So, every bride wants to look their best on their wedding day, and whether they're a size 8 or an 18, they all seem to go on diets in the lead up to their big day. The weirdest advice I've ever read in a wedding magazine was 'don't forget to eat in those crucial days before your wedding, you'd be surprised at how common it is to have brides fainting because they haven't eaten enough'. I didn't know whether to laugh or be concerned...
I'm now just over three months away from my big day, and have joined the 99.9999% of brides who watch what they eat in those last few months.* Christmas may have been a couple of months ago, but I can still feel (and unfortunately see) the remnants of too many quality streets, roses and mince pies. To make sure I look my best and actually fit into my lovely dress (the second love of my life after my husband to be) I'm in need of an eating habit overhaul.
Needing a good kick start, I was inspired but some of the girls at work who had tried the Dukan Diet. If the blurb can be believed, it apparently 'proposes a healthy eating plan that returns to the foods which founded the human species, those eaten by primitive man, the hunter-gatherers, proteins and vegetables, 100 foods including 72 from the animal world and 28 from the plant world. These foods come with the magic words: "AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE".' I like those last 5 words. A lot.
So, it works like this:
It consists of four stages.
The Attack Phase: It lasts 5-10 days (depending on your current and goal weights) and is pretty strict. You can only eat lean meat (poultry, fish, lean ham), dairy that's fat free, a bit of oat bran and a couple of eggs a day. So basically, no carbs and no sugar. Eep! I was very nervous about this as I'm historically a bit of a carb and sugar queen (hence all the quality streets and mince pies at Christmas). However, I'm now just finishing Day 2 and actually feel absolutely fine. I've had some grilled prawns and fish spiced with peri peri flavouring (surprisingly yummy!) for dinner and am feeling nicely full. I don't feel like I'm missing anything yet - although that might change when Friday night rolls around and I can't have my weekly fish and chips! I need to do the attack phase for 6 days so still have another four to go. It's looking promising though as I lost 2 1/2 pounds alone in the first day so am already feeling quite successful. Let's hope that feeling lasts!
The next phase is the Cruise Phase. While I wish it had more to do with sailing through the mediterannean while drinking cocktails on board a luxury cruise liner, it's more to do with adding vegetables back into your diet. During this part of the diet you alternate pure protein days with protein and vegetable days. This phase seems to last for ages. When I calculated it out it said for me it would last 105 days...that's a long cruise! If it's going to work for me I think I'll have to have a free day every week to keep me from going stir crazy. At the end of the cruise phase you should be at your target weight. Hoorah! Celebration time!
Onto the Consolidation Phase. Again this phase lasts quite some time - for me it was 172 days. However, at this point you get to add bits of fruit, cheese, bread and starchy foods like rice and pasta back into your diet. You also get two celebration meals a week so it feels more like just a healthy eating plan. You still have one pure protein day a week at this point.
Once you've passed the consolidation phase, apparently you're cured of blobby mince pie and chocolate bits and get to eat like a normal person, but with just one pure protein day a week. This is the Stabilization Phase and lasts for the rest of your life.
I'm not gonna lie, I have a few reservations that I'll be able to keep up with such strict eating habits for hundreds of days at a time, but I'm going to give it a good go. Reviews tend to be quite positive so there's no harm in trying it out. I'll let you know how I get on and if it's really as good as it says on the tin...
This is the most useful website I found if you want some more info:
Thanks for reading,
*99.9999% is not an actual figure.