This diet will help you lose weight if you consume lots of protein, and limit your carb and fat intake.
The Dukan diet was developed by the French doctor Pierre Dukan. This protein-based diet plan is based on scientific findings that proteins are filling, take more time to digest and don’t have that many calories per serving. Carbs are limited, so the body is forced to burn fat, which will lead to weight loss.
This diet is very strict. There are 4 stages you must follow exactly: attack, cruise, consolidation and stabilization.
This phase is super high protein. You can eat as much protein as you’d like. You should only eat meats that have no more than 5% fat. This includes chicken and turkey meat (no skin and wings), beef, rabbit, veal (no rib), fish, low-fat ham, shellfish, eggs (only 2 per day, unlimited egg whites, restrict yolks if suffering from high-cholesterol problems), low-fat dairy products, water, calorie free drinks and 1.5 TBSP of oat bran. You can use different spices to help with seasoning your preferred proteins. Most dieters lose 4-7 pounds during this phase.
This phase incorporates the addition of vegetables – mainly non-starchy ones. You should alternate attack phase days with cruise phase days during this phase. There are 3 ways you can do this, and they are explained in the Rules below. Weight loss of about 2-4 pounds a week is average.
This is sort of a maintenance period. You’re taking what you’ve learned and aiming to keep the pounds off. This phase could last a long time – it all depends on how much weight you’ve lost. You stay on it 5 days for each pound.
Permanent Stabilization Phase
This final phase is noted as the way you should eat for the rest of your life. You can eat anything you’d like as long as you use what you learned in the last phase.
- You’ll stay on the Attack Phase (PP – pure protein) for 1-10 days, depending on how much you have to lose. You’ll eat as many proteins as you’d like, low-fat dairy products, water, calorie free drinks and 1.5 TBSP of oat bran during this time. Follow the allowed foods guidelines exactly! No other foods allowed.
- During the Cruise phase you’ll add in vegetable days (PV – pure vegetables). Alternating days of pure protein (PP) and pure vegetables (PV) is required. It doesn’t have to be every other day you switch off 1PP + 1PV – although this is the easiest option. You can also try doing 5PP+5PV – this is alternating what you eat every 5 days, which is the hardest. The last way to alternate is 2PP +5PV, which is 2 pure protein days and 5 pure veggie days and repeating that. Follow one of the patterns above and continue this pattern until you reach your goal weight. Eat only foods on the allowed lists. Also, you must now eat 2 TBSP oat bran each day.
- Consolidation phase lasts 5 days for every pound you’ve lost. You can eat as much protein and veggies as you’d like and mix them as you please now. You can also add 1 ½ oz. of cheese a day, 2 slices of whole-grain bread and 1 portion of fruit per day. Each week you can add 2 servings of pasta or quinoa to a meal and you’re allowed 3 protein indulgences (examples are: leg of lamb, roast pork and cooked ham). Stick with the 2 TBSP required oat bran a day. You’re also allowed 1 or 2 “celebration” meals of your choice. In the celebration meal, do not overeat and do not have celebration meals back to back. Once a week you should have pure protein (PP) only. On this day, you can only eat from the list provided in the attack phase.
- During the Permanent Stabilization Phase you eat what you want, taking into mind what you’ve learned during this diet. The only additions are one day per week you should follow the Attack phase of pure protein, 3 TBSP of oat bran a day, and exercise 20 minutes a day.
Exercise is required for a minimum of 20 minutes during Attack phase, 30-60 minutes in Cruise phase, 25 minutes in Consolidation phase and 20 minutes in Stabilization phase. One can increase duration for 30 minutes as tolerated. Exercises recommended include (but aren’t limited to): walking, running, calisthenics and many others.
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- It is an effective way to lose weight with a different kind of approach. A good way to jumpstart a different lifestyle.
- There is a good chance of attaining lean body mass especially when combined with exercise.
- A celebration day is allowed, once you reach your goal weight, in which the dieter can choose any foods desired. This is a great way to congratulate your self for reaching goals, and avoid any feeling of food deprivation.
- It may be hard to follow guidelines in the beginning as eating only proteins at first might become boring.
- It may cause temporary side effects due to changes of the diet. Some of which are flatulence, stomach discomforts, constipation and many others.
- It will be a long-term lifestyle change, but might take some getting used to.