This article provides basic information on the Dukan Diet Plan and in case you have any specific medical conditions, it is recommended to consult your doctor before starting it.
What is the Dukan Diet Plan?
The Dukan Diet Plan is a weight loss method created 10 years ago by the well known French nutritionist and physician, Pierre Dukan.
Initially, the Dukan Diet book has been sold only in France, but since 2010 it became available also in the UK and recently, in 2011, it has been officially released in the USA as well.
The Dukan Diet Plan promises to help you achieve the desired weight quickly and maintain the results on a long-term basis. Let’s take a look at what exactly it is based on.
- The Dukan Diet Plan focuses on consuming foods that the human species evolved on, meaning proteins, vegetables and fruits, and it is based on a list of 100 allowed foods. 72 are animal protein foods, while the remaining 28 are vegetables.
- The Dukan Diet Plan is therefore fully concentrated on eating high protein foods, while forbidding the consumption of carbohydrates throughout the initial stage. The carbohydrates are slowly re-introduced during following phases.
- This low-carb and protein based diet is focused on the principle that by consuming proteins we eat less because they make us feel fuller, and on the fact that our body burns more calories to digestproteins than many other foods.
- The Dukan Diet Plan does not involve any calorie counting. It allows you to eat as much as you want from the allowed foods list, which is strictly specified for each diet phase.
- In conclusion, Dr. Dukan believes that we can not live on a regime that consists of measured portions, weighed amounts of food and a limited calorie intake. His goal was to create an effective weight loss plan that will not deprive dieters of the pleasure of eating food.
How Does the Dukan Diet Plan Work?
The Dukan Diet Plan consists of 4 consecutive phases:
The Dukan Diet Plan begins with a short kick-start phase, which usually lasts 5 days, but it can be either shorter or longer, depending on the amount of weight you need to lose. Between 7 and 10 pounds are however expected to be lost during the attack stage.
Throughout this phase, dieters can eat only proteins in limitless quantities and with seasonings that do not contain fats and carbohydrates. One and a half tablespoon of oat bran is permitted each day and at least 1½ liter of water should be drunk on a daily basis. Calorie-free beverages, such as coffee, tea and diet soda are allowed.
The Dukan Diet Plan protein foods include:
- Lean meat – fish (raw, cooked, baked or broiled), skinless poultry (except for the goose and duck), lean cured meats (beef, veal and rabbit)
- Fat-free dairy products and up to 2 eggs per day
Dieters may experience bad breath during this stage, but this can be reduced by consuming greater amounts of water.
This the phase in which you cruise toward your target weight and you stay in it until you reach your ideal shape. Dieters are expected to lose around 2 pounds peer week in this stage.
- During this phase you should alternate 1 to 5 days of pure proteins with 1 to 5 days of vegetables and proteins.
- The 28 vegetables that are introduced in this stage can be eaten in desired quantities and they include:
Artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage (white, red, Savoy, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprout), carrots, celery, chicory, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, French beans / string beans / mange tout, leeks, mushrooms, onion, palm heart, peppers, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb, salad leaves (all types), soy beans, spinach, Swede, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnip, zucchini.
Carrots and beets are allowed in limited quantities, due to their high amount of sugar, while starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, lentils, peas and beans, are not permitted.
- The oat bran intake is increased to 2 tablespoons a day. Quantities of water remain the same.
This phase is the first part of the maintenance stage and it starts once you have achieved your desired weight. In this period, carbohydrates are gradually re-introduced into your diet.
Your meals will still be based on proteins and vegetables, but now you are also allowed 1 fruit (better if watery fruits like watermelon, cantelope, apples, etc) and 2 slices of whole grain bread a day.
This phase comprises also 1 “celebration meal” per week, when you can eat any food of your choice, pasta and rice included. After you have passed a longer period of time in the Consolidation phase, these meals can be increased to 2 times a week.
This is the final maintenance phase, in which you focus on keeping your ideal weight on a permanent basis. It encourages you to gradually increase your portions of carbohydrates, including small amounts of cheese and starchy fruits and vegetables. This phase requires one day a week of pure protein, to help maintain weight.
However, during the other 6 days, you should never really exaggerate with amounts of carbohydrates and you should continue to use the basic rules of the Consolidation phase as your dietary guideline.
The Dukan Diet Plan Exercise Recommendations
Regular daily exercise is considered to be an important part of the Dukan Diet Plan.
Dieters are instructed to walk briskly for 20 minutes each day during the Attack phase and increase it to 25 minutes in the Consolidation stage.
The Cruise phase requires 30 minutes of daily walking, while in the stabilization phase you can go back to 20 minutes. If you have missed doing walking exercises for a longer period of time, you should take 60 minutes long walks for 4 days.
People who follow this diet are also encouraged to undertake a few simple lifestyle changes, such as taking the steps instead of the elevator and walking instead of taking the bus or the car, if possible.
This diet plan recommends also doing a number of muscle building exercises, which are all described in the Dukan Diet book.