The Dukan diet is a four-phase weight loss diet plan than is characterized by a low-carb, high protein diet. Named after its creator Dr. Pierre Dukan, the Dukan diet originated from French as early as the 1970s and has since then recorded success reports of rapid and permanent weight loss without hunger. Long post Alert
Weight loss is fast becoming (if it isn’t already) a trend in today’s society. Everyone is looking up diets or lifestyle changes that induce fast weight loss. Diverse groups have come up with diet plans that claim to be fast and efficient among which is the Dukan diet.
Though the Dukan diet has striking similarities with some other diet plans like the Atkins diet, Stillman diet, and Keto diet which are low-carb, high protein in nature, it still stands out in respect to the four distinct phases and the absence of high-fat meals. The duration of each phase is relative in the sense that it is dependent on how much weight the individual needs to lose and keep off.
THE FOUR PHASES OF THE DUKAN DIET:
- PHASE 1: Attack phase
The first phase is known as the attack phase and normally lasts for at least 1 to 7 or 10 days. During this period you’ll stick to lean proteins, 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran, and about 6 glasses of water per day. It is mostly based on high-protein foods. Here are foods that may be consumed in this phase; lean meat, fish, eggs, poultry (without the skin), lemon and pickles.
- PHASE 2: Cruise phase
The second phase unlike the first phase runs into months. It may extend between 1 to 12 months (again this all depends on individual goals). For the duration of this phase, there will be an alternate plan where one day will consist of all lean protein and the next will be non-starchy veggies. Instead of 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran, it will be 2 tablespoons of oat bran daily. Here’s a list of non-starchy veggies you may consume on the alternate days; spinach, broccoli, kale, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, pumpkin (ugu), and onions.
- PHASE 3: Consolidation phase: Just like the name implies, the consolidation phase is a phase where you get to celebrate your victories and compensate your body for all its hard work. Its duration has been nicknamed “5 days for every pound lost”. This means multiplying the number of pounds you lost during phase 1 and 2 by 5. Your result is the duration of this phase for you in days. For the duration of the consolidation phase, you may take unlimited lean protein, non-starchy veggies, some carbs and fat, and 2.5 tablespoons of oat bran per day. There should also be a day in each week strictly for lean proteins. You have permission to mix meals from phase 1 and 2 with limited portions of the following; fruit, cheese, grains, legumes, sweet potato, meat.
Now for the fun part; this phase allows 2 celebration meals per week. This includes; appetizer, main dish, dessert, and even a glass of wine. This is simply a pat on the back for a job well done.
- PHASE 4: Stabilization phase
If you’ve gotten to this stage, thumbs up. This stage has no duration. It is indefinite. The significant change from the consolidation phase is the absence of celebration meals and the increase in the quantity of oat bran per day. Instead of 2.5 tablespoons, it becomes 3 tablespoons per day.
This phase is focused on keeping the weight off, maintaining what you’ve achieved so far and keeping it in check. This is where you begin to apply discipline. No foods are completely off the table but there are things you should consider. They include;
- Plan your meals using the consolidation phase as a basic framework
- Include exercise routines
- Engage in more physical activities
- Maintain one day per week for strictly lean protein meals
- Stay hydrated
- Take the required 3 tablespoons of oat bran daily.
DOES DUKAN DIET WORK?
Is the Dukan diet an effective weight loss tool? Is it safe? Is it sustainable? These are few among many questions most people have about the Dukan diet. Let’s try and clear it up.
Is the Dukan diet an effective weight loss tool?
The Dukan diet is protein based. Protein is no doubt beneficial to weight loss. With the restriction on carb meals the body goes through glucogenesis (a process where protein and fat are transformed into glucose). This process makes sure that every stored up fat in the body is used by the body as fuel.In addition, protein boosts the body’s metabolic rate and gives a feeling of satiety. It decreases the hunger hormone (ghrelin) leading to less cravings and ultimately leading to less food consumption.
Is it safe?
A very high intake of protein may lead to kidney damage especially for people with existing kidney problems. It could worsen their situation. It is very important to consult with your doctor before going on with this diet.
Is it sustainable?
The Dukan diet may be restrictive in nature and has quite a number of rules that are to be followed. It may prove hard to be sustained because this plan has no room for flexibility. People have shared their fears of gaining the weight they lost back during the fourth stage. There are also concerns regarding the restriction of high fat foods.
The initial stages of the Dukan diet may result in dizziness, insomnia, constipation, nausea, and bad breath. These symptoms may start fading at the 3rd phase but it is wise to speak with your doctor through all the stages and discuss any body changes you may have noticed.
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