The Dukan Diet

Foods associated with a Dukan Diet.
Image by Oleksandr Prokopenko. c/o

Overview Of the Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet is an example of a high protein and low carbohydrate diet. It was devised by Pierre Dukan. It is a classic high protein, low carb diet which revolves around 100 approved foods. It is not that well known in the USA but is certainly popular throughout Europe. Typically it is high on fruit abe vegetables, mainly lean protein and whole grains especially bread. Pierre Dukan designed primarily for weight loss but without forcing the issue.

The plan has four defined phases: Attack, Cruise, Consolidation, and Stabilization. .

This one doesn’t rely on calorie counting as such because there is no limit of how much food is eaten during each of the phases. The key aspect is to follow the rules of the plan and be strict about it. The objective is to achieve a loss of about 2 pounds in weight per week.

Advocates reckon that long-term weight management is also more easily stuck to although it is advised by dieting bodies that the diet is only to be followed for a short term. People who have followed this diet reckon they lose weight very quickly which is highly encouraging. The diet is strict- extremely so and because of this, very prescriptive which means motivation to lose weight must be high in the first place.

Celebrity Endorsement: Kate Middleton (Duchess Of Cambridge), Jennifer Lopez, Gisele Bündchen.

Phase 1 Of The Dukan Diet – The Attack Phase

A strict lean high-protein diet. The Dukam Diet lists 72 low-fat, protein rich foods. These include poultry meats like turkey, chicken. Eggs, fish and fat-free diary are also included.

Phase 1 is followed for five days so that rapid weight loss is achieved. The absence of any carbohydrates means that the body follows a type of keto diet although some fiber from oat bran is permitted. The Atkins diet allows vegetables and consumption of fat. The Dukan Diet says vegetables and fat are strictly off-limits.

Further Phases.

The next three phases allow for the gradual and managed introduction of vegetables, fruit and some carbohydrates until all foods are back on the menu. There is no limit on the final phase.

The Cruise phase is where the diet moves to a mix of high-protein foods and the approved list of vegetables.

The Consolidation Phase is all about mixing and matching foods from the first two phases, as well as incorporating two slices of whole grain bread per day, a cup of fruit, and small amounts of cheese, starches, roasted lamb, pork, or ham, and some celebration meals. 

There is a protein-only day once a week. Regular exercise must be followed to encourage fat burning.

The diet is easy to follow and there is no food weighing or calorie counting which is a plus for many dieters. In the first two weeks of this diet, there is no restriction on how much is eaten but it must be low-salt, low-fat and high-protein.

The last phase, known as the Stabilization Phase focuses on implementing everything dieters learned from the first three phases to ensure the diet is effective over longer periods of time. . 

The Issues With The Dukan Diet

Dieters with this type of diet can experience some unpleasant side effects such as tiredness, dry mouth, dizziness, insomnia, really bad breath from ketone bodies and nausea because it cuts out carbohydrates. there is a problem with constipation because there is no fruit and vegetables or wholegrains.

The BDA does not advocate this diet for the long-term because it is generally unhealthy and unsustainable. It is fair to say that there are some healthy foods which are just plainly banned. There is some acknowledgement that the weight loss is rapid and would be motivational.

Interestingly, some dietitians consider the diet to be one that is justifiable because it is a condition that many might fall into without issue. The diet is not nutritionally balanced because vitamin supplements and fibre are also needed. Long-term adherence to this type of diet could cause long-term health issues if it isn’t followed properly. On of the problems is lack of variety in the early phases which risks boredom and a willingness to just give up – fair point !

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