How to Prepare for the Dukan Diet
Today I would like to share what I have learnt over the years on how to best prepare for a diet and, in this case, for the Dukan Diet plan in particular. I cannot stress enough the importance of doing a little preparation ahead of the every dieting week and what massive difference this can make to help you achieve your target weight.
If you’re a serial dieter like me, you will have probably realised by now that there are 3 main things that eventually lead to diet slip ups: not having the right foods in the fridge, not eating regularly and the much dreaded social events.
Meal Planning and Dukan Friendly Shopping List
The best thing you can do to maximise your chances of sticking to the diet is planning what you are going to eat in the week ahead. I like to spend some time at the weekend deciding what meals I am going to cook during the following week: with the Dukan Diet food list in mind, make sure that you vary what you eat, research and bookmark new recipes you would like to try and, most importantly, include foods that you know will put a smile on your face. There is nothing worse than eating something you don’t enjoy just for the sake of dieting!
As well as planning for the main meals, make a list of little snacks that will help you fill the void if and when hunger pangs kick in. If you are in the Attack Phase, these can include hard-boiled eggs, crab sticks, yoghurts, cold meats or, if you have switched to the Cruise Phase, you might want to consider vegetarian nibbles such as cherry tomatoes or celery sticks.
What I like to do at this stage is also plan ahead for a day or two in the week when I’m inevitably going to be stuck in the office longer than I thought or perhaps I’m not going to feel like spending so much time in the kitchen. Dot down some meal ideas which will take you next to nothing to prepare (chicken or tuna salad, steak, steamed fish just to name a few of my personal favourites) so that you will have a back-up plan ready and avoid any slip ups.
Finally, if you are the only dieter in the household, take into consideration how your Dukan friendly meals will fit into the family schedule. I find that there is no need to cook separate meals and all it takes to make everyone happy is a list of what I like to call add-ons for the non-dieters.
For example, if steak is on the menu, plan ahead so that your partner or the rest of the family can have something else with it, such as chips. Same goes with a yummy chicken stir fry which can easily be prepared in a Dukan friendly way and served with noodles or rice for the non-dieters.
Finally, go to the supermarket armed with a shopping list to avoid forgetting anything you will need during the week.
You will find that as the diet goes on, the planning stage gets much easier as you will create your own little list of tried and tested Dukan friendly recipes you truly enjoy.
Avoiding Hunger Pangs
One of the things I like best about the Dukan Diet is that there are no limitations when it comes to protein-rich foods and I very rarely find myself hungry. However, in order to avoid hunger pangs, I’ve had to discipline myself a little in the sense that I have had to teach myself never to get to the stage where I’m too hungry and succumb to the vending machine in the office.
How have I achieved this? Two simple recommendations:
- I’ve made it a rule not to skip breakfast, no matter what. It still happens that some days that I don’t feel like eating anything first thing in the morning however I always make sure I take my breakfast to work and eat it by 10am at the latest.
- Whether you’re at home or at work all day, always have 2 Dukan friendly snacks available, one for mid-morning and one for mid-afternoon. These little pick-me-up nibbles will ensure you get to the main meals of the day without a totally empty stomach as well as enabling you to say no to any temptations.
Maintain your hunger levels stable throughout the day and sticking to the plan will be much easier.
Social Events: No Need to be Scared
Finally, let’s talk about planning ahead of social events. Meals out with family, friends and colleagues use to scare the hell out of me and, due to my unhealthy all-or-nothing attitude, it used to be pretty much guaranteed that eating out would lead to binging and frustration.
However, I’ve come to realise that the main rule here is not to avoid social events but prepare for them so that great company doesn’t necessarily have to mean diet slip up.
Because the Dukan Diet is based on ‘real foods’ I found that it is fairly easy to go to a restaurant and still stick to the diet. Most restaurants serve grilled meats, fish and healthy salads as well as having a website where you can take a look at the menu prior to eating out. If you get the chance to organise the meal yourself, even better as you can opt for something like a steakhouse or a seafood restaurant. Not avoiding these special occasions but working a way around them is the key for happy and long term dieting.