Actors often practice getting in better shape before auditions, and singers often do the same to prepare for tours. Some opt for a diet and exercise plan that produces quick results instead of one that promotes healthy living in the long run.
It’s for this reason that diets like the Dukan diet are so popular. Kate Middleton and Jennifer Lopez have both attributed their weight loss to their diet. As with the Atkins diet, the diet consists of four phases of low-carb, high-protein eating. This diet claims to help you lose weight fast without making you feel hungry.
Is the Dukan diet worth trying?
A physician and nutritionist Pierre Dukan, who is based in France have developed the very popular Dukan diet, which is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
Often referred to as the Dukan diet, this diet follows the eating habits of hunter-gatherers. It consists of 100 foods, all of which are either proteins or vegetables. Those 100 foods are the only foods a person can eat without restriction.
In addition to losing weight, the Dukan diet has been linked to kidney disease and liver disease. Furthermore, it may not provide all the nutrients the body needs.
There is a discussion in the article about the Dukan diet, its effectiveness, some potential health risks, and the methods associated with this diet.
How does the Dukan diet work?
A person following this diet must eat protein-based meals and reduce their carbohydrate and fat intake. In addition to promoting daily physical activity, it emphasizes natural foods over packaged foods.
Dukan’s official website lists its 100 diet-approved foods. There are 68 “pure proteins” and 32 vegetables among the 100 foods. Diets can be modified later on by adding additional foods.
Those following the Dukan diet are advised to eat plenty of protein to lose weight. Due to the following reasons:
- Calorie-wise, protein-based foods are often lower in fat
- Consumption of protein will increase a person’s feeling of fullness
- The body burns a lot of calories as a result of digesting protein
As with Atkin’s diet, restricting carbohydrates and fats induces a starvation mode in our bodies, which ultimately forces the body to burn fat stores for energy.
The Phases Of Dukan Diet
As part of the Dukan diet, you go through four phases:
Phase I: Attack
“Pure protein” foods are consumed during the attack phase. It is designed to help you lose weight rapidly.
Protein-rich foods are thought to speed up metabolism when eaten in high quantities. Dietitians agree that no particular food can enhance metabolism, even though protein requires more calories to digest. It can, however, be boosted by exercise.
Due to the water loss and dehydration associated with cutting carbs, people may lose weight faster during this phase.
It takes almost two to five days for the attack phase to start properly, although if you are seeking to lose more than 40 pounds of weight, then you may stay in this phase for more than seven days.
There are 68 pure proteins available to a person during this phase. There are many lean protein sources available including, soy, cottage cheese, lean beef, fat-free dairy, chicken, eggs, and fish. It is recommended that you choose foods that contain little or no fat and no added sugar. Calorie counting is not necessary, so people can eat as much as they want.
Additionally, they must consume 1.5 tablespoons full of oat bran every day. Most of the carbs in oat bran cannot be digested or broken down by the body because it is high in fiber. Hunger can be suppressed by foods high in fiber.
Dietary guidelines recommend drinking 1.5 liters of water per day and exercising for 20 minutes each day during the attack phase.
Second phase: Cruise
A person’s body weight is gradually reduced by eating 32 specific vegetables in the cruise phase. It is now time for people to alternate between eating pure protein and pure protein plus vegetables now that they are able to eat all 100 items on the list.
Depending on a person’s weight loss goal, this phase can last for a short time or for a long time. A pound of weight loss lasts three days.
It is acceptable to consume unlimited quantities of low-fat proteins, veggies, and grains. Each day, they are required to eat two tablespoons of oat bran and workout for 35 to 60 minutes.
Phase 3: consolidation
The goal of the consolidation phase is not to lose any weight, but instead to avoid gaining it back. It’s okay to introduce some starchy foods. There’s now stuff they can eat every day:
- You can eat as much protein and vegetables as you want
- Fruit on the side
- One and a half ounces of any of your favorite cheese
- Whole grain bread, two or three slices
Besides starchy foods, they can also have one or two cheat meals a week. You can eat whatever you want at a cheat meal. A day a week, ideally on the same day each week, you will need to eat the core diet of protein-only food. You are required to exercise 25 minutes a day during this phase.
Phase 4: Stabilization
Long-term maintenance happens in the stabilization phase. During this time, neither weight loss nor weight gain should be expected. One day a week, you will have a protein-only day. As long as they follow these simple rules, they can eat whatever they want:
- Each day, eat three tablespoons of oat bran.
- Get up and down the stairs as often as you can.
- Thursdays should be “pure protein days.”
- Make sure you exercise 20 minutes a day.
- Stay hydrated by drinking 1.5 liters a day.
During stabilization, the person’s lifestyle becomes a part of the plan. It’s now okay to eat artificial sweeteners, vinegar, sugar-free gum, and spices. Multivitamins with minerals are also recommended.
Is it backed up by evidence?
