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Dukan Diet: Everything you need to know!

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

The Dukan Diet, are you willing to do it?

This diet was created by  Dr. Pierre Dukan  who after 35 years of experience in the exercise of dietetics, nutrition and nutritional re-education decides to create a plan to  eliminate obesity ; based on a  high protein diet  that eliminates most of the carbohydrates. His books are the best sellers in the world and his success knows no boundaries.

His nutritional plan is famous all over the world and celebrities from all countries decide to follow his advice, as is the case with Jennifer Lopez . Although not everything has been rosy for Doctor Dukan since he has also had numerous enemies, against whom he has even had to defend himself judicially.

The keys to the Dukan diet

The Dukan method is based on  increasing protein consumption and reducing carbohydrates . This produces in our body a feeling of satiety earlier and prolonged in time with respect to consuming carbohydrates. When we eat carbohydrates, we are satisfied soon but for a shorter period of time. Hydrates fill us with energy, but they also provide us with a large amount of calories. They are essential for the functioning of the body, but we generally consume them in excess.

In the diet we abuse carbohydrates, since they are present in the vast majority of the foods we consume. Therefore, a carbohydrate restriction produces a rapid weight loss . By consuming fewer calories, the balance between caloric expenditure and what we eat causes us to start losing weight quickly.

As you know there are different types of hydrates: the simple ones and the compounds, those that are released slowly, and those that are released quickly . In this case we must bet on slow-release compound carbohydrates, that is, those that are not so caloric and that distribute energy little by little in the body, without producing significant increases in blood glucose. Which is very important when it comes to losing weight, since keeping the glycemic index stable in our body helps us burn glycogen reserves and fat deposited in our body.

We must bet on foods that have complex carbohydrates , which are nutritionally more interesting for our body. This type of hydrates is found in vegetables, mainly green leafy vegetables (spinach, chard), broccoli, beans, zucchini, legumes and whole grains. By providing us with high amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals, in addition to not providing a large amount of calories, they are nutritionally more complete and of greater biological value.

The foods that we must control their consumption , because they are simple carbohydrates, are refined flour, sugar, honey, cereals, juices, sweets, chocolate, cookies, packaged products and made with refined flours, fruits. Among the latter, we should consume fruits with a lower glycemic index and with greater health benefits, such as strawberries, berries, kiwis, citrus fruits, etc. Avoiding those very sweet fruits.

Protein, the queen of the kitchen

So that you do not miss any information, we will begin to discuss the functions of proteins in our body, so that you understand what function it has in our body and the reason for the increase in protein consumption.

The  proteins  have a  structural function  in the body, are the basis of muscle tissue and transport substances from one place to another, it also deals with the process of  regeneration  of the muscles and involved in our  immune system  to help prevent infections and providing us with defenses they keep us strong against possible illnesses. There are two types of proteins: those of  animal origin  and those of  vegetable origin, the  latter being those of lower biological value, that is, less pure; and that we must mix with proteins of animal origin to achieve a greater biological value.

On the other hand,  hydrates,  as we have explained previously,  are what provide us with  energy;  They are a source of glucose for the body, the fastest and most effective but not the only one. When digesting hydrates, they are divided into parts in the form of glucose. On the other hand, proteins or fats do not provide glucose when digested, but once the nutrients are broken down, amino acid particles are formed that are used as a reserve of fats and that when the body needs extra energy it uses them through different and more expensive metabolic processes . After all,  proteins also produce energy but in a slower way.

We must bear in mind that we must consume low-fat proteins , since this intervenes in the absorption of proteins, and we must also take care that not all the proteins we eat are of animal origin. Among those foods that can provide us with fat, we must choose healthy fats. We must eliminate trans or hydrogenated fats from the diet, but we can consume fats of vegetable and animal origin in moderation. As is the case with those fats present in linoleic acids and omega 3 from fish, oil or avocado.

The proteins get to satiate us quickly and without providing large amounts of sugar or calories, plus those protein – rich products provide us vitamins and minerals, and so are foods with a high nutritional value . This post about the protein diet may interest you .

The effects of higher protein intake are:

  • Reduction of caloric intake.
  • Appetite reduction
  • Increases the body’s resistance.
  • Decreases fluid retention.
  • Musculature is not lost when losing weight.
  • Consuming plenty of water reduces cellulite and the feeling of hunger.

What foods can I eat that are high in protein?

Dairy (preferably skimmed) lean meats and poultry (except goose and duck), fish, eggs, legumes, soy, nuts, shellfish and crustaceans.

