The Dukan Diet Review: Phases, Effectiveness , Benefits & More

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Termed a French medical solution for complete and lasting weight loss, the Dukan diet is known as the most effective prescriptive diet, with only as many as seventy-two food items to choose from in phase 1. Carbs are the reason for weight gain, even in the form of veggies and fruits. Pierre Dukan offers this low carb, high protein carb plan released in the year 2000 in France. Published as Je ne sais pas maigrir…or “I do not know how to eliminate weight.” It was in 2010 that the Dukan movement reached the United Kingdom. Its ardent and well-known followers include Kate Middleton. Pierre Dukan was a neurologist who switched to nutrition after a high protein diet recommended by him worked wonders for a friend. Dukan researched and developed this diet based on scientific principles and sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.

Dukan Diet: The 4 Phases

The Dukan diet is much like a ketogenic diet that stresses on protein and fat and omits carbs. The body utilizes glycogen stores for energy first if there are many supplies. Ketogenic diets aim to turn the body away from utilizing this store and burning fat instead. This is a critical state for weight loss, though a lot of ketones in the human body can have issues and lead to ketosis.

The four phases of the Dukan diet are as follows.

Attack

Dukan Diet: The 4 Phases
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This phase lasts anywhere from 5-10 days and yields immediate outcomes. Diet followers can choose from 72 foods rich in protein. Zero carbs are allowed at this phase of the diet. The first phase invokes rapid weight loss in a span of just 2 to ten days, losing anywhere from 3 kilograms/6.6 pounds to 2 kg/4.4 pounds. This is a wonderful way to energize the metabolism.

Dieters can only eat lean protein-rich foods. But there is no need to count calories. Proteins can range from cottage cheese to beef, chicken, fish, mutton, eggs, and soy. Meat should be sans sugar. Dieters also need to consume 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran.

This is the only carb source permitted at this stage. Why does it warrant inclusion? Because it is fiber-rich, oat bran cannot be broken down or digested easily. This slow digesting carb staves off hunger pans as it increases by 20 fold in the stomach. 1.5 liters of water per day and at least twenty minutes of exercise daily are also recommended.

A gourmet lover’s dream come true, this phase allows generous helpings. Lean veal, beef, pork and venison apart, tongue and liver as well as other organ meat, and shellfish, fish, poultry, low-fat ham, turkey, and eggs as well as chicken are part of the diet. You can also try veggie proteins such as seitan and tofu. Non-fat dairy, zero calorie drinks, and water are allowed. Additionally, this phase also uses spices and herbs to reject monotony and acquire 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran.

The attack phase lasts up to 10 days based on the extent of weight loss. Pierre Dukan has indicated that attack phase typically weighs around 4-7 pounds and lasts for five days.

Cruise

Cruise
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This phase involves a blend of protein-rich diet with carbs. A specific number of predetermined veggies are gradually included in the diet. This is the stage the dieters follow until the goal weight has been reached. The stage helps the dieter to gradually achieve his/her target bodyweight through the inclusion of 32 specific veggies to the diet. Fruits are not permitted. During the attack phase, oat bran is the only carb permitted. During the phase that follows, the person aims to reduce body weight by 2 pounds per week. So, if the individual wishes to lose 60 pounds, the stage will last for 30 weeks and if they want to lose 10 pounds, it will last 20 weeks.

Numerous different foods can be eaten provided they do not lead to weight gain. Low-fat proteins in the attach phase are followed by non-starchy veggies in the cruise phase. Additionally, the dieter continues to have the required amount of water and a tablespoon of oat bran every single day. Starchy veggies like carrots, peas, and corn are not permitted. The dieter exercises for 30 minutes in a single day.

This stage involves all you can eat veggies. The non-starchy foods like zucchini, mushrooms, salad greens and mushrooms work well. Dukan also holds that one day of pure protein should be offered. Along with this day, there is one day of veggies and protein. Oat bran recommendation is around two tablespoons. Alternate to lose weight between 2 to 4 pounds of weight loss in 7 days.

