Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Dukan Diet Cookbook

So I checked (Thank you so much to this reader for the tip!!!) and have found ready for pre-order, availlable in Canada...

Wait for it...

350 Dukan recipes! I'm so excited! It's 19 bucks, coming out March 27th... I think I'm going to order it! (You can click here for the book.)

Of course... I can't really make all 350 as part of the Julie & Julia project (60 days to make all 68 recipes in Dr Dukans book...) because... well I would be cooking for a year straight! But I'm definetally going to get it, once I get my passion for cooking back through the J & J project, I can start on my new Dukan Cookbook, slowly but surely.

Did I mention I'm excited? :P

I am also pretty pumped to start J & J... I want to start tonight but am too busy packing for Florida. I have already written out grocery lists, little notes about the recipes... I'm totally ready for this Challenge.

All in all a pretty exciting find.


Monday, 27 February 2012

Vacation Time! (& Some Thoughts On Food and Culture)

Something you, my reader, get to look forward to: I'm going on vacation! You know what that means? I get some new experiences to share with you, yoopi!

I'm going ot Florida and Louisiana for a week and a half. I'm very excited, even though I have heard some amazing things about New Orleans food and am pretty nervous about being surrounded by all that delicious temptation...

So if you are following any diet and going on vacation, fearful for the temptations that lie abroad, it's ok. I'll try and walk you through it. Although you feel thta it's your vacation, so you should be allowed to cheat a little, you shouldn't. Why would you let food control your vacation like that? Get rid of that mentality.

I guess you have to shift your thinking. The food of the world is a part of the culture you are visiting. You want to try all the different stuff, truly experience the culture. This is the way I thin about travelling. It's difficult to change your way of thinking. At least I am on phase 3 so I will get 2 celebration meals on vacation. If you are on phase 2 and are stuck with just meat and veggies I can see how it would be almost heartbreaking to not be able to eat and enjoy the different foods of the world.

I think it will be heard, but you can always experience the spices, the different cuts of allowed meat, the different vegetables grown. Why do we put so much importance on ingesting heavy or unhealthy meals just because they were prepared in a different country or region? Can someone have a good vacation by just experiencing the things the place has to offer, not the food? Why can't I go to Universal on my vacation and have a great time even though I can't sip on Butterbeer or eat hot dogs and fries?

So you have some interesting posts to look forward to: The Dukan Diet on Vacation. Let's see if I can help guide you through your adventures abroad.

Also, looking forward to coming back with a tan. Oooh yea, this is a well deserved vacation.


Alcohol Throughout the Diet

You cannot drink any alcohol in the first 2 phases. Alcohol is packed with sugar and not allowed. This is very hard to deal with if you are in your twenties, like me, and are getting pressured to drink every single time you go out.

You go out with your friends to a bar, to a club. Not only do you feel the pressure from your friends who mean well and your 'friends' who don't, but also yourself. It's hard to be the only sober person. Anyone who has ever D.D-ed can attest to this. But what if you had to DD every single time? I have gone out to a bar where even the bartender tried to pressure me into drinking!
When you go out to restaurants with your family or girlfriends, you can also feel the pressure to drink. It's a social thing.

I'll tell you what is the worst though: House parties, ugh.

Because not only do you feel that pressure from everyone to drink, but you feel ostracised if you don't. Much worse than if you were to go out to a bar in my opinion.

I know, people resist the temptation to drink every day. I'm not saying it's incredibly difficult or impossible, but imagine, there is nothing medically preventing you from drinking, you don't have to say sober to drive... you just decide that from now until next year you will not have any alcohol. Not a sip for New Years, not your birthday, not Christmas with your family. You wont have a sip of alcohol at any party, BBQ, any bar you go to, any event for the next year.

Now tell me you would totally be okay with not drinking. The only thing stopping you from being included is your willpower.

It has been pretty hard for me, to be honest. On the other hand it was super-easy for Prawn.

Alcohol and Phase 3

Now on phase 3 you can have "a glass of wine" with dinner during your celebration meal. After discussing this for a really long time Prawn and I decided that drinking alcohol would be the only thing we tweaked about the diet. So far we have been following the Dukan Diet to the letter, but since we feel it doesn't really take into consideration our age group when it comes to alcohol we have made a few changes.

Since we are technically allowed one "glass of wine" or alcoholic drink a week, we have decided that we wouldn't limit it to the day where we choose to have our celebration meal. If we do not have a drink with our celebration meal we can have that alcoholic drink (just one) during the week, so we can save it up for a time where we go out with our friends. If we do not drink it between the Sunday and Sunday, it doesn't save up. It's gone and we don't get our drink for that week.

Now, we call it 'binge drinking' but what we mean is drinking until you feel drunk. We allow ourselves one 'binge drink' a month as a replacement to the one drink a week. So in the same week we can't have a 'binge drink' and a weekly celebration drink. So that means every month (approximately) we have 3 single-drinks as well as one 'binge'. This is to make sure we don't set ourselves up for failure. We will be on phase 3 until August 10th 2013, there is no way during that period of time we wont be put in a situation where we are very likely to cheat, when it comes to drinking. So by making these rules we expect to save ourselves form the unavoidable, and instead prepare for the situations and create guidelines.

Our month starts on the first of the month and ends on the first day of the next month. So I can have a 'binge' drink on the first of September, but then I need to know that for the rest of that month, I can only do the one drink a week. So you have to think ahead and plan as well as you can.

Now we didn't do this during our weight loss phases (one and two). We were very strict and worked very hard during those phases, as I said above, following Dr Dukans instructions to the letter. Don't think you can drink alcohol and still have weight loss results like us, that just doesn't happen.


Portion Control and the Dukan Diet

Your results may vary, I'm talking specifically about Prawn and I and our experience with the diet. You need to remember that we did lose over a hundred pounds each and have been following the diet for almost 9 months.

In the beginning of our dieting journey we would eat a lot. I'm talking a lot of food here: 6 whole eggs a day, a full roast to ourselves for dinner or two steaks, kosher beef hot dogs, and turkey burgers. We went from overeating bad foods to overeating allowed foods and we were dropping weight like crazy. I could eat so much, late at night, and still lose weight the next day and it was this way for months.

At this point I would tell people following the diet that it's not all about portion control. I would tell people it was all about what foods you ate, eat until you are stuffed and lose weight. Sounds amazing doesn't it?

To everyone I mislead with this information... my bad. Having followed the diet for a while now and gained some experience I can tell you that there gets a point where yes, portion control matters. Maybe we would lose so much weight even though we were stuffing outselves because we were both so big to start, maybe because in the beginning of the diet your body hasn't had a chance to react to portion sizes... I don't know. All I do know is that around month 6-7 of the diet I started noticing that portion control was the only thing making the scale move any further down... and having not controlled my portions the entire diet I was kindof thrown for a loop.

I thought my weight had slowed down because of an extra-long plateau. This is possible. During the last month of phase 2, however, I tropped weight almost as rapidly as during the beginning and what did I do differently? I cut out dairy, stopped snacking after supper, and controlled my portions. The weight was just melting off.

I think it's important especially in the beginning to make sure you are always full. You don't need hunger pangs to make you feel any worse when on this diet. It's very strict and if you were to restrict the quantity of food you eat I feel like there would be an increased risk of cheating. So eat until you are full, but if you see the weight loss start slowing down, cut down on your portions! Never so that you are hungry, just cut down slightly and see how you feel.


Julie and Julia? Not a Crazy Idea...

Have you ever seen the movie Julie and Julia? Maryl Streep is in it and I absolutely adore her. Good movie actually.
Anyways what she does is create a blog, following Julia Childs and cooking all the recipes in her cookbook.
Obviously I'm not going to re purpose this blog. This is not a cooking blog, never has been. But offers a couple of pretty cool tools, one of them shows me what people Google to find DukanDietress.

Interestingly enough, most of the people who are using Google to look me up are searching for Dukan friendly recipes.

So, here is what I think I will do. When I come back from my vacation (more on this later) I will try cooking every recipe in Dr Dukans book as well as the actual recipes that are posted on the Dukan Diet website weekly. I will tackle them and give you all the feedback I can possibly give. Even if you are not on this diet, these might be healthy and delicious alternatives to your current meal plans. If they turn out good you should give them a go!

I am aware there is an actual cookbook available with Dukan recipes. I'll try and look for a copy while in the US but from what I have gathered it is only available in the UK... I have not seen it here.

So what do you think?

Looks like you have a lot to look forward to after March 15th (when I return from my vacation) :)
Anyways, just a thought. More on this cooking-craziness later.


