Named after the French doctor, Pierre Dukan, the Dukan Diet aims to help in weight loss and management. He created this diet in the 1970s after taking inspiration from an obese patient who was willing to give up any food except meat.
The Diet is a low-carb, low-fat, and high-protein diet. After watching the diet successfully work with a patient, Dr. Dukan published it in The Dukan Diet in France.
Since 2000, when it was published, it has gained a lot of traction and attention, over seven million copies have been sold globally. To date, this is still the most popular diet amongst the people of France.
The Four Phases of the Dukan Diet
1. The Attack Phase – consists of eating foods that are “pure proteins,” which aims for rapid weight loss.
- Lasts around 2-5 days, but people aiming for a heftier weight loss might stay in this phase for longer than 7 days.
- A person can eat any of the 68 pure proteins listed. A person can eat as much as they want, and there is no calorie counting.
- The diet also requires them to eat at least 1.5 tablespoons (tbsp) of oat bran each day.
2. The Cruise Phase - This phase aims to lower a person’s body weight gradually by adding 32 specific vegetables to the diet.
- People can now eat all 100 food items on the list, though they should try to alternate between pure protein days and protein plus vegetable days.
- The length of this phase will depend on how much weight the person wants to lose. It lasts for 3 days for every pound they want to lose.
- In the cruise phase, the diet requires them to eat 2 tbsp of oat bran and exercise for 30–60 minutes each day.
3. The consolidation phase - In the consolidation phase, the aim is not to lose weight, but to avoid regaining it.
- A person can introduce some starchy foods.
- Requires them to eat the core diet of pure protein one day each week, preferably on the same day of each week.
- Every day, they can now eat - Unlimited quantities of protein and vegetables, One piece of fruit, 40g of hard-rind cheese, two slices of whole-grain bread
4. The stabilization phase - The stabilization phase is the long-term maintenance part of the plan.
- The person should not expect to lose or gain weight during this time.
- One day each week, they will have an all-protein day, as in the attack phase.
- At this point, people can consume artificial sweeteners, vinegar, sugar-free gum, and spices. It is also recommended to take multivitamins with minerals.
Having a meal plan is always beneficial to starting a diet, it not just adds structure but also motivates you to keep going and pushing yourself. Here is a sample meal plan. Along with this learning, new recipes and getting creative is important, you will be eating a lot of the same food which is why new Dukan recipes are important.
Moderation is the key for most diets along with constraints, however, this diet is relaxed and has a lot of leeway. The last thing you should always remember is to listen to your body and not force yourself.