Every diet is a journey, whether it is for weight loss or health reasons changes in what we eat are changing habits and patterns we have sometimes had for a long time. It takes a while to find the new balance, thinking of what to have for dinner can be difficult as old favourites have to be dropped of the menu and new favourites are yet to be discovered.
The Dukan Diet is no different. It is a journey I am now a third of the way through. As such I have the attack phase long behind me and new patterns mostly settled in. I face days where I am disheartened as the scales are not moving the right way, or worse moving the wrong. Then my mantra to get me through the day is, I am less than when I started. I am less than the start. This helps me hold fast.
Luckily I have not been tested beyond three days in a row yet, as by the third day that mantra is getting harder to say. I feel such a relief when the scales start moving the right way again and I feel rewarded for holding fast.
The hardest time should be the attack in some ways I think. But I was lucky in that my adult daughter was staying with me and did the diet with me those first few weeks. That made it a lot easier than it would have been I think.
The big spike on the chart was when I went into hospital and was advised to just eat what they gave me and go back on the diet when I got out if the doctors agreed. I did not eat too much off the Dukan rules when in hospital, though I did have a half serve of potatoes one day. Still you can see what a difference it made. The little triangles are when I have gone off diet.
I was lucky my mother gave us the tip of taking LBSII during that time. Only eating protein means that the digestive system does not have the roughage it is used to and elimination is slower meaning it can tend to long sessions on the toilet trying to push out “a hard one”. I would suggest you used some kind of supplement to aid elimination LBSII are a herbal mix which are surprisingly effective.
Now I soak overnight equal quantities of linseed (called flaxseed in some countries) with some goji berries. The next day I blend them and have a few spoonfuls a day. I like to sweeten this a little with splenda, vanilla essence or cinnamon. This helps keep me “regular”.
On to more dinner table topics …
At friends and family
The hardest times have been when going out to someone else’s place. Which is not so bad if I am on a PV (Protein and vegetable) day, but is harder on a PP (Protein only) day. It’s not to hard to tell folks you are happy with chicken, fish or beef dish with vegetables and you will just avoid the rice or potatoes. I am even usually told they will cook extra protein for me so I have plenty. Which is sweet. One person forgot the promise and I had a small dinner that night. Which I made up for by coming home and eating a few crabsticks.
Once we were going somewhere where we were going to eat take out together and have a chill evening. I took along two salmon steaks (I was on a PP day) and borrowed a fry pan and had those cooked by the time they had served out the chinese food everyone else was eating.
I always take along a yoghurt to eat when everyone else has dessert and some sugar free sweets incase they have tea and biscuits latter on so I make sure I do not feel deprived and they feel less self conscious eating when I am not.
I really like how you can eat when ever you want on Dukan. That as long as its on the list you have free reign. I even find that the more often I eat in a day the better it works for my metabolism. So snacks more than meals is how I eat. Though I do like to prepare something more like a meal for dinner so I can eat together with my husband, or at someones place.
At a restaurant
My trick so far has been to eat at an asian / japanese restaurant. This is as I like sashimi and on a protein day that suffices and is delicious at the restaurants we have been to. On PV days I can add steamed vegetables or a salad depending on the place. There is also a steak place we like where you only get the steak in the size you want and so you order the sides you want. This too would be perfect. I could order a moderately large size alone if it was a PP day and a smaller with a green bean side and an asparagus side, yum.
For me my health has stayed the same, but I did get a lot lower blood pressure last few times I was at the doctors. Which cannot be bad. I have gone from 120/90 to 105/70.
I have had a problem for past couple years of having ow iron and have of late needed to take higher iron supplements. This has increased being on the diet. My doctor says it is his experience that some people need more iron when dieting. So if you are going to the doctors you may want to ask for a blood test to check your levels.
I have heard a story from a friend of someone having less asthma attacks when on the attack and cruise phase but they started coming back when they moved to the consolidation stage and started eating some sugar again.
I have read a story on the net of a woman with liver problems who was tested every 6 mths finding her liver improved on the diet. I have also read of a guy in Englad who had a rare condition that the diet put him in hospital because it worsened his condition dramatically. So the advice they always give is consult your health professional before starting.
Chewing & Crunchiness
One thing I have heard from a few people and I experience myself is the lack of a certain type of chewing. I never thought I would miss crunchy foods so much. Something that is hard to chew, something with a bit of snap and roughage. For me the saviour has been low carbohydrate breads. Find yourself a good packet mix, or a good Dukan friendly recipe for bread. They will tend to be chewy.
Still there is the desire for something crunchy. Salads will sometimes fill this need for me, but I get the urge for crunchy foods most often on a PP day when everything I eat is moist and easy to chew. Then I just have to tell myself this is for a limited time and soldier on.
Simple to follow
I really enjoy being on the diet as it is easy to follow. It easy to have snacks around the house you can eat at anytime and a meal is as easy as preparing some fish or meat and a sauce from say yoghurt and condiments and herbs and your done. Its tasty, quick to prepare and tasty.
Most households I read somewhere have 8 recipes they use for dinner and if they add a new one of those 8 will fall off the list. After a while you will have your core recipes you prepare for Dukan. The sauces are what make the difference between an interesting and a boring meal on the Dukan Diet.
The 100 allowable foods suit me as I am a do or do not kind of person. There are moderates and there are people like me. It is easier for me to follow a set of strict rules and not have to re think decisions every day. So this frees me.
If I feel like a juicy strawberry, I know I can have one once I get to consolidation and I am choosing not to now as the diet is working so I will stick to it.
With previous diets there is always the thought that once the 10 or 28 or whatever days are finished, you are going to start eating normally again and of course your body will go back to how it was. You can’t diet all the time, it would not be healthy.
They tell you that simple things like cutting 1 teaspoon of sugar from drinks a day can end up in weight loss. my metabolism would just adjust so I burned that much less energy a day. I got down to just drinking water and no change in my weight.
They tell you by simply adding 20 mins walking a day will end up in you losing weight. I already walked 40 mins (20 to work and 20 from) so I added another 20 and I lost no weight.
So to be doing Dukan and to be losing weight is amazing for me. I know I have a slow (or highly efficient) metabolism. Dukan tells us the more you diet the slower your metabolism gets and the harder it is to lose weight, so I do not want to give up part way through this process.
I also have the reassurance that my patient and persistence will be rewarded at the end by the maintenance stage which will allow me to eat what I want 6 days a week. By eating pure protein one day a week I will keep the weight off. This makes this diet different that all the others I have done. It gives a way to ensure your hard work is worth it. That you are not going to lose the weight, eat normally 7 days a week and put the weight back on so have to do another diet, each which get harder to get results from and the body becomes resistent. That really reassures me and helps me stay the course.
This is a diet which is hard at times but is enjoyable for me to be on.