What is the Dukan Diet?
By Dr Pierre Dukan
This diet was created by French doctor Dr Pierre Dukan. The diet is a high protein weight loss diet and at some points protein only diet. It consists of four stages each doing it’s job in helping to lose weight and then maintain that lost weight. So let’s take a closer look at each of the four stages of the Dukan diet.
This is the first phase and is a short phase. It is during this phase that you will have a quick weight loss. During the attack phase you eat nothing but protein and this phase can last anywhere between one and ten days, it depends on how much weight you need to lose as to how long you should stay on the attack phase. On average most people will spend three to five days on the attack phase.
This phase gives your weight loss a kick start and produces immediate results, in fact you can lose as much as three kilo’s in five days.
Because you are only eating protein during this phase, your tissues are purged of excess water, you have reduced appetite and you still maintain muscle tone. You burn more calories processing protein than you do any other food due to their complex structure and they are also reasonably low in calories compared to fats and carbohydrates.
Once you have completed the attack phase you will move on to the cruise phase. During this phase you can introduce vegetables and can eat as many as you like. You will alternate days between a day of protein only and a day of protein plus vegetables. You can either switch day by day – so one day protein, one day protein + veg, and so on, or if you prefer you can do it as switching every two days or even every five days, as long as you are consistent and have 50/50 each of protein only and protein + veg days.
During the cruise phase you will lose around one kilogram a week. You remain on the cruise phase until you reach your goal weight.
Your diet begins to get easier during this phase as you can add more ingredients. Bread, fruit, cheese, potatoes and pasta are all allowed during this phase but you can’t just eat as much of them as you like, there are limits.
You are not looking to lose anymore weight during this phase, but now you are stabilizing your weight so that you don’t just go and put back on all the weight you have lost. With the consolidation phase you need to complete five days for every 0.5kg that you lost for your body to consolidate the weight loss. At the end of the consolidation phase your body will have adjusted to your new diet and metabolism and you should be able to keep the weight off.
During the first half of the consolidation phrase you are encouraged to eat one meal a week of your choice and this can consist of absolutely anything. Then during the second half of the consolidation phase you can eat two meals a week of your choice.
This is the final phase and once you have reached this phase you can eat whatever you want. However, it is wise to stick to the basic rules of the consolidation phase (eat unlimited protein and vegetables, two slices of wholemeal bread a day, one piece of fruit a day, some cheese, two starchy foods (e.g. pasta, rice or potato) and two celebration meals a week).
Choose one day a week where you eat protein only for that full day. This one day of protein only plays a big role in keeping your weight off so it is very important.
Exercise During The Dukan Diet
It is recommended to walk briskly for 20 minutes a day which is increase to 30 minutes a day during the cruise phase. If you already participate in any other exercise program then you could continue with that if it will burn as many calories as the walking. Walking is just a suggestion, other exercise routines or sports will also be effective if done daily. You could also vary your routine and have some days walking and other days doing something different.
You do need to continue with the exercise routine even when you reach the stabilisation phase.
It is important to drink a lot of water with the Dukan diet, you should drink at least 1.5 litres of water every day. When exercises then you should increase that amount.