Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French dietitian, has been advertising the Dukan diet for over 30 years. The Dukan diet is based on protein consumption, and it became popular after the publication of a book called “The Dukan Diet”. This book was sold worldwide in over eight million copies. Dukan Diet promises not only to remove excess weight but also to maintain ideal body weight in the long term.
What Is The Dukan Diet: Principles & Promises
Dukan Diet is allowing over one hundred foods to eat compared to other diets which are very restrictive. Also, you can easily find hundreds of recipes online so you never get bored with what you eat. Dukan Diet consists of four stages: attack, cruise, consolidation, and stabilization, each phase having its own rules. The goal of this diet is not only to lose weight but also to obtain fast results. If followed properly, people may lose up to 7 lb (3kg) in only 5-7 days.
The main principle of this diet is to consume food high in proteins that have fewer calories than food high in carbohydrates, and your body works harder to digest it. Also, when consuming high protein food, your feelings of hunger go away faster and because of this, you end up eating less food. Even if the Dukan Diet is not very restrictive it’s not very easy to follow because it has too many rules. Breaking any of the rules can ruin the whole diet plan.
How Dukan Diet Works: Plan & Rules
All four Dukan diet stages have strict rules and those who breach them fail to lose weight. Even the slightest deviation from the plan can be destructive. The diet starts with the “attack” stage when you can consume as much food rich in protein as you want, then on the “cruise” stage you can eat some vegetables but only on certain days. In the third stage, called “consolidation”, you can start consuming foods that were totally banned in the first two stages, such as cheese and bread. In the last stage of the Dukan diet, called the “stabilization”, the rules are reduced considerably.
1. Dukan Diet Attack Stage
The phase of the Dukan diet attack varies depending on the number of kilograms you want to lose.
– less than 11 lb (5 kg) in 1-2 days
– between 11 lb (5 kg) and 22 lb (10 kg) in 3 days
– between 22 lb (10 kg) and 44 lb (20 kg) in 5 days
– more than 44lb (20 kg) in 10 days
The main rule of the stage is unlimited consumption of lean protein, along with a tablespoon and a half of oat bran and 1.5 liters of water daily. They are allowed all kinds of lean meat, fish, eggs, soy, and dairy fat without being prepared with other fat (oil, butter, etc.). Authorized foods are divided into 10 main categories, the last two being indispensable.
1. Beef lean red meat (grill, rotisserie, muscles) and calf (chop).
2. Animal organs like beef liver, chicken liver, or veal liver, veal or lamb tongue.
3. All kinds of fish, grilled or canned (in own juice or tomato sauce, no oil).
4. Seafood like shrimp, crab, lobster, crawfish, oysters, mussels, clams, shells.
5. Poultry all species of bird, except those with flat beak (goose or duck) and skin.
6. Sausage varieties, turkey, chicken, smoked beef filet, lean ham.
7. Boiled eggs, scrambled eggs cooked without oil (only 3-4 eggs with yolks per week).
8. Dairy fat yogurt, milk or cheese with 0% fat.
9. Water and weak drinks 1.5 liters per day minimum, mandatory for the correct disposal of food waste from the body; coffee, tea, soft drinks unsweetened.
10. Oat bran, a tablespoon and a half every day, consumed with water or yogurt.
Additional food categories permitted in the attack phase
– Sweeteners that does not contain calories (aspartame, stevia, etc.).
– Herbs and spices (pepper, paprika, parsley, basil, onion, garlic, etc.).
– Vinegar is allowed in any quantity.
– Pickles, lemon juice, salt, and mustard can be eaten, but in very small quantities.
– Chewing sugarless gum.
– Goji berries (one tablespoon per day maximum).
Also in the attack phase, it is necessary to perform daily physical activity, as in step brisk walking at least 20 minutes a day.
2. Dukan Diet Cruise Stage
Suggestively called “Cruise”, the second stage of the Dukan diet alternate days of pure protein consumption with days with consumption of some vegetables with no starch. In this phase, Dukan dieters should lose about 3.3 lb (1.5 kg) per week.
The alternation between the days solely with protein and the days with protein and vegetables is variable. It depends on the goal of each dieter and how many pounds (kilograms) they wish to lose. For example, if you want to lose more than 22 lb (10 kg) alternate 1 day of protein only with 1 day of protein and vegetable for optimal results.
People who want to lose less than 22 lb (10 kg) are advised to alternate the two, from 5 to 5 days. The duration of this phase is:
– 20 weeks if your goal is to lose about 44 lb (20kg);
– 10 weeks if your goal is to lose about 22 lb (10 kg);
– 3 weeks if your goal is to lose less than 11 lb (5 kg);
Regarding foods allowed in the Cruise stage, they remain the same as in the Attack phase, without any restriction on quantities. On the days when combining protein with vegetables (raw or cooked), you can consume: tomatoes, cucumber, radish, spinach, asparagus, leek, green beans, cabbage, mushrooms, celery, fennel, lettuce, eggplant, zucchini, pepper, carrots (not at every meal), beets (not at every meal).
