Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dukan Diet - Will you Lose Weight Quickly?

Dukan Diet - Long Term Weight Loss Plan with French Beginnings

It seems like the French often have the secrets for keeping slim. Have you heard of the Dukan Diet?
Do you need to lose 20 pounds or more quickly? Created by French doctor Pierre Dukan, this one is popular in France and has been for years and was only recently released outside of France. 

The Dukan diet is broken up into four phases: the attack phase, cruise phase, consolidation phase and stabilization phase. It isn’t so much about counting calories, but about which foods you eat and when. Dukan notes that instead of calorie counting, you are category counting. The diet is pretty strict and you have to stick with it but if you do, you can lose weight quickly.

The Dukan diet is also a plan for life – it focuses heavily on maintenance and keeping the weight off with a specific plan for that period. In his thirty years of practice, Dukan realized that the vulnerable period is the one right after people reach their goal weight. It is challenging to know how to balance your eating if you aren't naturally inclined to balance and restrict your food intake. He developed a plan to get people through the sensitive time after losing the weight and transitioning into way of life. If you need to lose 20 pounds quickly, you may want to consider the Dukan diet. You can use the Dukan diet to lose 10 pounds or to lose more than 40 pounds - the times you will be in each of the phases will differ depending on how much weight you have to lose.

The Dukan diet allows you to eat foods you like but has one major catch. One day a week, (the diet designates Thursdays) – you can eat only protein. When you want to lose weight quickly, this seems like a minor catch. Low carb diets are popular for a reason - they get results and Dukan says you can maintain your weight loss long term by going back to this structured low carb menu one day each week, for the rest of your life.

In the first phase, the “attack”, you eat only protein. Seem familiar? The focus on protein appears similar to the Atkin’s plan. However, unlike the popular low carb Atkin’s diet, this isn’t protein with butter and as much fat as you want. Fat is to be trimmed off, skin removed from the chicken – this is more focused on lean protein eating. You carry on this first attack phase of the diet for anywhere from one to ten days, depending on how much weight you need to lose. If you want to lose more weight quickly, you spend more time in this first phase of the diet. The average dieter spends five days in the attack phase of the diet.

Here are the specifics about what you can and cannot eat in this attack phase.
Lean beef, veal, chicken liver or rabbit with fat trimmed – avoid ribs as they are too fatty. All of these must be broiled, grilled or roasted. No butter, cream or oil – no low-fat versions either. You can have skim milk and non-fat dairy. You can use lean ground beef as burgers or meatballs – mixed with capers, an egg or spices.
No pork or lamb
Ham is okay if it is low fat and lean with the rind cut off – avoid smoked, deli or cured hams
All fish including crab legs are okay unless it is in oil or sauce that has fat
All shellfish is okay
Up to two eggs per day – stick to 3 or 4 yolks per week if cholesterol is a problem for you but unlimited egg whites are okay
Non-fat dairy products such as cottage cheese, skim milk, no-fat yogurt in natural, vanilla or lemon flavors. Avoid the ones with fruit purees to really attack your weight loss
Stevia is okay, Dukan says Aspartame and splenda are okay (which I advise strongly against – see other posts on the right about the dangers of aspartame and bad things about splenda), vinegars, spices, herbs, garlic, onion, pickles (in moderation), lemon juice (on food – not as a beverage), mustard and salt (in moderation) sugar-free chewing gum and sugar-free natural ketchup in moderation are all okay in the first phase of the Dukan Diet. Diet sodas are okay as the doctor thinks they help you avoid eating foods that are off-limits as they satisfy a craving. Click for a complete list of Dukan approved foods

The second phase of the Dukan diet is the cruise phase. During this second phase, you will continue to lose weight quickly but not as quickly as in the first phase. You will be alternating your protein-only days with protein and vegetable days. On the protein and vegetable days, you can eat as much as you like of a long list of vegetables – mostly green such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, sprouts, Brussels sprouts, spinach, chard, aubergine, peppers, leeks, salad greens and more. You can enjoy tomatoes during these days but avoid starch-based vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes. In this phase of the Dukan diet, you should expect to lose a couple of pounds a week.

You stay in this phase alternating protein and protein/vegetable days until you’ve reached your weight loss goal. If you have a lot of weight to lose quickly, stay in the first phase for a longer period before going into this second phase of the diet. Then, just stick with the cruise phase until you reach your goal weight.

The third phase of the Dukan diet is the consolidation phase. It is this period that Dr. Dukan says is the “high-risk” period for weight gain for most dieters. You can add back in limited amounts of breads, cheese, pasta and other foods you love during this phase but still in a restricted way.  You can eat lean protein and vegetables every day. You can add in one serving of fruit per day. Avoid fruits that are very high in sugar like grapes or bananas. One serving of cheese is okay daily during this phase as well as two slices of whole grain bread with low-fat butter.

Dukan encourages having a splurge meal each week in this phase of the diet but says there are a few things you must not do. Dukan says you must not have second helpings of any dish and also avoid more than one splurge meal in the week. It is critical that after your splurge meal, you pick up the healthy eating immediately in the next meal. You should have one protein-only day each week during this phase to maintain. Dukan recommends five days of this third phase for every pound of weight you have lost. So if you lose 20 pounds on the Dukan diet, plan on 100 days in the third phase or consolidation of the Dukan diet. You don’t continue to lose weight in this phase so if you wanted to lose more weight – stay in the cruise phase alternating protein-only and protein-vegetable days before jumping into this one. 

On the Dukan Diet, it is imperative that you do low impact exercise such as a walk for 25 minutes each day. This 25 minute a day walk is not optional - it is a requirement for the success of the diet. Dukan also recommends taking 2 Tbsp oat bran or fiber equivalent daily for regularity. The exact amount of oat bran required depends on which phase of the diet you are in.
Finally, the fourth phase or stabilization phase of the Dukan diet is your maintenance step for life. At this point, no foods are off limits but one day each week – Dukan suggests doing it on Thursday, you eat only protein. This protein day is to balance out the food during the rest of the week. Like the protein-only phase during the diet, avoid fats and skin and stick to no sauces and the same rules as the attack phase diet plan.

This Dukan diet fourth phase is a plan for life. You can eat the foods you love, and do protein-only once a week. Combined with about 25 minutes of exercise daily, you can keep the weight off and feel great. One important thing to note is that you need to keep hydrated - drink a lot of water. The water is cleansing, hydrating and helps your organs and systems function well during your dieting. If you stray and gain weight, you can start the plan again to get rid of those few extra pounds. Have you tried the Dukan diet? What were your results? For Dukan Diet recipes and more Dukan Diet information click Pierre Dukan
You can check out the new Dukan Diet Book here: The Dukan Diet

Source: Daily Mail UK - Dukan Diet

We'd love to hear your weight loss results with the Dukan Diet - did you lose weight quickly?

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