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The Dukan Diet was developed by French nutritionist and medical doctor Pierre Dukan over ten years ago and has gained incredible popularity since its creation.
According to media reports over 1.5 million French women rely on the diet to maintain their figures and apparently it has also been used by models and celebrities including Giselle Bundchen and Jennifer Lopez.
Until recently the diet has only been available in France but the English version of The Dukan Diet officially went of sale in 2010. In the UK it immediately went to the top of Amazon’s diet book list, and the online program is now available. The Duken Diet officially released in the USA in April 2011.
Dukan Diet Basics
The Dukan Diet is based around eating high-protein foods while severely limiting all carbohydrates including fruits, starchy vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Unlike the Atkins diet the emphasis is on sources of protein that are low in fat such as fish, poultry and reduced-fat dairy products.
Phase 1: The Attack Phase
The first phase of Dukan is followed for one to ten days depending on how much weight you have to lose. Dieters are told they can expect to lose between seven and ten pounds within the first five days.
- During this phase dieters consume only protein foods that may be seasoned with condiments that do not contain fat or carbohydrates such as vinegar, mustard, salt, herbs and spices.
- Calorie-free drinks including water, coffee, tea and diet soda are also permitted
- You can include one and a half tablespoons of oatmeal each day.
Dieters are warned that they may experience bad breath and a dry mouth during this phase.
Phase 2: The Cruise Phase
- In this phase of the Dukan Diet, days of protein only are alternated with days of protein and vegetables.
- The types of vegetables allowed in this phase are limited to those that do not contain starch such as lettuce, spinach, celery, cucumber, asparagus and tomato.
- Vegetables can be consumed raw, steamed, or in soups and stews.
This phase is followed until you reach your target weight. Dieters can expect to lose up to two pounds a week on this phase.
Phase 3: The Consolidation Phase
This is the maintenance phase and commences once you have achieved your goal weight.
- You will continue to base your diet on protein and vegetables but are also allowed one portion of fruit as well as two slices of whole-grain bread each day.
- You are permitted one extra serving of carbs per week, which may include foods like pasta or rice.
- In this phase of the Dukan Diet you are also allowed one ‘celebration meal’ each week, which is increased to twice a week after you have been in phase three for a while.
Phase 4: The Stabilization Phase
This is the ongoing lifestyle phase of the Dukan Diet. In this phase you are instructed to go back to eating whatever you like while continuing to use the rules of the Consolidation Phase as a guideline. One day of the week dieters are instructed to eat only protein.
Dukan Diet Made Easy
Some complaints about The Dukan Diet is that it is too complicated. The folks at Dukan took this to heart and created a new plan called Duken Diet Made Easy. It offers an easy way to do this diet and includes all the tools needed for success.
Lean beef, lean ham, rabbit, veal, chicken liver, chicken breast, turkey, fish, seafood, fat-free yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, skim milk. egg whites, tofu, seitan, green vegetables, onions, herbs and spices, mustard, sugar-free ketchup, oat bran, coffee, tea, diet soda, Stevia, Silverspoon Sweetener, sugar-free chewing gum.
Sample Dukan Diet Meal Plan
The following is an example of a meal plan for a protein and vegetable day in phase two:
8 oz non-fat cottage cheese
4 oz non-fat yogurt
1 slice ham
Exercise is considered an essential component of The Dukan Diet and is non-negotiable. Dieters must walk briskly for twenty minutes each day in phase one and this is increased to thirty minutes a day in phase two.
Costs and Expenses
In the UK: The Dukan Diet retails for £12.99.
In the USA: The Dukan Diet retails for $26.00.
The Dukan Diet is now selling snack bars, cookies, soups, and supplements via their website. They range from $7-$23.
- Fast results in the initial stages can help to boost motivation.
- Does not require calorie counting.
- Includes vegetarian options.
- Includes a meal plan and recipes.
- In the final phases of Dukan the ‘celebration meals’ can help psychologically to improve adherence to the diet.
- Highly restrictive and requires elimination of many healthy foods including fruit, grains, legumes and nuts.
- Some dieters do not respond well to low carbohydrate diets like Dukan and can experience fatigue and mood swings.
- Many dieters experience constipation, headaches and bad breath on high-protein diets.
- Not suitable for those with a history of gout, high cholesterol, kidney disease or eating disorders.
- Dietary boredom is highly likely due to the limited food choices, especially for those who don’t enjoy eating animal products.
- Encourages consumption of artificial sweeteners and diet soda.
Basically a Low Fat, High Protein Diet
The Dukan Diet is an extreme approach that emphasizes low-fat protein. While dieters can expect to lose weight following this plan, it is highly likely that weight will be regained upon a return to normal eating habits.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
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Last Reviewed: January 17, 2018