There is no wrong way to eat a balanced diet. Dukan diet is all about maintaining your diet with the majority of protein and minimum carbs which helps in achieving rapid weight loss. Dukan diet and Atkin’s diet were specifically recommended for rapid weight loss programs and it appeared on the US News and World Report 2016, as the best weight-loss plans.
The entire Dukan diet is broken down into 4 phases.
There are three major diets on a similar line, ‘The Dukan diet, the Atkin’s diet and the Ketogenic diet that primarily follows the principle of limiting carbs intake so that the fat present in a body can be converted into fuel.
What is Dukan diet?
Dukan diet is a high protein, low carbs diet created by Dr. Pierre Dukan, which includes 100 foods, of which the majority are protein-based foods like meat and rest are vegetables. The best part about this diet is that you can eat as much as you want, as long as it is within those selected foods.
There are 4 phases to the Dukan diet, ‘the attack phase’, ‘the cruise phase’, ‘the consolidation phase’, ‘the stabilization phase’. The first two phases are to lose rapid weight loss and the last two are to maintain that weight loss sticking to its true weight.
How it works- various phases of Dukan diet:
The attack phase:
This is the kick start phase of the Dukan diet. During this time more than half, of the food taken is a high protein diet which helps in a noticeable and immediate weight loss.
The cruise phase:
This phase allows you to take only vegetables to achieve your true weight. This diet needs to be maintained between pure protein days and pure vegetable days. This schedule needs to be followed after 3 days of the attack phase.
The consolidation phase:
This is a very important phase as the body is vulnerable by this point and is very likely to jump back to its original weight. This step is basically observed to eliminate the rebound effect and thus consists of eating all the forbidden foods but in restricted quantities. But in between all of this, one day should be still observed as fully protein food day.
The stabilization phase:
This method of the Dukan diet is to be followed to prevent the weight to bounce back. This kind of diet can be maintained for the whole life because eventually, it starts including everything in your normal diet but in controlled proportions. Hence, after the initial weight loss, once the body sheds the extra pounds, a normal diet consisting of everything is recommended. However, three non- negotiable rules need to be followed for the effects of the diet to continue:
- 3 Tablespoons of Oat Branto be consumed each day.
- 20 minutes of nominal exercise preferably walking
- One day of the week should be a pure protein day, preferably mid of the week.
Dukan Diet Vs. Atkin’s Diet Vs. keto Diet
All of these are fairly effective diets that many people follow to rapidly lose weight. But what makes the Dukan diet the best?
Though all three focuses on rapid weight loss and eventually puts the body into a state of ketosis, the Dukan diet has the lowest fat content food inclusions compared to the Atkin’s Diet and Keto Diet.
This starts with the intake of 20 gms a day of carbs followed by an increase of the intake to 100 gms. Because of the foods consumed during this phase has a higher fat content than the food consumed during the Dukan diet, the results vary slightly when it comes to weight loss.
This diet explicitly focusses on keeping the body into ketosis, by consuming less than 20gms of carbs every day so that the body can break down glucose into energy. This diet intends on keeping its focus on fat consumption more rather than protein consumption as excessive protein may convert into glucose putting the body out of ketosis.
Pros and Cons of Dukan diet:
Just like every coin has two faces, Dukan diet has its benefits and detriments.
The key benefit of the Dukan Diet is that it helps in quick successive weight loss, lessens the risk of diseases due to morbid obesity like hypertension diabetes, heart attack, etc.
- Quick weight loss
- All food inclusion
- Filling and satiating
- Weight maintenance
- Extended permanent results
- Easy to follow
- Difficult for vegetarians or vegans
- Possible mineral deficiency
- May impact cardiovascular health
- A strict rule lifelong
- Costly to maintain for longer periods of time.
Pros and Cons explained
The Dukan diet is one of a kind with its own pros and cos. The Dukan Diet is very responsive to rapid weight loss and allows expectations to set in regarding the true weight. This diet along with its inclusions for proteins and Dairy ensures that the person is satiated and the occurrence of hunger pangs and binge eating is reduced to a great extent.
The four phases of the diet ensure that even though the weight loss is quick, it stays that way and all the phases are designed to reinforce weight loss for a longer time. The inclusion of one full protein day despite a normal diet ensures that the body never fully comes back to the comfort zone of gaining weight and keeping the lost weight consistent. The addition of normal food habits towards the end of the fourth phase fulfills the body of its other minerals or carbs that were forbidden before.
Basically, this diet aims at keeping the mind and body happy by preventing recurring hunger pangs leading the body to use the fat as energy thus breaking the fat down leading to weight loss.
