How the Dukan Diet Worked for Me


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       November 2009 
            (at around 175lbs)

           November 2011 
                (at around 144lbs)


Remember how I’ve tried to lose weight before on this blog? With very little success?

I’d been trucking along at around 175lbs for the previous couple of years and the arthritis pain in my knee was getting worse and worse.  So on June 1st this year I started yet another diet. This time a friend in the UK recommended a regime called the Dukan Diet, a French diet which had recently become very popular in the UK, as it was reportedly used by Carole Middleton (mother of Kate). 

The Dukan diet is sort of Atkins on steroids and has four phases.

First you ‘Attack’ which lasts for 3-7days (depending on how overweight you are) and where you eat NOTHING but lean protein (0% dairy, chicken, fish, eggs, seafood, lean beef etc.) and two tablespoons of oatbran to keep things moving.  This is HARD, does horrible things to your blood sugar and bowels and has I’m sure contributed to the diet’s reputation for unhealthiness.  However it was effective, I lost 6lbs in 5 days.

Then you ‘Cruise’, alternating 1 day of lean protein +oatbran with 1 day of lean protein + all the low carb vegetables you can eat +oatbran. And you’re supposed to do this until you reach your target weight. I’ve been cruising since June and have lost a total of 31lbs, with a 11lbs to go until I reach my target weight and a normal BMI. 

If and when you hit your target there are two more phases, ‘Consolidation’ and ‘Stabilization’ but I’ll talk about those when I get there.

I’m finding the diet comparatively easy as it doesn’t involved any weighing and measuring and counting, you’re allowed as much as you want of the permitted foods. Also, and interestingly, it seems that my tastes are changing, my carb cravings have gone right down, I feel nauseous if I eat too much fat and things like cakes and biscuits seem much too sweet (you’re allowed Splenda on the diet but that’s it).

I also feel really well in myself – my skin is good, I have loads of energy and the arthritis pain in my knee has GONE, which is incredible, as I was almost crippled with it back in April on our trip to San Diego.  I’ve also been upping the exercise, either doing a Jillian Michaels DVD every day or walking as the diet suggests, and doing lots of swimming over the summer. Nothing too crazy though.

Unfortunately recent weeks have been a struggle and it’s only going to get harder as we get closer to December, but I am DETERMINED to knock this on the head once and for all and get rid of those last 11lbs if it kills me.

Let me know if you’re interested in finding out more, and I’ll blog about some of my menus and stuff in the upcoming weeks.

In the meantime on the left is a picture I had taken in May 2010 wearing a sweater I’d just knitted and on the right, as I am today, wearing the same sweater.


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I thought I might try NaBloPoMo, where I commit to posting every single day for a month,, as a way of getting back into blogging again.  Of course, I’m two days late even starting, so we’ll go to December 3rd. ‘K?



  1. says

    Thanks ladies! I feel SO MUCH better about myself you wouldn’t believe it. I’ll do some updates every few weeks or so as I lose the last 11lbs. I could use some motivation and an incentive…

  2. says

    I’ve been thinking about the Dukan diet for a while and am really bad at any kind of diet, but how you look…well I’ve definitely got to get on it! Well done Paola, you look fantastic!

  3. says

    I don’t want to get all evangelical about things, but it’s the only diet that’s worked for me in forever. I think my body got to the stage where it just didn’t know how to process carbs at all. I’m not the only one. A friend in London has lost around 36lbs on it so far and another friend in Seattle has lost over 45lbs.
    If you want to know more ask me any questions in this thread…

  4. Michelle says

    You look amazing! I’ve been following a Paleo/Primal diet and have noticed a huge difference in my skin and general pain and inflammation, in addition to weight loss. I think eating low-carb and low-to-no grains is the key for me. There are some really amazing recipes for almond and coconut flour desserts out there that help keep me on track during major eating holidays. There’s still some kind of sugar in the recipes (usually around 1/2 cup per batch), but it keeps my blood sugar in line better than anything grain-based while still letting me enjoy an occasional treat.

  5. says

    Just discovered your blog – quite lovely!
    & Congrats on the weight loss, you look great 🙂
    Just thought I’d mention that the pain in your knee if from Arthritis / Swollen Joints sounds like it is food related.. Very common for Swollen Joints and Arthritis to come from too much Gluten or Sugar in one’s diet. It sounds like you’ve cut back on both of these, since your cravings have diminished and sweets are now tasting to sweet. So Good for you!
    Thought I’d share so you can watch and see what works for you!.


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