Is the protein rich Dukan Diet the key to fast and long lasting weight loss?
I have been intrigued by the Dukan Diet ever since I started searching the internet for dieting tips and inspiration. It seems to be popping up everywhere and, according to the latest news and reviews, is a highly successful way to lose weight, and most importantly, maintain it.
The Dukan Diet is not so much of a diet, as a weight-loss system. It boasts a massively supportive community of fellow Dukan Dieters who all subscribe to a personal weight-loss programme in order to reach their ‘true weight’.
It proposes that we revert to a balanced diet of proteins and vegetables, much more like the foods that were eaten by primitive man and less like the over loaded and excessive diets that we eat today.
How the Dukan diet works
The diet is split into four phases, each one designed with a specific purpose;
the first phase, Attack, is a five day period of eating nothing but protein (from lean meat, fish, tofu etc), oat bran and water. It is claimed that, in this phase alone, you can lose between six and ten lbs.
The second phase, Cruise, sees the introduction of vegetables into the mix. Using the Dukan Diets calculator, you will be given a goal weight. The idea of the cruise phase is to eat a combination of protein and vegetables until you have reached this weight. For some people, it will take a matter of weeks, but if you have a large amount of weight to lose you could be in phase two for months.
Phase three is known as Consolidation and, at this point, you are expected to be at your goal weight, so there is no more weight to loss as such, this phase is about maintaining the weight you have lost. During this phase you will add fruit, bread and cheese into your diet.
The fourth phase is called Stabilisation and the basic principle is that you are allowed to eat whatever you like, just remembering the simple ethos of the Consolidation phase; eat as much protein and vegetables as you like, everything else in moderation.
The weight-loss reported by devotees to this four-phase-formula is quite impressive, but there is a downside to the miracle diet; as a result of the strict first and second phase, people have been known to suffer bad breath, dry mouths and constipation (although this can be avoided by drinking plenty of water). There is also the high risk of failure in a diet that is so restrictive.
Is it worth trying?
It can be tough to stick to such rigid rules in the everyday world; working full time, taking care of a family and generally trying to live a normal day to day life can make parts of the Dukan Diet unrealistic.
It also has some similar characteristics as the infamous ‘Atkins Diet’, which is also a four-phase, zero carb, eating plan. There are pros and cons with any diet of this nature; the trick is finding a balance between what is realistic and what is safe.