• Upgrades have been completed! Including conversations, 😁😎🏀⚾⚽ Emojis and more.. Read more

Mark's Munchies

Mark James

Laughing Gravy
I've never kept a diary before, but here goes...

I haven't been overweight all my life. Throughout my twenties I was a steady 11 stone with a 30" waist. That's a distant memory. And I'm sure I was taller! When I hit my mid-thirties the weight started to creep up and up. There are plenty of excuses I could use (having a sedentary job, long hours commuting, divorce, stopping smoking after 20 years), but it's still my responsibility. Not that I'm beating myself up about it. It's just time to do something about it.

Here are my last two menus. Are there any forbidden items? I've read the book, so I don't think there are. But I'm not signed up for coaching, so I may be behind the times.

PP Day

B - Microwave bread, tinned sardines in tomato sauce

L - Grilled smoked mackerel. 0% yoghurt

D - Rump steak, small onion, Dijon mustard. Rhubarb fool

S - Rest of microwave bread (thanks for recipe Anja, it's great)

Drinks: 1.5 litres water, black tea, skimmed milk, 3 green tea

PV Day

B – Egg white omelette with red pepper, mushrooms & onion – 1 spray Fry Light.

L – 3 low fat ham slices, mixed salad + Dukan vinaigrette (not sure about this – it tastes passable, but is it supposed to look like brown fence paint?) + rhubarb fool

D – Quorn Bolognese (onion, mushroom, carrots, celery, passata, puree, garlic, herbs, stock, with courgette tagliatelle, which was a soggy mess – any suggestions on best method?

S – Oat/wheat bran porridge with cinnamon & skimmed milk

Drinks: 1 litre water, 2 green tea, 4 slimline tonics (oh how my friends laughed in the pub)

One quick question: can anyone tell me how much a tablespoon weighs in grams? I’ve seen various amounts on different sites, such as 14g or 15g. I’ve now bought some kitchen scales, and if a tablespoon is 15g, I’ve not been eating nearly enough oatbran. And I need some bigger spoons.


Get Rid of this ad and join in on the conversation for free today! Tap here!


grammar police
Hi Mark,

sardines in a tomato sauce should really be saved for a PV day because of the tomatos. You could get them in brine for a PP day i think. Similarly onion should be kept to an absolute minimum on PP days, used really only for flavouring - they are quite a carby vegetable so you should be trying not to eat them for PP.

Check the label on your low fat ham. Processed sliced ham frequently contains a lot of added starch which isn't ideal. Many people try and stay away from ham in general as it's so salty and can cause water retention, but if you must then best to buy a joint and soak it overnight to draw out some salt then boil/roast it yourself.

Otherwise it looks good. I know there was some discussion on the weight of oatbran but i can't remember the outcome. I know a tablespoon is 15ml. I tend to scoop my spoons then give them a shake to level them off a bit.


Full Member
Hello - re: tablespoon measures, I had also read a tablespoon = 15ml and then someone on here said =15g - think it's "roughly" the same but maybe the experts can help??? ( the book says " any tablespoon!)
Now - what is rhubarb fool? :) have stacks of rhubarb in the fridge and could do with inspiration.......


Gone a bit quiet
Usually R Fool has cream: (grits teeth and slurps a bit). But I used Fromage Frais and Greek Yog, plus sweetener of course. You can put a little gelatine in too if you want it a little more set, and split an egg, whip the White to soft peak stage, mix that in. Yolk too if you want. Then refrigerate till set a bit. Nice with toffee muller toast.

Mark James

Laughing Gravy
Hi everyone

It's been a while since I popped in. I just knew I wouldn't be able to keep up to a diary. But I am sticking to the diet and the weight is falling off nicely. Almost 1.5 stone in just over 4 weeks. Woo-hoo!

People are commenting how much better I look, which is the best motivation ever. I'd forgotten I had cheekbones! Nice to see them re-appearing slowly but surely. I feel great - so much more energy than before, and much more clear headed. I'm sure that's in no small part to not having had any alcohol for a month. I've even surprised myself with that one. Can't say I'm missing it, or carbs. I've discovered the joy of butternut squash, which makes a great potato substitute. I had a gorgeous curry last night, and adapted Jamie Oliver's bombay potato recipe (without the butter) as a side dish.

