The Dukan Diet is a diet plan for people looking to lose weight using a heavy protein based meal plan. A French general practitioner named Pierre Dukan created it, and celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and even British royalty have since used it.
Information on this diet is available through the “Dukan Diet” book, which sold over 7 million copies. There’s a total of 4 phases one must follow, and information about this diet is also available through other books and an official website.
As far as what this diet presents, there’s a lot of information provided online:
This diet plan has been compares to the paleo diet as well as Atkins. Though the Dukan Diet is unique in that it has specific requirements. It also has some unique phases unlike any other diet plans.
The foods you’re allowed to eat depending on which of the 4 phases you’re currently on:
Lean meat, fat free cheeses, tofu, and no fats or carbohydrates are allowed. You also eat 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran and 6 cups of water a day.
The doctor has been criticized for advising users to eat as much protein as one they would like. This is because excess protein can lead to kidney damage. The Granada University in Spain ran a study, which showed that:
“high-protein diets like the Dukan regime may increase the chance of developing kidney stones and other renal disease”
According to the doctor, by drinking 6 cups of water you prevent this issue from happening. Though he offers no proof to prove this. Web MD has this to say:
“Due to the lack of data… a maximum intake level for protein cannot be determined”
So it’s unknown why the doctor would claim that by drinking water alone you could safely avoid kidney damage. There’s simply not enough information provided to show that what he is saying is true.
This is particularly problematic, as having unchecked levels of protein may become a health issue.
You also get one cheat meal a day each week, where you can eat as much as you want from any kind of food. This includes starches and other foods that are often banned.
You also have to make sure to walk at least 20 minutes a day.
Each phase has its specific requirement that can vary wildly. This form of dieting is often considered a crash diet, as it quickly demands for an uncommon dietary change that most have never done.
A glass of wine is allowed per day only during hr stabilization and consolidation phase. There’s no suggestions offered on what to do if you get bored of eating mostly protein.
By limiting the amount of carbohydrates you eat, the body is likely to lose much water weight. This falls in line with the diets promise of being able to help one lose between 4.4 pounds and 6.6 pounds in 2 to 7 days.
Live Strong.com mentions that:
“It’s possible to lose as much as 20 pounds of body weight during one week”
Therefore, it’s no surprise that this diet can help with this much weight loss. The problem of course is that this is not fat loss, instead it’s just water. Though the diet does not specifically claim what kind of weight you’re losing, it’s important to distinguish as fat loss is the real kind of weight that is healthy to reduce.
The diet also suggests that you get the opportunity to eat:
“100 foods – no starvation and no frustration”
While you’re allowed to eat as much protein as you’d’ like during certain phases, this may not be a suitable thing for all. Eating excess protein can cause issues to the kidneys, and it’s unknown how much is safe per person.
Web MD also says that:
“could lead to a nutritionally inadequate diet”
The creator of this diet has failed to provide any scientific studies showing the Duken Diet to be either safe or effective. This plan also does nit help with making sure one can create healthy eating habits.
This plan has many claims that are yet to be proven. Unfortunately, by following the strict advice offered, it’s possible to experience serious potential side effects.
Also, many have largely criticized this diet. The British Dietetic Association listed the Dukan Diet as their number 1 diet to avoid.
According to the French National Order of Doctors:
“breaking the medical code of practice and treating medicine “like a business””.
The Guardian UK also mentions how:
“a survey of 5,000 “Dukanians”… found that 80% had regained the weight they lost within 3 years”
This is a remarkable failure on the diets part, and it speaks about how it’s truly not a legitimate diet. Any of the weight lost is likely only because of water weight.
Since so many people who adhered to the diet didn’t sustain their weight loss, it’s unlikely that this plan would not be beneficial for most.
The creator has also been criticized and stripped from being allowed in the French medical directory. He was also asked to stop practicing medicine for turning his practice into more of a business, as opposed to truly helping people.
US News also reviewed this diet and they concluded:
“If you want a healthy diet, look elsewhere”
“could lead to long-term health problems, and shutting out entire food groups poses a risk of nutritional deficiencies”
You can also read multiple accounts online from people who had health issues when using this diet. In one case feature don the Telegraph, a man went into a coma.
The Dukan Diet became a hit when it came out, and much like other fad diets, it has failed to provide long-term weight loss.
Studies into this diet are not provided by the maker, but the data that does exist shows that it’s not an effective solution to weight loss. Studies show this much protein can be damaging, and that the people who used this diet plan quickly regained their weight.
Not only are there many controversial claims made about what’s healthy to implement into your diet, but it’s also potentially dangerous according to studies.
Due to the excess levels of protein that one may eat, there’s a potential for kidney damage. Also, it’s likely that the only reason why people lose weight is because they restrict carbohydrates that is known to make one lose water weight but not fat.
There are some things about this diet that make it seem like a good choice, but overall, there are much better solutions for weight loss that are backed by real science.
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