A lot of people want to lose weight and see the results as quickly and humanely as possible. Overnight weightloss would be ideal. This is the reason why there are a lot of diet schemes nowadays such as the Dukan diet. However, the kind of weight loss scheme where you can shed as much weight in a short period usually has some downsides. For one, it’s hard to maintain and incorporate into a long-term lifestyle. Also, once you stop with that particular diet, you can gain as much weight and just as fast as you lost it before.
The Dukan diet, on the other hand, is the type that can help you lose weight permanently and without you being hungry all the time. If you are planning to lose some of the excess weight through Dukan, we are here to teach you what the Dukan diet is and how it works,
What Is the Dukan Diet?
The Dukan diet was created in the 1970s by a French general practitioner who focuses on weight management, Dr. Pierre Dukan. It was inspired by a particular obese patient who told the doctor that he wants to lose weight by giving up any kind of food except for meat. That is when and how the Dukan diet, low carbohydrate and high protein weight loss diet started.
After Dr. Dukan has seen some significant and impressive weight loss results from his patients because of the diet, he published his book in 2000 which became a major bestseller and was eventually published in about 32 countries.
How This Weight Loss Scheme Work: Phases of Dukan Diet
The Dukan diet is composed of four phases, two of them are for weight loss, and the remaining two are for maintenance.
Before the Dukan diet phases start, the true weight will be calculated which is based on the age, the weight loss history, and other significant factors. Each phase of the diet can end as short or as long as you want, depending on how much weight you want to lose.
The attack phase jump starts the metabolism of the entire weight loss process where you will only be allowed to eat protein. However, not all protein will work, it has to be low in fat. During the attack phase, you can choose from 68 foods that are high in protein.
Aside from lean protein, precisely 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran, the only allowable carbohydrate should also be included in the diet. It is high in fiber and contains fewer carbohydrates compared to other carb-rich foods. It also helps in suppressing hunger. At least 1.5 liters of water every day is also a must in the first phase in combination with 20 minutes of exercise.
As early as this phase is, you can already see the immediate and noticeable shedding of weight. It aims to lose weight as much as 2 kilograms to 3 kilograms from 2 to 10 days of getting true with the phase.
The second phase of the Dukan diet aims to achieve that targeted weight loss gradually. In addition to the protein-only diet for the first phase, you can now add specific choices of vegetables. There are 32 different veggies that you can choose from, and you can consume as much as you want as long as they are starch free.
The Dukan diet recommends alternating between the attach phase and the cruise phase to achieve a steady weight loss. Also, the oat bran will be increased from 1.5 tablespoons each day to 2 tablespoons during the cruise phase. The requirement of 1.5 liters of water every day should also be continued.
The cruise phase aims to reduce about two pounds of weight every week.
Fast weight loss usually has the disadvantage of a weight rebound. The Dukan diet also has the same vulnerability especially during the third phase of the diet. But, there are specific rules during the consolidation phase to avoid you from having a weight rebound.
During this phase, you can now consume the type of foods that you weren’t allowed to eat during the first two phases. However, you have to keep in mind to eat these foods in limited quantities only.
Huge amounts of foods rich in protein and the starch-free vegetables should still be the main food choices in the diet. But, you can now add a serving of fruit, two slices of whole grain bread, and 1.5 ounces of cheese. You are also allowed to ear starchy foods like quinoa and pasta, as long as it is only for two servings every week.
The daily requirement of two tablespoons of oat bran will stay, but you get two celebration meals of anything your choice, but in moderation. Consolidation phase also requires 25 minutes of exercise per day.
The stabilization phase is considered as the long-term maintenance part of the Dukan diet. This is where you can eat anything that you want. But, it does come with some strict Dukan diet rules to avoid bouncing back on your previous weight.
- Consume three tablespoons of oat bran every day.
- One day every week should be dedicated to eating lean protein only, similar to the attack phase.
- Devote 20 minutes every day for exercise.
- Avoid taking elevators or escalators.
As long as you apply these rules, you can now use artificial sweeteners, sugar-free gum, vinegar, and spices.
During this phase, there will be no longer targeted weight loss. It only stabilizes the weight you have achieved during the first three phases. It is also now advised to take multivitamins plus minerals during this phase.
Do’s and Don’ts in Choosing Foods
The foods you are allowed to eat on a Dukan diet has its own pattern, which depends on each of the four phases.
Your Dukan diet food list for the first phase includes various food which contains a high amount of protein and other food types that are low in calories. It includes Lean beef, venison, weal, bison, and other games. You can also choose lean pork, poultry without the skin, kidney, liver, tongue, all types of fish and shellfish, eggs, tofu, tempeh, and seitan. You will also get a restricted 1 kilogram of non-fat dairy products such as yogurt, milk, ricotta, and cottage cheese.
