Dukan Diet: What is it?
The Dukan diet is one of the most popular and profitable diets globally. Millions of people have adhered to this method, which has led the brand’s business to be valued at € 100 million annually (1). Most professional nutritionists have opposing positions toward the Dukan diet rules – why?
The French organization of doctors openly accused the author of the Dukan diet of doing a business out of medical knowledge (2) without caring about the impact on health, just as the British Nutritionists Association has rated this method as one of the most dangerous for people. Strongly recommend avoiding this method. (3)
Is The Dukan Diet Effective For Weight Loss?
The Dukan diet is effective for losing weight. The reason is simple: the number of calories and carbohydrate consumption is reduced to the maximum. This method is effective in losing weight and getting rid of excess fat. However, it is accurate that it can have negative health consequences.
The foods allowed in the Dukan diet are mainly protein foods, low in fat combined with the restriction of carbohydrates to the maximum. The Dukan diet is a typical example of a strict low-carb diet.
The 4 Stages of the Dukan diet: attack, alternation, consolidation, and stabilization
The Dukan diet can be divided into four stages:
1. ATTACK. The attack is the shortest stage, lasting 2 to 6 days. Only protein foods with almost complete fat reduction are allowed. It is the most difficult, and during this time, between 2-4 kg of weight are lost; this is due to a large amount of water that is eliminated due to lack of carbohydrates.
2. ALTERNANCE. They vary between days of only proteins and days of protein-vegetables in this stage. Protein days are similar to the attack stage. In the latter, the idea is to limit yourself to protein and vegetable products in equal proportions; this is done alternately every two days. The duration of this stage is determined by reaching the ideal weight set at the beginning.
3. CONSOLIDATION. Consolidation is considered the most straightforward stage of the Dukan diet. The duration of this stage is calculated as about ten days for each kilogram lost. At this stage, one serving of fruit per day and one serving of bread and cheese are allowed. As well as red or high-fat meat once a week. In addition, all second-stage plant and protein products are permitted.
4. STABILISATION. It is the final stage of the Dukan diet and can be maintained for the rest of life. The nutrition principle of this stage is very similar to that of the consolidation stage but less strictly, including the daily use of 3 tablespoons of oat bran daily and maintaining one day of only protein per week. It is also essential that it is recommended to walk 6000 steps a day in all stages.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Dukan diet
The main advantage of the Dukan diet is a lower feeling of hunger compared to other diets. It can be eaten at any time and in considerable quantities. In addition, the foods allowed in this diet are simple and accessible. Just as you can eat in restaurants. Chicken, roasted red meat, fish, shellfish, and vegetables are allowed.
Among the main disadvantages of the Dukan diet are the almost absence of fruits, a feeling of constant thirst, and the characteristic smell of the breath when entering ketosis. Among other things, digestive problems and alterations of the nervous system are usually frequent when doing this nutritional method.
What does science say?
Science reminds us that Dukan’s book contains claims contrary to the rules of healthy eating. The refusal of fats is one of the most criticized points. Dukan does not mention in his diet that a healthy person needs at least 40-50 grams of fat per day.
Limiting fat in the diet to the maximum leads to problems with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, the absorption of calcium and other minerals, and changes in hormone levels. Studies suggest that the Dukan diet does not have a good fixation: more than 80% of the 5,000 studied returned to their initial weight in a few years (1).
The Dukan diet vs. the cetogénica diet
The Dukan diet and the ketogenic diet are similar. Both types of diets involve an almost complete reduction in carbohydrates. However, the ketogenic diet consists of healthy fats in a more significant proportion. In Dukan, proteins are the predominant macronutrient.
Another curious difference is that the origin of the ketogenic diet was not a method to lose weight but to treat cases of epilepsy, just as Dukan proposes different stages. In contrast, the ketogenic diet is recommended to do cyclically.
- The Dukan diet is a multi-stage method of losing weight.
- According to each stage, the proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in this method is variable. However, protein and vegetable foods predominate in almost all locations.
- Up to 80% of the cases that opt for this method return to the previous weight in a few years.
- If we compare the ketogenic diet with the Dukan, we can say that both are low in carbohydrates. The first weigh protein foods, and the second fatty foods.