Dukan Diet Overview
The Dukan Diet is a high-protein diet designed to help individuals lose weight using extreme protein-rich meals along with a healthy dose of fat and little carbohydrates.
The Basics of the Dukan Diet
The diet was developed by French physician Pierre Dukan to help his patients lose weight fast and to redesign eating habits to stabilize weight for long-term success. Let’s look into the Dukan diet and how it works.
Dukan Diet Phases
There are two phases in the Dukan Diet. The first phase is the “attack phase”, and how long it lasts depends on how much weight you need to lose.
For most people who want to lose 20 to 40 pounds, the attack phase will last about five days, and you can eat all the protein rich foods you want.
Allowed foods in this phase will include meat, fish, poultry, non-fat dairy, eggs, pork, game meats. You can also eat oat bran, and beverage consumption is limited to water and non-caloric drinks.
As you can tell, you are not eating carbohydrates during the phase, which puts your body into a state of ketosis. According to a recent NIH report, a ketogenic diet may protect the body against neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
After the Attack Phase, you’ll begin the Cruise phase. This phase will require you to continue eating mostly protein, although certain vegetables are included on certain days. Most dieters lose between two and four pounds on a weekly basis, provided they can follow the diet’s strict protocol.
An online survey of 1500 respondents found that the average dieter lose almost 16 pounds on average during the first two phases. However, there are two more phases.
The Final Two Phases
The third phase is the consolidation phase. This phase requires that you stay in this phase five days for every pound you’ve lost in the first two phases. You should also split the time into two mini-phases, so if you need to stay on in this phase for 60 days total, you should have two mini 30 day slits.
The first part you should add a fruit, some whole grain bread, and some cheese. Once a week you can splurge on a “cheat meal” and eat a starchy vegetable. A glass of wine, a dessert, or another appetizer that may not be very good for you is also allowed.
The second part enables you to move up to two fruits per day, as well as starch vegetables, and two cheat meals. You should take 2 tablespoons of oat bran a day.
Finally, you’ve reached the stabilization phase. You can celebrate making it this far and you should continue to regulate your diet. You should eat at least 3 tablespoons of oat bran daily, and once or twice a week, you should eat ONLY protein like you did in the Attack phase.
The Big Problem
While this diet does encourage healthy fiber consumption in the form of oat bran, it does forget to include the most common diet advice today – to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. For people who have a lot of weight to lose though, the Dukan diet may force them to stay in the low-fiber portion of the diet for to long.
Studies have shown that high fiber intake can protect against various diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. An NIH study over a 14 year period studied 50,000 Japanese adults and found that those who consumed more fiber on a daily basis had a decreased risk of cardiovascular disorders.
There are still many advantages to the Dukan diet. High protein diets to help to improve insulin response, which is helpful for anybody with blood sugar problems. Keeping carbohydrate consumption low (or even non-existent), is also good for stabilizing blood glucose levels. It may also help reduce cholesterol levels and help stabilize triglyceride levels in the blood stream.
The USDA still advises that you keep saturated fat consumption lower, since saturated fat consumption may contribute to high cholesterol and cardiovascular issues.
The USDA also claims a plant-based diet is better for weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels, and lowering blood pressure, although the Dukan diet still has shown promising results in all three areas.
Final Thoughts On The Dukan Diet
The Dukan Diet is a diet that can work for people who enjoy eating lean protein meats and fish, and although it had strict dietary measures, it does manage to deliver results. The diet is not a short-term diet by any means, and you should expect to dedicate months on the diet, which can be difficult.
Your best bet to lose weight is still to focus on a plant-based diet, which has shown to improve overall health – not just to encourage weight loss. However, if you want jumpstart weight loss, or can’t get access to many vegetables for any reason, the Dukan diet may be something you could consider.