Consolidation

Forbidden fruits and dairy products
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Forbidden fruits and dairy products are slowly included in the diet. Dieters are even permitted celebration food items twice in a week where they can eat what they like though restrictions remain in place.During the phase, the aim is not to engage in weight loss but avoid weight gain. Individuals can now have unlimited protein and veggies, one low sugar fruit piece, a single cheese portion and two slices of whole grain bread every day. Additionally, the celebration meals can be characterized by 1/2 servings of starchy food. Dieters also follow a core diet of pure protein every day per week preferably the same day of the week. 25 minutes of exercising are prescribed in this stage.

The aim here is to ward off the pounds. This is the point of transition where one is vulnerable to weight gain. Dieters who lose around 50 pounds stay in this phase for 250 days, and those with 10 pounds weight loss, around 50 days. Proteins and veggies can be mixed together.

Stabilization

During this phase, dieters check if the inclusion of carbs is putting weight back on in the body. In case it is not, the dieters can step into the final stage and unlock the permanent laws or rules for life. How long people follow their diet is therefore based on factors like the present and desired weight and fitness levels. There is the long-term maintenance of weight at this phase. Simple rules need to be followed such as an all protein meal day once a week. Also, the Dukan dieter needs to eat 3 tablespoons of bran every single day and exercise for twenty minutes too. Escalators or elevators should be avoided. Dieters can eat artificial sweeteners, sugarless gym, vinegar, and spices. Multivitamins are also taken with minerals.

You can also enjoy what you want 6 days of the week. Seventh-day is when you feast on high protein foods that are purely rich in this nutrient. This phase, as the name indicates, is expected to last a lifetime.

Dukan Diet: Why Protein?

Salmon, Brussels sprouts, tomato, and broccoli are consumed in the cruise phase of this diet. This is because protein-rich foods though low in calories can help a person to feel satiated. Digestion of protein requires more energy and expends a greater degree of calories. Preventing carbs and fats from reaching the body induces starvation which enables the body to use fat storage for its energy expending requirements. The diet also encourages exercise and focuses on organic food for utilizing the energy store in the body. The diet does not have any system of calories, carbs or nutrition metrics. It offers a wide range of food and concentrates on low-fat protein and zero fat dairy. In contrast, the Atkins diet and other such methods of weight loss place no limitations on meat, saturated or dairy fats. Atkins offers packaged foods like shakes and bars but Dukan diet strictly involves natural foods.

Dukan Diet: Is it Effective?

A debate is on whether the Dukan diet is healthy. Critics have branded it as incomplete nutritionally as the diet bans specific food groups. These include fruits and grains. Everything needs to be prepared with care so dieters are wary of the inconvenience factor too. Additionally, this restrictive diet leads to weight loss of only water initially. Rules are not hard to follow, but this diet can be costly to adhere to on account of expenses incurred for protein-rich foods.

Load up on Protein & Follow the Rules

Load up on Protein & Follow the Rules
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All 4 phases of the Dukan diet emphasize certain rules. Even the slightest deviation can prove destructive. Move from all you can eat pure protein during the attack phase to the cruise which permits selected veggies on specific days. In the consolidation phase, more foods are added such as bread and cheese. With few parting rules, during the stabilization stage, weight loss can be easily maintained.

The Rules of Dukan Diet

Dropping 10 pounds in a week and never gaining it back once weight loss has occurred is possible if the Dukan diet rules and regulations are followed. This diet, created in 2000, offers the perfect combination of exercise and a limit on carbs, forcing the body to burn fat. Basically, the diet involves eating a lot of protein and oat bran.

During the first phase of the attack, all the lean protein and 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran coupled with six cups of water is a must. In the cruise phase, every second day, non-starchy veggies and an extra half tablespoon of oat bran can be eaten. In the third phase, the food becomes more varied. But you still have to rely on proteins in conjunction with veggies to maintain the weight loss. Stabilization, which is ongoing, is all about maintenance. During the last two phases, a glass of win is permitted.

