Is the Dukan diet really effective

Dukan diet - this is how it works

Von, science journalist

Eat well and still lose weight - that is what the promises Dukan Diet from France. What sounds like enjoyment is a tough protein diet. Proteins are almost exclusively eaten; There are hardly any carbohydrates or fat. The Dukan diet plan is very strict. Read here what the Dukan Diet looks like and whether it is recommendable.

What is the Dukan Diet?

The Dukan diet was developed by the French nutritionist Pierre Dukan. With promises like "Eat as much as you want" and "No yo-yo effect", his weight loss book made it onto the bestseller lists and allegedly onto the shelves of celebrities like actress Penelope Cruz and model Giselle Bündchen.

The principle of the Dukan diet: pure protein, i.e. lean, protein-heavy foods, of which you can, however, eat as much as you want.

The high protein intake is supposed to prevent food cravings and the breakdown of muscles during the "attack phase" - the first of four Dukan diet phases. According to Dukan, certain types of vegetables are also allowed - but only to a very limited extent, because, according to Dukan, carbohydrates are counterproductive: They raise the blood level of the blood sugar-lowering hormone insulin and prevent fat burning, warn the supporters of this form of diet.

The basic principles of the Dukan diet

  • low in calories
  • practically no fat
  • hardly any carbohydrates

This is how the Dukan Diet works

The Dukan diet plan is very strict, the choice of food limited and precisely specified. You can use an online form to calculate your ideal weight and use a graphic to show how long it will take to reach it. You can also get coached (for a fee). Four diet phases are completed:

Attack phase (attack phase)

In the Dukan diet phase 1 (one to ten days) only protein-rich, low-fat foods (meat, fish, tofu as the only plant-based food, lean dairy products) are allowed. From a list of around 70 products, you can choose as much and as often as you want to eat.

A tablespoon of oat bran is added daily so that digestion does not come to a standstill. Because if vegetables, fruit and whole grains or their fiber are missing, the stool volume is too low - this can lead to constipation and constipation.

Alcohol, fat, sugar, vegetables and fruit are prohibited during this phase of the Dukan diet.

In phase 1 of the Dukan diet, there is also a 20-minute walk every day.

Cruising or build-up phase

Protein and vegetable phases alternate, every other day is still a pure protein day, in between you can eat some vegetables. However, the varieties are strictly prescribed, vegetables rich in carbohydrates such as corn and any form of fruit are not allowed. The oat bran ration increases to three tablespoons a day. The walk is extended to 30 minutes.

The build-up phase continues until the ideal weight is reached.

Consolidation or stabilization phase

It lasts 10 days per kilo lost. In this diet phase, the weight should be maintained and the yo-yo effect should be excluded. All foods of the Dukan diet phase 1 as well as vegetables, one serving of fruit per day or two slices of wholemeal bread are allowed. In addition, there are two pleasure meals per week, where you can eat what you want. But a strict protein day a week persists.

Stabilization or maintenance phase

It should ensure permanent weight loss. There are three rules that must be strictly adhered to: a balanced diet, one protein day per week and daily walking and climbing stairs instead of an elevator.

This is what the Dukan Diet brings

You can lose weight with the Dukan Diet Plan. The fact that it is very one-sided in the first phase can be nutritionally accepted in healthy people who want to lose weight, as this phase is quite short. It is positive that the Dukan diet encourages you to drink a lot (two liters per day) and to exercise. Studies have shown that you lose more body fat with heavily reduced-fat diets like the Dukan diet than with other forms of diet.

Risks of the Dukan Diet

Too much protein is bad for the kidneys. According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), adults (under 65 years of age) should consume a maximum of 0.8 grams of protein per day and kilo of body weight. The Dukan diet exceeds this limit many times over. Especially people with kidney failure can be harmed by the high protein content. This applies to many diabetics, for example. Gout attacks cannot be ruled out either.

It is also worrying that so few fruits and vegetables are eaten on the Dukan diet for weeks and months. This can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Caution is advised with extremely low-fat dairy products - they often contain additives that should not be consumed in large quantities.

Dukan Diet: Conclusion

A recent study concludes that protein-heavy diets like the Dukan Diet can add weight and the risk of death in the long run. The Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, the French counterpart to the DGE, has also classified this form of diet as hazardous to health. Even Pierre Dukan does not deny that his diet is one-sided and carries long-term risks. However, he sees the health risks associated with being overweight as more serious. His argument: drugs also have side effects. But most experts say: stay away from it Dukan Diet.

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