The Dukan Diet Plan – Doing it the Dukan Way
So I have been on and supported a number of friends through the Dukan Diet Plan and I have to say it’s a really great diet IF you stick to it. I think that this is true of a lot of diets but in all of the ones I have tried this is one of the ones where adherence is really really vital.
Here’s how it works in layman’s terms (There are long and complex explanations elsewhere but this is how we understood it). Your body puts on the most weight from carbohydrates and comes to rely on them very heavily. The things you crave most commonly when you have cravings are usually carb based. If, therefore you can give up carbs for a period of time almost completely then you will lose a lot of weight.
This principal and more are explained in the the Dukan Diet book and if you are going on the diet then it’s a good idea to pick this up and read it cover to cover, understanding the precise reasons why the diet works and what the principals behind it really helped all of us stick to it, understand it and work our way through it.
Here’s how the Dukan Diet plan works
First off you do some simple calculations of how much weight you want to lose. The book gives you a plan of how long that will take, and tells you how long you will need to do each stage for. This is really useful as it means that from the very start you have a plan, a structure and a ‘layout’ of what to expect. You know how long you are going to be on the diet for as well, which is quite encouraging.
The Dukan Diet Phases
The first phase of the diet lasts a few days and for those days you eat nothing but protein. That’s right. Nothing. You can eat as much as you like but you have to stick to it and only it. Actually that’s not strictly true because Dukan has researched it all rather thoroughly and says that every day of the diet you need to have a certain amount of (very minimal) carbs and you are encouraged to have oatbran ‘pancakes’ (galetes) which he teaches you how to make. Learn to love these because they are your friend and in fact very versatile in how they can be used. You are allowed most forms of protein although some are prohibited (listed in full in the book) – basically the Dukan Diet Plan allows you eat low fat protein a lot. I ended up eating a massive amount of chicken and some wafer thin ham slices (no fat). It helps a great deal to have lots of this as snacks available so at any point you feel hunger pangs you can instantly access these to take the hunger away. You also drink a LOT of water (which is a running feature) and always important is good quality sleep when losing weight.
Stage two has two options. Either you do X days of protein only, followed by X days of protein with some vegetables or you do one day on veg, one day off. I personally MUCH preferred the second option as the first became very repetitive. There are, again, various forms of vegetables you can’t have (peas for example) but in general you can eat a lot of veg with your meat. This stage of the diet lasts a long time, the longest of all the stages and is what you should get used to. More of this below.
Stage three begins to reintroduce some carbs back into your diet (you are allowed a small portion per day) and one meal a week you can eat what you like. This is called the celebration meal. One day a week you. This stage can be hard after you have done stage two for some time and is the stage where most people fail in my experience, so be strong and plan this well. Eat celebration meals but eat them sensibly.
There are hundreds of Dukan Diet recipes available online and in the Dukan Diet recipe book and many of them are excellent (Look for Dukan Fried Chicken which is a fantastic blend of spices) and Dukan scotch eggs, both of which are divine.
My biggest piece of advice for the diet is to plan well and plan variety. Don’t eat the same thing every day, that way leads to boredom and then failure. Have a range of spices you can use and be sure to season your food interestingly. Have condiments and make the most of them (mustard is wonderful as are gherkins for really making food more interesting on this diet), eat different types of food and you can really have a lot of different meals which keeps this diet fresh and easy to follow. Good luck with the Dukan Diet plan, enjoy the food you eat and you’ll see the pounds fall away.
There are, of course, many other diet plans out there on how to lose weight fast but the Dukan Diet plan is, for me, one of the more enjoyable ones available.