The Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet was invented more than 30 years ago, but didn’t get much attention at all until a bestselling book in the 2000s made it into a new dieting craze.

It was developed by Dr. Pierre Dukan and gained popularity with the publication and distribution of The Dukan Diet. The Dukan Diet involves major diet changes, as at least the first stage involves taking low carb dieting to its most extreme. The Dukan Diet incorporates a weight loss plan and a long-term plan to keep weight off for a lifetime. The phases of the Dukan Diet are:

  • Attack: If the name of the phase sounds a little intense, it’s because it is. This 2-7 day period of nearly carb-less eating is meant to kickstart your metabolism into intense weight-loss. Weight loss is achieved by eating a combination of 72 allowed high protein foods and a meal with oat bran. This phase involves the most rapid weight loss, as quick as a pound a day for some. How long you stay in Attack and how much weight you can expect to lose come from weight loss calculations included in The Dukan Diet. Throughout this and all four phases, dieters are encouraged to drink lots of water–about 2 liters a day– to maintain digestive health with the intense protein regimen and feel better in general.
  • Cruise: This is a period of more moderate weight loss. This phase involves adding back 28 vegetables to the diet, making a total of 100 acceptable foods, either high protein-low carb or vegetables. During Cruise dieters alternate days of only eating high-protein foods (and oat bran, which is maintained every day) with days of high-protein foods as well as vegetables. Again, how much weight you can expect to lose and the duration of Cruise is detailed in The Dukan Diet and varies from person to person.
  • Consolidation: This phase is about getting back to a more normal diet when you approach your goal weight. For every pound you have lost on the diet, you spend one day in Consolidation. During this phase bread, pasta, and cheese are allowed as well as the vegetables, high-protein foods, and oat bran. Every week the diet allows for two celebration meals where dieters need not adhere to any of the rules of the diet.
  • Stabilization: This is the long-term plan to keep weight off once a dieter’s goal weight has been reached and they have successfully gone through Consolidation. Dieters eat without diet rules as long as they keep the weight they have lost off, and as long as they stick to three lifelong rules: incorporate a day into their week where they eat only the high protein foods allowed in Attack, eat oat bran every day, and commit to physical activity like walking 20 minutes a day and taking the stairs whenever possible.

The Dukan Diet attempts to stave off a few of the problems low carb diets have by encouraging fiber intake through oat bran pancakes and other oat bran dishes during all phases, encouraging participants to drink lots of water, recommending a multivitamin/mineral supplement to dieters, and allowing sugarfree gum (these kinds of diets are notorious for making their participants’ breath stink).

The diet has come under fire for being such an extreme swing in the direction of low-carb dieting, for being a ‘crash diet,’ and for not being a sustainable plan for weight loss. Health professionals and nutrition experts in the US and the UK have at times panned it for being the worst Type 2 Diabetes prevention diet on the market and for tossing out all conventional wisdom on disease prevention through limiting calorie and fat intake. Despite it, The Dukan Diet continues to sell millions of copies worldwide and dieters swear by Dr. Dukan and his diet for shedding pound quickly without restrictive portion control, calorie or carb counting.

Some speculate that he is part man, part animal, but the only thing that you need to know is his obsession and dedication to the art of living lean and helping you to achieve your body fat goals.


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