What to eat to lose weight: Is the famous Dukan Diet safe to follow, does it help in weight loss? – Moneycontrol

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Health benefits of Dukan Diet: This diet can lead to significant weight loss, especially during the initial phases, due to its emphasis on lean protein and portion control (Image: Canva)

Health benefits of Dukan Diet: This diet can lead to significant weight loss, especially during the initial phases, due to its emphasis on lean protein and portion control (Image: Canva)

Looking to shed those extra kilos while still enjoying a hearty meal? Enter the Dukan Diet, a popular weight loss plan that has garnered attention for its promises of rapid weight loss and quick results. But amidst the buzz, questions arise: What exactly is the Dukan Diet? Is it truly healthy and safe to follow? Let’s delve into the details.

Understanding the Dukan Diet

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The brainchild of French nutritionist Dr Pierre Dukan, the Dukan Diet is a high-protein, low-carb eating plan designed to facilitate weight loss. Pierre created the diet in the 1970s, inspired by a patient with obesity, who said he could give up eating any food in order to lose weight, except for meat. After seeing many of his patients experience impressive weight loss results on his diet, Dukan published his book The Dukan Diet in 2000 that was released in 32 countries and became a bestseller. The diet plan is divided into four phases:

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Attack Phase: This initial phase kick-starts the weight loss process by focusing on lean protein consumption. Dieters are encouraged to eat unlimited amounts of lean protein such as chicken, fish, eggs, and tofu, alongside a minimum of 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran and plenty of water. This phase typically lasts 1-7 days, depending on weight loss goals.

Cruise Phase: During this phase, non-starchy vegetables are gradually reintroduced into the diet, alternating with days of pure protein intake. The duration of this phase varies based on the amount of weight to be lost, with an average of 3 days for every pound lost during the Attack Phase.

Consolidation Phase: In this phase, the focus shifts towards maintaining the achieved weight loss while preventing rebound weight gain. Whole grains, fruits, cheese, and starchy foods are gradually reintroduced into the diet, alongside one “celebration” meal per week. This phase lasts 5 days for every pound lost during the Cruise Phase.

Stabilisation Phase: The final phase aims to establish lifelong habits for weight maintenance. There are no strict dietary rules, but followers are encouraged to adopt a balanced approach to eating, incorporating the principles learned during the earlier phases.

Is the Dukan Diet healthy and safe?

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While the Dukan Diet boasts rapid weight loss and a structured approach, its health and safety implications have sparked debate among nutrition experts.

Benefits of Dukan Diet

Effective for weight loss: The Dukan Diet can lead to significant weight loss, especially during the initial phases, due to its emphasis on lean protein and portion control.

Preservation of muscle mass: High protein intake helps preserve lean muscle mass, which is crucial for metabolic health and overall well-being.

Structured approach: The diet’s clear phases provide structure and guidance, making it easier for individuals to follow and stay on track with their weight loss goals.

Cons of Dukan Diet

Nutrient deficiencies: The restrictive nature of the diet, particularly during the Attack Phase, may lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Potential health risks: Prolonged consumption of high amounts of animal protein may increase the risk of certain health conditions, including heart disease, kidney issues, and osteoporosis.

Sustainability: Some critics argue that the strict rules and limited food choices of the Dukan Diet may not be sustainable in the long term, leading to potential rebound weight gain once the diet is discontinued.

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