We must consume lean meats, preferably poultry because they have less fat. Although we can consume red meat, we must control its consumption to avoid cardiovascular and coronary diseases, for this; we will consume the lean parts, not the fats. In addition, the consumption of proteins of vegetable origin is very important, as is the case with legumes. Since they provide us with a large amount of fiber, a high protein value and little fat.

But we must bear in mind that we should not consume protein foods rich in fat since this interferes with the absorption of proteins as we have explained previously, in addition to the fact that an excess of fat contributes to its being stored in our body and we gain weight if the expense caloric is not very high. So we must control the consumption of fats to balance consumption with caloric expenditure, thus avoiding excess calories, which lead to an accumulation of fats in our body.

Why has the Dukan Method become so fashionable?

It is a diet in which you do not starve , fast , effective and does not require physical activity . And this encourages many people to do it. The fact of achieving results makes fashion spread more quickly, since if you see cases that have achieved their objectives, you are encouraged to test yourself more easily.

One of the keys to the diet and one that responds very well to people who want to diet is ” the law of least effort” and the Dukan diet is based on this.

Basically it tells us, lose weight , without exercising , quickly and without starving , who is going to want to lose weight by starving, exercising and slowly? the answer is overwhelming, nobody.

The advertising claim of the diet and its marketing strategies are very good, but is it real? Well, based scientifically and according to the metabolic processes of the body, a rapid weight loss is possible without exercising and increasing the consumption of proteins we manage not to go hungry , so we can affirm that it is real.

Explanation of the Dukan method

It is a protein diet divided into 4 phases:

  1. Attack phase : Consuming  pure proteins . The duration of this phase is determined by the amount of kilos you want to lose, from three to 5 days if we want to lose up to ten kilos and 7 days if we want to lose more than 20 kg.

  2. Cruise phase : Consumption of  alternate proteins . The duration is one week per kilo that we want to lose. We can consume legumes and vegetables. You should lose a kilo a week until you reach the ideal weight.

  3. Consolidation phase : It lasts  ten days for each kilogram lost  and it is especially important that it is maintained during that time. In this phase,  foods such as bread or fruit are introduced . It is the longest phase and the one with the highest abandonment rate, but if possible the most important since it is the way to not regain the lost weight.

    • The Spanish Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists has included it in the list of dangerous diets as well as the Ministry of Health has described it as fraudulent and dangerous.
    • It can cause kidney, hormonal, physical performance problems, fatigue, etc.
      • It thins out quickly.
      • You don’t go hungry.
      • You can eat a lot of the allowed foods.
      • It does not require nutritional supplements.
      • Much water is consumed.
      • It is a low salt diet.
      • Reduce your fat intake.
      • Eliminate sugars.
      • Oat bran supports cardiovascular health and is anticancer.

        You should not do sports or intense physical activity.

        Stabilization phase: This phase aims to  avoid the rebound effect , that is, not to regain the lost weight. You can return to your usual diet by making one day a week of pure protein exclusively and as long as you continue to consume oat bran for life.

        The pros of the dukan diet

      The cons of the dukan die

    Is the Dukan Diet advisable, healthy and balanced?

    It is an advisable diet in healthy people, without previous diseases and who control the consequences of said diet for a time with analytics . If no food group is eliminated, it does not have to interfere with health. The problem comes when we do things by halves, we do not consume enough water, or we do not carry the guidelines to the letter.

    Now, the consequences of prolonging the diet for a long time can affect certain functions of our body, so we must analytically control and above all pay attention to our sensations and symptoms that may indicate that something is wrong. The liver and kidneys are the organs that can most suffer from carrying out this diet, since they are the ones that will work the most during the exercise of it and in the event of possible excesses of protein.

    It is a diet that may not be the healthiest and most balanced, since excess protein and carbohydrates are consumed by default, and something less drastic could be healthier. But if it is carried out for a certain time not exceeding 3 months, we will not notice negative consequences in our body. Of course, we must maintain a lower consumption of carbohydrates than what we had been consuming before starting the Dukan method, since otherwise we will begin to regain the weight by leaps and bounds, since our body will begin to reserve the hydrates.

    What is real is that there is rapid and significant weight loss . The consequences of prolonging the diet for a long time will vary between users of the diet. There will be people more susceptible to the changes produced by dietary modifications and others who do not notice it so much. Therefore, you can try, pay attention to your feelings, and there will be no more significant sample for you than your own experience.

    The conclusion that we draw, after the in-depth study of the Dukan diet is the following. From this space, we recommend carrying out a medical and analytical control to avoid risks derived from excess protein consumption to avoid cardiovascular, kidney and liver diseases. For this reason, we recommend that it is the medical, health or nutritionist personnel who control the possible side effects or harmful to our body of this diet.

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