What is the dukan diet?

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The Dukan diet is often thought to be like the Ketogenic diet. The main reason for this is that they both emphasize the reduction in carbohydrates and the increase in fats. Thanks to this the body will go into a state of ketosis. The Dukan diet is in fact made up of four stages which revolve around this.

The first phase is referred to as the Attack phase. This is when the dieter will have to choose from foods that are high in proteins and refrain from foods that contains any carbs. This stage lasts between five and ten days and it is claimed that results are evident immediately.

The second phase, termed as the Cruise phase follows suit. This is when pure protein is encouraged as was the case in the previous phase, but one will need to reintroduce some carbohydrates. These will need to be derives from vegetables. Most people who followed this diet generally reached their weight goal at this point. This phase generally lasts between several months. It can be just one month long, but it could take up to 12 months.

Next comes the third phase, that is the Consolidation phase. As the name implies this phase consolidates what was attained before and leads the way forward. Certain foods that were not to be eaten in the previous stages, such as dairy products and fruits, are allowed to be introduced a little at a time during this part of the diet. This phase needs to be maintained for 5 days for each pund one managed to lose during the previous two stages.

The last and fourth stage is the Stabilization phase. During this part of the Dukan diet plan dieters are encouraged to check whether they had put on any weight when they had reintriduced carbs in their diet. If this was the case it is best to improve before moving any further. If however one managed to retain the desired weight when carbs where consumed, then the diet has basically succeeded. The length ogf this last stage is indefinite. Ultimately the weight loss one attains and the length of each phase will differ from one dieter to another.

Foods that are encouraged during the first phase  are those which are high in proteins, and so one should prepare meals made up from fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, and tofu. The second phase is when one  introduces some vegetables, so broccoli, spinach, kale, lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, artichokes, cucumbers, pumpkin and tomatoes are allowed. The consolidation phase is a mix and match phase and it is now that dieters following this diet are allowed to introduce some fruits such as oranges, peaches, pears, plums and always in limited quantities. Bread is allowed now, but up to two slices of whole grain, as is up to 40 grams of cheese daily. It is a more diversified phase in terms of foods but when one considers the portions they are very limited.

The Dukan diet derives its name from Pierre Dukan, a medical specialist who focused on neurology at first, but then specialised in nutrition. According to Pierre Dukan, a high protein diet proved to be very effective for his friend's weight loss. He was the one who suggested what to do in this case, and after he noticed the great results in this case he decided to conduct more research on this kind of diet. Later on Dukan developed and researched even further until he came up with what we are now discussing - the Dukan diet.

Dr. Dukan created this diet back in the 1970s, and later published a book about it in 2000. This book discussed this diet, and has reportedly been a bestseller as there were many people who claimed improvements in their weight after they followed this diet.

The Dukan diet is essentially a high protein and low carb diet which has the main aim of helping people lose weight. However formany this is not just about weight loss, but also rapid weight loss without suffering from hunger pangs. Needless to say the effectiveness of the Dukan diet relies greatly on how one manages to retain self confidence and motivation throughout the various stages. The first stage is undeniably very restrictive and it may discourage many. This type of diet is also not that easy to follow since one needs to be aware of what he or she is eating and follow certain rules.

The Dukan diet also restrcist fats and does not allow consuming any vegetables in the first phase. This is considered as very unappealing to many. There are also many who feel that the last stage poses some problems to dieters who feel it is quite hard to reintroduce certain foods in their diet and still manage to keep weight off.

For some people, following a low carb diet also poses certain difficulties. There are those who suffer from a lack of energy and fatigue to the low amount of carbs. Constipation is another common problem and some people also experience bowel problems due to low levels of fibre. Nutrient deficiencies resulting due to the restricted food options is also a problematic matter with this kind of diet, which is quite strict when compared with other types of diets.

One cannot say that the Dukan diet is supported by research or extensive clinical studies. There was a study conducted on a group of Polish women which revealed that they did manage to put off weight when following this diet. However one cannot say that there have been any quality studies conducted on the Dukan diet. Having said that when comparing what it encourages and discourages in terms of food options, it is worth noting that a high protein and low carb diet can prove to be effective for weight loss and there is evidence that supports this.

But needless to say the individual's metabolic rate and willpower has a considerable impact on whether this diet can prove to be effective or not for an individual. The Dukan diet can work, but it has its pros and cons. The fact that it basically forces dieters to refrain from several foods which are ultimately quite healthy is one of the main disadvantages of this diet.

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