What is the Dukan Diet: The Dukan Method Explained
The start of the New Year always prompts a lot of New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight or eat more healthily so it seem appropriate to put together a post which explained the main principles of the Dukan Diet.
Before I start it is important to understand that the Dukan Diet is continually being refined and adapted by Dr Dukan so the information provided may slightly differ from other information that you have read elsewhere on the Internet or even in Dr Dukan’s own Dukan Diet books. Dr Dukan tries out the refinements and adaptation on his coaching clients who are paying him to help them lose weight and he is able to provide them with these changes straight away. This information of course takes longer to get into his books.
The changes are usually quite small and designed to make the diet easier to follow or better nutritionally. Dr Dukan’s has been refining his diet plan for over 35 years since his very first patient asked for a weight loss program that included a lot of meat and Dr Dukan sent him away with instructions to eat only lean grilled meat for five days and to drink only water and to come back and see him. This very first Attack Phase produced a weight loss of 12 pounds.
In some ways I blame Dr Dukan for the some of the bad press that his diet has received because his marketing of the diet has over simplified his method almost beyond recognition.
The back cover of the UK Dukan Diet book describes the Attack Phase of the Diet as
“For 2-7 days eat as much as you want of 72 protein-rich foods”
In the Cruise Phase you
“Continue eating the protein-rich foods with the addition of 28 vegetables”
In Consolidation you
“Add fruit,bread, cheese and starchy foods, and two celebration meals a weeks, allowing 5 days for every pound lost.”
“Eat what you like without regaining weight by following 3 simple rules, including the famous “protein Thursdays”
If it really was that simple why would his book need 364 pages!!
Of course my list of 15 points below is also an over simplification of the diet but hopefully it will help you put a little more flesh on the bones of your understanding of the Dukan Diet and if you want to know more you could spend a little more time exploring my site or you could decide buy one of Dr Dukan’s Diet books.
- The Dukan Diet is a four phase eating plan that you will be able to follow to lose weight and keep it off forever. The two weight loss phases are Attack and Cruise and the two maintenance phases are Consolidation and Stabilisation.
- At the heart of the two weight loss phases is a concentration on eating low fat, low carb, high protein foods. The UK Dukan Diet Book lists 72 of these proteins but there are a few more.
- In the second phase vegetables are added usually on alternate days but vegetables allowed are low in sugar and starch content. There are 28 vegetables listed in the UK Dukan Diet book but again a few more can be added.
- You don’t count calories on the Dukan Diet but certain foods should be eaten with a degree of moderation – dairy products should be limited to 1 kg a day and certain vegetables such as carrots, beetroot and artichokes which have higher levels of sugar are limited to one 200g serving a week.
- Apart from goji berries and rhubarb all fruit is banned from the first two weight loss stages of the diet.
- The Diet restricts the levels of sugar, carbs and fat eaten, not allowing any food with added sugar starch or fat but doesn’t ban them where they naturally occur in the food. The dairy products contain natural sugar and as do many of the vegetable and goji berries. Oat bran is a high carb food and you are now allowed one teaspoon of olive oil or rapeseed oil each day.
- Dr Dukan added oat bran to his diet because of the beneficial health impacts in preventing diabetes and reducing cholesterol – he also considers it to be the most satisfying food in his diet. This one ingredient has certainly provided a lot of versatility to the foods that can be eaten. He now recommends eating this in one serving rather than several times throughout the day.
- It also advises to watch the amount of sodium/salt eaten particularly if you are prone to water retention.
- There is quite a long list of additional permitted items which make following the Diet much more palatable for example even on pure protein days you can have small amounts of onion, tomato puree and garlic.
- In the Cruise Phase you can add two daily tolerated items.
- Daily exercise is a prescribed part of the Diet.
- As is drinking enough water.
- When you’ve reached your target weight in the third phase, Consolidation you add in certain fruit, certain starchy foods, some cheeses and other foods in a Cein a controlled manner but keep to one day a week of Pure Protein, the famous Dukan Thursday.
- It is based on real foods, rather than convenience foods and teaches you a new way of eating.
- It is a not a miracle cure, if you do not change your eating habits your weight will just creep back on even if you follow the three Stabilisation rules which are to never take the escalator/lift, eat a daily serving of 3 tablespoons of oat bran and to have a Dukan Thursday – one day of Pure Protein protein each week.