Have you heard of the Dukan diet? It may not be the most fashionable diet, but with celebrities like Jennifer Lopez on board it is certainly catching on! A best seller in France, the author physician Pierre Dukan originally made this diet to help obese people regain control of their health. If you thought the Atkins diet was a good idea, then you may just like this protein based diet too.

The diet has 4 phases to ensure successful long term weight loss. In phase 1, focuses on rapid weight loss, which usually lasts between 1 to 2 weeks, The second phase lasts a couple of months, giving your body time to adjust weight loss. The third phase is essential as it ensures the weight you shifted doesn’t come back. The final phase is not truly a phase. Instead it is a lifelong practice that ensures you stay at your goal weight.

With the Dukan diet, you don’t need to worry about counting calories. In fact, you are allowed to tuck into whatever you like whenever you like initially, as long as it is a lean protein.

In phase 1, you can eat as much as you like in terms of lean protein. This is fine as long as you have 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran alongside 1.5 liters of water every day. This is known as the ‘attack’ phase. You are allowed to choose from a huge range of over 70 low fat, lean protein based meals.

In the second phase, known as the ‘cruise’ phase, you can add non-starchy vegetables to your diet. Like lean proteins, you can chow down on as many of these as you like! You still need to eat lean protein, and now you have 2 tablespoons of oat bran a day. There are nearly 30 non-starchy vegetables that are allowed, so you have a good choice.

The third or ‘consolidation’ phase, gives you the option of having 1 piece of fruit, up to 2 slices of whole grain bread, and 1 small portion of a hard cheese of your choice. Also, you can begin eating starchy foods like potatoes, although only once or twice a week. This is often a hard phase for many to get through successfully. As motivation, you can look forward to “celebration” meals! These allow you to eat whatever you want for 2 different meals a week. The aim in this stage is to establish eating habits that will last a lifetime.

The final phase is the “stabilisation” phase, which is defined by maintenance. . If you want to keep the lost weight off, you need to pay attention to this phase. Essentially what it entails is ensuring that one day a week, you repeat phase one. That means that one day every weak you will only eat lean protein. Alongside this you need 20 minutes light exercise, such as walking, and 3 tablespoons of oat bran. Keeping up this practice throughout life is supposed to ensure successful, long term weight loss.

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