During the cruise phase, which is an alternate day of the attack phase, you are allowed the same high protein foods along with some choices of vegetables that are low in starch. The Dukan diet recipes can include lettuce, spinach, kale, and other green leafy ones. You can also have cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, bell peppers, eggplant, artichokes, tomatoes, celery, and cucumbers. You are also allowed to eat mushrooms, green beans, spaghetti squash, onions, leeks, shallots, pumpkin, turnips, and one serving of beets or carrots each day.
No other vegetables, except for those in the list, should be consumed. Oils and fats should also be avoided except for greasing pans and for salad dressing.
During the consolidation phase, the Dukan diet meal plan can be any mix and match of the food choices that are allowable for both the attack and cruise phases. But, there are additional food groups you can add. However, they come with some strict rules on how much you should consume.
The Dukan diet menu can now include fruit, but it should be strictly one serving only like one medium-sized apple, pear, nectarine, peach, or orange; 1 cup of chopped melon or berries; 2 plums, kiwis, or apricot.
You are also allowed to eat bread, but it should be whole grain and limited to two slices per day along with a small amount of low-fat butter or any reduced-fat spread. Cheese is also allowed but limited to 1 serving every day which is about 40 grams or 1.5 ounces. Foods that contain starch should be restricted to one to two servings daily or 225 grams or 8 ounces of the likes of pasta, corn, beans, potatoes, rice, or legumes.
One or two times every week, you are allowed to eat meat such as roast pork or lamb. For the celebration meals or Dukan diet snacks, you will only get two meals every week which can include an appetizer, a main dish, a dessert, and a glass of wine.
This is the final phase of the Dukan diet plan, and it’s all about maintaining the weight loss improvements you have achieves during the first three phases. There are no off-limits when it comes to food except for the principles to follow during this phase.
Dukan Diet Health Benefits
The Dukan diet has been present for almost several decades, and there are already a lot of dieters that hails its benefits.
- It helps people with diabetes.
Researches about the diet show that it has significant benefits for people who have diabetes. It somehow helps in improving the insulin sensitivity which plays a vital role in preventing the development of type two diabetes.
- It helps the cardiovascular system.
While it is not a required diet for people with problems on their cardiovascular system, it does have some benefits. With this weight loss diet, there is no considerable change in the triglyceride and cholesterol levels, it either stays the same or improves a little bit.
- Weight loss
Still, the main benefit of the Dukan diet is losing weight. It is especially helpful and useful for people who are obese. While there might be no clinical trials for the diet currently, an online survey shows an average 15.7 pounds of weight loss from 1525 who has undergone with the diet, and this is only for the first two phases.
Health Risks to Consider
Like any diet which alters the foods your body has been accustomed to consuming, there might be some health risks involved.
- Having a high protein diet in short-term is not harmful to the health, but for long-term, it might not be a great idea as it can be detrimental to the health if your body isn’t getting other nutrients.
- Protein is a huge factor when it comes to uric acid which is why it is essential for you to drink a lot of water throughout the diet, especially during the first phase to avoid kidney problems.
- This diet stresses on ketosis which can target and impair the proper functioning of the kidney. It can also cause bad breath, constipation, and lethargy.
- It is not ideal for vegetarians and vegans since it requires to eat foods such as poultry, fish, eggs, and shellfish which have no substitutes.
- A diet with high protein foods can lead to intensive processing of calcium and can even involve extraction from the bones which can result to a loss in bone density.
- Cutting off on grains, fruits, and other healthy food groups may lead to nutritional deficiency.
- Diet with low fiber can cause irritable bowel syndrome.
Tips on Starting a Dukan Diet
If you want to start a Dukan diet, you will have to organize your diet plan for it to be successful. Here are some of the tips that might help you a lot through the process.
- Define your reasons why you want to undergo this weight loss diet, talking to a doctor about your weight loss approach might will also help.
- Calculate your true weight and define your weight loss goals for each of the first three phases.
- Decide when you want to start with your diet and follow your schedule.
- Clean up your kitchen and pantry from all food temptation and stock only the food groups that are allowed on the Dukan diet. If you don’t have easy access to the foods that are off-limits, you will not be tempted to cheat easily.
- Stick to the duka diet plan. Any diet needs your dedication for it to work the way you want it too.
Except for some possible health risks, the Dukan diet is true to its claims. With the substitute of high-protein foods to your usual diet, you can get an immediate shed on your current weight. With the four phases, you have to undergo; it is not just a quick weight loss scheme, it helps you build a new diet and lifestyle that you can sustain for a long time.
While it has some food restrictions, this diet doesn’t make you starve. The Dukan diet is not your typical weight loss scheme; it proposes a quick weight loss through healthy eating and combines it with phases that help maintain your achieved weight in the long term. If you ever plan to try this diet you should read the article about the Dukan Diet Meal Plan.