Dukan diet is a high-protein, low-carb diet, which involves four phases with different dietary restrictions. Phase 1 of this diet involves consumption of only high-protein food items, along with low-fat dairy products. Intake of high-protein foods help suppress appetite and lose weight.
Dukan diet was first introduced by eminent French nutritionist Dr. Pierre Dukan, about 10 years ago. As soon as it was launched, it became a huge hit amongst people who had weight loss issues. Today, this diet has gained popularity throughout the world. Celebrities like Gisele Bundchen and Jennifer Lopez, have also tried out this diet.
The reason why Dukan diet has reached such popularity is its sure shot formula for weight loss. People who follow this diet not only shed fat in a short time, but also manage to successfully keep the pounds off.
However, the real beauty of this diet plan lies in its power to let dieters eat a particular number of food items, as much as they want without putting on those unwanted pounds! It comprises four phases; attack, cruise, consolidation and stabilization phase. However, in this article we will only have a look at phase 1, which is the attack phase.
Phase1: Attack Phase
Duration: 5- 10 days
The Dukan diet calculator helps a person calculate the number of days required to lose the required amount of weight. Depending on the weight loss desired, the duration of the attack phase will vary. On an average, two days of this phase are enough for a person desiring to lose less than 10 pounds. A 5 day attack phase may be for those desiring to lose 15-20 pounds, however, those desiring more weight loss, may have to be in phase 1 for longer.
Diet Details: Pure Protein
Protein foods + Shirataki noodles + 1.5 tbsp. oat bran + 1.5 liters of water + 20 min. walk
➟ The best part about the Dukan diet is that it doesn’t leave the dieter hungry, instead allows the dieter to eat as much food as he/she wants. However, the catch lies in what is eaten, which is restricted to high-protein food items. Lean meats, fish, poultry, etc. is allowed. The list is available below.
➟ For fiber content, the dieter is required to consume at least 1.5 tbsp. of oat bran every day. Oat bran can be consumed as it is, or in a porridge along with skimmed milk. Since oat bran is rich in soluble fiber, it absorbs water in the intestines, thereby imparting a full feeling to the dieter. Besides, oat bran also helps alleviate constipation, digestion problems and is also known to improve heart health.
➟ Shirataki noodles are low-carb, Japanese noodles that are made from elephant yam. On this diet, the dieter can have about two packs of these noodles, per day. Although shirataki noodles do not have any flavor of their own, when seasoned and tossed into soups or eaten with meat, they taste nice. They are excellent alternatives for pasta or regular noodles, and are also high in fiber.
➟ Low-fat or fat-free dairy products have been allowed on this diet. This is primarily because they provide the necessary calcium content the body requires.
➟ Water must also be had in adequate amounts. All the toxins produced by the burning of fats need to be washed out, which is why the dieter must ensure he/she drinks about at least 1.5 liters of water everyday. It also helps prevent and alleviate constipation.
➟ Dieters are asked to maintain a less strenuous exercise regime. Walking for at least 20 minutes is required, however, walking for longer is ideal.
Let’s find out the different meat varieties, dairy products, and condiments permitted on this diet.
Protein Foods Allowed
✓ Eggs (2 eggs/day)
✓ Lean beef
✓ Bresaola (air-dried beef)
✓ Chicken (skinned, no wings)
✓ Turkey (skinned, no wings)
✓ Liver (chicken)
✓ Kidneys/beef tongue
✓ Veal (fat trimmed)
✓ Lean ham (97% fat free)
✓ Lean cold cuts
✓ Fish (all kinds)
✓ Seafood (all shellfish, crustaceans)
✓ Lentil (2 tbsp./day)
✓ Artificial sweeteners
✓ Spices, herbs
✓ Garlic, onions
✓ Gherkins, pickled onions
✓ Lemon juice
✓ Tea (without sugar)
✓ Coffee (without sugar)
✓ Diet Coke/Pepsi
Dairy Products (low fat)
✓ Skimmed milk
✓ Fat-free ricotta cheese
✓ Fat-free cottage cheese
✓ Fat-free plain or flavored yogurt
✓ Fat-free fromage frais
✓ Greek yogurt
✓ Fruit yoghurt (2/day)
* Only meats containing less than 97% fat can be consumed on this diet. Stay away from fatty meats like fatty pork, lamb, bacon, cured ham, smoked ham, fatty beef, duck, goose, fatty deli meats, fish canned in oil or sauce. Lentils, vegetables, and fruits are also prohibited. However, for vegetarians, 2 tbsp. of lentils is allowed on a daily basis.
Some Instructions and Tips
➟ All visible fat from the meat has to be discarded, before it can be cooked.
➟ Grilling/steaming cooking techniques are to be followed on this diet.
➟ Only 1 tsp. of olive oil or any other oil can be added to foods per day. No fat, in the form of butter/margarine/cheese is to be added to the meat. Seasonings can be added to add flavor to the meat.
➟ 1 tbsp. of tomato puree/paste can be added to flavor the dishes on a daily basis.
➟ About 2 eggs can be consumed per day, however, those with cholesterol issues, should stick to only 3-4 eggs a week. The egg white or albumen can be eaten in unlimited quantities. It’s the yolk that has to be restricted.
➟ Soups can be consumed on this diet. Boil chicken or preferred meat along with some onions, garlic and seasonings. It’s best to have soups for dinner.
➟ Just because the diet stated 1.5 tbsp. oat bran, doesn’t mean you cannot have more than the specified amount. Use more oat bran and prepare pancakes, crepes, etc. to curb your hunger, and add variety to the diet.
➟ All kinds of vinegar are permitted, however, not more than 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar should be used on a daily basis, due to its additional sweetness.
➟ Although drinking alcohol is not allowed in this attack phase, one can use it to cook. However, make sure the lid is not on, so as to allow the alcohol content to evaporate.
Phase 1 Experience
➟ For those who’ve never been on a diet before, the first few days are the toughest. Saying no to carbs, chocolates, chips, and every possible baked item can be torturous.
➟ Fatigue and malaise may hit the dieter, and some may even develop a headache. However, the fatigue will reduce as the body gets used to the new diet regime.
➟ Intake of high-protein foods and less of fiber can conduce to constipation, dry mouth and bad breath. Constipation can be alleviated by having more oat bran and drinking lots of water. Bad breath is a natural sign of weight loss, and once your body gets used to the high-protein diet, the bad breath will also go away.
➟ Never let yourself go hungry. Hunger pangs will coerce you to give up the diet and cheat. You will not be able to stop yourself from devouring a bag of chips. So be careful not to remain hungry. Eat small, but frequent meals during the day.
➟ Skipping meals is also not advisable, because it causes the body to enter starvation mode, wherein the body begins to store fat for the future. This will hamper the weight loss goal.
The Dukan diet is a long-term diet plan, and one may get tempted during the course of the diet. However, cheating even a little bit on the diet can hamper weight loss. It’s best to stock the refrigerator with only the permitted foods, to avoid unnecessary temptation.
There’s no doubt that the Dukan diet helps lose weight, however, its strict dietary restrictions can cause load on the kidneys. Moreover, lack of proper nourishment from fruits and vegetables can result in nutritional deficiencies. So even though the desired weight loss takes place, it occurs at a high cost. Weigh your options!
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.