 pounds.
– Yesterday I ate about 2 cups of cottage cheese, 6 ounces of salmon, about half a pound of chicken and a serving of asparagus for breakfast and lunch. Then at 4PM we went to a neighbor’s house for a picnic. There was every temptation possible, including big bowls of potato chips, macaroni salad, potato salad and cole slaw, a big ice cream cake for desert, big fluffy hamburger buns, etc. But what I ended up eating was: a lot of carrots, sliced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and three hamburger patties topped with lettuce, tomatoes and onions. It was very enjoyable and I stayed within the boundaries, pretty much, of the Dukan diet. The only problem is that hamburger patties are pretty high in calories, as shown here, and I probably should have eaten two rather than three.
– We ended up talking about this diet for awhile because one of the people at the picnic had bought the book for the Southbeach diet on a doctor’s recommendation. So the question was, why am I now able to not eat potato chips (a big bowl was sitting right in front of me), and feel fine about it, but 2 months ago I would have eaten the whole bowl? So we talked through this, because it is a good question. Reason 1: Now about 50 days into the Dukan diet, not-eating-junk has become a habit. Reason 2: This diet has worked so well day-after-day that I have no desire to mess things up. Why would I want to spoil something that is working so well? Reason 3: I have gotten this whole education in carbohydrates (see for example this article), to the point where I now look on carbs in somewhat the same way I look at cigarettes. We are taught by every ad we see that: a) carbs are harmless, b) we “deserve” the treat that carbs provide, c) carbs make life better/happier (think of every soda or cookie ad you have ever seen), etc. But the reality is that, at least for me, a) carbs are addictive, b) carbs cause obesity because the addiction causes over-consumption, c) obesity is dangerous because it leads to things like heart attacks, strokes and diabetes, and d) carbs cause very weird blood sugar spikes, and your life is much better without them. Reason 4: I feel much better physically, and much better about myself, now that I am 25 pounds lighter. I am really looking forward to being 50 pounds lighter so I can see how that feels. The word “religious zeal” came up in the conversation, and there is a little bit of that, I will admit. But I don’t talk about it unless someone else brings it up.

Day 51 –
– This morning on the scale I lost 0.6 pounds. I weigh 201.0. One pound to go to hit 200.0.
– You know… I ate too much today. It started out OK, with a cup of cottage cheese and 4 ounces of salmon. For lunch I had some Tilapia, maybe half a pound, along with some cantaloupe we got at the farmer’s market. Yes, I know, cantaloupe is not officially part of phase 2 of the Dukan diet and this is officially a transgression, but wow did it taste good, and I only had about a cup of it. But then I made about 2.5 pounds of Tandoori chicken for dinner, thinking it would last me several days. It tasted sooooo good. I might have eaten 2 pounds of it. That is hard to believe in retrospect, because I didn’t really pay attention at the time, but it appears to be the case. It tasted fantastic….
– …and this brings up one interesting thing about eating protein… I ate 2 pounds of chicken, which is a lot, and it probably added 1,000 calories. But even so, my whole day of calories probably totaled 1,700? Something like that. That is so many fewer calories than I would have eaten in a day 2 months ago. So even on a “bad” day, it is still good relatively speaking. If I had instead gorged on pound cake or potato chips or breakfast cereal, the day would have been a caloric disaster and I would have had this huge blood sugar spike to contend with.
– The good news is that I walked 4 or so miles today. I took a walk early in the morning, and we also went on a family walk. So…

Day 52 –
– Today on the scale I lost 0.2 pounds. I am at 200.8. Part of that probably has to do with the amount of salt in Tandoori chicken, part has to do with the number of calories consumed, and part has to do with the lack of asparagus.
– Today I ate chicken (about half a pound), Tilapia (about a pound), salmon (about 4 ounces), cottage cheese (2 cups), eggs (3) and a serving of asparagus. No significant exercise today.

Day 53 –
– On the scale today I lost 0.4 pounds. So I lost 2.6 pounds for the week and 27.2 pounds since I started the Dukan diet 52 days ago. I weigh 200.4 pounds today – I have not yet broken below the 200 pound threshold, but I am really close. Tomorrow or Thursday and I should be there.

My target weigh according to the BMI method is 175 pounds. According the it is 185 pounds. I am curious to see if I can actually get to 175, but I would be ecstatic anywhere around 180 I think. So by any estimate I am more than halfway there. Losing another 20 or 25 pounds will be amazing given how good the loss of 27 pounds has felt.

The part about this diet that has been so interesting to me is that I have experienced no “plateaus” yet, and no significant setbacks or lapses. The weight loss has been on a consistent downward trend line for 52 days. I keep expecting to hit a roadblock, but it hasn’t happened yet. That consistency has made it easier for me to stay on this diet. Just about every day I lose a little weight and I get closer to my goal. Why would I want to mess up a good thing by eating junk? There just isn’t any point to succumbing to the siren call of potato chips or pizza, especially since I KNOW that an hour later I would regret it. Kate Moss supposedly has said, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” I heard that long ago, but I never really understood it until I got deep into this diet. It feels so much better, both physically and psychologically, to not be obese, and to not be morbidly embarrassed about how you look. That is a really good feeling. Onward!

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

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