For those who love the thought of adapting a diet plan similar to Atkins or the Paleo diet, the latest craze in high protein weight loss programs is to try the Dukan diet. Designed by French dietitian and nutritionist Pierre Dukan, it focuses mostly on ingesting a significant amount of protein, and a few plant products. It is said to give phenomenal results in very little time, and is based on the primitive “hunter and gatherer” lifestyle of eating.
So, what does the “hunter and gatherer” food mean? For this particular diet, you are limited to 100 foods (72 animal-based, 28 plant-based), but you may eat as much of them as you please, but the diet is applied in four phases: the attack phase, cruise phase, consolidation phase, and the stabilization phase. During the first phase, you eat only low-fat proteins, and it is only during the second (cruise) phase that you add vegetables, and with the final two phases, you add in limited low-sugar fruits and there are stipulations about exercise, and one day a week, you must have an all-protein day (like the first phase).
When it comes to its effectiveness, this does provide great results, however it isn’t for everyone. The only carbohydrate you are allowed to have is three tablespoons of oat bran each day – and this is only later on. Earlier on, it is less, at only 1 ½ tablespoons per day. What this diet does is eliminate carbs from your diet and provide a metabolic change that is similar to the Atkins diet. The differences between the two, though, are that there is no counting calories with the Dukan diet, and the Dukan diet is low-fat, while with the Atkins diet, you may have as much fat as you like. Additional differences include that the Dukan diet focuses on natural food (Atkins allows processed foods, pre-made shakes and protein bars), and the Dukan diet has no quantity limitations.
As with all diet plans, the Dukan diet suggests plenty of water (1.5 liters or more) and a multivitamin daily. It is also a diet you are expected to remain on indefinitely. If that’s going to be the case, it is troublesome that they would want you to continue taking vitamins instead of teaching you how to get all the nutrition you need from the foods you are eating.
As just mentioned, if you do try the Dukan diet, be prepared to stay on it for the rest of your life. Its effectiveness is limited to the time you spend on this diet plan. Plus, although you may lose up to 7 pounds in the first 10 days, the rest of the time you only lose as much as any other plan: an average of just over 2 pounds per week. Considering the fact that it doesn’t provide enough of a difference in weight loss results than any other weight loss program, and the fact that there are so many food restrictions, its hard to believe that this particular diet is really worth the effort. But if you’re looking for something new and different, you may want to give it a try.
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