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All You Need to Know About the Dukan Diet

Nicks J Nov 22, 2018
Those looking for long-term weight loss, need to follow the Dukan diet. Know more about what foods to include in this diet.

Did You Know?

People following a protein rich diet tend to eat less because food high in protein give a long-lasting feeling of fullness to the stomach. This in turn helps to curb appetite and lose weight naturally.
The Dukan diet focuses more on eating lean protein rich foods. People participating in various weight loss programs are often asked to have foods high in proteins. Why? Lean protein foods are found to be low in fat content, which helps to decrease weight.
For losing weight, eating low-fat foods is a pre-requisite and this criterion is fulfilled by the Dukan diet. No wonder, the menu of this diet revolves around foods high in protein but vegetables can also be included.

Dukan Diet and Lean Meat

Although, poultry products and beef are good sources of proteins, they are high in saturated (unhealthy) fats. However, lean cuts of meat have very low saturated fat content, so can be a part of this diet. Therefore, if you want to have meat while following this diet, make sure it is lean.
To be on the safer side, go for extra lean meat. A 3.5 ounce serving of beef is said to be lean if it supplies less than 10 grams of total fat. Whereas, the same serving size of beef is categorized as extra lean if it does not provide more than 5 grams of total fat.

Dukan Diet

This diet is implemented in four phases and each phase is designed with a specific purpose. On the whole, the first two phases when followed correctly, help to melt those extra pounds. The last two phases are designed to maintain healthy weight. Keep in mind that lean protein forms the basis of Dukan diet.
There are neither any restrictions on calorie intake nor on the number of meals. The only issue is that food taken in Dukan diet should be an excellent source of lean protein. All this is explained here:

The Attack Phase

As aforementioned, the Dukan diet gives more emphasis on protein foods, so the first phase involves eating foods high in protein content. Proteins and nothing else is what recommended in this phase. Whatever food you choose, make sure it does not contain more than 10% of total fat. Following are the foods that can be included in the diet during this phase:
  • Low-fat ham slices
  • Poultry products that include skinless chicken
  • Lean cuts of turkey
  • Fish, Eggs
  • Lean beef steak that include top sirloin steak, top round steak and mock tender steak, T- bone steak and shoulder steak
  • Seafood including lobsters, prawns, scallops and crab
  • Dairy products including non-fat cheese, skim milk and low-fat yogurt
The attack phase is certainly helpful to lose weight in a healthy way. As the body is deprived of fatty foods, one can certainly expect some amazing results. Whether it is lunch or dinner, eat the aforementioned foods to your heart's content. Many ask "how long one should continue eating only protein foods"? Well, it totally depends on individual health.
People with too much weight may have to follow the diet for more than a week. In any case, the time span should not exceed more than 10 days. Many people who have strictly adhered to rules and regulations of attack phase, have lost 7-8 lbs in just five days. People, who are in the attack phase for just 1 day reduce weight by 2 lbs.

The Cruise Phase

In this phase, along with protein rich foods, one can also eat vegetables. Although, many implement cruise phase in a variety of ways, according to their convenience, the ideal way to follow this stage of Dukan diet, is given here.
The cruise phase involves two meal diet plans. One is a protein diet, while the other diet plan allows inclusion of vegetables and proteins. In other words, the second diet plan is a combination of vegetables and protein rich foods. Implementing these two diet plans alternately, is the best way to follow the cruise phase.
To be more specific, on one day have only foods high in proteins and the very next day follow the second diet plan (vegetables and proteins). One can steam or cook the vegetables. If one is comfortable, one can also eat raw vegetables. Following are the foods that can be safely included in cruise phase:
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Onion
  • Artichoke
  • Swiss chard
  • Brussels sprout
  • Cauliflower
  • Pumpkin
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • French beans
The Cruise phase of Dukan diet also plays a very important role in losing weight.
Studies show that cruise phase can help to decrease weight by 2 lbs every week. The Cruise phase should be followed as long as the desired weight is not achieved. The duration of cruise phase will vary from person to person but in most cases you may have to continue it for several weeks to get the desired outcome.

The Consolidation Phase

Once the target weight is achieved, it is necessary to sustain that reduced weight. Dramatic weight loss observed in previous two phases of Dukan diet, will go waste if the person regains weight. So, to keep the body away from regaining melted fat, consolidation phase is designed.
The weight that is lost has to be accepted by the body and this is what consolidation phase does. In this phase, one can include fatty foods like hard cheese, pasta and breads. Although, eating fruits is allowed in this phase, stay away from dried fruits as well high sugary foods (cherries).
Of course, don't forget to have plenty of proteins and vegetables. One can also have few servings of dessert after lunch or dinner. Although, cheese is permitted in this phase, do not have soft cheese or goat's cheese.
Many people get worried, as they do not experience any weight loss in consolidation phase. Keep in mind that losing weight is not the purpose of this phase. It is meant to maintain healthy weight achieved in attack and cruise phase. The time span of consolidation phase depends upon how many pounds are lost in the previous two phases.
As a general rule, if one loses 1 pound in previous two phases, then he has to be in the consolidation phase for 5 days. In case, the weight loss is 2 pounds then the time span of consolidation phase increases to 10 days and so on.

Stabilization Phase

Can the weight loss in this diet be sustained for lifetime? For that, one has to follow the last rule of Dukan diet. Choose any day of the week and make sure to eat only protein foods on that day. Other days of the week, the person can eat whatever he wants, but one day (preferably Thursday), should be reserved for eating protein rich foods only.

Caution

Do not continue the attack phase of Dukan diet for more than 10 days. The reason is simple; In the first phase, one has to concentrate on eating only lean protein. Continuing this for long periods of time can actually deprive you of other nutrients found in vegetables and fruits. This can cause nutritional deficiency and increase the risk of kidney damage.

Dukan Diets Vs Fad Diets

Unlike other diet plans that provide temporary weight loss, Dukan diet provides long-lasting results. Fad diets are only regarded as short-term weight loss solutions, but Dukan diet is designed in such a way that the rapid weight loss achieved in the first two phases remains for the rest of life.
Moreover, long-term use of Dukan diet will cause no harm, because unlike fad diets, it does not starve the body.

Side Effects

One of the most common side effects of following Dukan diet is bad breath and dizziness. This is obvious due to too much protein intake. This side effect commonly occurs in the attack phase but is not a cause for worry, as it disappears once the person stops following the attack phase.
Followers of this diet also complain about dry mouth which also goes away over time, without any treatment. Feeling constipated is yet another complaint in people put on this diet, which can always be managed by including adequate oat bran (2-3 tablespoons) and drinking plenty of water during the attack and cruise phase.

While Following Dukan Diet...

Exercise

When following this diet, do not ignore the age-old remedy to reduce weight, which is nothing but exercise.
A 35-40 minutes exercise routine that involves brisk walking, running, jumping rope and swimming is equally important to make Dukan diet more effective and for better results.

Cooking

Deep frying has no place in this type of diet. Buying high quality meat and adopting frying as the cooking method will defeat the purpose of following this diet.
So, if you want to include lean meat in Dukan diet, make sure it is cooked in a healthy manner. This means, you should either grill it, roast it, bake it or boil it.

Increase Water Intake

With Dukan diet, the protein intake increases dramatically. Having protein rich foods on a daily basis, can lead to dehydration. So, to be on the safer side, have plenty of water every day (2-3 liters).
Disclaimer: The information provided in this item is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a qualified nutritionist.