Alterations to the Dukan Diet - How to Follow it Without Really Following it

I have had this conversation with a few people. Now the diet works as a whole. You can't really nit pick and choose what parts you want to follow and what parts you don't.
But how could you follow the Dukan Diet, kindof?

To some people it's a complicated diet, and I understand that. Are there general guidelines you can follow to get healthy that aren't as severe or strict as this diet? Of course. Following the 'teachings' of the Dukan Diet, there are some alterations you can make to your lifestyle that can get you losing weight, although not nearly as fast as you would lose strictly following the diet.

If you were to follow the Dukan Diet, kindof, you would:

  1. Cut down on your carbs. Every couple days just cut them out completely. When you are planning your meals cut down to maybe only 2 slices of bread a day. Try to make meals that aren't centred around pasta.
  2. Eat out less. It is so hard to eat right when you aren't the one preparing the meal. It's hard to control what you eat, what goes into your food. Try to avoid eating out or eating fast food. Plan your meals in advance and bring lunches.
  3. Cut down on sugar. That means no pop, less dessert, less fruit. Skip out on juice, switch to sweetner. Make conscious choices.
  4. No deep fried. Just cut that out of your life completely and you will notice the pounds dropping.
  5. Seriously consider cutting sauces out of your life. That means no dressings, no sauce. they are full of sugar and empty carbs. I find that after months of eating salad with no dressing and only tomatoes and other veggies to add some moisture, I prefer my salad that way and don't miss dunking my veggies in dressing at all. I think you just need to change your habit. Use spices instead of sauces.
  6. When it comes to cheese, use sparingly and switch to low-fat dairy products. I don't find you sacrifice in taste by going low-fat or non-fat when it comes to dairy products.
& That's all! Easy enough. If you make some conscious changes you can eat healthier a-la Dukan without actually doing this diet. Instead of cutting out, simply cut down. Eat out every once in a while, know that the weight wont fly off but it will slowly start budging and you will be eating healthier.


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Losing Your Breasts

Went down from a 40E (Beige) to a 36B (Black)
This is a huge concern for a lot of bigger-breasted women who are gaining weight or have gained. They don't want to diet because they are afraid of losing weight in their breasts. I will tell you my story:

Being a bigger woman with tiny friends, when we went out dancing, or to bars, I felt like they would get hit on, danced with. I would not. Makes you feel really unnattractive. When guys would take notice of me, anywhere, it was because of my breasts. The only compliment I would get paid is that I had 'nice tits' or 'Woohoo Double Ds!' I am saying here, that these were compliments, but really... they weren't. Those aren't real compliments... anyways.

When working out, when I was larger, I was really reluctlant to do any chest exersises because I didn't want to lose any of my only good feature. I would wear clothing that showed it off, I would strut around because I had the DDs and eventually E cups, so I was pretty too.

While losing the weight I was petrified of losing my breasts, and of course, they started shrinking, along with the rest of my body (if not faster). I was really upset in the begining and only recently came to terms with my new flat-chestedness.

When I was fat I associated myself with my breasts. These were the only things I liked about myself. Now that I have lost the weight I can say that I am not my breasts. I like my new body a lot more than I ever liked my breasts. My collarbone shows and I think that's really sexy. I can feel my bones, my face is much prettier, I feel healthy and good looking (when I'm having more confident days).

& the 'compliments' have also changed. Although not a single person would tell me I have nice tits... ever again (thank goodness), I have been called 'stunning' (something, let's be honest, I never in my life thought I would be called by anyone), gorgeous, have beautiful eyes, tiny waist, skinny-mini, pretty, slim, beautiful, the list goes on and so does my ego. ;)

These are all so nice to hear and you know what, they beat out 'nice tits' anyday.


Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Dairy Challenge

There is a 'Challenge' I have seen a couple times on a few blogs dedicated to the Dukan Diet, the Dairy Challenge. This involves cutting out dairy products for 30 days while on the diet.

It seems to be generally accepted that when you cut down on dairy while on this diet, you lose more weight. In fact, during the last month of phase 2, I cut out dairy completely to ensure I would lose the weight faster, and it worked.

Of course, when I went onto phase 3 I had a dairy-free-for-all the following week, I celebrated by eating as much yogurt as I could and eating snacks after supper.
I had decided I wouldn't weight myself once I got onto phase 3, but I did. On that 8th day I weighed myself and, to my surprise, had gained 7lbs. Woah.

Realising I need to make a change, so that in 110 days I wouldn't have gained back my 110lbs lost... I decided to start a little Dairy Challenge of my own.

So, after a week of following the challenge I am back down to almost my start weight for phase 3. So that means I have lost 7lbs in 7 days by following this Challenge. I really would like to continue, so I will chart my progress here and you can follow me along! :)

I am really not a person of great willpower, and I would use yogurt as a sweet treat, as an easy snack, and as a way to tell myself I was not being deprived on this diet. I will still eat my portion of cheese a day, since I am on phase 3 and it's important that I follow Dr Dukans instructions for this phase, but I will not touch any yogurt, no greek, plain, or flavoured. I will also be trying my best to not eat a single snack after supper, no food at all just water and diet pop. All this for 30 days.

Wish me luck!

February 15th - Start Date.
February 25th - 1/3 Complete.
March 4th - 170g of yogurt at my grand-mamans request.
March 5th- 2/3 Complete.
March 10th - 2x 170g of yogurt at my grand-mamans request.
March 11th - 170g of yogurt at my grand-mamans request.

As I'm sure you can imagine, The Dairy Challenge kindof went bottoms-up after March 10th, I ate between 170g of yogurt and 340g of yogurt every day between March 10th and March 15th.

March 15th - End Date.

So I guess you could say I was successful for 22 days of the Dairy Challenge (with one cheat). I'm ok with this considering I originally only wanted to do this Challenge for 21 days. Also, I was on vacation begining the 3rd March and ending the 15th, so, all in all, a success.
Now to not go overboard while returning to my yogurt at home.
Maybe I will limit myself to only one 35 cal tub a day. Maybe I will restart another Dairy Challenge.

I'll keep you posted as always.

When a Partner Cheats On the Diet

This is an emotional post to write. But it happens, sometimes you are dieting with someone and they cheat, don't follow the diet properly, or quit the diet.

I guess it's like going to the gym with someone who is really not motivated... you spend the entire time talking and not actually working out properly, not using the right techniques, and not getting a good workout.

When your partner cheats on the diet you feel weird. You feel guilty. Was it your fault? Did you not give them the support they needed? Does this make it ok for you to cheat? Are you a bad partner?

You might wonder if you should get another partner, or if this means this person isn't good support for you on the diet.

What if you were the partner who cheated? You might also feel guilty, maybe you derailed your friend and they also cheated. Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed with the guilt of cheating, you want to regain your partners trust.

Its a difficult time, especially if you are really into the diet, on phase 3 or having followed it for several months. If you are not in these shoes, you or your partner cheated and you are reading this thinking "Uhm... calm down lady, nobody died!" then you are obviously not as emotionally attached to this diet as I am :P And that's totally okay. This diet has been a huge part of my life for almost 9 months, so I take it pretty seriously.

You just need to move on. Just because your partner cheated on the diet doesn't mean they can't be trusted anymore. It happens, there is temptation everywhere and sometimes it gets to the best of us. You can't let it completely throw you off your game. You also shouldn't place any blame on either of you.

You could always support your partner by going on a mini-attack phase with them. Show them that you want to help them regain your diet-trust.

Person who cheated: You can't let it derail the diet for you either. Apologise to your partner and get back on track. There might be a little distrust but don't let if faze you. Focus on the prize and get back to it. The cheating is over, don't let it open a floodgate of bad habits, move on.

Also, the worst thing you can do is cheat in secret. To hide this from someone you are supposed to be supporting is wrong and distasteful. Fess up and move past this as a team or let the person continue their journey on their own. There is no need to be ashamed with cheating. You need to give your partner the opportunity to come in and help you.

If your partner is continuously cheating, or has completely quit the diet, you can't let their bad decisions alter your success. You aren't them, so if you need a partner, try and find another one who is just as motivated or more motivated than you are. Or just be a strong and independent dieter and keep it up!

Imagine your old partners surprise when they see your success later. Skinny-mini and gorgeous. They will be kicking themselves for not sticking around!

Good luck, as always.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Yet Another Reason Not to Cheat

As if you need yet another reason, but here is a realisation I have made that maybe you need to hear:

Having been on this diet for 8 1/2 months so far, I need to tell you I have suffered through probably every kind of temptation. If anyone knows how hard it is following such strict diet, well, it's me. Having been on phase 3 now for a little over 2 weeks I will tell you straight up, eating all these foods I had been banned from eating prior, I didn't miss them. I thought I missed pasta, pizza, cheese... I was wrong.

