Is Dukan About Calories?

When I started Dukan, for about the 8 months it took me to drop the weight, I did not feel that the Dukan Diet had anything to do with calories. Although it had been shoved down my throat that weight loss was always due to burning more calories during the day then you ingest, to me, the Dukan Diet proved otherwise, and so I called bullshit.

After losing about 100lbs I hit a plateau. It took months for me to break this plateau, and I did it by cutting down on my portion sizes, although never really thought to attribute this to calories.

I mean, when you can lose 3lbs by eating over 5000cal of steak, chicken, salad, shrimp in a day… I think you can see where my skepticism started, considering I had been told a healthy maintaining caloric amount for a woman would be about 2000cal… how could I be dropping so much weight on 5000cal a day? So calorie counting is obvs false… or is it?

Since then I have learned that by digestion alone, we burn 40% of the calories in protein. Essentially it’s a tough macronutrient to break down in the body, and your body burns about 40% of the 130cal in 4oz of chicken breast you are eating for that meal. What? That’s crazy. The fat and carbs (being low in a keto diet such as Dukan) goes for energy to do things like exist and digest the large quantity of protein you are ingesting.

Protein which scientifically doesn’t do anything for your body, except help repair muscle tissue, if you are doing something like weight or resistance training. So essentially you are eating this protein, and it’s just passing through your urine, not providing energy, or anything of value.

So this is why you can eat so much in the beginning, and still drop, but everyone hits a plateau, and at this point it is probably best to drop your caloric intake, to continue losing the weight, because it IS all about calories. It has been proven through a study I heard about through Dr Layne Norton people have been proven to lose weight even on a high fat diet, as long as they watch their calories. The Dukan Diet works, and many people have found major success through it because if you are having problems with your weight, generally it’s because of the quantity of bad foods, and high fat/high carbs foods that you are eating. I know that was my problem. I couldn’t put myself on a restrictive diet in the beginning, I wouldn’t have found any success with something like weight watchers, where you limit the amount of food you eat. So switching lets say the 5000cal in junk food and high fat/high carb foods, for 5000cal in protein was easy, because I was still always stuffing my face. I was never hungry, and the results kept me from cheating.

He could have made a restrictive diet, but there are so many of those, because you can eat as much as you can of those 100 foods, it keeps most people on it, and most very obese people, like the one he mentions in his book (at least the very first edition, the one I own here in Canada… I know in different countries there are different informations provided in the book… I digress) find success with the diet, because of this non-restrictive, self-directed kind of diet… it’s genius really. I mean how many diets do you know out there that let you eat unlimited of certain foods and still have you lose weight? It’s because of the genius of the only or mostly low-fat protein options!

So yes, Dukan is about calories, but more about the calories you burn during digestion than about the calories you ingest. It’s about that secret caloric burning, and that’s why you don’t need to track, or worry, in the beginning. But if you hit a sticking point, try cutting back on your calories and see if that helps!

Hope this was somekind of informative. Comment if you disagree or have something to add!



As Per Request – A Typical Day In Phase 2

I have gone on and on about portion control, which ends up being an important factor in your eventual Dukan Diet weight loss. The diet at first is amazing since you can eat unlimited amounts of the 100 allowed foods, so you battle your cravings by eating, and it’s allowed. It is a difficult and strict diet, but since you are encouraged to eat and never be hungry it’s manageable.

Now, Prawn and I in the beginning truly gorged on allowed foods. Just eating all the time, really taking advantage of this whole ‘eat unlimited amounts’ business. At around 90-100lbs lost though we noticed that we had hit a plateau and were even GAINING weight when we hadn’t changed our habits at all.

My response was to change what I was doing, and cut down on portions. My results? I lost 15lbs after hitting the plateau, achieving my (then) target weight and moving onto the Consolidation Phase.

Prawn did not change his eating habits. His results? He has been stuck in this plateau for 7 months now gaining and losing the same 6lbs for the length of this stagnation.

When I was being successful and losing weight after my plateau on phase two I cut out dairy, so below would be an average weekday on Cruise for me, as per request. ;)

Breakfast, 8am

Oat bran galette. I have started my day with an oat bran galette for at least 10 months now. It’s my breakfast treat, a pancake and I love it. The recipe has changed as time goes on, starting off with the recipe found in the Dukan Diet book and morphing as time changed. The newest addition to my galette before I changed my diet to a bodybuilding-friendly one was as follows:

Whisk liquid egg whites in a bowl,

Add 2-3 tbsp of oat bran, a heavy spoonful of cinnamon, a tsp of powdered pudding mix (no fat, either chocolate or vanilla), and a tsp of cocoa powder.

