The Dukan diet is a high protein, low carbohydrate weight loss plan very similar to the Banting Diet. It was developed by French physician, Dr. Pierre Dukan and has recently begun to sweep other areas of the world.
It has been dubbed by some as “just another fad diet” and “the new Atkins.” However, there are several benefits to the Dukan diet. Aside from having a sound scientific basis, it is composed of numerous components that make it extremely dieter-friendly. Here some of these unarguable benefits are outlined.
On the Dukan Diet: Eat Real Food
Unlike countless other weight loss programs that promise similar if not inferior results to the Dukan diet, the Dukan diet allows dieters to eat real food. It does not make use of protein shake meal substitutes used in diet plans such as Slimfast or Herbalife.
In fact, Dr. Dukan openly condemns the use of such products, stating they should only be used as a last resort. Meal replacements such as protein shakes may physically satisfy a person’s hunger; however, they do not do the same psychologically.
The experience of eating real food – to be able to chew and taste different textures and flavors – is of the utmost importance. Diets that limit this experience are likely to produce dissatisfaction in dieters and make them likely to give in to temptation.
On the Dukan Diet: Eat as Much as You Want
Going one up on the promise of real food, the Dukan diet also promises dieters that they may eat as much as they want of the wide range of foods available and still lose weight. This is a great comfort to chronic dieters, those who tend to have a difficult relationship with food and are likely to eat when bored, stressed or upset. This is made possible by the use of low fat, high protein foods such as beef, poultry and fish.
Food that is high in protein is difficult for the body to use as energy, and so the body uses as much as 30% of the calorie content digesting it. Furthermore, high protein foods eliminate water and therefore reduce water retention and its accompanying weight.
Lose Weight Fast on the Dukan Diet
Even with the use of real and filling foods, and the promise to be able to eat as much as you want, the Dukan diet also promises a relatively fast weight loss. The first phase of the Dukan diet, the attack phase, involves several days of eating protein only foods and can result in weight losses of up to 12 pounds in 10 days.
Following this initial dramatic weight loss, which gives dieters a much needed motivation boost, the cruise phase (alternating days of protein only and protein and vegetables) delivers a steady weight loss of about two pounds a week, which is considered by many health professionals to be the maximum amount of weight to safely lose each week.
Eat “Naughty” Foods on the Dukan Diet
Many diets brutally cut out whole food groups, or insist that indulgences must be avoided or kept to an absolute minimum in order to lose weight and maintain a healthy diet. Dr. Dukan acknowledges that this is not possible. He understands the important relationship between people and food, especially in Western society.
Although the Dukan diet initially drastically reduces carbohydrate, and to some extent fat intake, he makes it clear that this is not a permanent change. In the consolidation phase the dieter must re-introduce foods that have so far been off the menu. This includes one celebration meal a week in the first half of consolidation and two in the second half.
Dr. Dukan states that dieters must not feel guilty about eating food that is considered naughty by most, but that it is normal and part of a true healthy, balanced diet.
Maintain Your Weight Forever on the Dukan Diet
Arguably the biggest benefit of the Dukan diet is the promise that if you follow the plan correctly, you will be able to maintain your weight forever. Following the attack and cruise phases, which allow the dieter to lose weight, and the consolidation phase, which allows dieters to sensibly re-introduce foods and adjust to their new weight, comes the stablization phase.
This phase is for life and promises that a person may eat freely for six days of the week and still maintain their weight provided they continue having one pure protein day a week for the rest of their life. Other important facets of the Dukan diet, such as exercise and eating oat bran, also play their part. However, these conditions are a small price to pay for freedom from dieting.