Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Hello Dukan Diet !

First off, I detest the word diet.  I just do.  I am more easily swayed to eat properly when I hear "lifestyle change".  The word diet to me brings to mind hunger, struggle and disappointment.  Old, long held beliefs created by past experiences still effect my emotions; emotions that are triggered violently when I see the word DIET.  Clever little psychological word games.

The bottom line is that regardless of how I want to label it, food plays a huge role in my life and conscious choices of what I eat are high on my priority list.  Each day I continue to strive for a healthier lifestyle  -  this includes loads of self-care, be it meditation, exercise, bubble baths, massages and yup,  a food "diet" that works for ME.

Therefore the word diet did not deter me from buying my latest book The Dukan Diet.  I managed to look past it see the rewards within this book.   It is more of a protein based eating plan rather than a low carb one.  It focuses on eating high quality protein, drinking plenty of water and exercising daily.  It reminds me a lot of the Atkins plan in terms of the phases but without all the high fat content and it allows for more low fat dairy products such as milk and yogurt (both no's no's on Atkins).  Fruits, starchy carbs and  grains are not permitted in the weight loss phases - along with a few other thing such as nuts, cream, butter, etc.  And that, my friends, is why I purchased the book - because of how it focuses on low fat, high quality proteins vs just low carb eating.  Though I enjoy whipped cream, full fat butter and steaks fried in grease there is just no way I want to keep eating that way.  I simply cannot wrap my mind around the idea that eating that much saturated fat can support a healthy body.

I do love low carb though and didn't want to deviate from that way of eating.  I know that South Beach is a similar diet that focuses on low carb and low fat too but for me, The Dukan Diet drew me in.

The diet is broken down into 4 phases:
  • Attack
  • Cruise
  • Consolidation
  • Stabilization
In the first phase, you eat only proteins for up to 10 days depending on how much weight you want to lose.  I am just ending this phase now after being on it for 6 days.  You also are to exercise daily and drink plenty of water.

Then you move into phase 2 which you will stay on until you reach your target weight.  It involves a rotating diet of days consisting only of proteins and days consisting of proteins and veggies.  Again, exercise daily and drink water. 

The last 2 phases are all about slowly adding back various foods to your meal plan while stabilizing your weight so you don't gain anything back.  The last phase is the phase you will stay on for the rest of your life and it is pretty simple.  Eat a balanced diet and ensure you eat only protein one day per week.

For each phase you do eat oat bran daily - not a lot but enough to fill you up and keep things "regular" if you know what I mean.

I will not be following the exercise portion as laid out in the book because to me it just isn't enough nor something I feel I need to even add to my routine. The recommended 20-30 minutes of walking daily is no match for my 4 x week weight and rebounding routines and daily yoga sessions.  I prefer to stick to my routine where I continue to achieve great results.

But the diet I will follow.  I love the rotating one day pure protein, one day protein veg.  It just makes sense to me and I can easily handle that.  Plus the push for lower fat cuts of meat, no oils, butters, heavy creams, etc, makes me feel better.  I don't feel laden down with grease! Now I can eat yogurt, low fat milk, etc, without worrying about the carb count which brings me to another highlight of this eating plan  -  NO COUNTING.  That's right, no counting carbs, calories, points, fat grams!  Just eat as much as you want and as often as you want from the list of approved foods depending on which phase you are in at that time.

So there you have it - the Dukan Diet.  You can find a slew of info on the official website , even an online calculator that will provide you, free of charge, with your own high level diet plan showing how long you will need to stay on each phase to reach and maintain your desired weight. 

After 6 days on the Attack phase I feel great.  No cravings, no headaches, no desire to eat everything in site and best of all I am very happy that I have reduced my intake of saturated fats. Tomorrow I start the Cruise phase and looking forward to having veggies!

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