The reasons why you should start your Dukan Diet right now

Well, well, well, a blog claiming a new spin on femininity and right in the second post we begin speaking of losing weight. A cliché theme indeed, and even more so as I begin my work with the women of the world by assuming they all, like me, want — need — to get thinner.

Please do not take me as an expert on self-image (as I am sure you will not do), but I do believe this is a matter that consists in a far from uncomplicated relation between good sense, well-being, social concerns and one´s need to be in control of one´s own life.

There seems to be a new mediatic approach to the flattering female figure that praises supposedly curvy bodies: the absolutely gorgeous Christina Hendricks has been one of the most admired of these new (or in fact vintage) models of hottness, as well as the equally beautiful Kate Winslet and Scarlett Johansson. I believe this is very fine, but tell, me, truly: what if I really believe the person I want to be has a leaner body? What if I am crazy about fashion and want every crazy pair of pants on the planet to fit me like a glove? What if I find those glimpses of bones a beautiful, charming thing?

Now now, I said “glimpses” of bones — nobody here is defending anorexia or a skeleton-like figure, and this is where the good sense thing comes in place. What I mean here is, what you want for your body is entirely and exclusively of your concern and yours only. Arguments such as “men don´t like skinny women” are just as absurd as those in the lines of “you should be as thin as Keira Knightley or die”. Lets take as an example all that drama surrounding the Duchess of Cambridge: yes, she did lose a lot of weight, and some may claim she looks a little over her age, but to say she looks unhealthy is, in my opinion, quite a leap.

The fact is we all develop throughout our lives a vision of how we want ideally to look like. These may vary from Jessica Alba to Gwyneth Paltrow, from Heidi Klum to Giselle Bündchen, from Beyoncé to Rihanna. Beach babe, model, strong and fit, elegant and ethereal, crazy fashion forward with blue hair, bootylicious or whatever combination is possible between those categories: the options are endless, and the places our hearts can take each of us, unimaginable. I don´t mean this as a joke. For whatever reasons you may have constructed that ideal image for yourself, to actually achieve it is a matter of affirming control upon your life; even more importantly, of removing barriers we ourselves put in front of materializing so many of our greatest, but simple, dreams.

So if your ideal self is a little smaller on the waist than your present form, may I recommend the Dukan Diet (alas – we get to the core matter of this post). You may find a lot about it at DukanDiet.com, but it basically consists of eating low-fat protein – fish, chicken, some red meats, selected types of cheese, eggs, skimmed milk and yogurt – and no fat or carbs at all. Do just the protein (at will) for about 5 days and then alternate between protein days and protein + vegetable days. Forget pasta, rice (or any cereals or legumes) bread, potatoes and sugar altogether. Drink a lot of water – I mean, 2 liters a day at least – and if you feel the need for more fiber in your diet, do indulge daily in Dukan´s oat bran pancake recipe.

You will think – as I did the first time I read about it, long before deciding to give it a try – that this is just too hard. Atkins sounded a little insane with all the fat that was allowed on a daily basis, but at least it seemed to leave more options – plus it contained a small controlled portion of carbs, while this one aims to be as close to zero as possible. This one consists of radical decisions: you either drop on a food entirely, or eat it freely. Sounds like too much of a psychological effort, hey?

Well, my experience is: it´s the exact opposite. With the Dukan Diet, you are left with absolutely no decisions to make, and that is precisely his point. You are not in control of your food intake. If you were, you would not be overweight and you would not be seeking help to lose weight. So how can anyone expect you fat bastard (getting a little carried away) to make sensible decisions about your meals? The Dukan Diet is sort of a Hobbesian tale of dieting, in which each fat person in the world delegates sovereignty upon its daily feeding matters to this French doctors who in return, will offer advice that will slim their bodies really fast; the difference is when you achieve your goal weight, you regain your right to make your own decisions — except for a very desirable and useful catch.

And what is this catch? Well, after you achieve your dream body, you do not want to see it be taken away from you, and Dukan will teach you a trick to stabilize your weight forever without having to watch yourself as crazy on a daily basis: once a week, for as long as your lifetime spans out, you will exclusively feed on lean proteins. Also, on a daily basis, you shall have three spoons of oat bran. For. Ever. And. Ever. And that´s all.

I have lost 10 kilos in 3 months of dieting, and I am still on the road for the final 5. The amazing thing is the first 6 of them were lost in less than 5 weeks – an event that gave me quite the burst of self-confidence and hope. The rithym has slowed down for several reasons – not only the natural effect of prolonged dieting on the metabolism, but also a minor thyroid issue and a little travelling provoking me to cheat on the diet. What is interesting however is that after a while, your habits do, truly, change. I will tell you some inside information about how you deal with this diet as time goes by.

At first, I went mad. By at first I mean during the first two weeks. There was nothing else I could think of – the diet was an obsession and it controlled my life completely. I read Dukan´s book – Je ne sais pas maigrir, in the original, or: I don´t know how to lose weight (in English, the title was turned into simply The Dukan Diet) and I started following its advice to the letter. I was terrified by all the awful things he said would happen if even a single, tiny breach in the rules occurred. Dukan is a mean, mean doctor, and he is not afraid of calling you a loser because you were too weak not to jump on your mother´s shrimp risotto like there was no tomorrow. He´s also a very authoritarian person, who will tell you in your face that he knows more about dieting than you do and that what´s best for you is to obey him – at least in what relates to the matter of losing weight.

The sacrifice seemed too imense to be worth it. That feeling was due to the fact that when you drop some of your most important daily habits so suddenly – and of course I did not decide I had to lose 15 kilos and at the same time have been on a low carb, low-fat diet  – you just want MORE results from your efforts. You weight yourself every single day and you are convinced you deserved to have lost another entire kilo — on that day. Because you didn´t eat a single square of chocolate. Because you didn´t touch the cookies your grandmother brought you. But let me tell you, although those are touching displays of willpower, they will not reward you with a kilo less per day — think one every 5 or 6 days, in good weeks, and 1,5 to 2 weeks, as the diet continues on its second month and on. As you keep on doing what you have to do out of sheer terror and shame on declaring to the world (because everyone will know you are on a bizarre diet) you have given in, the 3rd week will finally bring you reward and relief, as you finally acknowledge you have lost 4 kilos and realize that is an amazing accomplishment in such a short amount of time.

That´s when a second magical effect comes into play: you hop on board of the Dukan boat.

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