One thing concerns me a bit. As I've been doing so much more excercise, I've been having a lot of pain in my knees, which has been a problem for years. I've started taking cod liver oil again, because I couldn't find any info saying it wasn't allowed. If oily fish are ok, I can't see that cod liver oil shouldn't be. Or am I wrong?

All the best



Silver Member
I take cod liver oil too as I have to take a lot of supplements for my health. I figure that even if it is 'banned' or not a good idea my health comes before loosing weight quickly. I had to stop all supplements for a few days before some blood tests and I noticed quite quickly that my aches came back and my body slowed down.

You are doing really well with your loss. You need to update your stats with your 1.5 stone loss.

Mark James

Laughing Gravy
Hi Poppy

I agree it's more important to put your health first. I've taken cod liver oil for years, but stopped when I began the diet thinking that all oils were out. But I soon noticed a difference in my joints. Thanks for pointing out my stats needed updating - it's more motivating when you can see how much you've lost.



Gone a bit quiet
I use green lipped mussel and fish oil, which made a huge difference to the long term tendonitis I'd had. Not prepared to lose that good effect either, so I only gave it up in Attack.

Mark James

Laughing Gravy
I'm getting used to the stop/start nature of this diet where the scales will hover around the same point, or even go up, for 3 or 4 days - then it'll drop by a pound or so and stay down. It's disconcerting to begin with, but you get used to it.

I'm a bit worried about going on holiday in a couple of weeks - which is a bit of a bummer because I've never been worried about going on holiday before! It's just that I'm still looking at a fair bit on cruise and don't really know how I'm going to play it. Not sure whether to have a week on PV then a week of PP - or will that completely throw me off track? I'd appreciate some advice on this from the more experienced (if they're still speaking to newbies!) because I don't want to ruin it after coming this far.

I'm not getting involved in the Newbiegate /read the book/handbags-at-dawn contretemps - I'm new here myself. But apparently it isn't obvious to everyone that the first step is to, you know, read the book.

If proof were needed, and If anyone wants a laugh, check out the official Dukan site's live chat from 20th July. The first question (and I'm not making this up) "hello dunkan, i wont to know if i can eat lettuce".



Chronic Recidivist
Aw Mark - don't feel sad. They might not have an answer or are still thinking about it... I'm in the same boat as you with the vacation coming up right in the middle of cruise. I seriously considered doing a week of PV and then a week of PP - but just doing 3 days of PP recently was hard - I don't think my will power could make it through a week of PP again unless I had really gone off track and eaten tons of carbs. My vacation plan is to try and stick with the 1/1, but if I end up doing more PV days than planned I will just do two PP days when I get back home and consider myself back on track. If I lose all will power and go insane with full 7-course meals and lots of alcohol I will probably try and redo attack and consider myself as a restarter - but I have absolutely no intention of letting myself do that!
Tee Hee, hi Mark - have to say I haven't actually read any of your stuff till a couple of minutes ago, honest! Well done on losing so well, my DH has also lost loads on Dukan and seems much happier. The book does say you can do a week pp then a week pv on cruise, I'd say it would be better to do this for a while over your hols rather than lapsing or giving up completely. I saw how Bridget makes her rhubarb fool, how do you make yours? We have no ff fromage frais in our (very small) supermarket, which is very annoying. Hope you enjoy your hols.

Mark James

Laughing Gravy
Hi Sander & Caledonian

Thanks for that, I was starting to fell like the invisible man!

I don't think this forum is for me. Sometimes when I read all this stuff about newbies etc, it feels like I've stumbled into the common room at St Trinians.

Sander, I wasn't so much worried about going mad with alcohol or massive meals (although I can't rule it out!). I was thinking what on earth can I eat when we're wandering around mid-day for instance? And continental breakfasts aren't exactly Dukan friendly. I'll just have to wing it. Be as sensible as I can, then go on a massive attack when I get home.

