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A Guide to Following the 4 Phases of the Dukan Diet
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A 1-Day Sample Meal Plan for the Attack Phase
- Breakfast: one serving of low-fat cottage cheese
- Lunch: spicy chicken kebabs
- Dinner: chicken tandoori and shirataki noodles
The Cruise Phase
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What You Can Eat
- 1 to 2 servings of fruit per day (except those indicated below)
- 2 slices of whole grain bread per day
- 1.5 ounces (oz) hard rind cheese
- 1 to 2 servings (1 cup when cooked) of starchy foods per week
- 1 to 2 celebration meals (including only 1 serving of each: appetizer, entrée, dessert, and a glass of wine) per week
- 2 tbsp oat bran per day
What You Can’t Eat
- Alcohol (other than the one glass of wine in the celebration meals)
A 1-Day Sample Meal Plan of the Consolidation Phase
- Breakfast: omelet with vegetables and cheese
- Lunch: grilled chicken in a salad with greens and a low-fat dressing
- Dinner: crab and tomato-stuffed flounder
The Stabilization Phase
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Can the Dukan Diet Result in Weight Loss and Other Health Benefits?
Is a Low-Carb or Low-Fat Diet Better for Weight Loss?
Who Should Try the Dukan Diet and Why?
In the eyes of nutrition professionals, this is very much a fad diet. Someone who doesn’t have pre-existing health conditions and wants to lose weight for a special occasion might find the diet helpful.
The diet provides a lot of guidance and strict rules, which can be good if you have trouble regulating your eating patterns. You can buy the book The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever for $19 and follow it on your own, or purchase the online coaching program for $29.95 per month.
Who Should Avoid the Dukan Diet and Why?
The Dukan Diet is not recommended for anyone with an existing health condition because it restricts a lot of nutrients. For someone with diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease, or those who are pregnant or breast-feeding, the risks far outweigh the benefits, says Fitzgibbon.
There’s too much protein for people with kidney disease or those at risk of kidney stones, not enough fiber for heart disease patients, and the diet makes insulin regulation difficult for people with diabetes.
Other health concerns include constipation, bad breath, tiredness, and headaches, says Smith.
“You’ll feel tired and foggy and might not be able to maintain exercise,” she says.
Furthermore, because the Dukan Diet allows you to liberally eat red meat, it may also raise your risk for certain kinds of cancer, like colon cancer, according to Harvard Medical School.
Other Precautions to Consider Before Trying the Dukan Diet
One reason experts caution against certain high-protein diets is because there isn’t enough research on the long-term effects on the body. Most of the current studies focus on short-term results without looking at overall health years later.
That’s why it’s important to talk with your healthcare team and dietitian before giving the program a shot. Not only might another plan be more appropriate for your weight loss goals, but due to the stringent guidelines, the Dukan diet may result in health harms.