Day 25 (Seven Pounds lighter)
For those Parislogue Reader’s who’ve been following Parisgirl’s ‘Paris Diet’ reports, I’m happy to say that I’ve arrived at Day 25 – seven pounds lighter. I’ve made it to Phase III of Dr. Dukan’s protein diet described in his book “Je Ne Sais Pas Maigrir” or “I Don’t Know How to Get Thin”.
Similar to some American Diets such as Atkins, the Scarsdale Diet, or South Beach Diet, Dr. Dukan’s diet(which I’ve been calling the Paris Diet for simplicity’s sake) is divided into four phases – the first phase can last from three to five days, and consists of pure protein in the form of fish, eggs, certain meats, and low-fat dairy products. The second phase introduces vegetables eaten on alternate days with the pure protein days. Phase III includes two gala meals per week in which you can eat whatever you want during that meal, but only in single helpings (so, be sure to pile your dish as high as you can!!). Some grains, carbs and one fruit per day are also added during the Phase III period.
Here’s what I can tell you to date about the experience of trying out this diet. The first two phases were actually pretty easy – and the fact that you can eat as much as you want (of the prescribed categories – and whenever you want) means that you need never go hungry.
However the third phase (when you’ve actually lost some weight – and finally reached your desired goal weight) can be REALLY dicey. Here’s how Dr. Dukan describes the moment:
“So you’ve reached your ideal weight! But it doesn’t belong to you yet. You are in very dangerous waters – the sea of triumph!” Or,
“Your situation is similar to traveler on a train. Your train has just pulled into a strange town – where you’d like to stay – but the train could pull out of town at any minute. You have yet to get off the train, take your baggage with you, find a place to stay – and eventually a job and friends, etc.”
In other words, the number you see on the scales isn’t really yours for keeps, not quite yet.
I like Dr. Dukan’s comparison of weight loss to train travel because any of us that have been traveling on trains in France know very well that moment of ‘angoisse’ – ‘Will I actually get off at the right station, and will the train stop long enough for me to get all my bags off too?”
So here I am at Phase III, otherwise known as the ‘Consolidation stage’. There are two constants. Water and at least one day of the week of pure protein.
As I mentioned in the past Paris Diet report, water is the key element of all phases of this diet. Dr. Dukan explained it this way – would you buy a washing machine or a dishwasher that didn’t have a rinse cycle? Finally, here was an analogy that made perfect sense.
Water in Paris
Drinking water in Paris is perfectly potable so you can go into any restaurant or cafe and order a carafe d’eau with your meal. If you choose to order bottled water, choose a flat water such as Evian, or any water that wouldn’t have added salts.
Do you get hungry on this diet? I haven’t. If you do get hungry, there’s nothing to stop you from raiding the fridge at any time – day or night – as long as you stick to the prescribed foods. The problem may arise – when all of a sudden, you have a sudden craving – as I did during a stateside visit for a piece of cherry pie or an ear of fresh corn. (These are exotic delicacies for full-time ex-pats).
The solution to this is to include these splurges as part of the twice-a-week ‘gala’ where anything goes from a glass of Champagne for cocktail hour to a glass of red wine with the main course and a huge piece of cherry pie with ice cream for dessert. However, if you simply cave into a craving in between galas, don’t despair. It’s not the end of the world. Drink another huge glass of water. Dukan insists that water should be drunk before and during your meals, at least 1 liter and a half per day, and as much as two liters on pure protein days.
My experience over the past 25 days appears to confirm that this advice works (at least in my case).
I’ve also noticed that the weight on the scale can change drastically from morning to afternoon to evening – and that the readings can vary by as much as two pounds, wavering back and forth like a yo-yo.
Taking the ‘pulling into the train station analogy’ this is further proof that the number you see on the scale isn’t ‘yours for keeps’ for at least one more month! That’s the amount of time (depending upon the number of pounds or kilos you’ve shed to date) needed (minimum) to lock in your preferred weight to your body’s memory banks. (If you’ve lost more than six pounds, just multiply by 5 days to know that number of days you’ll need to devote to ‘consolidation’).
To date, I’ve lost seven pounds in 25 days (most of which was lost in the first 10 days).
Although, I don’t think Dr. Dukan’s book has yet been translated into English, Parisgirl will be happy to assist you with any translation difficulties you may encounter – and please let me know, editors, when an American publisher is planning on picking up this title!