I have an Armenian background. I'm totally generalising here, but we eat a lot. Bread and cheese is our weakness. As are kebabs, baklavas, and pastries. Did I mention bread and cheese?
At my biggest I was 74kg which was due to a combination of eating fatty ethnic foods cooked by my mum, working in an office environment (which means eating lots and lots of cake to celebrate just about anything) and not exercising much. Ok, not exercising AT ALL.
Then with some moderate excercise (2-3 times a week), healthier eating plus trekking around South America for 3 months I went down to 65kg for my wedding in 2009. I adopted a more healthier approach to cooking and by 2010 I was 62kgs where I stayed until last year when I fell pregnant.
Pregnancy & birth
I ate relatively healthy during my pregnancy especially the first 8 months. I gained 1-2kgs per month of pregnancy and by the time I went into labour I weighed 79kgs (total pregnancy weight gain of 17kgs).
Four weeks after giving birth I went down to 67kgs (total weight loss of 12kg). A lot of it was the baby (obviously!) and fluids. But whoever said that breastfeeding makes you lose weight, they lied! It might make some people lose weight, but for me it had the opposite effect. I gained 2kgs back because I was constantly hungry and constantly eating. Lets not mention that I was not eating healthily at all. We're talking pastries with my coffee, large servings of food, and lots and lots of carbs.
So now that my little boy is almost 7 months old, we've moved on to solids and bottles, and it's time I start doing something about my weight. My goal is to go back down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 62kg.
I'm not one to try starvation diets so the Dukan diet really appealed to me. Why? Because you're allowed to eat as much as you want of the "allowed" foods. In case you don't know what the Dukan diet is, basically it's a high protein/low carb diet. But unlike the Atkins diet it's low in fat and you're allowed fruits and breads in moderation. It comes in 4 phases.
1. Attack phase - this is to kick-start your metabolism and lasts between 1 - 10 days depending on how much weight you have to lose in total. During the attack phase you eat only proteins (e.g. eggs, low fat meats, yoghurt). Weight loss can be around 3kgs (although mainly fluids)
2. Cruise phase - this is the weight loss phase which lasts till you reach your goal weight. The main premise is that alternate protein only days with protein + vegetable days. Weight loss is generally 1kg per week.
3. Consolidation phase - this is when you've reached your goal weight but the aim is that you don't put that weight on. You continue with the alternate protein only vs protein/veg days, but twice a week you introduce carbs and eat as per normal. You stay on this phase 10 days per kilo lost.
4. Stabilization phase - this is what you follow for life. Basically you eat as per normal, except once a week you have protein only days.
The other premise of the Dukan diet is that you need to have 1.5 - 3tbs of oat bran per day (e.g. added to your cereal or yoghurt) and exercise for 20 mins a day which is doable. And exercise can be incidental exercise, like taking the stairs instead of the lift, no crazy workouts at the gym.
Me and the Dukan diet
For my goal weight loss of 7kg the Dukan website said I need to be on the Attack phase for 3 days. Here is the plan the website gave me after I filled in my details (free registration).
I started it yesterday and so far so good. Three days is nothing on the hardest phase. As an example for brekky I had 2 eggs, for lunch I had sashimi, and for dinner I had veal steak with salt & pepper seasoning. As a snack I had fat free Greek yoghurt. After tomorrow I can start incorporating vegetables into my diet too which means I can have sides of salad as well.
I don't know whether I'll stick to the diet till the end, but I definitely want to incorporate some of its philosophies into my eating habits. I can see me introducing bread in the mornings as typical brekky for me is toast with ricotta and jam. The rest of the time I'll just cut down on the carbs and stay away from the pastries.
Wish me luck!
Has anyone tried the Dukan diet? What's your surefire way of losing weight?