Losing Weight with the Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet, has proved very effective for many people in France and elsewhere. Started over a decade ago by Dr. Pierre Dukan from France, this plan helps people lose weight by offering a high-protein, low-fat diet that doesn’t deprive users of good food.

This diet is effective because it’s easier to stick with than most other diets, because you are allowed to actually enjoy food while on this diet. Dukan is a french protein diet and it can sound too good to be true. You can start out eating only the suggested foods, but then you can switch to eating any type of food you like and still lose weight. The four-phase plan help you losing the weight.

Phase One: Attack

In the attack phase, the idea is to go head-first into this diet and start to lose weight immediately. By completely switching your diet around to focus on low-fat protein and water, you can begin to attack your metabolism and the weight will start to fall off. Most diets are all about what you don’t eat; Dukan is more about what you have to eat.

The attack phase is going to be relatively short, around a week, and it’s just to give your system that initial shock. You can eat only low-fat protein during this phase and drink water (although, there are alternatives to water, as long as they have zero calories and zero fat).

You can eat plenty of options here:

  • beef
  • chicken
  • turkey
  • duck
  • fish
  • venison
  • protein supplements
  • eggs
  • tofu
  • seitan
  • low-fat dairy like cottage cheese and yogurt

The options really are varied once you get into the many food choices containing a high protein and low fat content. If you can’t tell: the idea is to have every food item that passes your lips be a low-fat, high-protein food. After around a week on the attack phase, it’s on to phase two.

Phase Two: Cruise

The amount of time you’re on the cruise phase depends entire on the amount of weight you have to lose. For example: if you need to lose only a few pounds, then you’ll only be “cruising” for a week or two – just long enough to move forward in the program. But if you need to lose a lot of weight, you can be cruising for months or even years. The cruise phase is the actual diet, so to speak, and this is where your menu expands from just low-fat proteins. You will also incorporate exercise into the cruise phase in order to help keep your metabolism active and burning off that fat.

During this phase, your diet is broken down into two main “days.” Some days, you will eat nothing but protein (much like the attack phase). And on other days, you will add in some vegetables with the protein. One thing you can have every day on the diet, however, is oat bran – a few tablespoons a day. On the Dukan Diet, you get to pick the days you alternate. The ideal mix is 4/3, low-fat protein only to protein and veggies. So, if you wish, you can have Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday as protein-only days, and the remaining days as protein and vegetable days. As long as you’re sticking with the types of foods you’re supposed to eat, calorie count and constant portion monitoring doesn’t really matter as much as on other diets.

For the walking: it’s recommended on the Dukan Diet to walk around 30 minutes a day, briskly. You don’t necessarily have to invest in a treadmill here, but you should make sure that you’re finding time in your day to walk, even if it’s parking further away from work or the store

For the vegetables: it’s not a free-for-all here. Many veggies out there are very high in carbohydrates, like carrots, peas, corn, potatoes, and other starchy, sugary veggie offerings.

Allowed are:

  • broccoli
  • green beans
  • leafy greens
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • bell peppers
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • cabbage
  • celery
  • asparagus

The time you spend on this phase is important, because you will need to “phase out” accordingly and head to phase three of the diet program. There’s no universal rule, as everyone will be different on this diet, but view phase two as a majority step. Once you’re near your ultimate goal, it’s time to move ahead.

Phase Three: Consolidation

The reason why the second phase has to extend until you reach your ultimate goal is because phase three doesn’t deal in losing any more weight; it deals only in maintaining your weight. In the consolidation phase, you will essentially stay on the low-fat, low-carb, high-protein diet (it is a life-changing diet with a life-changing menu), but you will get to pick up a lot of other foods and expand your menu a great deal. In this phase, you can add some fruit, bread, cheese, and even a celebration meal once a week, where you can let go and enjoy what you want (pizza, anyone!?). However, these new foods are to be enjoyed in moderation. The diet has high success numbers because the low-fat protein and veggies do not have to be moderately eaten.

In the consolidation phase, you can add one serving of fruit to your diet per day. However, you want to stay nearer the “watery” fruit options available for you, such as:

  • watermelon
  • cantaloupe
  • apples
  • pears

You should still avoid fruits with very high sugar content.

You can also add bread to your diet, but it must be whole-grain bread, and you cannot exceed two slices per day. (Adding in a sandwich for lunch instead of a salad is a great option.) Avoid the butter, too, or any added fat. Carbs are also okay one day per week, but part of sticking with this diet is learning how to live with the changes through the phases. So, instead of eating processed carbs on your carb day, you should try out some brown rice, whole-grain pasta, or something healthier and more complex. Keep this same idea in mind for your celebration meal. Don’t get carried away and load up on the bad stuff. In this phase, you’re “consolidating” your diet by merging various food groups and learning to live on a real plan where you enjoy healthier foods in moderation. Remember, though, this is just a phase. The consolidating will be another system shock, and thus phase four is still left to complete.

Phase Four: Stabilization

To put it simply, stabilization here is the maintenance of the portion plan you’ve been working with thus far. You’re looking to stabilize your system now that the weight-loss part of the diet is over, and this means you can return to eating foods you like. However, the goal of any diet is to be a life-changing plan. So, hopefully, you’ve taken a lesson from the first phases of the Dukan Diet and will not return to pigging out on processed foods, trans fats, and other unhealthy items. If you do return to this, the diet isn’t going to work. The idea here is that you can use the formula learned to enjoy regular foods in the same way you had them on the plan. You have to keep your diet healthy.

Overall, multivitamins, herbs and spices, protein supplements, extra exercise, and other boosters are included to help your food taste better, to help you get more vitamins and proteins, and to help you lose weight faster. But once your diet reaches the stabilization phase, you’re pretty much on your own. You should always try to eat one protein-only meal per week, and you should still adhere to the carb control. Other than that, though, there’s no set menu for the fourth phase.

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