Dukan Diet: A General Introduction
A lot of individuals want to quickly lose weight. However, rapid weight loss can be rather challenging to attain and even more difficult to sustain. The diet program known as the Dukan Diet program claims to be able to rapidly and permanently help individuals lose weight without going hungry or craving. A lot of individuals, though, maybe wondering if this kind of diet can be effective for them. Before we look closely at the intricacies of the said diet, let us first look at what the Dukan Diet is.
The Dukan Diet program is a low-carb and high-protein diet for weight loss that is divided into four phases. It was originally developed by Dr. Pierre Dukan, a doctor who has specialization in the field of weight management. The diet was created in the 1970s by Dr. Dukan who was inspired by a patient that is obese how mentioned that aside from meat, he can give up all other forms of food items just to undergo some weight loss.
One successful patient after another experiencing weight loss results that are impressive, Dr. Dukan had the Dukan Diet published in 2000. This published work was soon released to thirty-two countries and moved on to become a bestselling book. It is claimed that it was able to assist people to attain weight loss that is easy and rapid without going hungry. The Dukan Diet program share some similar features of other diet programs that are low-carb and high-protein such as the Atkins diet and Stillman diet
How Does the Dukan Diet Work?
This diet program begins with having the goal weight calculated which is referred to as the individual’s true weight which is dependent on a number of different factors such as a history of weight loss and age. How long an individual needs to remain for each phase of the Dukan diet program will depend on the total weight one needs to lose in order to attain one’s true weight. The Dukan Diet’s Four (4) phases are the following:
- 1-7 days: Attack Phase- The diet is initiated by eating protein in unlimited amounts and additional oat bran on a daily basis in the amount of 1.5 tablespoons.
- 1-12 months: Cruise Phase- This phase will involve the person alternating from lean protein during one day and veggies that are non-starchy on the next day and two tablespoons of oat bran on a daily basis.
- 5 days for each pound lost in Phase 1 and Phase 2: Consolidation Phase- Lean protein in unlimited amounts, along with some fats and carbs, and a day full of lean protein together with two and a half tablespoons of oat bran every day.
- Indefinite time period: Stabilization Phase- Ensure that the consolidation phase is followed and observed with the rules being a bit looser as the individual’s weight starts to stabilize. However, oat bran intake would be increased to three tablespoons daily.
As indicated above, the Dukan diet is divided into two phases for maintenance and two maintenance phases.
The Dukan Diet: Based on Science?
The Dukan diet does not have much in the way of reliable scientific studies backing it. However, a study conducted on women from Poland who strictly observed the said eating or diet program by eating around a thousand calories per day with100 grams of protein daily while reducing their weight in eight to ten weeks in the amount of 15 kilograms or 33 pounds. In addition, a number of studies also indicate the major weight loss benefits of a diet that is low in carbs but high protein. A number of critical factors must be considered in protein’s weight benefits.
One such benefit is calorie increase by having it burned during a process known as gluconeogenesis, a process wherein fat and protein are transformed into carbs (from glucose) where carbohydrates have restrictions and the intake of protein is high. This is because the body’s rate for metabolism is significantly increased after eating protein compared to eating fats or carbs resulting in the individual feeling satisfied and full for long periods of time.
An added bonus of protein consumption is that it can reduce ghrelin, the hormone signaling hunger, and elevate hormones that promote the feeling of being full or satiated resulting in the individual consuming much less food.
However, it must be noted that the Dukan Diet program is rather different from other diets that are high-protein and how it can restrict fat and carbs. It is quite simply a diet that is low fat, low carb but high in protein. This rationale behind the restriction of fat intake during high-protein and low-carb diets is not backed by any scientific data. One study conducted had people consuming fat with meals that are low carb and high-protein were able to burn 69 calories more (on average) compared to those who just avoided the consumption or intake of fat.
The first stages of the said diet also have fiber that is low despite requiring dieters to take some serving of oat bran on a daily basis. In fact, the recommended servings of oat bran during the Dukan diet does not quite provide the same level of fiber as those on a diet that is high in fiber. Lastly, other healthy sources of fat such as nuts and avocados are not considered in the Dukan diet as they are regarded as food items that are too fatty.
Sustainability and Safety of the Dukan Diet
There are only a few studies focused on the safety of the Dukan Diet. However, certain issues have been raised in terms of bone health and kidney impact due to their high protein intake. It was previously believed that eating too much protein can lead to kidney damage.
In addition, the Dukan diet can also be considered quite restrictive and difficult to follow per phase and can be challenging to accomplish and complete in all 4 phases. The diet is also limiting the number of healthy fats one can and should take.