The Dukan diet offers an interesting twist to conventional dieting. Its creator, the French nutritionist Pierre Dukan, believes that a primitive diet is the best way to get into shape fast. He claims that more people would lose weight easily if they just adopted a hunter-gatherer style eating plan. To understand his theory better, it is important to go over how this diet actually works.
The Dukan Diet Explained
This diet’s basic premise is that people should imitate the eating habits and food choices of hunter-gatherer ancestors. In the age before processed foods and drive-thrus, people had limited food choices, most of which were high in protein. Most foods were eaten in their natural state, and when cooked, they contained no additives and excess sugar like they do today. This primitive diet is the foundation of the Dukan diet.
The Dukan diet also features 4 main phases that are designed to kick start the metabolism, achieve fast weight loss and prevent you from gaining it back. During those phases, only certain foods are allowed. In fact, there is a list of 100 foods that dieters are allowed to eat on this diet. Anything else is banned until the latter stages of the meal plan.
The Dukan Diet Phases
As mentioned earlier, there are 4 stages to this diet. These are namely the attack phase, cruise, consolidation phase and stabilization. Each stage is designed to fulfill a specific purpose and demands slight dietary changes.
The attack phase is all about jumpstarting your metabolism and losing as much weight as possible. The goal is to lose 4-6 pounds in 2-10 days. In this phase, you are only allowed to eat lean protein, which can be sources from eggs, lean meats, fish, dairy and soy products. Meat should ideally be bought from the butcher or market to avoid additional sugars.
The only carbohydrates you can eat are from oat bran. Oat bran contains a large amount of fiber and expands up to 20 times its size when ingested. Fiber keeps you filled up, making it a natural appetite suppressant. Drinking enough water is also essential.
The cruise phase is meant to slow down the rate of weight loss to 2 pounds a week. Here, you can eat protein with the low-carb vegetables only. Fruit is not allowed and high-carbohydrate vegetables like corn and carrots are prohibited. For best results, alternate between all-protein days and protein-vegetables days until you reach your goal weight.
Consolidation is about preventing your body from regaining the weight lost. The best diet includes a combination of vegetables and lean protein. You are allowed to increase carbohydrate intake, but only through whole grain bread and fresh fruit.
This is the part of the Dukan diet where long-term weight management begins. Dieters can continue with the protein-vegetable meal plan with fresh fruit and whole grains. You are also allowed to eat your favorite meals, provided they are unprocessed and low in calories. If you’ve been craving sweet or fatty foods, you are given two days out of the week to indulge yourself.
The Dukan diet might seem radical to some, but it has been endorsed by many celebrities and dieters who have noticed positive results. Because the diet requires drastic changes to your daily menu, speak to your doctor for a professional opinion first.