Is the Dukan Diet Healthy?

The Dukan diet gained popularity after famous celebrities started to follow it. These celebrities shared their results with the world, making more people want to try it.
Is the Dukan Diet Healthy?

Last update: 20 November, 2018

A few years ago the Dukan diet became a trend that seemed to bring amazing results to many people. But, were these results healthy? Is the Dukan diet beneficial? Let’s take a look at how this diet works and if it’s actually good for your body.

What is the Dukan diet?

It’s a high protein diet that claims you can lose between eleven and fifteen pounds per month. So, you might be asking yourself, what is it really about? These are the main stages of the diet:

The attack phase

The first stage is the strictest and it creates a ‘clash’ between the body and the metabolism. This phase consists of eating foods such as, chicken, meat, seafood, eggs, and natural yogurt. Basically, only high protein foods, along with lots of water.

High protein foods

The cruise phase

The cruise phase allows you to add vegetables to your meals. Fats and oils are not allowed during this stage. In fact, you’ll have a list of the foods that you can eat: 72 high-protein foods and 28 different vegetables.

The consolidation phase

During this stage, you can start eating fruits, bread, and cheeses. Other days you may add carbohydrates and dessert, or wine after a meal of your choosing. This phase lasts for about ten days and encourages your body to become accustomed to new foods that were completely eliminated from your diet before.

The stabilization phase

Finally, there’s the stabilization phase that aims to achieve your goal weight and avoid regaining all of the weight back. You’ll be able to eat the foods that were forbidden during the other stages, although there’s a day in which you can only eat protein, to create the ‘clash’ with your metabolism.

How does the Dukan diet work?

During the first stage of this diet, your body will release the stored glucose so that it goes to the brain, which needs sugar to function properly. When the liver releases glucose, it also expels water and fluids, resulting in quick water weight loss.

Although you no longer have glucose stored in your body, your brain will still need it. So, it takes this from the proteins that you eat. Your muscles, which run on protein, won’t have a source of energy. Therefore, during this stage, you will not lose fat, but water and muscle mass instead, which is far from beneficial. The quick weight loss during this phase is what usually keeps people motivated to continue.

Then, in the second phase, you naturally start eating less, because your protein intake is high, which keeps you satiated. Most of the weight lost is from muscle, although some fat is also lost. The goal in this phase is to lose about two pounds per week.

Does the Dukan diet work?

It’s important to know that miracle diets don’t exist! Even if the Dukan diet does help you to lose weight, by not working out, you won’t have the healthy body that you want. The Dukan diet has helped many people in their weight loss journey, but there’s no evidence to show that it’s possible to maintain your weight after completing the diet.

Exercises for weight loss

Moreover, the Dukan diet has been widely criticized.

Many doctors and specialists claim that it leads to severe nutritional deficiencies, given that it’s based on just consuming protein.

As a consequence of the lack of nutrients, you may experience mood swings, depression and fatigue. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to start the Dukan diet without first consulting your doctor.

If, after understanding all of the risks, you decide to follow the diet, make sure you take vitamin supplements in order to get all of the nutrients that your diet will lack. Protein and omega 3 won’t be necessary, for example, because you’ll be eating fish and meat, which contain high levels of these nutrients.

In conclusion, yes! You can lose weight fast with the Dukan diet, but at what cost?  At Fit People, we believe that having a great body goes beyond your appearance; it’s about adopting a complete and healthy lifestyle. 

Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly are the best ways to lose weight while staying healthy. Slower than the Dukan diet? Maybe, but it’s definitely a safer and more reliable process.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.