Dukan diet Cruise Phase Week 8 – wherein I learn the perils of parties

by Marshall Brain

Here is my journey so far with the Dukan Diet:

And today I am reporting on my 8th week (days 53 through 60). This week I lost 2.2 pounds, for a total of 29.4 pounds since starting the Dukan Diet.

But before reporting on the play-by-play for this week, a bit of levity – a friend sent me this funny video over the weekend to show me how bad obesity can get. If you need an incentive for losing weight, here’s one to consider:

The Plus-Size Struggle to Put on Socks — The Fat Man’s Perspective

Day-by-day here is what this week looked like for me, and let me point out that it is much easier to put on socks (and do many other things) after you lose nearly 30 pounds…

Day 53 –
– On the scale today I lost 0.4 pounds.
– Today I ate about 1.5 pounds of chicken, one pound of Tilapia, two cups of cottage cheese, a cup of yogurt, two cups of cantaloupe (a transgression), two big handfuls of cashews (a serious transgression but wow were they good) and one serving of asparagus. In other words, I ate too much today.

Day 54 –
– Having eaten all those cashews yesterday, I guess today I paid the price by gaining 0.4 pounds on the scale. Boo.
– So I paid attention to what I ate today. I had half a pound of chicken, one pound of Tilapia, two cups of cottage cheese, one cup of cantaloupe, and one serving of asparagus.

Day 55 –
– On the scale this morning I lost 1.0 pounds. I weight 199.8 this morning, and have officially “broken through” the 200 pound barrier. Yay! 190, here I come. At the current pace this will probably take four or five weeks.
– I had 1.5 pounds of chicken, one pound of Tilapia, one cup of cottage cheese, and one cup of cantaloupe.
– How many grams of carbs do I get per day? I was asked this question today by a friend. So if we use today as an example, the chicken and the Tilapia contain no carbs. The cup of cottage cheese contains 8 grams. The cantaloupe (which is technically illegal under the Dukan diet rules for Phase 2, but I eat it anyway because it contains only 60 calories)(I also rationalize it by saying, “if I had eaten a cup of plain yogurt, it would contain 17 grams of carbs”) contains 16 grams of carbs. And then I ate the prescribed oat bran, which contains about 12 grams of carbs. So today I ate 8+16+12= 26 grams of carbs for the day. Am I in ketosis? That was the next question. I don’t think so because I don’t have any of the symptoms. But I am eating far fewer carbs than the average American. The recommended daily allowance for carbs from the USDA is something around 300 grams and many adults are exceeding that by a wide margin. Keep in mind that a single 12 ounce can of soda or a single slice of pizza each contain about 40 grams of carbs – lunch alone has 200 or 300 grams of carbs for many Americans.

Day 56 –
– On the scale this morning I lost 0.4 pounds.
– Today I ate a pound and a half of chicken, a small can of tuna fish, 2 cups of cottage cheese, A big serving of stir fry vegetables and chicken, a cup of cantaloupe and a serving of asparagus.
– I did some volunteer work today and had to drive to the site. I took a cooler with me containing the chicken and cottage cheese I would be eating during the day. It is usually a lot easier (and less expensive) to do that than to find Dukan-compatible food in the field.

Day 57 –
– On the scale this morning I lost 0.2 pounds.
– Today started off so well. I ate a pound and a half of chicken (some of it cooked in a delicious curry sauce), a cup of cottage cheese, a perfectly seasoned and grilled 8 ounce steak, and some stir-fry vegetables and chicken…
– And then Leigh and the kids and I went to a big neighborhood picnic. I ate many raw vegetables (carrots, broccoli, etc.), 4 shrimps, and then I noticed this big bowl of delicious mixed nuts that was sitting on the bar outside, nestled between big bowls of potato chips, tortilla chips and various dips. “One handful of nuts won’t hurt anything” thought I. And that statement was probably true. But as the evening progressed, I had that same thought more than several times. (the macadamia nuts in the mix were especially good – I probably ate 15 of them over the course of the evening. I know this because I savored each one). When I got home I looked up the nutrition information for mixed nuts. Wow, do mixed nuts contain a lot of calories. If I am honest with myself, it is likely that I ate somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 calories in mixed nuts at the party. Ignoring that minor problem, it was a wonderful evening – Leigh and I and the kids had a great time. However, what it means is that tomorrow on the scale will be a baaaad day.
– It also means that I need to be a lot more disciplined at parties. The next time I go to a party, I will need to be much more mentally prepared, and perhaps ask Leigh to keep an eye on me.
– Here is the nutrition information for 4.8 ounces (134 grams) of Macadamia nuts. Just the macadamia nuts. Sheesh. I probably ate 2 ounces of them. At least they are good for you.