However, as a downside, people who are vegetarians or vegans will have a tough time managing and fulfilling this diet because all it has are proteins and, unfortunately selection of similar foods for the diet in a vegetarian category is hard to come across. Also, to top it all, since many foods are restricted, continuing this diet over longer periods of time may create deficiencies that might be difficult to get rid of with age.
Another important factor during this diet is the intake of salts. Salt intake is reduced in this diet to allow the body to cope while getting rid of water retention in a body. This might make the dish less palatable making it hard to stick to the diet.
Therefore, Like the rest of the crash weight loss programs, the Dukan Diet promises a major weight loss during the course of its first stages. But since it is a restrictive diet plan, usually there are some possible problems that might tag along with it.
However, Dukan Diet is a very well-known way of reducing weight and possesses a successful reputation with results in rapid and apparent weight loss which could be very motivating for numerous people.
Overall, this diet doesn’t do any long- term harm if followed to the point with breaks in between. Even though diet plans are never permanent as our usual lifestyles tend to take over our diet eventually, this is one of the best diet plans in a similar line of Keto or Atkin’s diet.
The Dukan diet inclusions: What to eat
The ‘Attack Phase’ is primarily based on high-protein foods, like the following:
- Lean meat.
- Poultry without skin.
- Fish and salmon.
- Non-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.
- 2 litres of compulsory consumption of water per day
- 2 tablespoons of oat bran daily
- Lemon juice can be opted for during this period
- Food should be cooked in a minimal amount of olive oil for maximum benefit
The ‘cruise phase’ should be alternated between every couple of days for max. benefit.
- Spinach, lettuce
- Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts
- Green such as beans, Bell peppers, asparagus, celery, leeks, cucumbers, etc.
- A small serving of carrots or beets daily
- 2 liters of regular consumption of water every day
- 3 tablespoons of oat bran daily.
During the ‘consolidation phase’ phase of the Dukan diet, foods from both the ‘attack’ and ‘cruise’ phases can be consumed together or separately with one day as full protein day to keep the state of body consistent along with the below-mentioned foods.
- Fruit: Watermelon, apple, orange, pear, peach, etc.
- Bread: Whole-grain bread limited to 2 slices per day, along with low-fat sandwich spread.
- Meat: Lean meat.
- During this week, one full three course meal can be eaten with restricted quantities and oil consumption.
The ‘Stabilization Phase’ of the Dukan diet is the final phase and is all about maintaining the body weight with the intention of not gaining back what is lost. This is the phase where all foods that were prohibited during the first three phases are brought in to the diet but in restrictive quantities. To maintain the body as it is, certain rules needs to be followed everyday for the rest of your lives;
- Consumption of 3 litres of water everyday
- Consumption of 3 tablespoons of oats barley to be taken everyday
- Consumption of only proteins during one pure protein day every week.
- 20 minutes of slow body workout like walking everyday
This diet can be a stepping stone for those who has been trying hard to lose weight. This kind of diet brings the body to an optimum condition where it loses its water weight and the body finds glucose, proteins and fats to convert into energy thus helping the body shed those extra kilos.
Some cooking ideas:
- Rather than frying the foods, grilling them is a better option.
- For taste, use of lemon as a marinade is a much viable option as various sauces contain sugars not advisable during this period
- Consumption of too much cheese just because you can, is a good option.
Review of the Dukan Diet:
Even though this diet allows rapid weight loss, including the primary water weight which is sometimes the hardest to lose, this diet is agreed by many as incomplete.
The science behind this diet completely makes sense but the inclusions, exclusions, and difficulty to maintain this diet make it hard to follow. Also, the cost factor comes into play as consumption of only proteins is expensive in the long run.
But the Dukan diet helps to give expected results to many within a quick time. Also, the inclusion of all foods after the fourth phase of the Dukan diet will maintain any lost vitamins and minerals. Because of this, the weight loss experienced by the body during the Dukan diet is said to permanent.
Clearly, this Dukan diet is mostly weight loss-focused. But it doesn’t give you any other benefits since many essential elements required for a balanced diet are missing from the Dukan diet. Even though, eating fewer carbs is the key to obtain rapid weight loss, eliminating it completely might be harmful to the body.
The Dukan Diet is a complex diet system, which does eliminate a lot of healthy foods, leading to high health benefits due to its high protein inclusions. This Dukan diet can be a quick solution towards weight loss, but it may not be a permanent one.
Hence adding a balanced diet on a regular basis is a good way to stay healthy forever.