The fact is, many weight loss diets don’t work. This is because many of them promise unrealistic weight loss results, like claiming you’ll be able to lose 10 pounds in a week without consequence.
What these diets don’t tell you is that while you might be able to shed pounds of water weight in just a few days, losing weight and keeping it off is hard work. It takes effort – and it’s a commitment you have to stick to from the very beginning.
You are bound to have a much greater chance of losing weight if you can accept up front that there is no such thing as fast weight loss that lasts. This is the main premise of the Dukan diet plan – how long it takes to reach a goal weight depends on how much weight you want to lose.
You don’t have to be one of those people who tries and gives up on diet after diet because you aren’t seeing the results you were promised. Take a look at how this diet works – it’s not about dropping pounds fast, but instead forming patterns that create a healthy life that lasts forever.
Continue reading to find out more about the diet plan and read honest Dukan diet reviews.
Dukan Diet Plan Basics and Rules
The Dukan diet plan was created based on the principle that the majority of people who lose weight while on a diet regain it. Therefore, it is designed specifically to help dieters reach their True Weight – otherwise known as the weight you can reach and maintain without struggling or suffering even minor health consequences.
True Weight is calculated before the Dukan diet plan begins, and is measured using a few tools:
- Basic information, such as gender, age, current weight
- Your weight loss history – the most and least you have ever weighed, how many diets you have tried
- Body Frame Size, a basic measurement of your wrist circumference using the thumb and index finger
Reaching and maintaining True Weight on the Dukan diet is designed to be a lengthy but rewarding process – quick weight loss is neither promised nor encouraged. Instead, the diet breaks weight loss down into four separate phases – two of which focus on weight loss, and two which focus on maintenance and eating a variety of foods. Each phase has its own set of parameters and rules, which must be followed in order to have optimum Dukan diet results.
Phase 3, the Consolidation Phase – The consolidation phase, the third phase of the diet, is all about maintenance, and preventing weight regain. While the previous two phases of the Dukan diet plan allowed only high protein foods and vegetables, foods such as fruits, cheeses, whole grain breads and starchy foods are reintroduced into the diet. Twenty-five minutes of daily exercise during this phase are recommended. You must also maintain the Protein Day concept, specifically, declaring every Thursday as a protein-only day, in which you are only allowed to eat anything from the original 68 high protein foods list. This phase of the Dukan diet has a specific duration that, like the previous phase, depends on weight loss. It will last five days for every pound lost during the cruise phase. So if you successfully managed to lose 20 total pounds during the cruise phase of the diet, you would spend about three months in the consolidation phase eating a variety of foods and engaging in daily exercise.Phase 4, the Stabilization Phase – The stabilization phase, the fourth and final phase of the Dukan diet plan, is designed to last for the rest of your life. Now that you spent the past three phases learning to eat healthier and developing healthy eating and fitness habits, the idea is that you can now spend the rest of your life continuing to put everything you have learned into practice. You are permitted to eat foods from all of the major food groups – as much as you want, within reason. There are only three major rules that must be followed during the final phase of the diet. You must walk 20 minutes every day, keep up the routine of eating only pure protein foods every Thursday, and you must eat a total of three tablespoons of oat bran every single day. Everything you have learned throughout your weight loss and healthy eating journey will have prepared you for success in this phase.
If you follow every phase as recommended, there is a very good chance you’ll become one of the Dukan diet success stories.
Now, let’s dive into more specifics about the kinds of foods included on The 100 Foods list – the list of foods you can choose from while following the Dukan diet plan.
Menu and Meal Planning
During the cruise phase of the Dukan diet, you will reintroduce vegetables into your high protein diet. A diet made up of animal proteins and vegetables is probably a little bit more limited than what you are used to, but if you can get creative, and you are willing to try different combinations of foods, this phase will go smoothly and painlessly.
- Fat free Greek yogurt
- Tomato and cottage cheese
- One 3 ounce chicken breast, sliced
- Salad – incl. Spinach, kale, tomato, ricotta cheese (fat free)
- One 3 ounce steak
- 2 cups green beans
- Zucchini noodles
- Cottage cheese
- Kale chips
- Sliced deli ham and cheese wraps
It isn’t until the next phase that fruits, starchy vegetables, all types of cheeses and grains are allowed back into your diet, but you might find that a high protein diet works well for you – as long as you are eating a variety of foods, your body will have all it needs to sustain itself healthfully.
Grocery Shopping List
During the second phase of the Dukan diet plan, the cruise phase, you are permitted to choose from a list of 100 foods – 68 protein foods and 32 vegetables – to help you reach your True Weight. Here are examples of common foods, broken down into the two main categories, that you can find and purchase while shopping in preparation for this phase.