Add a touch of vanilla extract (or other extract such as coconut or maple)

Mix, put on heated and lightly oiled pan.

Flip, enjoy.

Now I would also drink a cup of coffee with this.

Lunch, 11:30am

During the week I eat my lunch at 11:30 am because of my work schedule.

I like eating the exact same thing every day, I find when you have a sort of ‘schedule’ when it comes to your food intake it goes better. There is less room for error or cheating when you eat similarly every day. Here are a couple examples of something I would eat during my successful ‘portion-controlled’ Cruise Phase:

CHOOSE 1 – Lean Animal Protein

1-2 Basa, Tilapia, Salmon, or other fresh fish fillets.

1-2 Skinless chicken breasts

2 Skinless chicken thighs (Quick note, it is a misconception that chicken breasts are the only lean part of the chicken to eat, chicken thighs have as low fat content as the breast, so enjoy, it’s cheaper!)

½ can of tuna

Available to you also are any leftovers from last night. Chicken burgers, turkey burgers, pork chops, etc.

Leftovers were a very rare occurrence for me when I wasn’t watching my portion sizes. By very rare, I mean I never ever had leftovers. When portion control was no longer an issue for me, however, I would actually have leftovers and utilise them in my lunches, less cooking!

CHOOSE 1 – Vegetable

So, now I have to be very strict with vegetables, watching how many I eat, only sticking with green veggies like broccoli, asparagus, and spinach. Before bodybuilding, I would always go nuts on them. Great way to fill you up, right? Before Dukan I probably ate veggies once a week when I went to my parents, during Cruise I ate veggies absolutely every day. I never had a pure protein day! Not one.

Even when I was watching my portion sizes I would still bring a big Tupperware container full of broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots to work and just munch on them during the entire day between meals. So get your veggies in baggies, and make sure to eat some during your lunch to keep you fuller longer.

I had a phase where I was eating low-sodium canned green beans like crazy. Either the full can or half and I’m pretty sure that was when I was watching my portions. So you do have options.


Now I make a liquid egg whites and 2 whole egg mixture that I eat every day with every meal (easy to make, cheap protein) when I was in cruise I would eat just egg whites, scrambled, every day for lunch. It doesn’t have to be a lot, or even a hard-boiled egg, that’s fine too. It’s just a low in fat, little extra something you can make yourself. I would make my broccoli mini quiches, or just scramble them up with my fish, chicken, or other protein source.

Main Snack, 2:45pm

I always have a main snack at 2:45 (that’s when my break is) I find if I do it curbs my after-work hunger.

I have always eaten whatever I ate during my lunch, just mimicked in this time slot. So if I ate a chicken breast, cup of broccoli, and cup of egg white-whole egg mixture, I will eat the same thing again at 2:45.

That way when I am packing my lunch in the morning I can put all my veg, all my protein, and my eggs in Tupperware and separate half and half during my lunch, eat half and then the other half for snack. I don’t cut my lunch short because I know I will be eating the same thing at 2:45, I use these both as full meals.

Sounds a little complicated… I hope I am being clear. If you have any questions be sure to ask!

Supper, 5:30-6:30

I would usually eat supper during this time slot during Cruise. Supper can be anything Dukan allowed. Just make sure to watch your portions.

Did Prawn and I follow rules when it came to portion sizes? Nope. We didn’t measure using a deck of cards or by weighing, we just batch cooked our protein, so an entire container-thing of pork chops, chicken thighs, or whatever and then discussed before plating them: well what would a reasonable portion of chicken breasts be? Probably 2 breasts. & Then that’s all we would allow ourselves.

Also try to eat veggies (a salad, grilled veggies, or raw) during supper. Same deal as lunch, you feel like you are eating more if you include veggies in your meal. You aren’t sitting there with just one or two pieces of meat on your plate thinking… MAN I would love more food right now, I feel like I’m starving myself.

It’s all about tricking yourself visually.

I wouldn’t usually have egg whites with dinner, but if I’m looking for a little more food that’s what I would eat.

The rule I would keep to: NEVER EVER eat after dinner. Once my dinner is done, that’s it. No tricking myself into thinking I’m hungry. No food and no snacking.

This is a rule I stick with now, except I will chug down a protein shake before bed.

