Dukan Diet the Quick Fix for Weight Loss – Should You Do it?
Dukan Diet seems to have taken Perth by storm since it was published on Sunday Times Body + Soul section. Since then, it seems like every TV station is talking about this French Diet. I had even hear from personal training clients of mine that people in their offices can’t wait to get their hands on that book. Apparently, the Dukan Diet books are so hot that they got sold out here in some book stores here in Perth as I was told.
This French Diet book seems very legitimate especially when it comes from a doctor-turned-nutritionist Dr Dukan and having the big hollywood names of Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bundchen mentioned along with this diet obviously boost the credibility of this approach. Plus, it claims that 5 million French people can’t be wrong on the cover of the book.
So How Does this Dukan Diet work?
Phase 1 – Attack
Eat nothing but protein (meat sources). No vegetables and fruits here. This phase can last up to 10 days depending how much weight you need to lose and expect to lose as much as 3kg in 5 days.
Phase 2 – Cruising
Alternate pure protein day and day where you introduce unlimited vegetables to the protein
Phase 3 – Consolidation
Eat as much protein and vegetables each day with no restriction to the quantity and feeding time. Recommended to stick to a pure protein eating day for every week for insurance.
Phase 4 – Stabilisation
Go back to eating whatever you like but continue to stick to some basic rules in consolidation phase. Pick one day a week and eat nothing but protein. Apparently. this one pure protein day is the key to allowing to eat whatever you like for the other days of you life.
Is Dukan Diet Any Different from other Fad Diet?
Like some diets such as Atkins, Dukan Diet advocates high protein, no carbs and no vegetables and fruits to trigger quick weight loss in the initial phase. Although Dr Dukan claimed that Dukan Diet is different from Atkins, both diets certainly use the same extreme approach in the initial phase to set off rapid weight loss due to the ketogenic effects and forced calories reduction. Basically, weight loss occurs due to water loss and is not true fat loss.
Strains Liver and Kidney Functions – This can potentially occur in the pure protein phase. And if you have problems with kidney, I suggest that you stay away from this diet.
Constipation – If you’re going to be constipated, then this diet can’t be any good.
No vegetables and fruits – “When has it been bad to have vegetables and fruits?” Said one of my personal training clients. And I couldn’t agreed more with her. Like she said to me, it would be very bad for a parent to eat like this in front of her small children. What is she going to say if the kids ask why is she not eating her veg and fruits? Are you going to said “I’m trying to lose weight fast and vegetables and fruits are no good”.
Decrease Bone Mass – As the initial phase of Dukan Diet is pure protein, that makes the diet ketogenic. And that can decrease calcium balance and increase risk of bone loss which is bad for women.
Decrease in Metabolism – It can cause a loss of lean tissue due to the ketogenic effects of the initial phase because the body needs to draw upon the existing protein stores from your muscles to maintain blood sugar level. This is the last thing you want to do to your body because lower metabolism means easier weight gain in the future.
Recommend Only 20-25 minutes of brisk walking everyday – Brisk walking DOES NOT increase metabolism , DOES NOT toned the body and DOES NOT improve fitness.
It’s NOT TRUE Fat Loss – If you’re aiming for a lean and toned body, then Dukan Diet is not going to give you one because it’s just weight loss based on water loss and lean muscle tissue loss especially in the first phase.
Dukan Diet – The Band Aid Approach to Weight Loss
According to Dr Dukan,
‘Calorie counting sets quotas, doses and portions, but it forgets that the people having to follow it are flesh and blood, made up of emotions and instincts.’
It’s easy to buy what Dr Dukan said about all the calorie counting and portion control is too hard due to emotions and instincts. And the Dukan approach has a very attractive selling point in that you can eat what you want in the final phase. The problem with his approach is it is only dealing with weight loss at the very surface level. If you have unhealthy eating habits such as eating fast food such as KFC or McDonalds and overeating, Dukan Diet is not going to help because you’re going to go back to those bad habits. And going on this diet will not teach you how to deal with food or eating any better.
The reason why our society is having weight issues is not that complicated. If you think about people in the past where you don’t have that many fast food restaurants and less than advance transport systems, there were hardly any overweight people. So you think this diet alone is going to fix it?
The key to healthy weight loss is the right mindset about weight loss should be achieved through fat loss by increasing your metabolism for the long term and developing a healthy lifestyle that includes sustainable eating habits and exercise regime.
If you have an emotional problem, would you be bothered with any sorts of diet? So are we meant to eat til we burst in the pants? Put it this way, unless you sorted out what are your priorities and make a commitment to stay in shape you will face a lifetime of bodyweight issues.