Eating my first pasta meal the other day for instance, felt weird. It felt as if I hadn't been 8 months without it, as if the last time I had eaten pasta was only a few days before. This is when I realised that I did not miss it.

My point here is that time goes by so quickly. I can only tell you about maybe 4 to 5 different temptation instances out of the thousands that happened int he past 8 months. I don't remember the rest of the times. I don't remember the times I said no to food I wanted and instead opted for Dukan friendly alternatives. You know what I would remember? That time I gave in to temptation and did cheat. I would always remember that moment and feel really negatively about it. Personally I would feel like a failure, even if I got back on the wagon.

So, just know that in even as little time as a few days, a few hours, you wont remember that your friends were all eating pizza and you had nothing. You will always remember if you gave in and had a slice, and you just might hate yourself for it. How do you avoid this? Just don't bother cheating. You will be finished the diet in the blink of an eye, and then you can move on with your new life, skinny, healthy, and so PROUD.


Length of Phase 3 and Weight Rebound

So, your body always remembers the heaviest its ever been. It is always trying to get back to that heaviest weight. This is why, when you finish a diet and start eating like you normally would, you gain weight. Your body is assimilating calories more effectively. A chocolate bar you would have eaten before dieting might be 100 cal but after the diet you would take in 110-120 cal for the same chocolate bar.

Dr Dukan suggests that to trick your body into thinking its new weight is its new "heaviest" weight, you should do phase 3 for 5 days for every pound you lose. Its very important to do this so that you do not gain the weight back. Why would you do all this hard work for nothing, right?

Now, I was really afraid to go onto phase 3, I was afraid that I would simply gain all the weight back once I started eating my bread, the starch meal, the celebration meal, everything. I was told by a couple people that I should not worry, and could never gain 110 lbs back just by eating two slices of bread a day and cheese. Still, I have been petrified. It is my greatest fear right now to gain all the weight back.

I'm here to put your fears at rest. I have been on phase 3 for almost 3 weeks and after weighing myself this morning I have gained less than a pound since starting this phase. Woohoo! Looks like I'm succeeding in maintaining the weight! I just need to keep it up for another... 532 days :P

I will let you know periodically through phase 3 if my weight does end up going up, down or stays the same. I think it was my biggest block when starting the diet, the fear of gaining it all back. If I can put your worries to rest, it might keep you on track. This is the last test to see if the Dukan Diet is a successful one, becuase losing the weight is half the battle, you also have to keep it off.


Monday, 20 February 2012

Phase 3 - Celebration Meal

This is something I'm sure you are really looking forward to, the celebration meal!
Now this meal is, a meal. Not a celebration day.

Now what do I mean by celebration? Think of it as a 'cheat' meal.

This is the meal where you can eat anything, anything you have been craving since starting the Dukan Diet! There is however, the rule tha tyou can only have one portion.

So you can go out, have an appetiser, entree, desert, and a glass of wine. Yummy! You are not allowed to go for seconds, but you can eat a portion of whatever you want without guilt and really enjoy your meal.

Prawn uses the celebration meal as a chance to teach himself a lesson. I'll explain.

What Prawn will do for his celebration meal is eat something he used to eat a lot of, all the time. He has been finding out that he actually doesn't like the foods he used to love. For instance: Kraft Dinner. He didn't enjoy eating it for his last celebration meal and doesn't want to eat it ever again. Progress!
We went out to a restaurant and for the first time since starting the diet, ordered a meal that we would always order when we used to go out.

We were stuffed after only a few bites. The lesson Prawn learned here is that we cannot handle eating like we used to and now he knows that we have to change our 'usual' orders to accomodate our obviously smaller stomachs.

I use the celebration meal differently. I save them for days where I want to go out with friends. You get invited to events and nights out with your girlfriends. It gets tiring to go out with your friends and be the only one not eating since there is nothing on the menu allowed. So I plan on saving my celebration meal so I can fit in a little more with my buddies.

Whenever or whatever you decide to eat on this one meal a week is up to you. You have total freedom. Try to make good deciisons but really do enjoy your meal.

Another rule of the celebration meal is that you cannot have it two meals in a row. This rule is more for when you go up to two celebration meals a week, which happens halfway through phase 3.

So let's say you are on phase 3 for 550 days, like me. Then on day 275 you would switch and now have 2 celebration meals a week.

So far I find the week between my celebrations meals just flies by like crazy. So I can't imagine what it will feel like when I have 2 a week. I'm really excited :)
So go on, enjoy your Big Mac, your sushi, your dinner out with your friends! Celebrate!


You Feel Dizzy, Light Headed, or Heart Palpatations

(Thanks to a reader who will now start drinking more water ;) for the question)

#1 Always consult your physician.

Also, please read the post dedicated to proper hydration. It is so important to drink a lot of water on this diet!

Why do you feel these things? Not enough water, you are dehydrated. You need to start drinking a lot of water before these symptoms worsen. I talk about it and explain it more thoroughly in the 'water' post.

Seriously, click here and read all about it.

Heart palpatations could be caused by dehydration. They could also be caused by too much red meat. Since this is a very meat-heavy diet. I suggest trying fish, chicken or pork chops to reduce your red meat consuption. I know Prawn and I were eating steaks almost every night on the attack phase and this caused our hearts to feel some strain. Very bad.

We now discovered new meats to eat and feel much better.


Body Image Issues

The only reason I am making this a topic is because of the really overwhelming feedback I have received on the subject.

I have had a couple readers bring up something really hard to hear and really personal. Body image issues. I have been told by a few people who are being way too hard on themselves, that they hate their bodies, that they hate themselves and are embarassed or ashamed of their bodies.

This really hit a nerve with me since, I am in that same boat. Not was in the same boat, currently sitting in that boat with you.

I mean sure, I have lost 110 lbs. I am at a normal weight, no longer the fat friend. I should be happy with myself but I  am not. I am sure it's not only me, body image issues are a deep psychological problem that don't get completely fixed by fixing yourself, weight-wise.

I walk around more confidently, smile a lot. I am happy. But you can't assume that means I love myself. Because I do not.

I can't tell you not to hate your body. I can't fix your problems with yourself. Something caused you to over eat and I can't fix that either.

I can only hope to make you realise that you aren't alone in having body issues, in being self conscious. You really can't walk around hiding your body. You are who you are, and you are here, you are trying to make yourself healthy and that is amazing.

So I think you are pretty cool.

Have some confidence!

I thought I was hideous and still do sometimes. I was at the point where I hated my body so much I was doing physical harm to myself. You can't get to that point. So stop with the excuses and learn to love yourself. This is so important to me.

The most overwhelming comment I get is that I was always beautiful, but now I am healthy.

All that to say, you are beautiful too, stop with the negative attitude. If you are doubting the fact that you are gorgeous: send me a picture. I will tell you exactly how wonderful and beautiful you are. For reals.

You need to get healthy, not beautiful or handsome... healthy. Because if you are truly hideous, you will still be hideous skinny. That's just how it works. Your face doesn't change, you just walk around lighter.

So think more positively, start or continue your journey for health, and weight loss.
You are awesome.


From Where Will I Lose Weight First?

Obviously every person is different, you will lose weight at different rates and from different places.

Generally, from what I have gathered from talking to different people who have followed this diet, there are a few common areas that women tend to lose weight from first, or faster.

Personally I followed the trend, I lost weight from the top down.

You have to know I did barely any exercise through the diet. Your results might be different if you are hitting the gym.

I lost the weight in my face, in my chest, and yes, in my breasts (which went form a 40E down to a 34B).

So yes ladies, expect your breats to shrink. They will and I apologise.

I lost weight afterwords in my midsection, waist, hips.

There was a time where my weigh tloss had definetally gone a little wonky, I was losing up top but nothing at the bottom and my legs looked really disproportioned. It fixed itself a little although I will admit I still find them heavier than my upper body.

For instance, if you look at my chest, especially in the collar bone area, and my ribs, they really stick out. They look very pronounced. I have lost a lot of weight there. But my legs and ass still seem like I could lose more.

Arms, I have also lost a lot of weight from them. Seems to be at a slower rate than the rest of my upper body, but not as slow as my bottom half.

You will also lose weight from your hands. I didn't know this, but your hands actually do get fat with the rest of your body. I had no idea. My ring size on this diet went down from a 9.5 to a 6.25!

When it comes to men, I'll speculate that the weight loss is the same. Prawn lost a lot all over but you definetally notice it in his face and chest.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

So I Cheated, Now What?