Day 58 –
– This morning on the scale I gained a shocking 1.4 pounds. That is especially depressing, because I am well above 200 pounds again.
– This, really, is the problem with weight loss. It is so hard for many people (including me and apparently more than half of U.S. adults), to lose weight, and requires so much discipline (unless you are one of those lucky adults who can eat anything and stay thin), but it is incredibly easy to gain weight with just one “bad day”. You can spend a week working hard and being disciplined to lose weight, and then blow it all with a single bad meal or party. So… we will find out tomorrow how much of this weight is real and how much of it is water. Stay tuned.
– Today I tried to be more careful on the food intake side to atone for yesterday’s transgressions. I also got a lot of exercise today because it is father’s day and we did a lot of stuff with the kids. So today I ate about half a pound of round steak, the insides of an egg McMuffin (we rode our bikes to McDonald’s for breakfast), half a pound of tilapia, a pound of chicken in curry sauce (yum), a cup of cottage cheese and a serving of asparagus.

Day 59 –
– Today on the scale I lost 1.8 pounds. I weigh 199.0 this morning.
– That’s a relief. It shows that if you can nip a “bad day” in the bud by following it with a “good day”, there is hope for eliminating the effects of the “bad day”, because most of it is just water.
– Today I would say that I ate more than I wanted to. I had about a pound of round steak, a pound of chicken in curry sauce, half a pound of Tilapia, 3 eggs, a cup of cottage cheese and a serving of asparagus. About 1,600 or 1,700 calories. Still well below 2,000 calories for the day.
– I went for a long walk tonight after a very long day of work.

Day 60 –
– This morning on the scale I lost 0.6 pounds. So I lost a total of 2.2 pounds this week for a total of 29.4 pounds since starting the Dukan diet two months ago. I now weigh 198.2 pounds.

So today is an anniversary – I have been doing this diet for two months. If you had told me two months ago that by starting this diet I would lost nearly 30 pounds in 60 days, I would have laughed and laughed. That would have seemed impossible, because there are so many things I have tried that didn’t work.

But this diet has worked for me. It has worked for me first because, for some reason, my brain finds the “eat nothing but protein” mantra very easy to follow and obey. The second reason it has worked is because eliminating all the carbohydrates has ended all hunger pangs and therefore binge eating. I can honestly say that I have never been hungry on this diet. If I ever get hungry, I am allowed to eat more protein. But there is only so much protein I am able to eat. Protein consumption and carbohydrate consumption appears to be completely different for me. If I eat a bowl of frosted flakes, there is often the desire to eat another bowl, and then another. But if I eat a cup of cottage cheese, that NEVER happens. One cup is enough – sometimes more than enough. Since I am able to respect the “eat nothing but protein” dictate, I end up eating far fewer calories per day as a result.

I have about 22 pounds left to go to reach my BMI goal or around 175 pounds (less if I go for the 185 target weight recommended by the Dukan diet web site). At my current pace it will take me eight to ten weeks to get there. I am pretty confident I will make it.

If you are thinking, “I wonder if I should try this…” I would say YES. I am sure I am much healthier having lost 30 pounds. I am sure that my risk of diabetes is way down. Carrying around 30 less pounds makes a huge difference when I go walking, hiking or bike riding. But the biggest difference is in the mental perspective. I feel much better about myself without that 30 pounds of blubber around my middle. I feel much better about myself wearing 33 inch jeans comfortably, rather that squeezing into a tight pair of 36 inch jeans. Go for it. Give it a try. If the Dukan diet doesn’t happen to work for you, try something else, and keep trying until you find a program or an eating pattern that works for you.

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

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