So this was incredibly hard to write, remembering what I used to eat like… in January and February. Woah.

Let me know if this helped you at all or if you have any questions. I hope I didn’t miss anything or confuse anyone further! :S


The Worst Day On Dukan for Me

I have been asked this a few times, what was the worst part of The Dukan Diet for me, or the worst day I even had following Dukan.

Well I have had a few negative experiences with the Dukan Diet:



But I will have to be honest, the most negative experience I had on the Dukan Diet was my birthday, where no, I did not cheat, not even a single bite.

It was a lot of factors though, but that was the worst day for me on Dukan, absolutely. We had travelled to New Brunswick to see some of my family who lives there (a 10 hour drive), it was a nice, relaxing trip with my family and I’m very happy to have gone. But my birthday was shitty, even though my family tried their best.

The only gift I got was a teddy bear from one of my sisters, another of my sisters was all the way back home, my first birthday without her (other than my very first birthday) my first birthday where none of my extended family were there, I felt like a burden when it came to the diet and food for my family out on vacation, I couldn’t eat cake, I was far away from Prawn. Just everything together, absolutely terrible. I cried soooo much that day and the day preceding. Just terrible feelings all around.

Oh, and I couldn’t go out with my friends to celebrate, and even if I did, I couldn’t drink or anything (which really bothered me at the time) so what was the point?

Also, it was my time of the month. Yes, just an all around bad day.

Thinking back, it never occurred to me to just… cheat. If it had come to my attention that I was being stupid and could just cheat I might have, but then I would look back on my birthday and not only be upset over all the negativity that happened, but then I would also have this guilt that I had cheated on the diet, that it totally wasn’t worth it, I would just hate myself.

Well there you go, the worst part of The Dukan Diet for me was not being able to cheat on my birthday… but then again, if I had cheated, then THAT would be the worst part of the Dukan Diet for me. So they cancel each other out I guess.

I have had an amazing experience on Dukan. All the temptation, exhaustion, use of my willpower, they all don’t compare to how sexy I feel now, to how proud I am that I never cheated, to how proud I am of my successes. Nothing compares to how amazing I feel right now. It’s all completely worth it!

Keep working hard, always.


New Fear In Gaining the Weight Back

You might remember the story I told you about the woman who came into my work, talking about this terrible diet with injections, that cost 5000$ and made her really sick?

Do you remember the part where I say she did gain all the weight back?

Well this idea has clearly been implanted in my head because I can’t stop thinking about it. Do you know why? She informed me that after 3 years she gained it all back…

Wait what?

She told me she kept it off for 3 years and then one day just GAINED IT ALL BACK!

Cue the hyperventilating… now.

3 years is more than 5 days for every pound lost.

I don’t know what to think. I’m totally scared.

My plan was to continue on with my bodybuilding passion for 3 years of competing, maybe more, maybe less depending on how well I do in competitions (I want to continue working out for life and building muscle, but not competitions).

Once I am finished competing I want to fall back on Phase 3 of Dukan, pick up where I left off (with about 450 more days of Consolidation) and then move onto the last Phase.

But this news has frightened me. What if I move on to the last Phase after all that time, and just gain the weight back? Is there no amount of days that guarantees the weight wont creep back on, or is it just while following a dangerous and severely unhealthy diet like the one she followed?

Gaining the weight back is absolutely my number one fear, it just can’t happen, but I don’t want to be super-strict with my dieting for the rest of my life. I want to get to the point where my friends ask me out to sushi and I can not only say yes, but I can eat it without that fear, and guilt.

I was hoping, with the way it was put in Dr Dukans book, that once you get off consolidation, that was it. No guilt, protein Thursdays for the rest of your life but no fear of gaining the weight back.

I understand that throughout Dukan you learn the skills necessary to no longer overeat, to be more conscientious of your bad eating habits… but still.


My Last Celebration Meal -sigh-

So tonight I enjoyed my very last Celebration Meal. My final tweak to phase 3 of the Dukan Diet, meaning I am back, officially, to a modified phase 2.

I am not doing this to punish myself or to lose more weight, I am doing this to accommodate my dream to compete in a bodybuilding (bikini) competition November 3rd 2012.

Long time readers will know that before I had determined I would be competing I cut out the bread and cheese, as well as the starch meal allowed in Consolidation. Just because after over 10 months of following Dukan, I didn’t feel the need to eat these things. I wasn’t suffering, it was a choice I made and planned on sticking with long-term.