The Dukan Diet doesn’t have a lot of quality research. The Dukan Diet was found to lead to 33 pounds (15 kg) of weight loss in 8–10 weeks in Polish women who followed it. It’s important to note that 1,000 calories per day are too low for most women, even though weight loss has been observed.
Adult women should get at least 1,600 calories a day, according to the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A calorie restriction can have serious health effects plus it’s hard to maintain. This study also showed that water loss contributed a lot to weight loss.
High protein, low carb meals are also an important part of the Dukan Diet’s effectiveness. Research finds high protein; low carb dietary patterns work for short-term weight loss.
Protein’s weight-loss benefits come from several factors. The breakdown of protein burns more calories than digesting carbs or fat, and protein may decrease ghrelin levels while also increasing several fullness hormones.
The Dukan Diet, on the other hand, restricts carbs and fat, unlike many similar high-protein diets. You’ll get a lot of protein, not a lot of carbs, and not a lot of fat. Low-carb, high-protein diets aren’t based on science, so they shouldn’t restrict fat either.
Although oat bran is a necessary daily serving, the Dukan Diet’s initial stages are low in fiber. One serving of 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of oat bran contains less than 2 grams of fiber in it, however, this isn’t enough to provide many health benefits. This amount of fiber is more than 10 times the Daily Value of fiber
How safe and sustainable is the Dukan Diet?
Overall, the Dukan Diet isn’t a good choice due to safety and sustainability issues. Dukan Diet safety has only been studied in a few studies.
The Dukan Diet and gastric bypass surgery have been linked to bipolar multiple serous pigment epithelial detachment, a condition that changes the eyes’ structure. The Dukan Diet doesn’t just have that problem. Following are the issues people frequently report about this diet.
It’s hard to follow the Dukan Diet, and it could eventually lead to disordered eating. In the first two phases, most people will lose weight, but the diet is pretty restricting – especially with the pure protein days.
It turns out that even on a weight loss program, women on this diet ate way too few calories. Even though people lose weight on the diet, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to sustain this low-calorie level for a long.
If you follow the Dukan Diet for a long time, you won’t get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet due to the extreme calorie restriction.
In addition, avocados and nuts aren’t allowed on the Dukan Diet because they’re high in fat. You should eat a healthy amount of fiber to manage your cholesterol and digestive health.
High-fat foods are also discouraged, which could be good for your health. Overall, the diet promotes an unbalanced approach with insufficient macronutrients, including carbs and fats.
Long-Term Sustainability Not Possible
Overall, the Dukan Diet is unsustainable due to its excessive restrictions and unbalanced nutrition. According to studies, excessively restrictive diets can increase hunger and food cravings because they alter hunger and satiety hormones. You can also burn fewer calories at rest when you’re on an extremely low-calorie diet.
When you stop the diet, you might gain weight again, and you’re unlikely to stick to this diet for any significant period since it’s so hard.
There Are Potential Downsides
There are concerns about high protein intake, as well as the restrictive nature of the diet. The biggest concerns are about kidney and bone health.
There used to be a myth that high protein intake would damage your kidneys and weaken your bones. Despite that, research on high protein intake for people with healthy kidneys is still inconclusive, and newer studies suggest it might even promote stronger bones.
However, people who get kidney stones might see their condition worsen with a lot of protein. It’s not recommended to follow these diets if you have impaired kidney function.
Additionally, high-protein diets tend to make you drink more water. According to an older study, 50.7 ounces (1.5 liters) of water is probably too little for the Dukan Diet.
It’s possible to dehydrate from the low water intake. Consult your doctor before starting a high-protein diet if you have kidney problems, gout, liver disease, or other health issues. Moreover, the Dukan Diet is too restrictive and can lead to eating disorders.
Dukan Diet: How Fast Does It Work?
When you start the Dukan Diet, you’re likely to lose weight quickly. You might have trouble sticking to it long-term because it’s so restrictive.
Once you go back to unrestricted eating habits, you might gain back some of the weight you lost in the beginning. If you focus on eating minimally processed food, rather than extreme options, like the Dukan Diet, you might lose and maintain weight.
What’s The Difference Between The Dukan Diet And Keto?
Despite being a low-carb diet, the Dukan Diet isn’t exactly like the keto diet. There are some key differences between keto and Dukan diets, including the fact that keto is a high-fat, moderate-protein diet.
The Dukan Diet may promote ketosis – when your body burns fat instead of carbs. In the later phases, you get more carbs than on the keto diet. As a result, people on the Dukan Diet won’t be able to maintain ketosis.
Is the Dukan Diet expensive?
There’s no cost to follow the Dukan Diet, but you’ll need to buy oat bran. For $29.99 per month, you can join the Dukan Diet website. Dukan Diet doesn’t require this, though.
Let’s sum it up
According to Dukan Diet claims, it’s a fast weight loss diet. Still, it may be hard to sustain long-term because of several things. Food restriction leads to disordered eating and doesn’t foster a healthy relationship with food.
There are many healthy foods you can avoid unnecessarily with this fast weight-loss diet, but it works on a short-term basis.