I recently shared with you my struggles with weight, body image and self image in the The Mom Body Image Roller Coaster. And in that post I promised to give you a bit more info about how my husband and I and some friends have been changing the way we eat and the way we look.
I know its not about a number on the scale, but I also know that taking control of my weight and my health have helped me immensely to gain more confidence, fight my depression and just feel a lot better physically and mentally. I can FEEL my life force, my strength and purpose returning.
Its working for me, so I’m sharing. Here are the details just in case it might work for you too.
Since the end of May, I’ve been doing The Dukan Diet. Dukan is a diet created by a French physician Dr. Pierre Dukan that essentially is a LOW FAT PROTEIN/LOW CARB/VEGGIE plan.
There is a book you can buy of course and you can also purchase coaching through the doctor’s web site, but we have been able to do it all ourselves for free with info we’ve collected online and with our own group support.
The first thing you need to do is calculate your “True Weight.” You can do this for free at DukanDiet.com. The calculator takes into account your bone structure, number of pregnancies you’ve had, etc and is actually quite conservative with its true weight result. For example, I started at 193 lbs and my true weight is 160, which puts me about about a size 10. I’m getting so close!
The plan has 4 phases. The “true weight” calculator will tell you how long you need to be on each phase.
Phase #1 Attack (which is about 2-6 days of ONLY protein, called “Pure Protein” or PP Days.) There is a list of about 70+ proteins that you can eat (see below pdf link.) This phase will show immediate weight loss, which is very motivating to see. In this phase you eat 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran per day for fiber.
Phase #2 Cruise (which is about 3 days per pound if you are strict on the plan.) I’m taking a bit longer because I’ve had some times when I wasn’t quite as strict. During this phase you alternate PP Days and “Protein Vegetable” or PV Days. For example, I do one PP day then one PV day and so on. But you could do 2/2 or 3/3 if you want. Its up to you. There is a list of about 32 veggies you can eat (see below pdf link.) In this phase you eat 2 tablespoons of oat bran per day for fiber.
Click this link for a downloadable PDF of the Dukan Diet Protein & Veggie Food List
Phase #3 Consolidation (which I haven’t gotten to yet.) This phase helps you incorporate some carbs and fruit to get your body adjusted back to eating those things while maintaining your weight loss. In this phase you eat 2.5 tablespoons of oat bran for fiber.
Phase #4 Permanent Stabilization This is the rest of your life. You use the eating skills and strategies you’ve learned and have 1 PP day per week to maintain weight. In this phase you eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran.
Make sense? I know it sounds kind of confusing but by taking it one step/one phase at a time. Its really not bad at all.
A few quick tips:
- Learn the foods list. This is your bible. You can eat these foods on the right days as much as you want.
- Oat Bran needs to be added to your diet EVERY day. I eat it as a warm breakfast cereal and its really good! Tastes like oatmeal with a lot more fiber. And you need the fiber! (I mix oat bran with a little milk, microwave for 1.5 minutes, then mix in Splenda and pumpkin pie spice for extra flavor. Its yum!)
- You can have coffee, tea and diet/no calorie drinks.
- Drink lots of water!
- Make sure that most of your dairy intake is non fat. (low fat is good too)
- Try your best to excersize or walk 20 minutes at least a few times a week.
- Unlike Atkins or Paleo or other high protein diets, this is a LOW FAT protein diet. Avoid oils, butter and high fat proteins. Avoid nuts.
- I have a sweet tooth. For a special treat, I mix Splenda and spices or even sugar free cocoa into non-fat Greek Yogurt. You can also have sugar free non-fat yogurt ice cream at a local shop now and then.
- You can eat Bacon! (But try to eat lower fat and not too too much.)
- Sausage is typically a high fat meat and not on the foods list. But there are many yummy chicken sausages that are lower in fat and can be eaten in limited quantities.
- Alcohol is not strictly permitted but an occasional lower calories beverage doesn’t seem to hurt the scale.
- I have an iPhone and use the iDukan app to keep track of my daily weight changes. I highly recommend it!
- My husband and friends and I started our own private Dukan Facebook group to post our weigh ins every morning and share ideas for food, offer encouragement, etc. The support is VERY helpful.
- And YES, it works best if you weigh in EVERY DAY and tell someone!
- With everything, its figuring out what works best for your body and personal cravings.
I personally really like the Dukan plan because you don’t have to count calories or points.
Of course removing carbs isn’t easy but I know its for a limited time. And this exercise is teaching me/my body that I don’t actually need a ton of carbs to enjoy food. I rather love a good burger in a lettuce wrap now.
OK, I’m sure I could go on but this is getting quite lengthy. If you have questions, please leave them in the comments. And if I’ve missed anything I’ll do updates.
I hope you can find a plan or way of life that works for you!