The Dukan Diet has only recently entered into the US as it was created over ten years ago by Pierre Dukan who is a nutritionist and medical doctor. This is one of the leading diets for French women with over 1.5 million followers. Even celebrities have joined this group of French women dieters like Jennifer Lopez and Giselle Bundchen.
The premise behind the Dukan Diet is to eat high protein foods while reducing the carbohydrate intake which includes foods such as simple carbs like fruits, legumes, starchy veggies and whole grain foods. This diet may seem similar to the Atkins diet but this diet focuses on eating foods that are low in fat whereas the Atkins diet promotes eating healthy fats. The major foods that are eaten in the Dukan Diet are chicken, fish and low fat dairy products.
There are four phases that make up the Dukan Diet. The first phase of the diet can last anywhere from one to ten days. The amount of time that you spend on this phase depends on your weight loss goal. In the first 5 days you can lose up to 10 pounds. This phase is quite difficult for many dieters as they are only to eat protein foods; no fats and no carbohydrates. Only water, diet soda, coffee and tea can be consumed as drinks to accompany meals.
The next phase of the Dukan diet is referred to as the Cruise Phase. Here, you will alternate between eating only protein on some days with only vegetables and protein on others. The only types of vegetables that are permitted in the diet to be consumed include tomatoes, celery, asparagus, spinach, cucumber and lettuce. This is the part of the diet where you will lose the rest of the weight until you hit your target weight loss goal.
The third phase is called the Consolidation phase. This part of the Dukan Diet is where you maintain your diet and target weight. Here you continue with the alternating days of protein and protein with veggies. The difference now is that you can add one portion of fruit and 2 slices of whole grain bread per day to your diet. One portion of pasta or rice can also be added per week. After a certain period of time, you can take advantage of a celebration meal or cheat meal where you can eat anything.
The last phase of the Dukan Diet is the Stabilization Phase. This is where the dieter is allowed to resume eating the foods you desire while using the consolidation phase as a guide to follow with certain days (at least once a week) of only consuming protein foods. Some of the foods that are recommended for this diet include lean ham, veal, chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, cottage cheese, egg whites, green veggies, oat bran, fat free yogurt, tea, coffee, diet soda and sweetners.