The Dukan Diet is a re-mastered version of the Protein-Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF), which is a high-protein diet created over 30 years ago.
What does it involve?
A complicated diet that has four phases: Attack, Cruise, Consolidation and Stabilisation.
The Attack phase involves eating lean veal, beef, chicken and turkey, fish and shellfish, eggs, and fat-free dairy products.
Cruise involves alternating in five-day cycles between eating protein and non-starchy vegetables, and eating only protein.
In the Consolidation phase, you are allowed one serving of fruit, two slices of wholewheat bread and 1.5 ounces of cheese each day. In addition, you may also consume some starchy foods and a 'cheat meal' twice a week.
Finally, in Stabilisation, you resume normal eating with one day per week devoted to eating only protein.
How does it work?
The initial protein-only phase causes rapid weight-loss due primarily to loss of water. Ounce for ounce, proteins are relatively low in calories, so the diet itself will be low in calories. The complex structure of proteins means the body burns up more calories processing them than with any other foods.
-Weight loss is swift
-You don't have to go hungry
-Unlike many fad diets, it includes an exercise plan. Walking for 20 to 30 minutes a day is strongly encouraged with each phase.
-There is an online community for support, and you get daily emails to keep you motivated
-Bad breath caused by ketosis
-Does not promote a healthy relationship with food. Some doctors argue plans that cut foods out and then add them back are not long-term solutions to a healthy diet.
-The complex and strict guidelines are restrictive and can be difficult to stick to
Likely to produce moodiness and lethargy, especially during the first phase as a side effect of dehydration
-You have to cut out some healthy foods, such as fruit and olive oil, until the consolidation phase, which could take months to reach
-Several health problems may occur if you follow a high-protein diet for a long time. This includes causing or worsening liver or kidney problems, as your body may already have trouble eliminating the waste products of protein metabolism.
-Some high protein diets restrict carbohydrate intake so much that they can result in nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fibre. This can cause health problems such as constipation and diverticulitis, and may increase your risk for certain types of cancer.