Turkey Meatballs Recipe: Dukan Diet Quick-Start Guide
How I lost 20 lbs. eating a lot of turkey meatballs…
I am a foodie and a cook, therefore I eat and drink and eat a lot. I’ve been known to order uni bucatini as a pasta course and again for dessert. I also hate going to the gym and never could be disciplined enough to do it on a regular basis.
With that said, it is not surprising that last summer I hit an all-time high for my weight. Aside from my clothes not fitting (requiring me to binge shop for a multitude of maxi dresses to make it through one of L.A.’s hottest summers), I felt awful. I had no energy, no inspiration, wasn’t sleeping well and was battling some existential demons. I knew I was out of whack. It was around this time that I was dining on an insanely delicious steak at Chi Spacca with a good friend and she was super excited because the diet she was on allowed it.
Obviously, I was interested in what this magical diet was. Was this Atkins? No, this was the Dukan Diet, conceived by French doctor Pierre Dukan. It’s a high protein low carb diet that essentially resets your body, gets you down to your goal weight and gives you a path to keep off the weight forever—that’s where the turkey meatballs recipe comes in.
As I read more about the diet, I learned that the Dukan Diet is divided into four phases—two to lose the weight: The Attack Phase, where you eat only lean proteins to kick-start your body into fat-burning ketosis; and The Cruise Phase, where you alternate days of pure proteins and days of proteins and vegetables to get your body down to its goal weight; and two to keep the weight off: The Consolidation Phase, which keeps you from ballooning back up once you’ve lost all the weight; and The Stabilization Phase, which gives you a few things you can do to keep the weight off permanently.
How long does the diet last? For me, I determined that I needed to lose about 20 lbs. I filled out this handy questionnaire on their website and they calculated that my timeline would be just under four months.
Then I bought The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever book to read up on how and why I was doing what I was doing. I believe this is extremely important to the success of the diet. Otherwise, you’re more prone to cheat if you don’t understand the method behind your regime. The book also thoroughly explains each step and outlines what you can and can’t eat. It includes recipes to help you come up with ideas of what you can eat. All things that I found to be extremely helpful.
I followed the diet strictly until I hit my goal weight. The first month, I cut out alcohol entirely—the first time I had such a sober stretch since college. I felt amazing. The pounds were falling off, I was sleeping through the night, my head was clear and with all the water the diet recommends you drink, my skin garnered compliments every time I was out in public.
There were a few things that really helped me get through those months. One of the most important was planning and cooking ahead. On Sunday nights I would make one or two big meals like a roast chicken or a bunch of turkey meatballs so I could eat them throughout the week and have them ready to go, if I didn’t have time to cook during the week. I would also have a few cartons of egg whites ready to go for mornings (or evenings) where I wanted a quick and easy breakfast or dinner. If I wasn’t having egg whites, I was hitting the nonfat Greek yogurt pretty hard. You get such a protein boost from it that you’re not really hungry until lunch.
The best way to achieve success with the diet is to find those proteins that you like and parlay them into your day-to-day eating. For me, it was egg whites, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, nonfat ricotta cheese, smoked salmon, salmon, ground turkey—check out my recipe for turkey meatballs below—and chicken. Once I knew what I could utilize, I could focus on the pure protein meals and the protein and vegetable combinations.
Eating out was the biggest challenge because there are always so many temptations. If I had to go out to eat, I’d hit up my favorite Mediterranean restaurant and get a kabob plate without the rice or hummus, or a Vietnamese restaurant where I could order pho with double meat and no noodles. At taco stands, I’d order chicken tacos or carne asada with no tortillas. Was I self conscious ordering that? No. I live in L.A. people, they get much weirder requests that that. The important thing was that I was losing weight and it was staying off.
Nearly a month after completing the four phases, I successfully made it through the holidays and am still at my goal weight. I continue to walk every morning and work three tablespoons of Oat Bran into my diet, per the diet’s recommendation. My skinny jeans are now too big for me, so as a big Christmas present to me, I bought two new pairs of skinnier jeans. Enough said.
Why am I writing this post? Because everyone asks me what I did to lose the weight and keep it off, and still eat like a rock star. Also, because I know what it’s like to feel stuck. I’d been wanting to shed 10, then 15, then 20 pounds for the last few years, but didn’t know how to do it successfully. Like I said, the gym wasn’t working, going vegetarian and vegan didn’t move the needle, juice fasting was hilarious and cutting calories was just annoying. I really feel like the Dukan Diet is totally attainable. If you find yourself where I was, it’s might be just what you need to bring you the results you’re looking for.
Make Turkey Meatballs
Have you ever tried the Dukan Diet? Tell me about your experience in the comments.