Additionally, it is moderately easy to shop, plan and prepare meals on the diet. A daily 20-minute walk is critical for the plan. While vegetarian or vegan diners can easily follow this diet, it should be noted that nuts, beans, and lentils should not be allowed in the diet. Lean meat, fish, shellfish, fat-free dairy, eggs, and poultry are the options for non-veg diners.

Another critical point is that if a low-fat option works well for you, this is essentially a low-fat diet and it involves chiefly gluten-free foods. Another advantage of the diet is the ready community and an official website which offers sample recipes, success stories from dieters and coaching to help you through every stage.

Does the Dukan Diet Work?

The first stages of this diet result in considerable weight loss. This is due to the low ingestion of carbs. Once the goal weight has been reached and you go back to normal eating, some of the weight may be regained. High protein diets are essential for weight loss but there is a big question about whether an all protein diet with moderate exercise is enough to maintain the loss of weight. If you have a health condition, check with the doctor before following the Dukan diet.

Unlike other diets, this diet plan is based on lean protein rather than saturated fat. These type of protein food items are beneficial as they help in weight loss. Lifelong healthy eating habits are a problem, however, as this diet is nutritionally incomplete, according to some medical experts. But if you need to lose a minute amount of weight in short durations, this is the diet to follow. This high protein low carb diet is detailed in Dukan’s book, The Dukan Diet in 2000. Pierre Dukan was developing this diet since the 1970s and it bears some resemblance to the Stillman and Atkins Diets.

Most diets work well. But a majority of the dieters report putting the weight back on when they go back to their previous diet. The benefit of the Dukan diet, however, is that it is a healthy eating plan compared to other diets. It does not warrant extreme weight loss in record time. Rather it helps you to reach your true weight and attain as well as regulate it for the rest of your life.

The attack phase offers a kickstart, while the cruise phase is when you reach this true weight. The consolidation phase is in place to prevent a rebound while the stabilization phase is for life. Research has found the Dukan diet to be effective. Eating a protein-rich meal has positive benefits for weight loss. Increase in calories during the process where fat and protein change into glucose when carbs are restricted, and a high protein diet is ingested or gluconeogenesis is the reason for this. The metabolic rate of the body rises significantly when protein is consumed after eating carbs or fat, resulting in a feeling of fullness and satiety.

Protein also lowers the hunger hormone gherkin which raises the hormones PYY, GLP 1 and CCK that cut hunger and induce fullness, thereby causing the person to eat less. But what makes the Dukan diet unique is that it restricts carbs and fat both. The serving of 1 and a half or 2 tablespoons of oat bran comprise less than 5 grams of fiber initially. Several healthy fiber sources such as avocados and nuts are not included because they are rich in fat. However, the protein composed of amino acids is just what the body needs to lose unhealthy fat. It also slowly digests and keeps people fuller for longer. Carbs, on the other hand, lead to secretion of insulin which controls blood sugar levels and encourages fat storage. Fat satiates the body but is also linked to heart diseases. Dr. Dukan holds that fat cannot be lost by eating fat from other sources.

The Benefits

The Dukan diet is designed to ensure weight loss in a rapid way and it can be immensely motivating. It is prescriptive and offers dieters a strict set of rules. Lack of options makes this diet easy to follow. Additionally, there is no need to count calories or weigh food items. It cuts down on unhealthy fatty as sugar-rich foods as well as alcoholic beverage slow on vitamins and minerals. Dukan cuts down on fat and salt as well.

The Dukan community offers a rich treasure trove of information and you can follow this diet easily for effective outcomes. Though the Dukan diet has its share of detractors, it is essentially a healthy eating plan and if followed under medical supervision, it has the potential to yield considerable weight loss.

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