Either you cheated on purpose of by accident, now you are wondering what to do. I will urge you, even if you go on a binge-eating spree and completely destroy all the hard work you put into the diet. DO NOT QUIT.

I will be honest, I cheated once on purpose. Day 2 of the diet I went clubbing with two girls. I was pressured by one of them to drink because she didn't want to be the only one drinking. I was too new to the diet and to the pressures that get put on you as someone who is dieting that I could not say no, and did drink (quite a few tequila shots actually).

So I cheated. The important part of this story is that even though I was pressured to drink and caved, that this was the one time I did it and the very next day, although I was ashamed, I started at 0. Started over my attack phase and succeeded for the rest of the diet without cheating again.

& that's exactly what you need to do. Do a little attack phase to get you back on track and continue with the diet. Moments of weakness happen to everybody. Realise that it's not the end of your diet, that you have not hit a brick wall. It's manageable, don't expect any weight loss for the next little while and continue.

Don't give up hope because of one bad decision, because it was a lot of bad decisions that got you to where you are, and the good decision to continue is what will get you out of it.

What if you cheat accidentally? If you remember from a past post, cheating accidentally does happen. I ate deli roast beef that I thought was allowed, when it was not. Well same deal. You could continue on with your current phase and make a mental note that the food isn't actually allowed on the diet, or you could mini-attack phase and then continue onto phase 2.

Don't make cheating once and not gaining weight as a result, or cheating once and gettnig yourself back to following the diet an excuse to cheat again. yes, you did it once and recovered. Please don't cheat. You are just harming yourself, slowing down your progress and proving to yourself that you cannot do it.

Wouldn't it feel so great to finish the diet and say to people: "I never cheated actually, I have always followed this diet to the letter because I am strong and don't succumb to temptation." I think so :)


"One Bite Wont Make You Gain It All Back" & Other Things You Are Bound To Hear From Absolutely Everybody While On This Diet...

In this post I will share with you comments I have heard from quite a few people, that you are almost definetally going to be told while on this or any other strict diet. In another post I will tell you about some more-rare terrible things I have been told, and how you too can deal with an unsupportive, mean friend.

I have had a lot of very supportive people stick with me through this continuing journey. I have been fortunate. But it happens to everyone, including myself, you have those not-as-supportive friends who worry and those really-not-supportive people who try to bring you down.

Don't let anyone get into your head. You are an adult who can make your own decisions. Of course, this is assuming you don't have any medical reason to not follow this diet. Always check with your physicial and listen to friends and family who are noticing weird behaviour or malnutrition on your part.

That being said, here are some things you are going to be told from almost absolutely everybody:

One Bite Wont Make You Gain It All Back

So you are out to dinner with your friends, your family, anyone really. You look at the menu, order your food. Either you cannot find something to eat at this restaurant so you treat yourself with diet pop while everyone else orders, or ou are struggling finding something you are allowed to eat, and settle on a steak or salad, OR you order but as the waitress: please no corn, no butter, no sauce, no etc etc, I'm on a strict diet.

Any of these work for the scenario. Whoever is keeping you company might be worried about the diet, since it is very strict. They are worried about you, care about you. They might be jealous of your weight loss and willpower, they might just not care. But they say those words I have heard from almost absolutely every person I have eaten with... One bite wont make you gain it all back.

Yes, of course you are aware of this. I am aware of this as well. One fry, one bite of something that is considered cheating, will not make me gain my 110lbs back, it wont make you gain it all back, or even a big chunk. You can walk away from having cheated and not be affected at all.

Why don't you want to take even a single bite of cheat, even though you are aware you wont gain it all back?

For me, it's a mixed response, I don't want ot even have one bite, because I am scared that it will open a floodgate of cheating. That one bite is equal to another bite next week, then two bites later on. Next thing I know I am cheating every day and I've blown the diet.

I also feel that one bite of cheating will slow down my weight loss, you might not gain but you might plateau, you might not lose as much weight as you could have lost if you hadn't had that one bite. It's just not worthit. You want to be finished the diet earlier rather than later. Why would you stretch out the experience on purpose?

Also, you  need to realise, it's not that you can't have that one bite. It's that you wont. You are making the decision not to eat that thing becaus eyou don't want to. Why does this person feel the need to change your mind if you just don't want to eat it?

If someone is tellin gyou this (and I'll be honest, they will) the best defense is to say calmly but sternly that you do not want to eat the pie or whatever. That you just simply do not want to. The person has to respect your decision.

You Are Making Me Feel Guilty (For Eating In Front Of You)

The last thing you want when you are on a strict diet that ostracises you in restaurants and when visiting friends and family is for someone to make you feel guilty because you are making them feel guilty.

I understand that when someone is dieting and you are not, that person can feel guilty because they feel like they are tempting you by eating foods you are not allowed to eat in front of you. Sometimes people will offer to eat Dukan Diet friendly food so that you don't feel temptation.

I say, bring the temptation on! You aren't weak,  you wont see them eating their Chinese Food and feel sad for yourself or deprived & even if you do, you wont succumb to the temptation just because it's right in front of your face.

I know if will make you feel guilty when someone else feels like they need to act differently around you because you are dieting. You just need to brush it off. They care about you. They will do what they want, but you can explain to whoever that you are ok with them eating regularily in front of you and not to treat you differently. You are strong and it's all ok.

Yes, But When You Are Done the Diet You Will Gain All The Weight Back (and More)

Please take a look at the post I have special for this. It really bothers me when people assume I have the willpower to follow a diet like this and lose the weight but not the willpower to follow the maintenance phase to keep it off forever.

There IS a maintenance phase which keeps you on track by slowly reintroducing foods that were banned from the first 2 phases. the person just has to believe that you will follow the diet until the end and keep the weight off forever.

I Don't Like the Term 'Diet'... What You Have To Do Is A LIFESTYLE Change

This one really bothers me. Not sure why.

This is how I see it. The Dukan Diet IS a diet. To lose the weight you follow a diet. Phases one and two are a diet, to lose the weight forever. You could not follow the attack and cruise phases for life, it's impossible. You would waste away to nothing.

Following the first 2 phases, however, gives you the tools necessary to make a lifestyle change that will last you through the last 2 phases, to keep the weight off for life. The end goal is to change your eating habits, learn to cook, be a healthier person. It is a diet that leads to a lifestyle change.


Phase 3 - Overview

This is the phase I am currently on. I have only been on this phase for almost 3 weeks now, so I don't have nearly enough experience with it to give you a good solid understanding. Hopefully through the next little while of me writing these posts I will have more personal details to give you about this phase.

So, the first 2 phases are to lose the weight. Now either you have hit the weight you want to be at or you are quitting the diet before having hit your goal weight, either way you are now on phase 3, congratulations!

This is where the fun begins.

So now you have to do the most important part of the diet, maintaining your weight loss for LIFE.

So far phase 3 has been glorious for me. Think of it this way: In the attack phase you have so little choice. It gets boring and repititious. The second phase comes along and you are just thrilled that you can have a little more variety by adding those vegetables.

Well in phase 3, even more variety. I feel (so far) like I could do this phase for an eternity... and I will basically have to do so because you do phase 3 for 5 days for every pound you lose. So I have 550 days of this phase to do, until August 10th 2013. Oof.

What is different about phase 3?
This phase gradually reintroduces all the food that you have been depriving yourself of for the past however long you have been on the Dukan Diet.

Every day you are now allowed as much protein as you want (same as the other phases), as well as veggies every day, also unlimited.

Every day you have to eat 2 slices of whole grain bread, 40g of cheese, and a serving of fruit (more on all these later).

One meal a week is a starch meal and one meal a week is a celebration meal. Halway through phase 3 these meals double. I will give you more details later.

The last part of phase 3 is that one day a week (and all through phase 4, for the rest of your life) you will have a pure protein day (attack phase).


When Aunt Flo' Don't Come No Mo'

*Girls Only! :)

Hi ladies, let's talk about extreme weight loss, on any diet, and how it might affect your menses!
Very exciting, I know!

Once again, a note, I am not a Doctor and if your period stops completely or you notice anything eird happening with your monthly visitor, I urge you to see your physician.

Is it normal for your period to get wonky because of rapid weight loss?


Your body basically goes into that starvation mode you have heard so much about. What happens to a woman's body when it goes into starvation mode? Your body thinks that since it is starving (because it's fat stores are being depleted so quickly) that if you were to carry a child, it would kill you. So your body kills your period.

Don't worry, it will come back. I have read stories about a woman who lost a lot of weight after a stomach stapling surgery, she missed her period for 6 months straight. Please note, no matter what, if you are behind in your period by 3 months you need to talk to your doctor.

