This is a diet devised by a French nutritionist Dr Pierre Dukan and has been around for over 10 years. It has been followed by many celebrities and for many people is a new way of life. This program allows you to lose weight and stabilise your weight loss in 4 stages, which are completely natural and simple.
The diet begins with a short attack phase, which is where you eat nothing but proteins (meats, poultry, fish, eggs and non-fat dairy). This sets the nature of the diet for your body and kick starts the initial weight loss in this stage, where you’ll see quick and immediate results (you can lose up to 3kgs in 5 days). This phase lasts anywhere from 1 day to 10 days (depending on your personal weight loss goals). The more weight you need to lose, the longer you need to stay in the attack phase. The main foods you eat during this initial phase include, lean beef, veal, rabbit, chicken, turkey, offal, ham (low fat), all fish varieties, shellfish, eggs (2 per day), non-fat dairy products (milk, yoghurt and cottage cheese). It is important to avoid all oils and butters, drink at least 1.5L of water per day, limit your tea/coffee intake, exercise at least 20 minutes every day and consume 1 ½ tablespoons of oat bran daily (as porridge, with yoghurt, or as a pancake).
The next phase is known as the cruise phase and is the main phase where you will gradually lose the weight (around 1kg per week) until you reach your goal weight. This is where you will alternate your days between pure protein, and protein and vegetables. This allows for more variety in your diet and continual weight loss results. The vegetables you can eat include: asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, eggplant, green beans, onions, pumpkin, lettuce varieties, spinach, and tomatoes, to name a few. They can be eaten either raw, boiled, steamed or baked. There are also some vegetables to avoid, like starchy potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, lentils, beans and avocado. Still during this phase you are to drink at least 1.5L of water per day, eat 2 tbspn of oat bran and exercise at least 30 mins each day.
Once you have reached your ideal weight the final stages begin, the consolidation phase. This is the period between dieting and normal eating and is where you re-introduce a few indulgences. Fruits, breads, cheese and starchy vegetables are allowed once again, and it is also advised in this stage that you have 2 free/unrestrained meals per week. You still also have one day of pure protein (every Thursday for example). It is still important to exercise at least 30 minutes every day and continue with your 2 tbspn of oat bran. During this stage you should not gain or lose any weight; it’s about managing your current weight and consolidating all the work you have done to achieve this new ideal weight.
Once you have completed the consolidation phase of the program, the permanent stabilisation phase begins. This is the phase where your body is in its new form and as long as you follow a few simple rules the weight will stay off and you can enjoy your new life. You can go back to eating other foods, prior to commencing the Dukan diet; however, use the principles from the consolidation phase to help you stay on track and still have your indulgence meals twice a week. Continue to have one pure protein day a week forever, drink at least 2L of water per day and continue to exercise 20 minutes every day (even a brisk walk is sufficient). If you get through the 4 stages and stick to this program you will definitely see the results. It’s not easy to change your eating habits, but in the long run your body will thank you for it and you will be healthier than ever.