And today I am reporting on my fourteenth week (days 95 through 102) on the Dukan diet. This week we learned that Drew Carey lost an amazing 80 pounds on a no-carb diet and now looks completely different as a result:
He says he started in January, so January-through-July (7 months) he lost 11.4 pounds per month (let’s call it 2.6 pounds per week), which is outstanding. A masterful display of discipline. Drew Carey is apparently much better at weight loss than I am, because this week I only lost 0.4 pounds. It seems like I have hit an impenetrable barrier when it comes to breaking into the 180s. Which is silly of course, but the 180s have eluded me for several weeks now. Here is how the week unfolded:
Day 95 -
- This morning on the scale I lost 0.4 pounds. I now weigh 190.6.
- If you have kids, you know that sometimes the kids can have a “bad night”. When kids are infants, just about every night can be a bad night depending on the kid. As they turn into toddlers the number of bad nights declines quite a bit, and by the time kids are in elementary school, “bad nights” are pretty rare. But they still happen on occasion (along with “bad days”) because of sickness, nightmares, storms, equipment malfunctions (e.g. the smoke detectors all go off, someone triggers the burglar alarm, etc.), and so on. So we had a “bad night” and I was up for about 24 hours today. What this meant was that I ate more today than I “normally” eat – essentially needing an extra meal and some extra snacks to keep myself going. So I ate about 2 pounds of chicken, a pound of fish, 3 eggs, 3 cups of cottage cheese, a half pound of lunch meat (possibly more)(and with it several slices of swiss cheese, because it was there) and I had one transgression. The kids had chicken enchiladas for dinner and I ate one. Here is the info. This did not look so bad on paper – a single chicken enchilada has 320 calories, 650 milligrams of salt, 56 grams of carbs. And no asparagus.
- Plus, we got an inch and a half of rain today and I got no exercise to speak of.
- So I admit it was not a perfect day. However, it did not prepare me for the next morning…
Day 96 -
- This morning I weigh 193.6. Yes, I gained 3.0 pounds in one day. Yuck. This seems impossible to me. Is it a case of water retention due to salt? Is it something in the cheese? Does a Dukan diet body have violent weight-gain reactions to single enchiladas? Does sleep interruption lead to weight gain? I have no idea.
- So much for my dream of reaching the 180s today. Shattered.
- I did a good, normal Dukan day today. I ate a pound and a half of chicken, a pound of salmon, 2 cups of cottage cheese, some lunch meat, a handful of walnuts and a serving of asparagus.
- I burned 450 calories on the exercise bike and walked 2 miles.
- I really expected a significant amount of water to be lost…
Day 97 -
- …but this morning I lost only 0.8 pounds. I weigh 192.8 pounds. It bothers me, because I expected to be at 189.x today. Oh well.
- So what to do? I am going to do stick with the plan rather than getting discouraged. I will apply the Dukan diet principles rigorously, like yesterday, and see what happens.
- It is interesting to me that today I had zero hunger. Eating was an afterthought. Talk about a dream come true, and I have no idea what caused it, but it is wonderful when it happens. Today I ate 3 eggs, half a pound of round steak, a pound of chicken, 1 cup of cottage cheese, a handful of walnuts and a serving of asparagus.
- I burned 400 calories on the exercise bike. I have been watching “Avatar” as I ride this week.
Day 98 -
- This morning on the scale I lost 1.6 pounds. I weigh 191.2. This is still more than I weighed on Day 95, so I am hoping there might be one more day of water weight left to release if I can be perfect today. We will see.
- I also cling to my goal of reaching the 180s this week. 189.9999 would be fine – I don’t care. It is starting to look a little like a mirage on the horizon. And I still wonder – What the heck happened on Day 95?
- Today I ate half a pound of round steak, 1 pound of chicken, 1 cup of cottage cheese, a cup of cantaloupe, a cup of popcorn (which I shouldn’t do, but I was watching a movie with the kids and the popcorn was right there in a big bowl) and a serving of asparagus.
- We did a little family walking today, but can it be considered “exercise”? Look at this shopping center:
This is a place called Brier Creek shopping center in Raleigh. We had to go over there to drop Johnny off at a birthday party. It is an immensely long big box strip mall. If you look at the bottom left there is a BJ’s (light green roof) and a Target. About a mile away toward the north is Staples and Dick’s (black roof). (Yes, the shopping center is anchored at one end by Dick’s and the other end by BJ’s. Go figure). So if you walk from one end to the other and back (approximately 2 miles), but stop in all kinds of stores along the route to look around, is it exercise? I kind of doubt it.
