The Dukan diet has taken the world by storm as you have most likely heard from TV, radio stations, and news outlets on the web. There is a reason for that: it’s because this diet works! This diet is somewhat similar to the Atkins diet, but it is not as extreme. For example, limiting carbohydrates is a similar technique that the Dukan diet suggests, but the Dukan diet plan is far less restrictive depending on which phase you’re in.
You will also discover that unlike the Atkins diet and other diets out there, you can eat ANYTHING that you want at certain phases of the diet. Let’s take a look at the basics.
Dukan Diet phases
The Dukan Diet is a 4-phase diet that involves a high amount of protein, and of course, lower calories than what you normally consume daily. This may seem like a contradiction, but you don’t count your calories on this diet. You’ll eat as much as you want at any time of the day as long as it’s protein, at least, that’s how it is in the beginning. Let’s take a look at the 4 phases of the Dukan Diet.
Dukan Diet – phase 1
In phase 1 you begin eating nothing but lean protein, and it can be all of the lean protein that you want – no calorie counting! The foods you’re allowed to eat are all kinds of meats like fish, chicken, and beef. Make sure to eat meats that are typically lower in fat and also be careful to not eat meat that has added sugars.
You’ll also be able to eat non-fat dairy such as cottage cheese and eggs as they are a great source of protein. Soy is also allowed as it is high in protein and not so many carbohydrates. On top of this, you are also required to eat at least 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran. Oat bran is the only carbohydrate source that you are allowed in phase 1.
As you can see, the Dukan diet is similar to the Atkins diet due to the low carbohydrate plan in Phase 1. The difference is that oat bran is allowed. Now, why is it that oat bran is allowed? Oat bran happens to be extremely high in fibre which means a lot of the carbohydrates can’t even be broken down and digested, so that means it’s less carbohydrate-rich than you think. On top of this, oat bran can swell up to as much as twenty times as big when it’s in your stomach, and this will give you a feeling of being full! This helps cut down on hunger cravings. Also, legend has it that oat bran makes your body spend more calories digesting it than it has in the oat bran itself, so it’s considered a miracle food.
In phase 1, you are also required to drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day. Drinking water will help make you stay full, and it’s also a little more important to drink water than usual since a low carbohydrate diet can dehydrate you. Carbohydrates absorb water, and since you’re restricting them, your body will hold less water.
Phase 1 can last anywhere from 1 to 10 days depending on what your requirements are. Shoot for staying in phase 1 for at least one week when you first begin.
The cruise phase introduces new types of food into your diet: vegetables to be exact. The fruit is not allowed (we’ll get to that later!). You are allowed to consume an unlimited amount of vegetables in phase 2 as long as they are of the non-starchy variety. Vegetables like peas, carrots, and corn are of the starchy variety. However, vegetables like lettuce, spinach, green beans, okra, basically anything green, and any vegetable that is of the non-starchy variety is allowed.
You may eat as many and as many vegetables as you’d like as mentioned, and to be clear, this is on top of the lean meats and protein sources from the 1st phase of the diet. You are still required to drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day, and as far as oat bran, increase your oat bran intake to about at least 2 tablespoons a day. As long as you eat your green veggies, lean meats, keep your water intake up, eat your oat bran, and stay away from starchy veggies like potatoes, you’ll be cruising through phase 2 with ease.
Dukan Diet – phase 2
An important note about phase 2 is that in phase 2, you alternate days as far as lean protein and vegetables. For example, you will have one day where it’s just like the attack stage, and the next day will be lean meats and proteins combined with all of the green veggies that you want. This is a never-ending alternation and lasts for the entire duration of phase 2. Phase 2 can last as long as you need it to, but for an example’s sake, let’s say that takes place over 3 weeks to 1 month.
Dukan Diet – phase 3
Phase 3 is like a combination of phases 1 and 2, but with a little more freedom. You are allowed to eat unlimited vegetables and lean protein, and you are now allowed to eat meats like pork and lamb. You can now introduce one piece of fruit into your diet, a couple of slices of whole-grain bread, and just a little bit of cheese. You are also allowed 1-2 servings of starchy food, and you are allowed 1-2 ‘celebration’ meals per week. Your celebration meals can consist of anything and everything that you would like!
In this phase, you are beginning a commitment to this diet. You obey everything that you have read thus far and it’s set up like the following: on one day you eat nothing but lean protein as noted in the 1st phase, and the rest of the 6 days are a combination of everything in phase 3.
Phase 3 can last however long you want it to, even if you plan to obey this diet for your entire life. People usually don’t stick to this, so phase 3 once again, can last however long you need it to for ongoing weight loss until your desired weight is reached.
Dukan Diet – phase 4
Phase 4 is the maintenance of the diet. You can eat whatever you’d like and you will not gain weight, as long as you abide by the following: one day a week, follow the phase 1 Attack part, heat 3 tablespoons of oat bran a day, and walk for 20 minutes each day. Also, never take elevators or escalators!
Throughout this entire diet, you are required to take a 20-minute walk per day. Artificial sweeteners are allowed, as well as sugar-free gum. If you’re not much of a water-drinker, the good news is that you can have diet drinks as well since they usually have some sort of artificial sweetener.
By now you should have a good understanding of the Dukan diet and how it works. Good luck on your weight loss journey, and here’s to your health. Good luck on your weight loss journey, and here’s to your health