Pure protein foods:
- Lean meats – steak, soy bacon, beef, pork chops
- Poultry – chicken, turkey, turkey sausage, deli slices of turkey or chicken
- Fish – catfish, cod, salmon, sardines, tilapia, tuna
- Shellfish – crab, lobster, shrimp
- Dairy products – cottage cheese, cream cheese, all fat free
- Green beans
You can find the complete list of Dukan diet approved foods on The 100 Foods List.
Does the Dukan Diet Work?
Overall, the weight loss portion of the Dukan diet results seem fairly reasonable, aside from the Attack phase. Experts recommend that losing one to two pounds per week is considered healthy weight loss; the Attack phase (the first phase of the diet) promises anywhere from two to eight pounds over a maximum seven day period.
However, a pure-protein diet over just a few days, loss of water weight and eliminating certain foods can lead to more rapid weight loss in the beginning, so it’s not too much of a cause for concern. As long as you continue on to the second phase of the diet, you shouldn’t have an issue. Just be careful. Don’t put too much emphasis in your Dukan diet before and after, remember this is a life long process not an immediate, temporary fix.
If you are someone who thrives on patterns and routines, and does well with following diet plans that involve numbers and schedules, you will likely give positive Dukan diet reviews and find the diet particularly helpful. Everything is laid out for you in advance – you know exactly what you are getting into before you begin. As long as you are willing to take things slow and wait and work for the weight loss results you want, success is not too far away.
If you’ve done the diet or choose to give it a try, we’d love to see your Dukan diet results and Dukan diet success stories!
How do I get rid of sugar cravings on the Dukan diet?
So you’ve just started a new diet and … there they are again. Sugar cravings. All you can think about is chocolate ice cream. It’s all you see when you close your eyes. Thankfully, you are not the only one who has this problem. Sugar cravings and even sugar addiction are much more common than you might think. In fact, researchers are now learning that sugar plays more of a role in heart disease and obesity than previously known.
How do you kick intense cravings for sugar? By not giving in to the temptation to eat sugar. Sugar dependence is all in your head … literally. Your brain craves sugar because your brain remembers how good sugar makes you feel. “Quitting” sugar is very much like quitting a drug. The more often you run back to it in moments of desperation, the harder it is to beat your cravings. Get those foods out of your house. Phone a friend. Do not let yourself eat it, no matter how much you want it. Sugar can be a treat every now and then (once you’re in the final phase of Dukan). But if you keep eating it whenever you crave it, you’re never going to be able to stop. Only when you deprive your brain of that reward and satisfaction will your cravings subside.
How much protein should you eat daily on the Dukan diet?
Something many people love about Dukan is that you can literally eat “as much as you want” of the allowed foods in every given phase. There is no calorie counting or nutrient counting. As long as you are only eating the approved foods in whatever phase you are in, you don’t need to worry about whether or not you are eating enough.
However, the standard for protein intake in a normal diet is 0.36 grams of protein per pound per day. For example, someone who weighs 150 pounds should eat an average of 54 grams of protein every single day. You can start by using that calculation (0.36 x [weight in pounds]) to figure out how much you normally need. On this diet, you probably won’t have trouble meeting or exceeding that goal, so as long as you don’t fall under, you should be fine.
Another way to think about protein is to make sure at least 30 percent of your daily calories are coming from protein. Depending on what phase of Dukan you are in, that percentage might turn out a little differently. How much protein you are eating is just as important as the quality of the foods you are eating, though. If you’re eating well, you shouldn’t have to give your protein intake much extra thought.
Is it normal for weight loss to stop during the Cruise Phase?
No. The Cruise Phase, the second phase of Dukan, is meant to promote gradual but continuous weight loss. By eating protein and vegetables, the idea is to keep you full while allowing you to eat meals and “snacks.”
If you are not losing weight, first consider how long you have been in the Cruise Phase. This phase is meant to last as long as it takes to reach your True Weight. You’re supposed to assign three days for every pound you want to lose. If your weight loss has slowed down to the point it seems to have stopped, be patient. Change up your workouts and keep doing what you’re doing. You might start losing weight again, but it won’t drop off quickly.
Also pay attention to how much protein and vegetables you are actually eating. It isn’t just the types of foods you are eating that determine weight loss, but also the amount of calories you are consuming. You can eat too many vegetables, technically, if you’re consuming so many calories that your body isn’t burning off enough of what you’re putting into it.
There’s one last thing to consider … are you following this phase of the diet exactly as instructed? Some diets allow “cheat” days and meals, but this isn’t one of them, especially not in this phase. You will not lose weight by taking shortcuts. Just keep all this in mind if you’ve hit a plateau and aren’t sure why.