Healthy Eating

What is a Dukan diet? Know it’s phases and health risks!

Dukan diet is a high protein and low carb diet. Started by a French Physician, it advocates eating foods how hunters would eat. There are 100 foods from animal and vegetable kingdom that the dieter can eat. People who desire weight loss use this diet.

What is a Dukan diet?

A French physician called Pierre Dukan designed this diet. It is also called Dukan method. It promises weight loss. The diet consists of high proteins and low carbs. The assumption is that hunters used to eat only these foods and remained healthy and energetic. The same would happen to a person pursuing this diet. In this diet, there is also less fats consumed.

Dukan diet
Dukan diet (Source: Red book)

Only 100 food items are allowed in this diet. In this list, 68 are pure proteins and 32 are vegetables. All foods consumed should be naturally cooked and not processed or packaged. The diet encourages the person to also do physical activity. Following this diet regime and doing exercise can cause weight loss. Only in the latter phase of the diet, additional foods enter. The diet eater goes through 4 phases.

Phases of the diet

The first phase is the attack phase. In this, the dieter only consumes pure proteins with no carbs or fat. The allowed foods in this phase are lean beef, fish, chicken, cottage cheese, soy, eggs, and fat-free dairy. As expected there is drastic weight loss as body uses the fat stores for energy. This phase is for 2 to 7 days; longer duration for those who want to lose more body fat. Along with this, the dieter should take 1.5 tablespoon of oat bran per day for fiber. And 1.5 liters of water and 20 minutes exercise per day.

The second is the cruise phase when the dieter introduces vegetables in the food. 3 days for each pound the person wants to lose. That will be the duration of this phase. The vegetables should be non-starchy such as okra, spinach, lettuce, and green beans. Here 2 tablespoon of oat bran and 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day is a must.

Dukan diet
Dukan diet (Source: NDTV Food)

In the third consolidation phase, there should be no further weight loss and no weight gain also. The dieter can start some starchy foods. There can be 1 or 2 celebration day per week. Exercise for 25 minutes each day. And have a day full of protein food.

In the fourth phase, the stabilization phase, weight should be steady. Have one pure protein day per week. 3 tablespoon of oat bran per day. Use stairs. Exercise for 20 mins per day and drink 1.5 liters of water. Add multivitamins and other foods. This phase becomes the person’s lifestyle.

Benefits and risks

The diet does produce desired weight reduction. But the long-term consequences are bad. The reason is that it is not a balanced diet. Certain categories of foods are less or missing. It is hard to follow since everything is to be prepared from scratch.

Dukan diet
Dukan diet (Source: Prevention)

Risk of metabolic disease is high with it. High protein diets puts stress on the kidneys and can fail them. The diet can pose more health risks and cause osteoporosis, liver failure, and heart ailments.