The question is, how does the dukan diet work? The “Dukan” diet was coined after a French nutritionist and dietitian Pierre Dukan who developed a weight management program based on high protein and low carbohydrates without hunger.
The diet plan is likened to the eating patterns of ancient hunter gatherers. It includes a list of 100 food choices, 28 of which are plant-based and the remaining 72 are animal based. The dieter may choose from any of these listed food choices and eat as many as they can for as long as they stick to the food list.
The diet program has 4 phases. The Attack Phase, Cruise Phase, Consolidation Phase and the Stabilization Phase. Created in 2000, the diet program claims that dieters are able to lose as much as 10 pounds within a week while doing the program consistently.
During the Attack Phase, the dieter should aim to lose 4-6 pounds for a period of 2-10 days. This phase is devised to quicken the body’s metabolism. The dieter at this phase may only eat lean protein. Counting calories is not necessary during this phase. But the dieter should be careful to eat only lean protein with low fat composition. Cottage Cheese, beef, soy, chicken, eggs or fish will do.
At the Attack Phase, the dieter is advised to stay away from meats that are added with sugar. As a source of carbohydrates, a 1.5 tablespoon of oat bran is allowed. This can be a good source of fiber and can help suppress appetite as it quickly absorbs water and increases 20 times its size. Importantly, the dieter must take in at least 1.5 liters of water a day.
The second phase is Cruise Phase. During this time the dieter may choose to eat from 28 listed vegetables and no fruits. The phase extends until the dieter attains the weight goal of losing 2.2 pounds a week. The target here is to lose at least 20 pounds in a span of at least 10 weeks. At this phase vegetables can be consumed without limit for as long as they are not starchy.
A few of the vegetables that dieters can have during this phase are spinach, green beans, and okra. But they should stay away from corn, carrots and peas. Low fat protein from the first phase can still be eaten in this phase while eating oat bran and drinking at least 1.5 liters of water should be continued. The consumption of lean protein and vegetables should be alternate. So that if today you are having lean protein then the day next you should have non-starchy vegetables.
The third phase is the Consolidation Phase. By this stage the dieter has already lost enough weight. So it becomes the goal of this phase to prevent gaining the lost weight. At this phase the dieter can eat vegetables and protein on a daily basis in any amount. They can incorporate into their meals at most 2 slices of whole grain bread, a piece of fruit and a small amount of cheese. Also every week the dieter may have 1 or 2 servings of starchy foods and at most 2 celebration meals. Celebration meals have no restrictions. But the dieter must have a day every week during this phase when they must eat lean protein.
And finally, the fourth phase is the Stabilization Phase. This is now the maintenance stage of the program. Dieters can now freely eat whatever they want for as long as these simple rules are followed. They must consume at least 3 tbsp of oat bran everyday while on this phase. Also it is necessary to take a 20 minute brisk walk everyday and vow never to take the escalators or elevators. And for each week, they must take at least one all protein meal.
Importantly, dieters must keenly follow the rules laid out above for the rest of their lifetime. It should become an integral part of their lifestyle. They may now eat spices, sugar or artificial sweeteners. It is also recommended to take multivitamins and minerals. While this diet program sounds a bit like the Atkins diet, essentially they are different.
On a final note, it is easy to see that this diet program is simple and easy to follow. With minor adjustments, vegetarians can likewise follow. Experts are quick to agree that this diet program is effective for people who want to lose weight quickly in reasonable amounts. But, whatever situation you are in, it is still highly recommended to seek medical advice from your physician more specially if you are suffering from any kind of physical condition, or when your age goes past 50 years old.
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