The Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet

The Dukan diet is a 4-phase diet promising rapid weight loss without the headache of counting calories or carbohydrates. This diet has been popular in Europe for years and is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States.
 The Dukan Diet (4 / 5)
Phase 1, the “Attack” phase, includes only lean protein and fat-free dairy. No fruits, vegetables, or grains allowed with the exception of wheat bran. This phase lasts 1-10 days, depending on how much weight you want to lose.

Phase 2 is the “Cruise” phase, during which you are allowed to add only non-starchy vegetables every other day. Phase 2 is followed until you reach your target weight.

Phase 3 is the “Consolidation” phase. This phase allows you to gradually add back carbohydrates to the diet.

Phase 4, “Permanent Stabilization” is the final phase of the diet. This phase is to be a lifelong commitment to prevent you from regaining the weight you have lost. By this time it is expected that you have learned how to eat healthy, so you can essentially eat what you want as long as you follow the three rules to live by:
1. Consume 3 Tablespoons of oat bran per day
2. Choose to take the stairs whenever possible
3. Have a pure-protein Thursday.

BENEFITS OF THE DIET
• The diet may be effective for achieving weight loss goals quickly.
• There is no burdensome calorie or carbohydrate counting.
• The diet encourages lean proteins, which may be protective of heart disease.
• Daily physical activity is encouraged.
• The final phase of the diet encourages a balanced diet including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy, although you are expected to return to the lean protein only diet once a week.
• The diet encourages long-term weight management rather than a short-term quick fix.
• This diet may be appealing to those who like structure and rules.

DRAWBACKS OF THE DIET

• All the rules may be difficult for some to follow, especially during the first two phases when food selection is extremely limited.
• The elimination of foods can put dieters at risk for nutritional deficiencies.
• The first two phases allow for very little fiber intake. Recommended fiber intake for adults is 25-38 grams per day. In phase 1, the only source of fiber is oat bran, providing a mere 4 grams per day.
• Weight loss during the first two phases may be too rapid. Most health experts recommend a weight loss rate of 1-2 pounds per week. The Dukan diet promises weight loss up to 10 pounds in the first week.
• There may be potential for health problems, especially if the first two phases are followed for too long. Carbohydrates are the brain’s preferred source for fuel. By limiting carbohydrates in the diet, the brain adapts to use fat for fuel. This type of diet has been known to cause unpleasant side effects such as bad breath, fatigue, dry mouth, and constipation, as well as more serious health problems such as kidney disease and gout.
• Following a high protein diet can be expensive.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Generally, a diet that eliminates any particular food group for any amount of time is not recommended. Many dieters will be drawn to the Dukan diet for its promise of rapid results. However, most experts agree that a slow approach to weight loss that involves a healthy balanced diet and regular physical activity is the way to go. This type of weight loss is typically better maintained and puts dieters at lower risk for unpleasant side effects. If you do choose to follow the Dukan diet, or any other highly restrictive diet, it is best to do so under the supervision of a doctor.

RESOURCES

  • http://www.dukandiet.com/The-Dukan-Diet
  • http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/dukan-diet-review
  • http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=6442464088
  • http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/dukan-diet
  • http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DietaryGuidelines.htm

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