Being late, having incredibly light flow, having a shorter period, those are all normal when going through extreme weight loss. You might still be moody, get bloated, have cramps, but no physical period proof. It's all normal.

Now, you need to know it's possibly you are still ovulating and it is possible to get pregnant. You should always use protection anyways for fear of STIs, but don't think you can go wild and condomless because your period isn't coming anytime soon.

So I hope I answered a few shy questions. Yes, calm down. It's normal for you to be late. See your doctor and bring tampons with you just in case it decides to start up again at random.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Plateau and Random Weight Gain

Ok, I know you are stressing. You have hit a plateau and don’t think you will ever lose weight again.
That or you are slowly gaining weight and have stopped losing altogether…
Or even a combination of both.

It’s ok, calm down. It’s all good.

This is my weight graph. Just a couple months of my weight loss journey, you can see from this picture that there are ups, downs, stagnant periods. It's all over the place, but eventually it goes DOWN!
You have no idea how many plateaus Prawn and I have hit on this diet. Yes, it’s frustrating. But the diet works and eventually, you will lose weight.

The longest plateau Prawn ever hit was a whopping 5 weeks long. 5 weeks of not losing any weight, and he weighed himself every day. So difficult to stay on the diet when it gets to that point, but you have to stick with it, this is your health we are talking about.

Generally for the first couple months you shouldn’t hit a serious plateau. This 5 week long monstrosity happened between the 6th and 7th month of our dieting.

Usually plateaus throughout the diet will last at max a week. Don’t be discouraged and don’t cheat. It’s normal. You can’t lose weight every day, even though you might desperately want to.

Why Do Plateaus & Random Weight Gains Happen?

There are probably 100 reasons why your weight might fluctuate, or why you might have stopped losing. Based on my experience with the diet I can narrow it down to a few more common reasons:

1.       Dairy. I don’t know why but even the non-fat no sugar added dairy can kill a next morning weigh in. If you are stuck in a long plateau I would recommend cutting out dairy completely. Eating more than 2 of those little yogurt tubs a day is a common reason for next morning weight gains.
2.       You accidentally ate something not allowed on the diet. Sounds silly. I mean, you control what goes in your mouth, how can you ‘accidentally’ cheat? An example of this is deli roast beef, which Prawn and I were certain you could eat on the diet. In my mind, where Dr Dukan says Roast Beef, he meant even the deli kind. This is not true; it is much fattier than an actual roast. The next day Matt and I both gained weight, after doing our research, turns out we had not been allowed the deli roast beef after all, accidentally cheating. So make sure, If you gain weight to look closely at what you at the day before.
3.       Sometimes it just happens! Your body is thrown for a loop on this diet. Fluctuations in your weight happen, you lose weight and your body compensates the next day. Your body reacts weirdly to certain food. For instance, you are allowed extra lean ground beef on this diet, but I know for me personally, every time I eat extra lean ground beef, the next day I gain weight. Just watch for stuff like that.
 Ok, I’m Sick of This Plateau & Want to Quit the Diet
 Before you quit, I suggest doing a mini attack phase (phase 1), I did this to break a month-long plateau and it worked. It wasn’t as effective as the first attack phase I did, but it definitely worked.
 You could also start working out, incorporate exercise into your diet, to boost your weight loss.
 No Really, I’m Quitting the Diet, Now What?
 Ok, I really suggest you stick with it, but if you REALLY cannot handle it and want to quit the diet you can only go at it one way. You can’t quit cold turkey and go back to eating regularly because you will gain back the weight. You need to go onto phase 3 of the diet, do it for 5 days for every pound you did lose. Maybe try again once you have given your body a break.
 Good luck getting through this, I know it’s tough.

Why Water is Non-Negotiable While Dieting

This is very important, you can't just skim past this, you can't assume I'm going to tell you what you have already heard from 100 different sources. Water is so important on the Dukan Diet, and I will tell you why. So focus, this stuff is important!

Are you focusing?

I was a terrible water drinker. I would probably drink a glass of water every 2 days, sometimes more. I would drink pop or milk (barely of either) but never a glass of water.
I wouldn't realise I was thirsty? Idk, at one point the feeling just escapes you.

You hear people urging you all the time, I have heard every single reason, every source telling me to drink water. When I would think about it I would make a solid effort for a couple hours, just drown myself in water. But never a consistent effort.

This diet is actually really harmfull if you don't drink A LOT of water.

For the first 3 months of the diet, I continued with my bad habit of not drinking enough water, as would Prawn. & then we started noticing problems.

Prawn noticed it first, sicne he had lost more weight than I had at that point. It was around the 40 lbs lost point I think, maybe 50 lbs. Anyways, so when he stood up he would get really light headed. After seeing a doctor we learned that his blood pressure would drop really drastically when he would stand up.

One day I got a call at work, he had stood up and almost fainted. He couldn't concentrate. WHen I went to pick him up I was really shocked to see that he was acting basically drunk. He was slurring his words, getting distracted halfway through his sentences. It was really strange.
Turns out he was dehydrated.

I don't know what it is about this diet, but you get dehydrated really easily. I always feel and have felt thirsty on this diet, my lips are always cracked, I had to invest in Burts Bees and apply it constantly all day.

So I started (after Prawns incident) to drink a TON of water every day and I feel so much better. I wake up and drink 2 full glasses (with my vitamins) before I do anything. Just saturate myself in water. It's a habit you really need to pick up.

But WHY Do I Need A Lot Of Water?

So this is why, especially on a diet like this, you need to drink a ton of water. I am not a doctor, but I'll explain it as well as I can from the information given to me by Prawns Dr:

So on this diet, you are losing weight, you are cleansing your body from all this crap that was once burdening it. This crap is now loose around your body and needs to be filtered out by your kidneys. But because there is so much of it you really need to just drown your body in fluids to make sure everything can be filtered and booted out of your body, or else it gets in your bloodstream and what happened to Prawn (where your brain basically shuts down) will happen to you.

Like I said, not a doctor, but that's the gist of it.

How Can I Guarantee I Drink Enough Water?

For some people it helps to set up a counter, where you track the amount of water you are drinking to make sure you don't forget or realise if you haven't been drinking enough water.
If you are anything like me, that will work for a couple days and you will be back to your bad habit.

What works for me is always making sure I have a bottle or mug of water with me and then just drinking it. I do the 2 glasses in the morning and then at work I always mkae sure my mug is full and I'm drinking water.
There is a lul in the day: drink a glass of water, you are eating dinner, drink a glass of water, you are watching tv: drink a glass of water.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

I can't really answer this question. People say 8 glasses. I drink more than that. To make sure I drink enough I usually drink until I'm super full and bloated-ey. Just drink until you are not thirsty anymore, listen to your body. But if you need a definite number, try 8 glasses. Sure. And if you feel thirsty or like it isn't enough just add one more a day until you feel comfortable with the amount of water you are drinking.

But You Don't Understand... I Reeeaaaally Hate Drinking Water!

I know the taste of water isn't what most people love... but you really have to force it.

Dr Dukan counts 'water' as any fuilds allowed on the diet, so minteral water, diet pop, skim milk (I have a post that talks specifically about these liquids). So you don't necessarily have to be only drinking water.
I have cut back on my pop consumption really drasticcally... but I'll tell you, there were a couple months where I would drink over 2L of diet pop between 6pm and 10pm. All to myself.

So, you aren't stranded with only water, to get yourself in the habit of drinking a ton of fuilds, feel free to drink some other stuff. But I'll let you know... diet pop is bad for your health, even though it isn't bad for your waistline.


I know this is a really long post and I thank you for reading it through. Take my water-advice very seriously. In fact, go drink a big glass of water right now. Like now.


Friday, 10 February 2012

That 1st Grocery Trip

(thanks to a reader for the question)

You have decided to start the Dukan Diet and are trying to plan out your first grocery trip on the diet. I don't know your taste, how many people you are cooking for, or any other diet restrictions you might have. But I know that first grocery trip can be intimidating, so here is a typical grocery list I would use for the cruise phase (the second phase).

The List:

Frozen fish, typically basa, and only if it's on sale for less than 8$ for a bag at Walmart. I like fish and find it easy to make some on the stove in advance for lunches.

Steak, porc chops for easy to cook suppers.

A beef roast I find is also easy enough to cook for dinner. Just season and throw in the oven. Makes a lot of leftovers for lunches.

Cauliflower and broccoli.
You can get the bags of frozen but I prefer fresh, then when you get home you seperate them into portions so they are an easy grab-and go snack (fresh).

All colors of peppers. I find they make a great addition to most meals or easy to grab snacks as long as you cut them into portions first.

Oat bran. Either the organic stuff you can pick up at sobeys or the regular oat bran in the cereal isle.

