Have you ever heard of the Dukan Diet?
The creator of the Dukan diet, Pierre Dukan, has claimed that with this diet, you can lose five kilograms in a week and never regain the weight. Pierre Dukan invented his diet in 2000 and decided to put his name on it. Lean protein, oat bran, a daily 20-minute walk, and drinking water form the main structure of Dukan’s diet. The agenda of this diet is to limit carbohydrates and force the body to burn fat.
In the Dukan diet, you can eat any amount of food you like, but only if that food is on the list of allowed items. The Dukan diet is a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates that is divided into four stages.
How does the Dukan diet work?
Dukan’s diet is divided into two stages of weight loss and two stages of stabilization. The Dukan Diet first calculates your target weight based on your age, weight loss history, and other factors.
How long you stay in each phase of the Dukan diet depends on the amount of weight you want to lose.
These are the four stages of Dukan’s diet:
- Attack Phase: For one to ten days, you eat unlimited amounts of low-fat protein with one and a half tablespoons of oat bran and at least six cups of water.
- Cruise phase: Every day, you add a lot of non-starchy vegetables and half a tablespoon of oat bran to your diet. (It can take several months.)
- Stabilization Phase: Every day you have vegetables plus a piece of fruit, two slices of whole grain bread, and a serving of cheese. Also, during this period, you can eat one or two meals of starchy foods and one or two free meals (whatever you like).
- Final Consolidation Phase: You can eat anything you like except for one day a week when you have to eat all protein foods according to the attack phase. At this stage, you have three tablespoons of oat bran and 20 minutes of walking a day.
Food dos and don’ts in the Dukan diet
Each stage of Dukan’s diet has its own nutritional pattern. In the following, we see what foods can be eaten at each stage.
The attack phase consists mainly of protein-rich foods plus a few additional foods that are very low in calories:
- Low-fat red meat
- Skinless chicken
- Liver, kidney, and tongue
- Fish (all types)
- Fat-free dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cream cheese, and ricotta cheese (limit one kilogram per day)
- At least 1.5 liters of water during the day
- 5 tablespoons (9 grams) of oat bran
- There is no point in consuming any amount of artificial sugar or edible gelatin.
- A small amount of lemon juice and pickled cucumber
- A teaspoon of oil daily to grease the pan
This stage alternates between the two days. Once the dieter is limited to attack phase foods, on the second day he can use attack phase foods and the following list of vegetables:
- Spinach, cabbage, lettuce, and other leafy vegetables
- Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts
- Bell pepper
- Mushroom tomato
- Green Beans
- Onions, chives, and shallots
- A serving of carrots or beets daily
- Two tablespoons (12 grams) of oat bran daily
It is not allowed to use other vegetables and fruits. Also, apart from the same one teaspoon of oil, no other fat should be included in the program.
During this phase, dieters can combine and consume food from the attack and cruise phases, including:
- Fruit: one serving of fruit per day, such as one cup (100 grams) of berries or cantaloupe, one medium apple, an orange, a pear, a peach, or a nectarine, or two kiwis, black plums, or apricots.
- Bread: daily, two slices of whole grain bread with a small amount of butter.
- Cheese: one serving of cheese daily (40 grams)
- Starches: one or two servings per week, such as 225 grams of pasta and other grains (corn, beans, legumes, rice, or potatoes).
- Meat: Grilled lamb once or twice a week.
- Free meals: two free meals a week, including an appetizer, main course, dessert, and a glass of drink.
- Protein meals: one day should be completely protein-based. The dieter is allowed to use attack-phase foods.
- Oat bran: 2.5 tablespoons daily (15 grams)
final stabilization stage
This stage is the last part of Dukan’s diet. The purpose of this step is to consolidate the results obtained from the previous sections.
At this stage, no food is forbidden, but there are principles that you must follow:
- Use this step as a framework for your meal planning.
- Consume only protein one day per week.
- When you can use the stairs, never use the escalator or elevator.
- Oat bran is your friend. Take three tablespoons (17.5 grams) every day.
Should we follow the Dukan diet or not?
How much do you like rules and restrictions? If you want to be told exactly what to do, the Dukan diet has exactly such instructions.
Also, although the stages of restricting foods are short, do not underestimate this restriction because it really challenges willpower.
So far, there has been no testing on the safety of Dukan’s diet. However, there are concerns about kidney and bone health due to the high protein intake.
In the past, it was thought that high protein consumption can damage the kidneys, but recent research has shown that high protein consumption is not harmful for people with kidney problems, as long as you use vegetables and fruits rich in potassium.
A diet rich in protein cannot pose a risk to bone health.
In fact, recent studies have shown that high protein consumption has positive effects on bone health. People with chronic diseases should talk to their doctor before using the Dukan diet.
The Dukan diet can be used for weight loss, but it is very difficult to follow it long-term. The best way is to use a balanced diet and create sustainable habits and lifestyles.