Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Dukan Diet, The Manhattan Diet, & Me

I, along with a ton of other people I know (practically everyone in America) want to lose a little weight. I am thin; I want to be French thin and healthy - you know, without the cigarettes and champagne to keep me that way. I work out, eat reasonably healthy about 4 days a week, and yet my jeans do not zip up anymore.

This breaks my heart because I was never someone who had to really worry about gaining weight, even on my diet of mac n' cheese and chicken fingers and artisanal ice creams. But, alas, getting older gets another check in the con's column and I decided to try and diet for the first time in my life. I found two diets that seemed relatively simple: The Dukan Diet (aka The Kate Middleton Diet) and The Manhattan Diet. Today I'm going to focus on the Dukan, and the Manhattan will be in a follow up post soon!

The Dukan Diet: Allegedly, what Kate Middleton followed before her wedding, which is a great selling tool and motivator. The premise is that, depending on your "true weight" which can be calculated on their website (make sure you get the US website, not the UK), Dr. Dukan, who is French, will let you know how many days you need to do each of the below steps:

Attack Phase - an all protein and no-fat dairy phase where you can eat as much as you want, as long as it's a lean protein (poultry, fish, shellfish, even pork and eggs) and no-fat dairy (yogurt and...not quite sure what else). I was supposed to do this for 4 days.

Cruise Phase - you alternate all-protein days with days where you can eat approved fruits and vegetables in moderation

Consolidation Phase - you continue to work along in the cruise way until fully incorporating back a full diet. There's a formula for how long that should last based on the weight you want to lose.

Stabilization Phase   - you commit to doing one attack day a week forever, say, Thursdays (he seems to like Thursdays), always take the stairs, and following a regularly healthy diet.

It seems simple and a plan for healthy living overall, but let me tell you - I lasted only l day before I cashed in my chips for, well, chips. In my defense, I was sick - I needed sustenance. All protein wasn't too hard - eggs, turkey, chicken, no-fat dairy...but after a couple of days I would be craving vegetables, oddly!

The Manhattan Diet: The basis of this diet is that Manhattan women  use moderation and don't starve themselves. It sounds simple, being as it's basically the life I live - protein and fiber in the morning, a salad or wrap with good choices at lunch, and fish and veggies at dinner...with a large allowance for sweets. However, this NY Post article mentions kind of insane things some women do, for example, pour water on leftovers so there's no temptation of eating them ( I just have cultivated a really bizarre fear of expiration dates - to each their own). Here are the basics:

Keep snacking to a minimum, and when you want to snack, do it on nuts.

Don't keep "trigger" foods like peanut butter, in your house.

Indulge in small portions - a bite of cake or a couple spoonfuls of risotto, for example.

Stay away from fake foods like Diet Coke and low-fat anything.

Dilute your alcoholic drinks.

Eat when you crave it - just the other day I had a turkey sandwich for breakfast.

Where Manhattan women really have the advantage is the walking - I walk to work and back, which is 20+ blocks or 1 mile. Add in some spin classes and yoga a couple times a week and it's no wonder I've been able to stave off the extra pounds, albeit with a little extra somethin' (hey, I'm not 20 anymore!).

What about you? What do you diet on, if at all?

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