Eggs! Matt and I go through eggs like crazy... We pick up two of those value packs of extra large eggs. You choose how many you think you will eat between the gallettes, meals, and snacks (hard-boiled eggs = great snack).

Yogurt. I'm a big fan of Greek yogurt. You can pick up the plain Greek yogurt or those little source 0% ones with fruit in them. 35 calorie, there are so many different varieties. Just make sure there is no sugar added and no fat. Yogurt is a lifesaver on this diet, as long as you remember you are only allowed 2 a day.

Now on my grocery list there is usually a lot of vegetables: cucumber, zucchini, yellow onions, eggplant, spaghetti squash, asparagus, a lot of tomatoes, mushrooms. You choose what you think you will eat during the week, or what's in season.

Vegetables you are not allowed: corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes, avocado,  beans, nuts. You are allowed carrots but only in moderation.

If you can find turkey or chicken bacon that is reduced fat. Also, non-fat ham.

I'll also pick up skinless, boneless chicken breast that I boil in advance and add to my recipes during the week.

Crab sticks and non-fat deli chicken slices for easy, non-vegetable snacks.

You can pick up low-fat ground turkey or chicken, or extra lean ground beef for burgers or meatloaf.

Spices that don't have sugar in the ingredient list, mustard, for flavour.

And that's it. It helps to plan your meals for the week, then buy the ingredients.


Thursday, 9 February 2012

My "Used to Be Favorite" Skirt (Pictures)


After, (me holding the skirt I was wearing in the 'before' picture)

A Few Words About Loose Skin

(Thanks to a reader for the question!)

Well then. Loose skin. I want to let you know that I'm not a doctor, and I can only tell you about my experience with it. Your results might be much different than mine.

A few things.

There is a supplement called Selenium which I have started taking recently, it's supposed to promote skin elasticity. Try to find the one without yeast or bad stuff in it. I found it was cheaper at walmart.

When you lose a lot of weight under your skin sometimes your skin needs time to catch up to your rapid weight loss. I'm going to tell you straight up that I only started noticing 'loose skin' at 70-80 lbs lost. So if you are in your twenties and are losing less than that you probably shouldn't worry.

You need to remember that I only started 'working out' and barely, recently. So to avoid any loose skin I should have just wroked out through this journey. Ah well, hindsight eh?

& I have to specify, by loose skin I don't mean that hanging stuff that some really obese people have or older people who lose a lot of weight. Since I am in my early twenties and wasn't obese my entire life, my skin has bounced back quite a bit. It puckers around my stomach a little and I can tell it's loose around my chest, thighs and arms, but you can't tell just by looking at me.

To be honest I'm really self concious about it. Like very.

So I did some research and it turns out your skin has 2 years after losing a lot of weight before it's shrunk back as much as it will without surgery. So I basically have a two year window to lift weights and do sit ups before I'm stuck with my loose skin. A little scary, but I'm trying and working towards it because I'm embarassed.

Now whether or not you will get loose skin is determined by a few things, namely your age. As everyone knows, the older you are, typically, the less elastic your skin is. It is also determined by how long you have been overweight and how overweight you were.

A good way to help prevent loose skin is to hydrate and drink a lot of water.

A little word from Prawn on loose skin:

Being significantly heavier than C- loose skin became a near phobia of mine right around the 70 pounds mark. Hearing horror stories of people needing surgery, or looking disgusting after such amazing levels of weight loss was almost enough to want me to stop the diet. Upon spending a few hours researching the condition I noticed some trends in the information people had given out.

Have you ever noticed in the show "Biggest Loser" how very few of the contestants have any loose skin nearing the end of their weight loss? This begs the question, why. Well this is because skin like any other part of our body is an organ. Like our lungs or our liver it is a constantly adjusting part of us. To avoid loose skin we need to keep that organ in good shape. Now loose skin is actually fat. As we lose weight our body isn't able to properly process through and eat at all of it especially on diets that only target food. So by exercising we are able to burn through those fat cells and keep our skin tight. Losing weight too fast is also a factor in weight loss. The downside of this diet is that people often see results at a rapid rate and as such this factor is unavoidable.

There are other options, but they are less effective in combatting loose skin (besides expensive surgery). The term "brushing" or skin brushing is one I found over the course of my research. The act of taking a brush with firm brissles across one's skin. This action increases circulation to our organ (skin) which increases its productivity so to speak. More circulation, less skin.

In closing: you should not allow fears of loose skin stop you from starting today! You should just give the diet a try. If after losing 20-30 pounds you decide that this diet is for you and you want to continue with your significant weight loss (Or for those looking to only shed a few pounds congratulations you're already there) maybe re-asses your priorities when it comes to loose skin vs. the need for exercise. 


You Have Started the Diet & Feel Like Crap - Normal?

So, you have decided to start losing weight, you are following the Dukan Diet and you feel... well like crap.

Yes, this is normal.

Dr Dukan says that the feeling tired should go away after day 2 of the diet, and the feeling should be replaced with 'dynamic energy'.

Neither Prawn or I experienced any 'energy', especially not dynamic, at all in this diet, up to this day.

In fact, I could get 12 hours of sleep and still feel tired, I promise. It's ridiculous.

I started taking vitamins to see if it would help and I will be honest, it did. Just a multivitamin, no big deal.
So now I don't feel completely exhausted, just a little tired all the time.

Is it normal to feel cold during the diet, to feel freezing?

Yes! It is. I am always cold. & I actually know why this is. Your body goes into a 'hibernation' mode when it is experiencing rapid weight loss. It tries to save on energy by doing a couple things:

Your hair and nails start growing less rapidly, you feel tired all the time because your body now needs more sleep and your body stops spending energy to keep you toasty warm. So you are just absolutely freezing constantly.

Also, in my experience, you bruise easier and if you get cuts or scrapes they heal very very slowly.

Don't get a piercing on this diet, I promise it will take AGES to heal. Ridiculous.

Also, being cranky. Yes, the diet makes you crabby, and easily irritated. I wish I knew why.

I have talked to several women and men who have gone through minimum a couple weeks on the diet, they all say the same thing, in a bad mood, irritable, easily upset.

I don't find this has gone away with time either.

(Thanks to a reader for the question)


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

What About When You Are Done? Gaining All the Weight Back...

So you might be worried, and people might tell you: Once you are done the diet you will gain all the weight back! Twice over even!

This is simply not true and I will tell you why.

I'm not ready to talk about phase 3 (the one I am currently on) because I only started a few days ago and don't have enough experience to give you a solid understanding.

I can tell you however, with only a few days of this phase... that it's amazing so far. Really really great.


So what is different about this diet, that guarantees that you wont put all the weight back on when it's over?!

I'll tell you what.
But first, an explanation:

Our bodies are always trying to get back to the largest they ever were. Our bodies have a memory and are always aching to be back at that heaviest weight. Which is why when you are done a diet like Atkins for example, and you go back to eating all the food you were not allowed to eat, you pack on the pounds like crazy.

The Dukan Diet doesn't let go of your hand.

Phase 3 lasts 5 days for every pound you lose, and reintroduces very slowly the foods you have not been able to eat up until this point. Tricking your body into believing that it's new weight is the heaviest it's ever been.

So when you go back to eating like normal, you have been on the diet long enough to form life-lasting good habits, AND your body believes it's at the weight it should be and doesn't assimilate calories crazy fast causing you to gain all your weight back.


Will I get Bad Breath? - Ketosis

There is a symptom associated with weight loss called ketosis. That's where you get bad breath, like really rancid.

It's caused by your blood sugar levels going down significantly, not just from low carb diets like the Dukan Diet.

Bad breath in the morning? That's ketosis.

Now, neither Prawn or I suffered from this during the entirety of the Dukan Diet. I know this isn't because we are 'immune' or anything because before we were on the Dukan Diet, Prawn tried counting calories as a method to lose weight. He cut his calories drasticly and was (I'm convinced) almost starving himself. He develloped really bad ketosis as a side effect and like I said before, has been eating plentifully on the Dukan Diet and has not gotten bad breath.

You can fight ketosis by drinking lots of water and (of course) brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day for good measure and good oral health.


Is This an Expensive Diet To Follow?

Hey, I get it. Money money money. You don't want to start spending oodles of cash on a diet, even if you are certain it will work. Because what if you fail at it? Then it will be money put to waste. I totally understand.

Also, you wont fail at it, because you are stron-willed and amazing. But I digress.

I have talked at length with Prawn about this and we have decided that generally you spend the same amount on this diet as you would if you weren't on it.

Let me explain.

