How many of us have struggled – or are struggling – with weight loss? Well, thanks to the Dukan diet, losing weight does not have to be a struggle. There are plenty of other diets around that promise to help you shed pounds quickly, few are effective, and fewer are healthy. The Dukan diet focuses on one science-backed principle of weight loss – low carbs and high protein. As a result, you can lose fat quickly without feeling weak or messing up your metabolism.
What sets this diet apart from the others is that you can lose up to 10lbs in just 7 days. One week you can barely fit in that gorgeous dress, and the next week you’re rocking it as if it’s a perfect fit! Before jumping on though, it’s important that you go through the principles of the Dukan diet.
Because of so many fad diets and half-knowledge, we do not realise that some of the foods that we consider healthy actually aren’t healthy at all. Similarly, foods that we consider unhealthy can actually help speed up the weight loss process – foods like poultry & dairy, cheese, and bread. We highly recommend checking out the list of 100 Food Items that you should consume for best results.
What you need to understand about weight loss is that unlike what some self-proclaimed experts claim, it is not as easy as “calories in vs calories out”. What truly makes the difference is the quality of calories you consume and how you burn off those calories.
The Dukan diet’s prime focus is protein – the building block of our body. Without sufficient protein in our diets, we would start losing muscle. This can have a detrimental effect on our body since we would slow down our metabolism, not feel as energetic and would feel noticeably weaker. A common misconception is that only bodybuilders require protein, but we can assure you that’s certainly not the case. A great deal of research has been carried out to settle the “to protein or not to protein” debate.
While protein is the prime focus, this diet does not ignore other essential macro and micronutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, fibre, and various vitamins and minerals. If you stick to this diet then not only will you lose weight but you will be eating truly balanced meals and feel healthier.
It works in four phases:
The best part about this systematic diet plan is that you can tailor it to how much weight you wish to lose! Simply adjust your portion sizes and you can control how much weight you lose.
Here are a few steps that will help you shred that fat and shed those pounds.
Know what you eat
It helps tremendously if you know what you eat at present. Use a calorie counting app to measure how much of what you eat. This should give you a rough idea and you can work from there.
Next, focus on the types of foods that you can eat. Make a list of foods that you need to stop eating and a list of foods that you should continue eating. It’s important to not overdo it because you want a healthy diet that is sustainable.
Here’s a list of some of the types of foods that you can eat and why:
- Proteins: as we mentioned before, protein is the main focus of this diet and this macronutrient is extremely important (and often overlooked) while trying to lose weight in a healthy manner. You should include as much protein as you can in your diet.
- Vegetables: these are vital for any healthy weight loss regime since they have tons of micronutrients, fibre, antioxidants and complex carbs in the right quantities. However, do note that not all vegetables are created equal and some are healthier than others. You can refer to the List of 100 Foods for more information on this.
- Fruits: like vegetables, fruits are very important to have a balanced diet. They contain a lot of fibre, necessary vitamins and minerals, and can freshen up your body. You will have to limit your fruit intake though since they contain a lot of carbs and sugar which can slow down the weight loss process.
- Whole wheat bread: you can replace whole wheat bread with any other complex carb like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat tortillas, etc. Carbs are important as they act as an energy source for your body and you will feel weak and dizzy if your carb intake is too less. As long as you keep a ratio of 2:1 of proteins and carbs in your meals you should be set.
- Cheese: who knew cheese would help you lose weight? Well, it’s true. Cheese contains tons of nutrition and it will help you get through the rest of your diet. While it is calorie dense, you can have a slice or two per day.
- Starch: starchy foods such as potatoes also provide energy and can be consumed in limited quantities.
- Celebration meals: this is the best part about the Dukan diet. This meal includes whichever food you like. Yes, you read that right. You can eat your favourite food and still lose weight. You do need to control the quantity though since some common favourite foods are very high in calories. A slice of pizza, for example, can have 300 calories.
Dukan Diet Pyramid
The pyramid states what foods you will be eating at what stage in your diet. One common food on all days will be a tablespoon of oatmeal (this is mandatory). Since the diet lasts for seven days, there are seven ‘layers’ in the pyramid:
- Lean protein: you eat these right from Day One. This includes poultry, eggs, fish, lean meat, whey protein, or even tofu for vegans. Avoid
- Vegetables: you can include vegetables in your diet from Day Two. As discussed before, they’re required for a healthy weight loss. You can have all vegetables except potatoes and beans.
- Fruits: they can be consumed Day Three onwards. Nutritionists say that if you have a sweet tooth and crave something sweet during the day or after meals, a small portion of fruit can be eaten.
- Carbohydrates: foods such as whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc can be eaten from Day Four. As we mentioned earlier, try not to eat too many of these.
- Cheese: one or two slices per day can be eaten from Day Five.
- Starch and Simple Carbs: carbs are of two major types – simple and complex. Complex carbs can be eaten in larger quantities than simple carbs since they tend to be healthier. Come Day Six though and you can have foods such as oats, potatoes, white rice, cornmeal etc. in small amounts.
- Celebration meal: after losing all that weight, it’s time to reward yourself! You can eat practically anything you please as long as you control the portion sizes.
With the nutrition dealt with, let’s come to physical activity. If you’re worried that you’ll have to do strenuous workouts lasting for hours, you’re wrong. Instead, you just have to go on a brisk walk for a few minutes. Sounds unbelievable? Well, believe it!
The rules of the Quick Dukan Diet recommend starting with 10 or so minutes of brisk walking and building that up to 40 minutes towards the end of the week. You can always substitute this for any proper workout programme as long as it is intense enough. You could look into High-Intensity Interval Training, too, which can speed up to weight loss process by a lot.
Yes, it really is THAT easy! No fancy exercises, no fad diets and no gimmicks. If you follow this diet religiously and are consistent with your workout, you really can lose up to 10 lbs in just a week. If you wish to lose more fat, you can always continue the diet for more than a week. It completely depends on your goals and preferences.
Best of luck!