I have now changed my diet to be more bodybuilding friendly. Now I am restricting myself even more, which is the most difficult thing I have had to do on this diet.

I think cutting out celebration meals will kill me. I don’t know how Prawn did it.

He was eating chicken drumsticks and pork the other night and I almost died. All off the BBQ, smelt soooo delish. Ahhh.

But this is so worthit. I feel so much better and happy eating this way. I really do. Even though the temptations are always there, always.

So I had promised to take my youngest sister out to dinner, wherever she wanted, absolutely wherever. And that I would use one of my celebration meals to eat with her, something I haven’t been able to do since starting this diet.

It meant a lot to her so I had my celebration meal at Lonestar and enjoyed yummy fajitas, and a dessert, to celebrate her birthday (something totally worth celebrating! Love you IVY!)

I pigged out. I could have gone strong and had a couple bites of not allowed food, but for the next 6 months I will be going so strictly through this diet, I do not regret eating out with my baby sister for her birthday dinner.

Now back to telling people I can’t eat out with them, and not being able to celebrate family events like birthdays, thanksgiving. Oh man, modified phase 2, you kill me.

I know I’m whining, but I am happy with my choices ;) It’s just so hard when you have something and earn it, and then it’s taken away from you.

At least I enjoyed this last, super delish meal with my gorgeous sister.


How to Get Back On Track – Reader Question

I got an absolutely great question from a reader, a question I have received a few times:

“Did you have days that you had completely failed? How to get back on track? PP days for a while? Or just keep going normally? Thank you so much for your blog and sharing your story. It’s truly an inspiration to me. XO.”

I would like to start by saying: ‘D’aaaawwwwww’ :3

I love receiving questions, and I love love loooove hearing about your stories, your lives, and all the wonderful compliments. The best thing anyone can ever say to me is that I’m an inspiration, I just get so proud and so joyful. Thank you.

So, to I’ll try my best to answer this once and for all with an analogy.

If you were to take a class at your gym, like Body Pump (my fav class at Goodlife… even though I no longer have a membership there.) Or just a barbell weight lifting class, they are super popular right now…
So you are at this class and you ask the instructor, well what do I do? How much should I lift?

The instructor could answer a number of things, but what determines how much weight you put on those barbells is you. What level of fitness are you at? How long have you been lifting? How determined are you and how motivated are you to see results? What are you comfortable with?

Well what do you do if you cheat, you fall off the wagon for a day, a week, for years. What then?
It depends on you my dear reader. How long did your binge-cheating-thing last? How strictly did you follow the diet prior to cheating? Do you think you could handle a 4-5 day attack phase to pick yourself back up again?

I could tell you what I would do, but that doesn’t really help you, does it? If your weight lifting instructor told you how much he or she lifted, that is completely off of what you should probably do in most cases, they have been doing it longer and have had a completely different experience weight lifting than you.

You could easily go back to one PV day one PP day, alternating rhythm with no ‘punishment’ to yourself, because that’s what it would be, giving yourself a few PP days in a row seems like a punishment to me, when you could easily get back on regular Cruise and lose the weight without having to do an Attack phase.

The reason my situation would be different than most of yours is because I never alternated days, I didn’t do a single PP day all throughout my Cruise Phase. So what I would do, is a mini-attack as a reminder to myself to not to cheat, kindof like a punishment really.

I did cheat, on day 2 of the diet a friend I didn’t know at the time would bully me the entirety of my weight loss journey, pressured me into drinking because she didn’t want to feel left out.

So I drank 5 shots of tequila… and felt super guilty afterwards. I just continued on with the diet like normal, finished my 10 days of attack and the rest is history ;)

Have not cheated since, but I have cheated in the way that I have eaten over my daily limit of yogurt or oat bran, consistently throughout the diet. When I did a binge-yogurt day, week, month as it would happen, I never did any attack phases, just calmed myself down, cut out my temptation (stopped buying yogurt) and tried to use my willpower to do better the next day.

If you cheat at the beginning of the day, your day isn’t lost. If you spend over budget, 50,000$ on your wedding day, does that justify buying another 10-15,000$ thing, because hey, you are over budget anyway. Snap yourself out of it and don’t make it worse. It’s hard to get out of that mentality but you can do it.
Hope this helps.

Above all just don’t give up, right? The weight does come off, everybody has moments of weakness, you are only weak if you let those moments defeat you.

Good luck, and thanks for all the comments and questions.