The Dukan diet is one of the protein diets. It allows you to lose weight by adopting a diet rich in protein. Born on the initiative of a nutritionist doctor, a specialist in eating behaviour, it is now very controversial. Here’s what you need to know before you get started.
What is the Dukan diet?
A Dukan diet is based on the consumption of foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fats. This diet allows you to tap into the body’s fat reserves for rapid weight loss.
- In a conventional diet, the energy the body receives to function comes first from carbohydrates and then from fat.
- These 2 forms of energy can be stored as fat in the body.
- By depriving the body of fat, it is forced to draw on its fat reserves to function and not to store.
- The goal is to give the body its energy in the third possible form: proteins. The advantage, these proteins do not store themselves as fat and maintain the muscles.
Phases of the Dukan diet
The Dukan regime is based on 4 phases:
- The attack phase: unlimited protein consumption for 1 to 10 days depending on the weight loss objective. On the menu, exclusively animal proteins: meat, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, 0% dairy products. The only thing that breaks this protein routine is coffee and tea.
- The cruising phase: consumption based on proteins and vegetables, reintroduced little by little, until the weight objective is reached.
- The consolidation phase: reintroduction of slow sugars in the diet (bread, rice, pasta). Maintaining a day dedicated to protein consumption. This phase should last 10 days per kilo lost during the previous phases.
- The stabilization phase (for life): maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle to keep your ideal weight. One day a week is dedicated to protein consumption only and 3 tablespoons of oat bran are included in the daily diet.
Keys to losing weight with the Dukan diet
- You have to like meat otherwise the pure protein phase will be very frustrating: it can put the diet at risk.
- You should be accompanied by a health and diet professional: a dietician or nutritionist who will know how to detect a possible impact on health of excessive protein consumption. He or she will also help you stabilize weight loss through a balanced diet.
The benefits of the Dukan Diet
The Dukan Plan has advantages:
- it allows you to lose weight quickly; and over the long term,
- it takes into account the weight regain by introducing a cruising phase after the attack phase ;
- it allows you to adopt healthy eating habits (no snacking, physical exercise, avoid sugary drinks…);
- it requires drinking at least 2 litres of water per day;
- it maintains muscle mass;
- it doesn’t cause hunger.
The disadvantages of the Dukan Diet
The Dukan regime has its drawbacks:
- it requires the intake of food supplements to avoid deficiencies;
- it can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels;
- it can cause constipation, bad breath, fatigue . . ;
- it’s often responsible for the yo-yo effect;
- it causes fatigue of the heart and kidneys.
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