Before choosing to follow the Dukan diet, you must educate yourself about the many side effects that accompany it. Here is some information that will brief you about the cons of this weight loss diet.
Weight loss is a major concern for most of us, and we can put absolutely anything at stake in the quest for losing weight. No wonder we often fall for (without thinking) various fad diets. One such fad diet is the Dukan diet, which is very popular among people who are desperate to lose weight fast.
The science behind this diet is solely based on the expertise of Dr. Pierre Dukan, who is the creator of this diet. As per some experts, this diet offers you the same results as the Atkins diet. It is the reason why this diet is religiously followed and sworn upon by many. Let’s find out how this diet works and the side effects associated with this diet.
The Dukan Diet
The Dukan diet is nothing but a combination of high-protein and low-carb food products. Being a high- protein diet, the dieter is asked to consume loads of protein-rich food. One might probably worry about the idea of consuming such food items for weight loss.
However, it must be noted that the high-protein foods that you are allowed to consume during the Dukan diet are actually low-fat. Thus, you get to cut back on calories and ultimately lose weight.
The diet plan is implemented in four specific phases, namely – the attack phase, cruise phase, consolidation phase, and the stabilization phase. During all the four phases the dieter is asked to follow a specially designed diet plan.
It is important to remember here that it is not a quick weight loss diet plan. According to many Dukan diet followers, it is one of the best ways to lose weight, and you don’t experience any long-term side effects.
Similar to every other crash diet plan, the Dukan diet promises a significant deal of weight loss during its initial phases. Since it is yet another restrictive diet plan, there are some problems associated with it.
- This diet stresses on the process of ketosis, in which the body uses fat for the production of energy. The low-carb diet can cause fatigue.
- Since it is a high-protein, low-carb diet, it can be linked to kidney problems. So people with existing kidney problems should consult their doctor before opting for this diet.
- This diet is also not suitable for people who may be at a risk of electrolyte imbalance.
- Since the initial phases of the diet contain low-carb and no fibers, the body falls short of the daily required amount of fiber, which results in several health conditions like constipation and diarrhea.
- Our brain uses glucose as energy to function. Hence, insufficient amounts of glucose could impair the brain function to some degree.
- People with high cholesterol levels should take certain precautions while on this diet. The Dukan diet, being a high-protein diet, too much intake of protein-rich foods, such as meat and eggs can cause the cholesterol levels to rise. Hence, limit your consumption and include high-fiber foods, such as oat bran to keep cholesterol levels under control.
- One of the common side effects is induction flu. This is actually a withdrawal symptom arising from the abstinence of carbohydrates and fats. The symptoms include severe headache, lethargy, nausea, increased irritability, lack of concentration, and increased crankiness! In short, the dieter suffers from all the symptoms of a flu except fever and chills.
- Other side effects that have been associated with this diet include high uric acid level, gout, and tartar buildup in the mouth.
The Dukan Diet Phases
As mentioned earlier, the Dukan diet menu is divided into four essential phases. During the first phase you are asked to consume only proteins and refrain from the consumption of fats and carbohydrates.
Chicken, eggs, lean meats, turkey, fish, fat-free cheese and yogurt, skim milk, etc., can be included.
This phase varies as per the weight loss aim of an individual. Fiber deficiency being a concern, Dr. Dukan, suggests that you should consume a lot of water and oat bran to avoid the fiber deficiency, which is experienced during the ‘attack phase’ of the diet.
During the second phase, you can rotate the diet between proteins and vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, French beans, mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes.
These vegetables are needed to be consumed either boiled or raw. You need to refrain from fried food as this is the most important phase of the Dukan diet.
During the third phase, the emphasis is on fruits, proteins, vegetables and you can eat one serving of carbs per week. You can include foods like cottage cheese, low-carb rice, low-fat butter, pasta, whole wheat bread, green vegetables and fruits like watermelons, apples, cantaloupes.
The last phase concentrates on stabilizing and maintaining the body after weight loss. During this phase, you can consume limited amounts of your favorite recipes, but the key here is that once a week (preferably Thursdays), you need to consume only proteins (same as the previous phases).
A careful follow-up with this diet menu will help you reduce a significant amount of weight. However, as per the information given here and according to some reviews, you cannot ignore the side effects of this diet.
All in all, the Dukan diet is neither scientifically proven, nor the best way to lose weight. Hence, you always need to consider all the possible side effects. The best thing to do is to consult your healthcare provider and dietitian about its effects on your body before opting for it.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert or dietitian.