- And Johnny’s birthday party was a sleep-over, and in the middle of the night Johnny apparently woke up from a bad dream and apparently couldn’t figure out where he was for a few minutes, and got upset, and I got a call to ask if I could come pick him up. Brier Creek is about a half hour drive from home. So I drove over there and back – the second “bad night” in one week. But this time I was certainly not going to eat anything in the middle of the night, because I am NOT gaining another 3.0 pounds in a day!
Day 99 -
- So this morning on the scale I lost 1.0 pounds. I weight 190.2. Soooo close. It has taken 3 full days to eliminate the water (I assume it was mostly water) gained on Day 95. I am going to dream that I can hold it together food-wise for one more day and actually, finally be in the 180s tomorrow. WHY IS THIS LITTLE GOAL SO HARD? Sheesh. Unfortunately it is Saturday, and historically Saturday is not necessarily my “best day” when it comes to food. We will see.
- You know, today was great. For breakfast I had half a pound of round steak, a cup of cottage cheese and half a cup of plain yogurt. For dinner I had half a pound of Tilapia, half a cup of cottage cheese and a hard boiled egg.
- And then there was lunch… Chick-fil-a was giving out free spicy chicken sandwiches in Raleigh. So we went and they handed us six free sandwiches, plus free Coke Zero, Vitamin Water and bottled water (I had bottled water). And the kids even got free snow cones for dessert. So I ate my free Chick-fil-a spicy chicken sandwich for lunch. And the kids created some leftovers, which I also consumed. So let’s call it two spicy chicken sandwiches for lunch. At the time, I’m mentally figuring a sandwich like this has lots of protein and maybe 300 calories, as it is nothing but a small bun and a piece (maybe 4 ounces?) of chicken.
- Well, I was wrong…
Day 100 -
- …which I discovered when I got on the scale this morning. This morning I was hoping/expecting to be in the 180s, but instead I weigh 190.8. I gained 0.6 pounds.
- So what happened? Looking up the nutrition data for a spicy chicken sandwich I find that it contains 490 calories (!), to some degree because it contains 20 grams of fat (!), 46 grams of carbs (!) (from where, that little bun???), and (drum roll) an amazing 1,730 milligrams of sodium (!!!). So I picked up about 1,000 calories, about 90 grams of carbs and about 3,500 milligrams of salt without really realizing it. This, right here, is the danger of fast food. How do they pack so many calories, and so much salt, into such a small package?
- I assume my weight gain today came from the salt, because I was under 2,000 calories for the day yesterday even with the 1,000 calorie payload courtesy of Chick-Fil-A. Therefore I assume that if I hold it together today food-wise, and get some exercise, I will be in good shape tomorrow morning.
- So today I ate half a pound of round steak, 2 cups of cottage cheese, a handful of walnuts, 3 eggs, half a pound of Tilapia, a pound and a half of chicken and a serving of asparagus. The chicken was really salty, but otherwise it was a healthy Dukan day.
- I burned 400 calories on the exercise bike.
Day 101 -
- On the scale this morning I lost 0.4 pounds, down to 190.4. So I did lose weight, but not much, and the 180s continue to be a mirage. But maybe by tomorrow I actually get there? I will try to be especially good today.
- Today I ate a pound and a half of chicken, 3 eggs, 2 cups of cottage cheese, a fairly large amount of lunch meat (half a pound, maybe more?), a handful of walnuts and a serving of asparagus.
- I walked 2 miles
Day 102 -
- This morning I lost 0.2 pounds and I weigh 190.2. The 180s remain tantalizing close but out of reach…
So what is going on here? I seem to keep running into transgressions, but this past week the effects seem to be disproportional to the deeds. Day 95 and its after-effects remain a mystery. And it does not seem like I am losing the 0.4 pounds a day that I seemed to be consistently losing (even with water weight fluctuations) in prior weeks. Maybe this is a plateau? Maybe my body simply needs fewer calories now? We will see.
In the coming week, using Drew Carey as my inspiration, I will try once again to hit the 180s. How hard can it be?