A day in the life of a Dukan sufferer

I’m now nearly 3 weeks into Dukan. I’ve reintroduced alcohol although I’m not drinking every day by any means. I’ve stuck to the diet to the letter but I’m finding it incredibly hard and I’ve had many moments of misery.

Days when I can eat vegetables (PV days) are great – I can roast up some butternut squash and pretend it’s carbs, I can get some flavour from tomatoes and spring onions and make stir fries full of crunchy vegetables. Pure protein (PP days) aren’t so much fun. They start with yogurt, which I’ve learnt to love and am just damn grateful that it’s not more meat. Lunch is where I struggle. I don’t have any cooking or heating facilities at work so I just have a horrible pile of protein with nothing else – you wouldn’t believe how unpleasant it can be to just eat a pile of ham or dry chicken breast stripped from the carcass with, at a push, a spoonful of plain yogurt or low fat cottage cheese to make it a little more palatable. There just isn’t any way to make things taste nice on a PP day. I tried taking into work an oat bran wrap that I’d made the night before but it just wasn’t nice; cold, soggy and a bit stale tasting. I want sauce like mayo or pesto or something creamy and lovely to have with the crappy dry protein. Even a tomato sauce would be good but I can’t have that on a PP day. I can’t have nice sauce ever. It kills me.

I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday. I lost a lot of weight in the first 6 days on Attack but, since then, I’d lost absolutely nothing. I went up and down around the weight I’d achieved at the end of Attack stage which, annoyingly, was bang on X stone (nooooooo, I’m not telling you how much I weigh!!) All I wanted was to lose a pound or half a pound to take me into a new stone bracket, to a smaller number. But the scales have defied and frustrated me and I’ve lost a lot of motivation and generally just feel hugely demoralised. Oh – except I got home from a night out last night, from eating many delicious skewers from Bincho Yakitori, drinking plenty of wine and sake and weighed myself…HELLO NEW STONE BRACKET!! Go figure.

So I’m thinking about ditching the PP days and making every day a PV day. In theory this should slow down my weight loss but I’m not losing any weight anyway, so why not try it? I think I’d find it easier and less stressful. And surely if I’m still eating protein and vegetables with virtually no fat and no carbs, that should work, shouldn’t it? I’m desperate to lose weight and I am, at last, willing to do it and do it for the long haul, but I’m not sure it should make me quite this miserable. No other diet has made me this miserable.

Anyway, here’s a day in the life of a happier Dukaner: a PV day.

Breakfast of scrambled Burford Brown eggs with fried mushrooms – so delicious and NOT MEAT! And not yogurt! An excellent change from the norm.

Lunch of an oat bran Dukan pancake with fried mushrooms and prosciutto.

To make one pancake, whisk together 2 tbsp oat bran, 1 tbsp wheat bran, 1 egg, a splash of skimmed milk and a pinch of salt. Heat up a very non-stick frying pan and wipe with a little oil and pour in the pancake. Reduce the heat so it’s medium to low – these pancakes have to be cooked slowly so that they’re cooked through and don’t fall apart when you try to turn them. You may need a good 3-4 minutes before you can turn it and then let it cook for a couple of minutes on that side before serving.

These pancakes are genuinely delicious. They’re great with eggs on or topped with some quark and ham and made into a wrap. Today’s was the best though, spread with a touch of quark and topped with mushrooms and prosciutto. I had a very happy face after this.

Incidentally, you have to eat oat bran every day on Dukan to help keep you…ahem…regular. These pancakes are awesome and my favourite way of getting the oat bran into me. Trust me on this and make them.

Dinner was an Asian meatbally broth – this recipe was found by @supergolden on the BBC Food website (linky) but I adapted it a bit for a hungry Dukaner who didn’t have all the right ingredients.


250g minced beef
2 spring onions, sliced finely
A good chunk of ginger, grated
2/3 of a red chilli, chopped finely
Very finely sliced coriander stalks
1/2 teaspoon of cornflour
A shake of sesame oil
Salt and pepper

Mix these ingredients together and form into bite size balls. Wipe a hot non-stick frying pan with oil and brown the meatballs.

1 beef stock cube
1 chicken stock cube
500 ml boiling water
1 star anise
Chunk of ginger, sliced
Juice of half a lime
Green beans or other green vegetable
1/2 red chilli, sliced
2 spring onions, sliced on a slant
A shake of sesame oil

Make up the stock (I didn’t have any fresh so decided to make a mixture of chicken and beef) and simmer with the star anise and ginger for a few minutes. Pop in the browned meatballs and simmer for 5 minutes. Add your green vegetable – I used some halved green beans – and the lime juice and simmer for another 5 minutes, adding the red chilli 30 seconds before the end. Stir in the shake of sesame oil and serve with the spring onions sprinkled over and some coriander leaves if you have them (I didn’t) and a wedge of lime if it’s really salty. DO NOT ADD SALT. Stock cubes are salty sods and you definitely won’t need any extra unless you have some weird deficiency.

Pudding: another oat bran pancake (I didn’t have any oat bran yesterday) made as above, but replacing the pinch of salt with a tsp of granulated sweetener. Top with lemon juice and granulated sweetener.

So it’s been a good day. I feel healthy and happier than I have in a while on this diet. I think I just need to plan, plan, plan and make sure that I don’t just resort to chunks of protein on their own. It gets tired very very quickly. Can I do this until I’ve lost my 5 stone?? That’s the big question.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

10 thoughts on “A day in the life of a Dukan sufferer

  1. Hi Fran, I can understand where your coming from with this, I have been doing Paleo for almost 3 months and so far lost around 2 stone. I have lapses where I drink or have mash but in general I follow the 80/20 rule. If you think that having veg and protein every day will help you carry on then go for it, to be unhappy with your food every other day must be terrible. Good luck with whatever choice you make.

  2. @MissWhiplash – yesterday was a good day. I'm back to hating it today with every fibre of my being. Not sure what to do about it. Ditch and try something else, knowing that I stuck to this for 3 weeks without deviating or persevering? @Susan – they were delicious, but probably not as tasty as your nduja basted Brussels sprouts. @Ian – well done for losing so much. I don't know much about paleo but I'm glad it's working for you. Whether I stick this out or move onto another diet, no-carbs isn't going to be a lifestyle choice for me because I just hate it. I'd be far too scared to lapse at all on this – unlike on other diets it really does seem to be All or Nothing and they scare you into thinking that if you eat a carb, you've ruined every little bit of hard work done. Feels like you should be punished. I've not come across this other than in no-carb diets and it's not a nice way to live.

  3. Keeping going but with veg every day sounds like a good way to go. And much less miserable. Worth a try as you say. And so much more variety.You can do it!xxx

  4. Great plan Stan. Everything in moderation & surely it has to be healthier. And you've done so well on that in the past. Now, now beating yourself about anything, just move forward – onwards & upwards (or downwards on the scales). Proud of youx

  5. I can't tell you how relieved I am that you've packed in Dukan. It just looked like a recipe for misery. I truly hope you stick with WW so you can feel at peace with yourself, I've got everything crossed for you!

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