Sure, you can eat seafood on this diet. And seafood, as well as other meats are expensive. But are they more expensive than going to McDonalds once, twice a week ontop of any other restaurant meal you would go to, ONTOP of the chips, chocolate bars, ice cream, subway, alcohol and other treats you would consume?

I think as long as you don't overindulge on the seafood and stick to cheaper meats like chicken, porc or even steak you should be fine.

And once you get to the second phase, where you are allowed vegetables, that cuts your costs even more. Your snacks become more veggie oriented and if you buy in season, cheaper.

How much money do you spend a week on your unhealthy snacks? If finances are really an issue when you are considering weather or not to go on this diet, you should take a look at some recent receipts and calculate your current expenses. I think it will shock you to see how much you currently spend on junk and unhealthy snacks.

So my tips to keep costs low while following this diet are to stay far away from seafood, pack lunches so you don't have to eat out, and buy meat when it's on sale and freeze it.


(Thanks to a reader for the question!)

Phase 1 and Eating Out

I strongly suggest packing your lunch and avoiding eating out when you are on the attack phase. It just gets complicated and really difficult since you are only eating protein and protein usually needs to be cooked. But if you are stuck downtown and are starving, there are ways that you can eat out while on the attack phase.

Non-fat or low fat deli chicken slices and deli turkey slices are allowed in this phase, just rool them up and eat. It's not glamorous but if you are hungry and on the go it's a definite alternative to starving or cheating.

Some grocery stores have hard-boiled eggs already made up. You can eat those.

And of course you can always pick up some yogurt and a spoon from the deli section of your grocery store and have some dairy.

Those individual crab-sticks also work as an on the go snack.

But what about something meal-life? More warm? Don't worry, I've got you covered. You can always go out and eat steak at a restaurant. I'm paranoid and always ask to make sure they don't put any oil or butter on my steak and no sauce. Just know that if you go to a restaurant they will look at you weird when you ask them to please not bring any bread to the table and tell them you don't want any vegetables on your plate as well.

You can also pick up one of those hot-deli chickens that they sell at most grocery stores. As long as you take the skin off and it's the whole chickens not the breaded wings you are safe.

To avoid all this scrambling you should always plan ahead and plan your meals so you can bring your own hardboiled eggs, leftover steak, shrimp or what have you. You should never be hungry on this diet. Bring lots of snacks around wherever you go and know that phase 2 is much easier.


(Thanks to a reader for the question!)

My Regrets

I have two regrets when it comes to my diet experience.

1) I should have taken REALLY good before photos: The underwear shot from the front, back and side photo.
2) I should have taken my measurements beforehand.

I guess since I didn't take the diet seriuosly in the beginning and didn't actually feel like I would keep up the diet, lose weight and become fah-bulous that I didn't do anything to really track the beginning of my journey and I really regret that.

So before you start any diet you should have it in your head that this is for real. This is it, you are ready and committed. You should take your measurements and a good set of before pictures and you should post it somewhere for yourself with your gal weight written down beside it and strive for that, because you never want to look like that before picture again.


What Can You Drink?

During phases 1 and 2 of the diet the only things you can drink are water, diet pop, mineral water, and skim milk. You can drink tea, herbal tea and coffee.

Now diet pop is really bad for you. I have read that there is a chemical in diet pop that is also a part of formaldehyde... Gross!

But I can't lie, and I'm not a hypocrite, I drink WAY too much diet pop. Some nights I'll drink over 2L of diet coke or root beer all to myself. I think I use this as a way to cope with not eating as much sugary food and as a way to stop myself from snacking during the night.

I also use it as a way to fit in at parties and when I go out to restaurants or bars, since I can't drink alcohol and sometimes I can't find something that I am allowed to eat on the menu at pubs or restaurants. I drink my diet pop. Trick myself into not feeling deprived.

If I were you, healthy and strong person reading this blog post. I would try to avoid drinking too much diet pop. You are better than that :P But when you are feeling deprived or need a bit of a 'sugar' rush, You can turn to it as something ot help you through.


(Thanks to a reader for the question!)

Going Out to Restaurants On Phase 2

So I can't tell you what to eat at every restaurant you will ever go to. To be honest, I have practically stopped going to restaurants myself, going from maybe 5 restaurant meals a week before starting this diet, to 1 restaurant meal a week in the begining and now none.

But, it happens. You get asked by friends to celebrate a friends birthday, you go for a date or what have you. Anyways, doesn't matter how you got there, you are at a restaurant.

You are not in your safe kitchen where you know all the ingredients that are going in whatever is going on your plate. Scary. But manageable. You can always google the menu before going. There are some places where you might know you can't eat, try to stear clear. I have had to go to restaurants with friends where there was no food I could eat. Be strong, your friends understand. Grab a giant glass of diet pop and watch. Enjoy their company. You will be off the diet soon and wont even remember that one time you all went to such and such restaurant and you sat there being the life of the party while everyone ate :P

So, safe bet is steak. I am super-paranoid and always specify, no matter what restaurant I am in or what I am ordering: "I am on a very strict diet, I cannot eat any oil or butter, please make sure that there is no oil or butter on any of my food. Thank you so much."
You might feel stupid for having to say it, or like you stand out from whoever is keeping you company, but it's better than having to send it back when the food comes drenched in butter or having to eat it anyways and gaining weight the next day.

So, steak is usually safe. During the cruise phase it you could eat the veggies it comes with. I always ask for an extra salad (no dressing) or extra vegetables instead of the starch that would usually come with your plate.

I'll warn you, you might get looks. But it's ok, because you look fabulous :)
& Although it might seem a little weird to your friends, with time they will come to expect it from you when you go out, and they wont judge you for it, you are trying to be healthy!

In some places you can eat the salmon, or other seafood, as long as you make sure to tell them: No sauce, no dressing, no butter. The server might get annoyed but hey. You are on a strict diet. So be it.

Another safe bet is salad, (No dressing, no croutons, no corn, no blah blah blah) just read the menu and tell them what you cannot eat.

I have never gone to a restaurant where they completely ignored my request and tried to sabotage me. I have never gone to a restaurant where they refused or didn't understand. Most of the servers ended up asking me about the diet or congratulating me on the weight loss. It seems like a big deal but they don't really care as long as you ask nicely.

So don't be self conscious. Speak up and enjoy your experience.


Vegetarianism and the Dukan Diet

As a reader kindly pointed out to me, I was missing out on a whole group of people who might want to learn about the Dukan Diet in order to get healthy... vegetarians!

Yes, it is possible to be on a high protein diet without eating meat. Here are foods that are allowed for vegetarians throughout the diet from attack phase all the way to the end.

There are two types of tofu Dr Dukan talks about in his book: Silken tofu and firm (or extra firm) tofu.
He says in the book that there are tofu dumplings, vegetarian sausages, stir fries and ravioli made using tofu and to watch out that the fat content of these dishes isn't over 8%, but they are allowed however the ravioli or dumplings are not suitable for the first phase of the diet.

Also known as vegetable meat. Incredibly rich in protein and almost no fat or cholesterol. Dr Dukan suggests seitan for everyone not just vegetarians. He says it's incredibly healthy and great in stews, prepared on skewers or braised.
If you are curious (As I have just become) you can find Seitan in most Asian food stores.

You can eat as much Tofu or Seitan as your heart desires, until you are full. No measuring or counting. Eat unlimited amounts.

Tempeh and Textured Soy Protein
Dr Dukan suggests that you should eat these sparingly. They are tolerated but not suggested for the diet because of it's high carb content.

Soy or Vegetable Burgers
Dr Dukan states in his book that he only allows vegetarians on the diet to eat pre-made soy or veggie burgers made from two companies: Boca and MorningStar Farms. Once again this is a food item that is tolerated but not suggested for the diet, you cannot eat unlimited of these.

Soy Milk
If you are lactose-intolerant or have a tendency toward high cholesterol Dr Dukan suggests you give soy milk a try. Because of it's high carb content though, you are limited and can only drink 2 glasses of unflavored soy milk per day.

Soy Yogurt
You are permitted two 6-ounce natural soy yogurts with no sugar per day.

xoxo to all my vegetarians reading!

The Pros and Cons of Weighing Yourself Daily

I weighed myself daily from the begining of this journey.
The problem with doing so is you get in the habit and when you go a day without doing so you get kindof antsy. It can be discouraging for some people to not see the scale go down for days or months at a time if you hit a really rough plateau.

If you weight yourself every day, please don't get unmotivated by the numbers! I would hate for someone to be doing well, hit their first plateau and then quit because they are discouraged by the unmoving scale.