I like your nickname, Caledonian Dreaming. Did you see the documentary by that name about all those ace Scottish bands on Postcard Records in the 80s? Aztec Camera and Orange Juice? That was my era.

My rhubarb fool is so simple, I'm embarrassed to tell you. But it's just stewed rhubarb, add a bit of Splenda, then mix in a couple of spoonfuls of fromage frais or yoghurt. Spoon it into ramekins and chill in the fridge.


Red Heart

Back on the Dukan wagon!
Hi Mark,
Sorry that you've felt ignored.
I still consider myself a newbie so, although I may read questions, I am hesitant to answer in case I get it wrong, and tend to wait for an "expert" to answer! :eek:
Don't worry about "newbie-gate". I think the problem lies with the Daily Mail this week publishing an adapation of the Dukan diet. A lot of new members have joined because of that and what the DM has told them is not what the Dukan book says. Therefore, it gets complicated as it is hard to advise them when they seem to be following a completely different diet to the rest of us (through no fault of their own!).


Silver Member
Hi Mark, if this was me I would do my best to do a PV week on holiday, try and steer clear of carbs and eat higher fat yoghurt if that is what is on offer. Then when you come back I would only do a couple of PP days and get back into the swing of it. If you have been 'good' it shouldn't be difficult. If however you have strayed wildly I think you will know what your body needs then :) But enjoy your holiday and relax.


grammar police
Holidays are a tough one Mark. I had a fortnight in Cuba at the beginning of June. I was 2lb off goal before I went, and with the best of intentions as to what I was going to eat. I had planned something of a 'conso style' eating plan, but the food options just weren't available at the hotel we went to (we were all inclusive)

It's not a wealthy country, and there was lots of rice, beans & starchy foods on the buffet. if we missed the restaurant times (which we frequently did) the options at the snack bar were pizza, burger, hot dog or toasted sandwich - all with chips! :eek:

in the end I made the best of it, enjoyed my holiday without binging at all. I came back having gained 10lb which was disappointing. Most of that is off again now, but having had (what feels like) such a long break from the diet i feel like it's slow going getting the last couple of lb gone.

How long are you going away for? Theoretically you should be able to make the best of your holiday without going mad. have you read the conso section of the book yet? i would try and adopt that plan as much as possible. Make sure you take some oatbran with you - the muffins and cookies will keep a few days in airtight tupperware, and some loose oatbran to stir into yoghurt the other days. conso style will allow you a little bread and cheese and fruit every day, then you can add in the starch and celebration meals too. hopefully you'll be able to get salads and plenty of fresh seafood where you're going.


Chronic Recidivist
Hi Mark!
Where are you going to for your holiday? For the continental breakfasts - sometimes they have hard boiled eggs and yogurt that you can have - otherwise you may have to go off and choose the least damaging items. Get really familiar with the conso rules and maybe that can be your guideline - you are so close to goal! When walking around, I like to find places that have kebabs or other grilled meat items, shave ice (sno-cones, etc) some places have them with sugar-free syrup which can be a good option if you are just looking to have something like an ice cream. I've also heard good things about non-fat sugar-free frozen yogurt at stands - haven't seen one of those in my travels though. Greek, Indian, Thai, and Japanese restaurants all seem to have some dishes that can work. I even found one Italian restuarant that had a lovely dinner that fit the Dukan rules. I spend a lot of time researching restaurants on the internet when I travel so I have an idea of what places to try and navigate toward and which ones to avoid.

Mark James

Laughing Gravy
Thanks for all your suggestions - it never occurred to me to try a version of consolidation. You become almost brainwashed into following this through methodically stage by stage, that to stray from the path feels wrong. I was thinking that the sight of a full fat yoghurt, or even a potato, might have me running out of the room. But temporary consolidation seems the most sensible option.

We're going to Southern France just for a week. My wife will have to carry my stash of oatbran through customs. I usually get stopped, and if they found me 'carrying' it could mean a strip-search.

I'll have to get my book back from my mum, who's a new convert, to gen up on consolidation.

Similar threads