Among the numerous diets for weight loss, Dukan diet is one, and it works in 4 phases. Read on to know about the 4 phases of Dukan diet.
Looking good has assumed significance it never had, and so people want to lose weight like never before. And, we all know that the kind of food we eat plays a major role in keeping the weight under check. Owing to this, there are lots of diets formulated that help lose weight.
The Dukan diet is one such weight loss diet that is based on the high protein low carbohydrate formula. The diet was proposed by French physician and nutritionist Dr Pierre Dukan about 30 years ago to tackle the increasing obesity in people.
The diet is hugely popular in France, and is rapidly gaining popularity in other countries also. Dr Dukan's book The Dukan Diet, which explains the details about the diet is an all time bestseller.
How the Dukan Diet Works
The diet is based on the intake of high protein, low carbohydrate and low fat food. With protein one gets the energy to perform the daily activities, and simultaneously the fat also burns.
The diet caught the fancy of people because of its simple working. There are not too many restrictions, and one can eat the 'prescribed high protein foods' at any time of the day, and in any quantity.
The list of foods is quite huge, and there are more than 100+ protein rich foods, which can be eaten during the diet. The diet works for both vegetarians and non vegetarians, as protein is found in both.
The diet is also not very strict, and one is also allowed to gorge on whatever food they want to eat in certain phases. And given all, the diet works for weight loss. Let's understand the four phases in detail now.
4 Phases of the Dukan Diet
Phase 1: The Attack Phase
The attack phase is the first phase of the Dukan diet, and it is basically a preparatory phase for the person for weight loss. Within a week of this phase, the person can experience weight loss of up to 2-3 kilos. People find this first phase quite difficult to deal with, as it completely changes the food habits of a person.
A person can eat only the specified high protein foods, in any quantity. Protein rich foods should be cooked without oil or butter, and to improve the taste one can add condiments, spices and sauce. Beverages like tea, coffee, and soda without sugar are permitted during the attack phase.
Oat bran is also a good option which can be considered, as it is very rich in protein, and also has fiber. Also one should drink lots of water, as the person experiences dry mouth during this phase of the diet.
The common foods that can be had during the attack phase are lean beef, low fat chicken, turkey, lean ham, cottage cheese, skimmed milk etc,. As one cannot add extra fat while cooking, roasting or grilling the food is the best option.
Phase 2: The Cruise Phase
The duration of any phase is not fixed. The attack phase lasts for about 1-10 days depending on how much weight the person has to lose. After the attack phase is completed comes the cruise phase. The goal of this phase is helping the person to reach the target weight. In the cruise phase one has to include vegetables along with the protein rich foods.
Thus there are two diet plans that can be followed during the cruise phase. One is, having only the high protein foods and the next one is having a combination of high protein foods and vegetables. The best way is following both these diets on alternate days. For best results one should boil the vegetables or just eat them raw.
Broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts are some of the best vegetables one can have during the second phase. As the aim of the cruise phase is achieving the target weight of the person, the phase continues till the ideal weight loss is achieved.
Phase 3: The Consolidation Phase
Now that the ideal weight is achieved, the next step would obviously be maintaining the weight. And, this is what the third phase or the consolidation phase targets. This one can be called the least strict phase of the Dukan diet. This is because one can have some initially banned fatty foods like pastas, pizzas, etc.
But don't stop eating the high protein foods and vegetables. The fatty foods should only be had in moderation (once a week). Also do not expect weight loss during this phase, the aim of this phase is only weight maintenance and not weight loss.
For how long this phase should be continued depends on the weight the person had lost in the previous months, and the duration thus differs from person to person. One can have a high protein fruit like banana, orange in a day, but the high sugar dry fruits should be avoided.
Phase 4: The Stabilization Phase
This is the last phase of the Dukan diet. You have now lost weight and also managed to maintain it. So now is the time that you can go back to your old food habits (to some extent). But don't take it literally, on one day of the week (preferably Thursday) you have to eat only the high protein meals.
On the other six days one can have whatever one desires. Certain modifications are expected to be made in the lifestyle. One should do any form of exercise daily to maintain the weight, and follow certain measures like chewing the food slowly, and using the staircase. But for breakfast stick to the protein rich oat bran, it is the best food.
Foods to Eat
The protein rich and low carbohydrate Dukan diet really works for weight loss if you stick to the high protein foods. The recommended and best high protein low fat foods, that must be a part of this diet plan are as follows:
Lean and skinless meat
Low fat dairy products
Whole wheat bread
As per reviews, there is no medical basis to prove the effects of this diet. But there are many people who claimed to have experienced weight loss through this diet. There are also comparatively few side effects of this diet, weakness and dryness of mouth being the common side effects experienced by people.
Also, people having any history of medical illnesses should consult the doctor before starting this weight loss program. This is because the diet is not considered safe for diabetics and patients with heart problems.
Pregnant women are also not supposed to follow this diet. The diet has also come under criticism, because the suggested foods have very low fiber content and carbohydrate content.
Though not the best diet for weight loss, the Dukan diet is a good bet, and is definitely worth trying. If strictly followed, it guarantees weight loss. What else do you expect?