I'm telling your right now, as someone who weighed themselves every day, when I look at the graph made from collecting my 8 months worth of data, it's up and down and up and a little more down, and up again. But the point is that it EVENTUALLY GOES DOWN. When you weigh yourself every day you only focus on the fact that from yesterday it went up, you can't see that it had gone down by 2 lbs the day before and you are still 25 lbs down from your start weight. So keep trucking.

I remember Prawn had once hit a month and a half plateau, where in that time he gained 3 lbs and his body was just not budging down. It happens, and he was really discouraged and wanted to quit the diet (I wouldn't let him lol). So for someone like Prawn, weighing himself every day would have probably not been a good thing, but since he was in the habit, he did it and got very discouraged.

The pro of weighing yourself every day is you can tell if what you ate yesterday is something that would make you gain weight... let me explain.

I would eat extra lean ground beef every once and a while on this diet, because you are allowed. I ate it until I saw the trend that whenever I would eat extra lean ground beef I would gain minimum a pound the next day. So I switched and now I eat lean ground turkey.

Doesn't happen to everyone, but because I weighed myself every day I could eventually see that.
You can also keep yourself motivated if you are in a period of losing weight consistantly. Seeing a pound weight loss in a day when you are having a sad or dissapointing day with other aspects of your life can really boost your confidence.

Whatever the choice you make, to weigh yourself once a week, once a day, or even several times a day, just stick with it and never get unmotivated by what the scale says. As long as you stick with this diet and do as Dr Dukan says, you will lose the weight. It's impossible for it not to come off eventually!


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Cauliflower Gratin AKA Shepherds Pie - Recipe

1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 tbsp skim milk
1/2 lb extra lean ground beef or a turkey meat and ground beef mixture
Salt n peppa
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 tsp parsley

Boil the cauliflower until very soft, mash it with the milk. You don't have to add milk, I just find it makes my 'mashed potatoes' a little more mashed.

Cook the meat and onions together, season well. I usually cook extra meat so I have some to put in my meals during the week.

Cook carrots and slice.

Put in pot like a shepherds pie, cook for 20 minutes at 350.

I got the original idea and recipe for this from the Cauliflower Gratin recipe in the Dukan book. Since I cannot find any ff cheese anywhere (other than the sliced-processed kind) I layered it as such and when I realised it tasted exactly like Shepherds Pie... well... a new favorite recipe was born!

I have gotten friends who aren't even dieting to try this and they have switched from potatoes to cauliflower, eating less starchy foods and getting healthier!


The Right Partner & Some Late-Night Words of Wisdom

I was fortunate enough to have someone who wanted to do the diet with me. My partner in crime. He lost an incredible 105lbs on the diet.

You don't need someone to help you along the way. There are tons of online support groups and you are STRONG enough to go at it alone.

But I had to give a little shout out to my backup dancer :P

IF you want to do the diet with someone make sure that that person is commited. You don't want to set yourself up for failure and be the one dragging the team along. You don't want a person who isn't going to support you.
And IF the person you chose to be your support system ends up bailing, please, please don't let it affect your dieting. Just talk to me, I'll set you straight!

You cannot let food control you. You are the one who puts the food in your mouth. Your hands physically put it there... I always picture pizza yelling out "What are you waiting for, hello? Eat me! You know you want to eat me!" and I don't like being told what to do or manipulated by people... so... I don't listen!
I don't want to eat badly so I don't.

And the same needs to happen to you!
If someone was trying to manipulate you into doing something or bossing you around, you need to stand your ground and say hey! It's my life!
Well don't let some little thing that can't even actually talk control how well you fit in your new skinny jeans. It's an innanimate object, tell it to get out of your head and pick up that broccoli!


Spaghetti Squash - Recipe

So you take one spaghetti squash, cut it in half, take out the seeds and cook it at 350 for half an hour face down in a pan with a little water at the bottom.

While it's cooking cut up all vegetables that exist :P
... I cut up
Yellow, orange, red and green peppers,
Sometimes eggplant,

I cook low fat turkey sausages that don't have sugar in the ingredient list, cut those up and put them in as well.
A pound of lean ground turkey meat.

I put in parsley, and any other seasonings I want to put in at the time.

Take 2 small cans of tomato paste, put them in a pot with a teensy bit of water. Cook all the veggies and meat in the tomato paste.

Fork the spaghetti squash into tupperwear and scoup the 'sauce' into tupperwear. SO GOOD, really actually delicious and so healthy!

When I am looking for a snack or easy lunch I take a smaller tupperwear, scoup some spaghetti squash and some sauce in it, tah- dah. This is a very forgiving recipe that I change up every single time. Easy, don't even have to think about it and honestly, by the end of the diet, it tasted like actual spaghetti to me.


The Cruise Phase - Cooking Up a Storm and Overview

So, this is the phase to lose the weight. I was on the cruise phase for 7 1/2 months. That's a long time.
Through this phase you will suffer the most but will reap the most reward.

Dr Dukan says to eat vegetables every second day in this phase. I talked to my doctor and said screw it. Ever since month 2 or 3 I have been eating vegetables every day and look at my results! In this phase you can eat everything you ate in phase 1, with vegetables as well, and thank goodness because you really need the variety to keep this diet from getting too boring.

When I started the Dukan Diet I never cooked. I went in the kitchen to microwave frozen dinners (which... I thought were super healthy, especially the weight watchers ones or healthy steamers... NO they are ABSOLUTELY NOT)
I also went to cook Kraft Dinner... terrible.

Through this diet I have found a love of cooking. I spend almost every evening in the kitchen, trying new vegetables, cooking new meals.

To do this diet you don't have to enjoy cooking at all. I just discovered mine through the Dukan Diet.
Recipes to follow.

You are not allowed to eat avocado (they are fruit anyways), corn, beans, nuts, and still no fruit.
There is a misconception about fruit. Everyone thinks we should eat a lot of it because it is so healthy, but no, it's packed with sugar and banned from this phase of the diet.

Still no pasta or bread. Continue to eat the Gallette.

This is a long phase for some people. At first I was losing weight gradually at about 3 lbs a week. I eventually slowed down to 1.5 to 2 lbs a week. Still, phenominal results.


A Little Note About Exercise

Exercise is so important, you need to have a healthy heart and body.

Dr Dukan says that walking is the best exercise, to walk 20, 30, 50 minutes a day.

I'm going to tell you a secret...

Do you know how much I exercised this entire diet? I lost 110 lbs by only hitting the gym 2 or 3 times.
It's not about working out, you lose weight by changing your EATING HABITS.

Of course, I should have gone more often, to be healthier.

But that's not what's important. What is important is what you put in your mouth.

The Dukan Diet and Heavy Exercise

(Thanks to a reader for the question)

It is not recommended to do heavy exercise while on this diet. You will probbaly feel too physically tired to do any anyways.

Dr Dukan suggests walking. If you were to hit up the gym I would suggest light cardio and weight lifting to keep your body toned and your muscle mass intact. You are on a high protein diet so I'm assuming your muscles will thrive with weight lifting.

Obviously you should work out. It will really help with your weight loss. Mkae you lose weight faster, make you happier because of the endorphins, and keep your skin from getting loose.


Oat Bran and the Gallette

These are the 2 different oat brans I buy. The first 2 pictures are the ones you will find at Walmart or other grocery stores. The 3rd photo is the one I buy at Sobeys. About 3- something $.

You can buy organic oat bran in the cereal department of Sobeys and I have found a box of regular oat bran in most other grocery stores. like 3 bucks, really cheap and you only use about 2 tbsp a day.

For me I found the oat bran gallette to be trial and error.

Over the 8 months I have followed the diet I have tried many variations. Here are some of them.

1) The first version of the gallette I made was to not make one at all. I didn't buy oat bran because I didn't know where to find some and then I was just plain lazy. But did you know if you deprive your body completely of carbs your brain stops working? So... bad.

2) I finally bought some oat bran and started incorporating it into my yogurt. Just putting some in like granola. Tastes absolutely delicious. Don't leave it in too long or it becomes soggy.

3) When I first started actually making the gallette I would take several eggs (like 3) and crack them in a bowl, mix in a satchet of sweetner and 2 tbsp of oat bran. Mix it all with a fork and make into a pancake on the stove. Very eggy.

4) I have fidgetted around with the measurements over the months but the most current way I eat my oat bran is to take one egg and beat it in a bowl, then I take my satchet of sweetner, put it in. Then I take two tbsp of oat bran and the same amount of plain greek yogurt or 35 cal no sugar added, non-fat fruit yogurt cups 0%. Mix it all together and make into a pancake.

It's like eating desert or a fancy pancake breakfast. I dip it in the rest of the yogurt in the little tub thing or eat it on it's own. Delicious and manditory.