Ok, you must think I have a one-track mind… but constipation is not just a side effect of the Dukan diet, it also hinders weight loss in a huge way. One, what you don’t eliminate shows up on the scale – and being on a diet like Dukan, where your weight is an important way of tracking your progress, you don’t want something that silly throwing you off*. It slows down your metabolism, since your body is, well, backed up on elimination. And who wants to literally be full of it? But I digress…
I will assume that you know the basics here – drink plenty of water, get your recommended oat bran intake, add goji berries if you can find them (Seriously, I’m just going to start growing them myself if I can’t find it!)
So let’s debunk the myth that constipation is due to low fiber intake. It isn’t.
Yes, shocking. In the Dukan diet, constipation is mostly due to overeating (cooked) meats/cheese, which produces beta-carbolines, and dairy foods, which are rich in opioid peptides – and gluten is also rich in this, but again, digressing.
The opioid peptides in milk are designed to soothe babies/cubs as they nurse (remember, milk is a food designed for babies…) Babies can break down these peptides, but adults lose that ability. When these soothing opioids go through our digestive tracts, they numb everything on their way, which slows down metabolism and the peristaltic movements you need to pass stool.
In the same fashion, cooking protein rich foods (which is the basis of the DD…) produces beta-carbolines, which has a similar effect of numbing the digestive tract and . (And I’m soooo sorry for that scholarly link, but I really couldn’t find anything more reader-friendly as I was writing the post.)
Now, don’t get me wrong – I am NOT advocating that you shouldn’t follow the Dukan diet, and I have no intention to stop following it, either. But I came up with a few ways to fight the c-word.
- Alternating one PP and one PV day: for the sake of planning simplicity, I had been doing 5PP/5PV days. But alternating PV every other day allows you to eat lots of fibrous vegetables, instead of 5 solid days of constipation-inducing foods.
- Eat lots of leafy greens: I’m contradicting myself a bit here, but adding some good, natural fiber will help move all that protein! Concentrating on dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale and lettuce allows you to splurge on veggies while not overdoing it on calorie-dense veggies like broccoli.
- Substitute some of the dairy for soy: Maybe this doesn’t make a big difference, so if you hate soy milk and tofu, sit this one out. I have been drinking soy milk instead of cow’s milk, and eating tofu pudding (see recipe below) instead of greek yogurt for my daily snack. I haven’t given up on dairy altogether, but have noticed a difference since I starting eating soy-based substitutes.
- 1 brick of soft tofu (not silken)
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 6 packets of sweetener, or more to taste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Blend tofu, vanilla, and sweetener in blender or food processor. Slowly add up to 1/2 cup of soy milk, but just enough to blend the tofu. Chill for an hour. Other Dukan-friendly flavor variations are chocolate (add 2 tbsp of no sugar added pure cocoa), cinnamon, or any flavor extracts you find in the supermarket! (Look for the boxed cake section.)
You can also use this recipe on an ice cream maker for some Dukan-approved ice cream! Just add more sweetener.
(*I’ve never been a big believer on weighing myself, but with the rapid kind of weight loss like in the Dukan, where you’re not really sure how much your body is changing, the scale is a great ally.)