Blog The Dukan Diet Meal Plans, Phases And Effect On Weight Loss.

The Dukan Diet Meal Plans, Phases And Effect On Weight Loss.

The Dukan diet is the latest addition to the weight loss diet scene. The diet comprises high protein with low carbohydrate which is then split into four phases that takes you through the weight loss journey. 

Different diet plans have been known to help people with various issues. These can include weight loss or battling a health issue that is as chronic as obesity. The diets that have been raised by the author include the hashimoto diet, which was a great change from the regular diet.

The Dukan diet was created in the 1970s, but like fashion trends, it finds itself in the spotlight just now after TikTok and Instagram reels have hyped it up. 

A French general practitioner who specializes in weight management created the diet nearly half a century ago. In his observation, he found that his patients showed significant weight loss by following this diet and he published the results in 2000. 


Who Is It For?

The diet is suitable for people who have been struggling with excessive weight and cannot seem to find a natural remedy to get rid of the fat. This diet was found to be effective for the patients of Dr. Dukan, which led him to publish the results. The recent evidence on the diet also shows that there is significant benefit of following a high protein low carb diet as it eliminates the nutritionally empty good group.

It is important to note that several nutritionists are against the diet, some even labeling it as a fad diet. In addition, the diet is effective only for people who are looking to lose the excess weight that was put on. The cause of the weight gain must not be an illness as there are other specialized diets for this. 

The diet is, however, not recommended for people who have pre-existing issues such as kidney problems, liver disease, diabetes or heart disease. This is because the diet has strict rules which may affect the overall health of someone with any condition. 

Health Benefits Of The Diet

Health Benefits Of The Diet

The health benefits of the diet may seemingly look to be just weight loss. However, there are several other health benefits. 

  1. Rapid weight loss
  2. The calories are restricted and do not require counting. 
  3. Meal planning is made easy due to the restricted food groups. 
  4. Eliminates alcohol and reduces the intake of salt and fats. 
  5. Encourages adherence to healthy eating through celebrating meals in the fourth phase. 
  6. Decreases binge eating due to the incorporation of fulfilling foods

How Does It Work?

The basic idea behind the diet is to limit the carbohydrate intake that can hinder the process of fat burning. The body burns excess fat when it does have a ready supply of sugar (carbohydrate) to get its energy from. 

When the intake of proteins is increased and the carbohydrates are lowered, the body begins to burn the excess, stored fat. The intake of carbs is detrimental to the overall health and wellbeing. When we reduce its intake through this diet, we are encouraging energy gain through burning the stored fat. 

Thus, when you consume high protein foods, you promote short-term weight loss that can be sustained. The decrease in the level of hunger which stops binge eating is achieved by the action of digesting proteins. This reduces the levels of ghrelin which is a hunger hormone. 

Phases Of The Diet

Phases Of The Diet

The Dukan diet consists of four phases that initiates weight loss and allow us to reach the true weight. When I am on a diet, like many others, I am highly motivated to get on the weight loss journey. However, as time passes and I do not see a quick result, I get demotivated to carry on the diet and go down the rabbit hole of binge eating. Again. 

The Dukan diet makes sure the weight loss process is gradual so that we are accustomed to the diet. The multiple phases ensure that the progression can also be tracked. 

Following are the four phases of the diet: 

  1. Attack Phase 

The attack phase is the first step of the diet that lasts for at least seven days. The diet is initiated by consuming unlimited lean protein and one-and-a-half tablespoon of oat bran. 

  1. Cruise Phase

The cruise phase usually lasts for a few months up to a year depending on the individual. This phase alternates between two days where on day 1, they consume Attack phase food. And on the second day they consume attack phase food as well as vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers, tomatoes and celery among others. 

  1. Consolidation Phase

The duration of this phase is interesting as it is based on the weight lost in the previous two phases. For example, if you have lost 20 pounds in the past two phases, you will be required to spend 5 days for every pound you have lost in the two phases. 

This is the third step of the diet where the individual can mix and match the food items from the previous two phases. This phase itself contains the following food groups- fruits, bread, cheese, starches, meat, protein meal and two celebration meals. The oat bran is increased to 2.5 tablespoons, daily. 

The celebration meal can include any two meals per week of the duration. Where the meal looks like this- one appetizer, a main dish and dessert. Ending it with a glass of wine. 

  1. Stabilization Phase

This is the final phase of the diet which runs indefinitely. This focuses on maintaining the improvements that you have made so far. The earlier phases of the diet had restrictions which will be reversed in this phase. This ensures that we enjoy the process of the diet while also making sure there is no crash diet associated with the plan. 

Dukan Diet Meal Plan

The attack phase focuses on the consumption of protein which can be achieved through the following meal plan: 

  • Attack phase: Breakfast- 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran with nonfat cottage cheese and sugar substitute with an additional spice as per your choice. 

Lunch- iced tea, roasted chicken, and non-carb/low-carb noodles 

Dinner- shrimp, lean steak, egg soup. water

  • Cruise phase: Breakfast- sliced tomatoes, scrambled eggs, coffee with nonfat milk and sugar substitute

Lunch- grilled chicken with mixed green vegetables sauteed, greek yogurt and 2 tablespoons of oat bran

Dinner- baked salmon, steamed broccoli and carrot with peas, water. 

  • Consolidation phase: Breakfast- omelet with cheese and spinach. 

Lunch- turkey sandwich with whole wheat bread, cottage cheese with 2 tablespoons of oat bran and iced tea. 

Dinner- roasted meat (chicken or red meat), grilled vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, water. 

  • Stabilization phase: this is where you use the consolidation phase as your basic framework for the meals. You must add pure protein in at least one meal every day. You must also add three tablespoons of oat bran every day. 

Tips For Dukan Diet: 

  1. You must remember to maintain the food groups as suggested in the diet for the best results
  2. Make sure you are also keeping yourself active. No diet can be successful if you are not engaging in physical activity as per your comfort. 
  3. Ensure you keep your water intake to appropriate levels as there may be chances of dehydration
  4. You must include protein in your diet despite the diet progressing to different phases. 
  5. Ensure you are keeping the third phase of the diet as your framework for the final phase. That will allow you to maintain the progress while making further progress. 

Bottom line

The Dukan diet is a fairly simple diet that seems to be systematic. The internet and research is divided over the pros and cons of the diet. However, I have found the diet to be effective for a friend who recently went on this journey. The basic tips have to be maintained throughout the process for the diet to actually work.

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