The Dukan diet can help you to lose weight
Founder, Dr Pierre Dukan, is a French nutritionist with over 30 years experience,
and he is reported to have celebrities, such as Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo), model Gisele
Bundchen and opera singer Katherine Jenkins, claiming
to lose weight following his highly successful Dukan Diet, as well as 5 million
Dukan diet has been widely reported to have been the key to the Duchess
of Cambridge's mother, Carole Middleton's, success
in slimming down before the Royal Wedding.
This is a high protein plan with an initial no-carb, non-fat diet period,
before gradually re-introducing other food groups back into the diet.
There is no calorie counting or food weighing involved.
The 4 stages in the Dukan diet
- Protein-rich foods for the initial 2-7 days - only lean meat, fish, eggs
and non-fat dairy foods are suggested. There is a suggested list of 72 protein
foods in the diet. This kick-start phase is for rapid weight loss. Drinking
plenty of water is also important - at least 1.5 litres of water per day.
A tbsp of oat bran helps combat constipation and hunger pangs (Dukan
- Add unlimited vegetables (there is a list of 28) every other day. This
'on and off' diet continues until you reach your target weight. This phase
encourages a slower weight loss rate - usually an average weight loss of
2lb a week. (Dukan Cruise stage)
- Now at your ideal weight you can re-introduce foods such as bread, pasta,
rice, butter and vegetable oils. Even the odd glass of wine and a celebration
meal is allowed.
- You are expected to remain in this phase for 5 days for every pound of
weight you lost in the last 2 stages of the diet. During this stage you are
not expected to lose weight, but maintain your target weight.(Dukan
- Eventually, you are allowed to eat what you like for six days a week. However,
you are expected to maintain a protein-only day once a week. Thursday is
recommended as the ideal week day.
- In France the Dukan diet has become so popular that Thursday has become
the 'protein day', and restaurants now offer special recipes and menus on
this day. This 'protein-only' day is supposed to help you maintain your ideal
weight, by covering any overeating - you can apparently lose 1.5lb to 2lb
instantly. (Dukan Stabilisation stage).
Dr Pierre Dukan has been reported as suggesting that taking multivitamins
during the first two phases is advisable.
How does the Dukan Diet Work?
The initial kick-start stage, when you eat high protein foods, requires more
energy from the body during digestion, and so burns off more calories. During
the first 2 stages you lose weight, first rapidly then at a slower rate. The
next two stages help you sustain your target weight, as you gradually reintroduce
food groups back into your eating plan. By keeping one day a week to eating
only high-protein foods (for the rest of your life) you are able to keep your
weight under control.
What foods does the Dukan Diet suggest for each stage?
Meat (beef and veal), poultry (skinless), ham, fish, seafood, fat-free dairy
products, tea, coffee and lots of water.
All vegetables can be added every other day to the high-protein and non-fat
foods, apart from the following veg :potatoes, green beans, sweetcorn, peas,
avocados and lentils.
Other food groups are gradually reintroduced , like bread, rice, pasta, vegetable
oils and even butter.
Back to your normal eating, apart from a protein-only day once a week. Also
keep up with the oat bran.
A day of eating on the initial Attack stage
of the Dukan diet
could look like this:
Example Dukan Breakfast
Example Dukan Lunch
- A 0% fat yoghurt or fromage frais, and a boiled egg with 1 slice
of turkey or lean ham or
- Scrambled egg with salmon with a cup of unsweetened tea or coffee
Example Dukan Dinner
- Oat bran pancake (1.5 tbsp daily oat bran is allowed) with salmon
or fat-free cottage cheese or
- mixed seafood or tinned sardines(in brine)
- Grilled fish or
- Chicken breast cooked with lemon juice and paprika
Dukan Diet Recipe
Oat Bran Pancake
1.5 tbsp oat bran
2 tbsp fat free fromage frais
Mix ingredients together, adding a splash of skimmed milk if too thick, heat
gently in a non-stick frying pan, until golden on both sides.
Dukan Turkey Curry
300g turkey breast, roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
sm piece root ginger, chopped
1 ½ tsp Korma curry spice
small handful coriander leaves
450g butternut, chopped
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fat free natural yoghurt
2 tsp sunflower oil
Make a curry paste by blending the onion, garlic, ginger, korma and coriander.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the curry paste. Next fry the turkey and
onion for 2-3 minutes before adding the butternut and 450 ml water. Bring to
the boil then simmer for 15-18 minutes or until the butternut is tender.
Add the spinach.
Mix the cornflour, soy sauce and 100 ml water and add to the curry. Stir until
the curry thickens. Stir in the yoghurt and serve.
50g Dukan oat bran (Note: Oatbran is measured in tablespoons
in the Dukan diet. 1tbsp =15 grams - so approx 3 1/4 tbsps)
1 egg, separated
1 tbsp fat free quark
1 tbsp low fat yoghurt
3 strawberries, hulled and sliced
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) Gas Mark 6.
Mix the oat bran and cornflour in a bow.l
Whisk the egg white until stiff. and mix the egg yolk and quark together.
Fold the egg white into the egg yolk mixture, then add to the oat bran mixture.
Spoon onto a baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes.
Advantages of the Dukan diet
The four stages of the Dukan diet make it easy to follow and some users have
reported significant weight loss in the two week induction phase, making it
a good option if you need to lose weight fast. Up to 7 lb can be lost in the
first 5 days.
The diet moves to a healthier, slower weight-loss stage in phase 2, which is
Treats are allowed, such as two celebration dinners per week during stage 3
( Consolidation phase), which takes into account real life
occasions - like birthdays, xmas, etc. Again this makes the diet more sustainable
and more likely to succeed.
Cons of the Dukan diet
The 'protein only' day once a week, in the final Stabilisation stage,
is recommended for life!
Rapid weight-loss (as in the initial 2 weeks) is generally not recommended
by health experts - the optimum weight-loss is considered to be 2lb a week.
The initial Attack stage is low in fibre, so there is a risk
of constipation. Drinking plenty of water and eating the allowed oatbran can
Bad breath and headaches are often reported as a side effect of the diet restrictions.
Chewing cardamom pods or parsley can help with the bad breath.
A protein diet high in meat and eggs, as in the initial 2 weeks, can raise
your cholesterol. Dukan recommends salt-free and fat-free foods wherever possible
to help restrict this side effect.
It is never a good idea to cut out a whole food group, so health-wise the
best way to lose weight is to eat a balanced diet, but in lesser quantities.
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