Right when I got back from London, I decided that it was time to put myself on a diet, as sometimes, a happy relationship = a few “happy” pounds. So, I pulled out my South Beach Diet books and breathed a heavy sigh. The South Beach Diet is a good reminder of HOW to cook – what you can cook with, what you can eat a lot of, etc. But, after doing it enough times, you run out of creativity. Thus, I found myself counting the days until the first phase was over (side note: 5 days into Phase I (which lasts two weeks) and magically, that’s as far as I got every time). Still, I pushed on for almost a week, even while on travel to California for work, where there were more than enough temptations. It got increasingly hard to say no to the appetizers at dinner and asking for the dressing on the side with my salad.
About four days into my trip, a client of mine and one of our business development guys were talking about the Dukan Diet. Naturally, my ears perked up. Both were EATING and both looked trim. So naturally, I asked about this diet. I can honestly say it has changed me from head to toe.
The Dukan Diet has been used by famous people, such as the Middleton’s before Kate’s wedding (I hear Kate is still on it). From what I was told, it’s a lifestyle change that requires determination but the payoff is huge. I’m already seeing it.
This diet was developed by a French doctor that had an obese patient whose levels were high enough to give him a heart attack with one more french fry (I might be exaggerating). The doctor told him he needed to go on a diet and the patient said he was willing to try but he couldn’t give up meat. So, they started experimenting – first with protein only. Two weeks after starting the diet, the man came back in and had lost 20 lbs. They experimented with adding vegetables and 3 quarts of water and not a single pound was lost (water retention). After playing with several more combinations, they founded a new diet and the man lost well over 100 lbs. in six months.
This diet was developed for obese people to lose weight however, it’s proven to work for even someone like me, looking to lose 10 lbs.
The Cliff’s Notes version:
1. The Attack Phase: For 2-7 (but no more than 10 days), you eat nothing but protein and as much of it as you want too. This means as many egg whites, fat-free cheese, lean meats and fish, fat-free yogurt, etc. that you can eat. There are even great recipes for dessert (think custard) so that you’re not completely depriving yourself.
I went on that for two days, as I noticed my body wasn’t handling it well. It was craving vegetables, which although are fine, it slows down the weight loss process. As discovered, protein, in its purest form, is a diuretic and so when consuming nothing but protein, you will naturally shed the water weight. Still, you must consume at least 3 quarts of water (diet soda and coffee are also allowed and count towards the 3 quarts).
2. Cruise Phase: Continues on until you reach your desired weight (usually 5 days for every pound you want to lose). This does not mean you are “off the hook” with protein-only days. The Cruise Phase is designed to reintroduce what your body needs – vitamins. In this phase, it is required that on Mondays and Thursdays, you eat only protein with every other day including vegetables. You can continue to consume as much as you want. Once you hit your desired weight, you can graduate to the Consolidation Phase.
3. Consolidation Phase: This stabilizes your new weight so that you can maintain it for the rest of your life. They reintroduce certain fruits and a certain amount of bread. However, one Thursday a month, for the rest of your life, you must eat nothing but protein. It helps flush out the water weight.
Although my desired goal is 10 lbs., I’m also taking into consideration water weight gain, which adds an additional two pounds to my goal. Thus, I might be on this phase for another month. While that sounds daunting, the results have been amazing. I have so much more energy than I’ve ever had, my skin looks healthier, I’m thinner, my mood has improved, my workouts are better and the best part, I get to EAT whenever I want and whatever I want that is included on the list of approved foods (including some amazing recipes).
If you’re interested in trying it, the Kindle version of the book was $12, which is FAR CHEAPER than what I paid for the South Beach books all those years ago.
They recommend at least 20 minute walks in the Attack phase and 30 minute walks in the Cruise Phase. The thing to note is that because this is meant for obese people, it’s crucial that they exercise. For those needing to lose 10 lbs. or less, yes, you should always work out but missing a workout or two won’t hurt – you see the results regardless.
I would highly recommend trying this diet – at least 2 days of the Attack phase, followed by trying the Cruise phase for two weeks and see how you’re feeling. So far, I haven’t met a person who hates it.