Dukan diet: does it work? Scheme, foods and contraindications

Does the Dukan diet work or not? What are the recommended and tolerated foods, what is the scheme to follow in the various phases of attack, consolidation and maintenance? And above all, what are the contraindications?

These are all questions to be answered for a diet that is also followed by the stars but also much discussed. The boom of the diet was in fact a few years ago, in 2010 and in 2011, when Kate Middleton followed this diet to be perfect and ready for the wedding with Prince William, held in 2011. Other celebrities have also declared to follow this diet, like Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bündchen, helping to make Dukan one of the most popular diets in the world. But let's get to the point and find out how the Dukan diet works, if it works, what its phases are and what to eat in each phase.

If you want to go on a diet you absolutely must know these things ...

See also

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The food scheme

Very similar to the weight gain yo-yo effect. Prohibited foods are progressively reintroduced. The length of this period depends on how many pounds were lost during the previous stages: count 10 days for each pound lost.

  • Maintenance phase: you eat normally according to three principles: have a protein Thursday for life, eat 3 tablespoons of bran and oats a day and walk every day for at least 30 minutes.
  • What to eat during the stages of the diet?

    As we anticipated, there are recommended foods, permitted foods and prohibited foods in the different stages of the scheme. Taking into consideration the first three phases, since the fourth is a return to normal with some indications, here is what to eat during the attack phase of the first week or ten days, which vegetables to introduce in the alternation phase, and how to stabilize with the phase of consolidation.

    • Attack phase: veal, beef, horse meat excluding beef and horse ribs, chicken, turkey, defatted ham, fish, seafood, skim milk based dairy products, water, tea and coffee. They can be consumed at will, while all other foods are strictly prohibited.
    • Alternation phase: the foods listed above are accompanied by vegetables, avoiding instead of eating vegetables, legumes and cereals such as potatoes, rice, corn, peas, lentils and beans.
    • Consolidation phase or cruise: you can add fruit, wholemeal bread and mature cheese to your menu. Farinaceous such as pasta, legumes, rice and potatoes are only allowed twice a week.

    The recommended and tolerated foods of the Dukan diet

    For a quick recap, here are the Dukan Diet foods to eat during the first three phases. As you can see, the most important part, especially in the first week, is that of red and white meat, with a high protein content. Then vegetables and fruit come into play. Foods allowed or tolerated only a few times a week are not included. An alternative diet very similar to the Dukan, if you don't want to follow it, is for example the Lemme diet.

    See also: Dukan diet: recommended foods for your menus

    © iStock Dukan Diet: Recommended Foods - Beef

    The typical menu of the attack phase

    • Breakfast: coffee or tea without sugar, 1 or 2 low-fat yogurts (with fruit if light) or 200 grams of white cheese (ricotta, feta, cottage cheese), 1 slice of fat-free ham or a soft-boiled egg.
    • Snack: a yogurt or 100 gr of skimmed white cheese, if necessary.
    • Lunch: surimi, crab, turkey or veal escalope, white cheese.
    • Snack: a yogurt, if needed.
    • Dinner: chicken livers or boiled egg, fish or shellfish, yogurt.

    © iStock

    The results of the attack phase

    The attack phase actually presents surprising results. In fact, it allows a significant weight loss, provided that even the smallest concessions are completely avoided: a single candy is enough to stop chitosis, that is the reduction of sugars, and therefore compromise the " whole regime. The Dukan diet is therefore a diet that ensures a certain weight loss, very important and visible in the initial phase, but it is also very strict. Initial encouragement is indeed important, and in some cases some people have even lost 5 kilos in the first week, but in the long run it can be difficult to follow.
    That's why, to be more informed, you should read the pros and cons of this diet, to decide, even on the advice of the nutritionist, if it is appropriate to follow it.

    The pros

    • Weight loss is fast.
    • To the delight of gourmands: the diet allows 2 "free" dinners a week, to avoid frustration.
    • It is a lasting solution for maintaining new body weight.
    • The doctor's manual is full of new high-protein recipes.

    The cons

    • Since the attack phase is low in fiber, you need to watch out for constipation.
    • The attack phase has the same contraindications as a normal high-protein diet, ie the risk of deficiencies. It is best to supplement your diet with some vitamin and mineral supplements to avoid problems.
    • Eating eggs and meat in large quantities can cause blood cholesterol to rise.
    • It is monotonous and binding: you only eat proteins.
    • To maintain your new weight, you must eat only protein meals every Thursday for life.

    © iStock

    Important tips for following this diet

    • The Dukan diet decreases fat reserves and eliminates water from our body, a method that allows us to lose weight in a short time. rigid only if you are in good health, with a lot of medical tests in hand ".
    • As with any diet, there is a risk of food shortages: before starting the Dukan diet it is best to consult your doctor for a possible supplementation of vitamins and minerals.
    • Always take at least 2 liters of low-sodium water per day to counter constipation.
    • Do not forget that it is very important to exercise or exercise during all phases of the diet: it is enough to simply walk for 30 minutes.

    If you want to learn more about this topic, we recommend reading these two books, available on Amazon in both print and digital format:

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