Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Love/Hate Relationship with Dr. Dukan

I have been in a love/hate relationship with Dr. Dukan for almost two years.  We all heard about this miracle diet during the Royal Wedding because this diet was popular among the crowned heads of Europe and everyone in attendance at this much-publicized event seemed to attribute their slim physiques to Dr. Dukan's diet.

I decided to try it.  I had a few pounds that I wanted to shred and I was having a hard time getting it off.  A friend and I purchased the book (seen above) and the companion cookbook, spent a couple of days reading the first few chapters, and then got started.  The diet is not new.  It has been around for decades and was designed for morbidly obese people.  It is the most popular diet among the French - and we know they love to eat and drink!

Let me say that during the course of my life, I have tried a lot of different diets.  Mostly, I try to stick to just healthy eating, but sometimes, I need a jump-start diet to get me going.  The Adkins Diet did nothing for me.  I didn't cheat for an entire 30 days of induction and only lost 2 pounds.  The Dukan Diet is different.  You WILL lose weight on this diet.  You will not be hungry, but you will hate life...for a while...and then life will get better because you will realize that you have lost the weight...plus some.

The diet works like this.  First, you go to the American Dukan Website, create an account, and then enter your "dimensions."  The Website will provide you with a basic course of action that includes the exact date when you can expect to achieve your "real weight."  You can also subscribe to coaching services and purchase food, if desired (not necessary unless you think you need that level of support).

The diet is comprised of four stages.  During the first two stages, your diet is made up mostly of lean proteins, fat free dairy, and non-starchy veggies.  The book provides a detailed list of foods that you can and can't have.  Each day, you drink a ton of water and eat 1-2 tablespoons of oat bran (which is a miracle food for stopping hunger pangs and for keeping one regular).  You don't have to exercise, but walking is highly encouraged.

During Stage 1, you can eat only lean proteins.  This stage only lasts for a few days for most of us.  Usually, just two days for women who want to shred 10-15 pounds.  You can expect to lose five or more pounds during the first week :)
During Stage 2, you alternate days of lean proteins with days of lean proteins and vegetables.  You continue doing this until you reach your "real weight."  Weight loss is rapid if you don't cheat.

In Stage 3, you gradually add back in other foods that were forbidden during the first two stages.  This is the slowest phase and you really have to be careful about introducing the foods.  You also maintain a "lean protein only" day once per week during this phase.

Stage 4 continues for the rest of your life.  You continue to adhere to the "lean protein only" day once per week to keep the weight off.

I must say that I have only made it through Stage 2.  Once I lose the weight, I slip back into my old eating habits and slowly gain the weight back.  However, I am in stage 2 right now and plan to make it all the way this time so I can maintain by "real weight."

This diet works.  It is not for everyone and you should consult your doctor before trying it.  I believe in it.  I've seen the results and I love them.  I just hate the restrictions.  I just keep telling myself that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.  Maybe I'll believe it one day :)

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