How Long Can I Last on the Dukan Diet???
I used to be one of those women who could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound. I’ve never been on a real diet and I never thought I would need to. My secret is the worst kept secret around. I work out. I eat fried chicken. I run. Nutter butters. Run. Buffalo wings, waffle fries, cheese doodles. Run, run, stairmaster, weights, run. This has worked pretty well my whole life, more so in my track days, but it’s been a win nonetheless. Even after one, two, and three kids. The 4th child, however, has broken me. No longer can I taste the delicious bits of frozen heaven that is Haagen Dazs salted caramel ice cream without immediately feeling heavy, and no sooner does a guacamole laden burrito hit my tongue, do I feel the pounds setting up shop.
So here I sit, 9 months post baby, when I’ve usually lost all or most of my baby weight, carrying a full 15 extra pounds. The “don’t worry, you look good for four kids” doesn’t help when more than half of my jeans don’t fit and I realize that the majority of my wardrobe is made up of mini skirts, short shorts, and tight dresses. So as bikini season rolls near I start to panic because that means I can no longer use the excuse “I’m not fat, I’m pregnant.” To make matters worse, I have a friend’s beach wedding to attend in about 6 weeks so I need to get it together quickly.
So in walks a fellow basketball wife (we’ll call her Franalicious) who wants to lose some weight herself and swears by the Dukan diet whenever she has a little chubb to lose. I figured what else do I have to do out here on these rainy Belgian days but commit to a diet and see if it can jump start this whole beach body thing.
So, as if this were my worst nightmare, I find out this diet is pretty much a pure protein diet, at least in the beginning. You start with 5-7 days of whatever lean meats you want, but nothing else, aside from a little fat free milk or yogurt, and oat bran. Coming from the vantage point of a person who doesn’t eat any red meat or pork, and who dislikes most chicken that’s not buffaloed, this seems like torture. You’re supposed to lose between 2 and 8 pounds in this phase though, and Fran swears by it, so I give it a go.
The next phase allows you to introduce veggies in limited quantities, so 3 days only protein, 4 days veggie and protein. Not every veggie, but you can choose from 32 allowed vegetables (of course, the very reason I get out of bed in the morning, avocado, is not on the list). You continue in this phase until you reach your target weight, which for me says will be on June 8th, more than a month away! This phase you should be losing about 1 pound for every 3 days. The third phase allows you to slowly introduce forbidden foods back into your diet in limited quantities, as long as you put aside one day every week as pure protein. The fourth phase is similar to the third and should be followed for life.
Let me just say, this is not an easy diet for a non meat lover like myself. However, my husband said if he ever needed to lose weight this would be a great diet for him because he loves meat and you can pretty much eat as much meat as you want. You also can’t have alcohol and I enjoy my nightly glass of wine so this is where I cheat. I have cut my consumption though and only imbibe a few times a week. Sugar and fruit are also big loves for me, and you aren’t allowed any, so that’s been extra hard but I haven’t cheated there.
This is also not a good diet if you work out. Without carbs I’ve been weak as hell. The diet only calls for a 20 minute walk per day, so the three runs I took that first week were the worst I’ve had in awhile. I also went back to a Body Attack class with another wife, for the first time since we returned from our Italy trip and started this diet. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. We tried to hide in the back but the instructor still managed to scream at us in French. It was ugly. I don’t even like carbs like that, but I’m realizing I need them.
So we’re now a few days short of two weeks and I must say I’m on the verge of giving up. I just don’t do well with food deprivation, and I need to see amazing results if I’m going to suffer. I lost 5 pounds in the first 5 days, which was awesome, but that’s been it. Once I introduced vegetables it was wrap for the weight-loss. I lost 1 more pound and then quickly gained it back so I’m holding firm at 5. It’s better than nothing but I need to see some more results or the fruit and nutter butters are back in rotation. What’s keeping me going for now is the fact that some of my stomach pooch has gone away, which hadn’t with exercise and portion control alone. Hopefully me and Dukan can keep it together, and when I update in a few weeks I’ll be slim and lean, instead of angry and weak!