Starchy vegetables (starchy) are prohibited in the cruise phase of the Dukan diet: potatoes, rice, corn, pea, beans, lentils, couscous.
Vegetables can be eaten raw in salads (oil is replaced with paraffin or non-fat yogurt sauce) or cooked (cooked in the juice of poultry meat/fish, steamed or cooked on the grill).
In the cruise phase, the dose of oat bran increases to 2 tablespoons per day and daily movement is obligatory, 30-minute walk daily. If the weight loss process is stagnating, it’s required 60 minutes of fast walking for 4 days to accelerate your metabolic rate. At least 1.5 liters of water daily consumption remain mandatory in the Cruise phase.
3. Dukan Diet Consolidation Stage
The third stage of the Dukan diet is called “Consolidation” and allows unlimited consumption of protein (including pork and lamb) and vegetables brought in the daily menu, along with a serving of fruit with low sugar, two slices whole-grain bread and strong cheese.
It is also allowed a serving or two of starchy foods (potatoes, beans, peas, lentils, rice, pasta, corn, etc.) and one or two meals a week in which you can eat any of your favorite foods.
At this stage, you start making a commitment to respecting the life of the protein-based menu described in the Attack phase, one day a week, preferably always the same. At this point, your goal is achieved, you have the desired weight and you need only to maintain it in the long-term, and prevent the gaining of extra weight.
The Consolidation stage lasts 5 days for every pound (0.5 kg) lost. It’s considered that during this time your body is vulnerable and can regain the lost weight.
4. Dukan Diet Stabilization Stage
Just as its name suggests, the stabilization stage lasts ideally for life. Once they reached the desired weight and formed an eating discipline, people who have followed the Dukan diet can start eating any food they wish, but they still must follow three essential rules:
– The “Attack” phase menu needs to be followed one day a week.
– Exercise every day (half an hour of walking, climbing stairs, etc.).
– Consumption of at least a tablespoon of oat bran every day.
Dukan diet partisans have developed a complex set of tasty recipes that follow the principles of the plan designed by doctor Pierre Dukan. These food recipes can be placed in any healthy lifestyle, not only for those following the Dukan diet.
According to the author of this diet, Pierre Dukan, the “Stabilization” stage should be followed your entire life if you want to keep your ideal weight forever.
Disadvantages: Dangers & Warnings
Despite the popularity gained by the Dukan diet, there are opinions that contradict the benefits it brings to your health. Experts say that this diet cannot be considered one of the healthiest nutritional programs. As emphasizes animal protein, the Dukan diet is not accepted by consumers who love carbohydrates and also it can not be adapted to a vegan lifestyle.
Since radically restricting carbohydrate intake, the Dukan diet forces the body to use fat stores for energy. So the body goes into a state which can trigger a number of diseases, such as gout or kidney dysfunctions.
Other doctors say that rapid weight loss and very high protein intake can lead to the formation of gallstones and muscle mass decrease, with the elimination of accelerated fluid from the tissues and fat accumulated in excess.
Constipation, bad breath, dry mouth, and fatigue are warning signals that experts cannot ignore when it assesses the extent the Dukan diet is really beneficial for long-term health.
Other hazards associated with the Dukan diet are raising cholesterol because animal foods consumed mainly accumulation of gas in the intestines strong smell of urine, nutrient deficiencies and fattening fast if returning to bad eating habits follow immediately after the first phase of the Dukan diet.
Advantages: Benefits & Results
On the other hand, the advantages are that the Dukan diet food plan recommends healthy lifestyle practices, such as what types of proteins are beneficial, encouraging daily physical exercise and reducing salt intake. In addition, water consumption involves a daily dose of oat bran which can promote good health through sufficient hydration of the body and detoxify it.
Dukan Diet is a worthy alternative to consider for people who need a good nutritional plan structured to meet the principles of healthy nutrition and life in general.
Another advantage of the Dukan diet is that the stages respect the psychology of people who are subject to a food diet, helping them to not give up the mission to lose weight and giving them the motivation to continue by rewarding their efforts.
Dukan diet tends to work especially in people gourmand, allowing unlimited consumption of protein and excluding hunger completely. For this reason, the success rate is high among those who can not cope with extreme caloric restriction or starvation.
Dukan diet is effective in quick weight loss and in preventing obesity, which leads to increased susceptibility to developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke.
How much the Dukan Diet costs?
The Dukan Diet can be easily followed because most of the foods required to follow it can be easily found in the market and they are also not very expensive. Compared to other diet plans, Dukan is much more affordable. The average budget spent per day can range between $10 and $20 per day.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.