Find the new you with part-one of the Dukan Diet program, and discover the weight loss benefits.
How Dukan worksPHASE 1: ATTACK. The Dukan Diet starts with a short, sharp Attack phase where you eat nothing but protein – just meat, fish, eggs and (unlike Atkins) no-fat or low-fat dairy products. This is the kick-start that gives you the initial, rapid weight loss (up to three kilograms in just five days), and sets the tone for the other stages of the plan. Stay on the Attack phase for one to 10 days depending on how much weight you have to lose.
PHASE 2: CRUISE. This is the workhorse stage of the diet, where you alternate the pure protein days of Attack with days when you add a delicious array of unlimited salads and vegetables to your wide selection of meat, fish and no-fat dairy products.
On Cruise, you can start a meal with a salad or soup, then follow it with meat or fish and vegetables. Most dieters lose up to a kilogram a week during the Cruise phase, and stay on it until they reach their target weight.
PHASE 3: CONSOLIDATION. In addition to unlimited protein and salads or vegetables, you put fruit (one piece a day), wholemeal bread (two slices), cheese and starchy foods such as pasta (in moderation) back on the menu. You are even encouraged to have two totally unrestrained "celebration" meals a week – with alcohol, butter, bread, chocolate or any other foods you truly love, but usually feel guilty about.
Dr Dukan's research shows that sticking to the Consolidation stage for five days for every 450 to 500 grams you have lost allows the body to permanently establish its new equilibrium.
PHASE 4: STABILISATION. You can eat and drink whatever you like without guilt or restriction, with one caveat: only protein on Thursdays. Forever.
Get started here: the attack phaseThe Dukan summer diet kick-starts with a short, sharp Attack phase, detailed below, during which you eat unlimited quantities of meat, fish and fat-free dairy products for one to 10 days depending on how much weight you have to lose.
Dr Dukan says this initial stage of the diet is so effective because it restricts the body to protein-only foods.
Proteins pass slowly through the digestive system. Eating protein-only foods makes you feel full, so you're less likely to have the cravings that jeopardise your weight loss.
Proteins are low in calories compared with fats and carbohydrates, and their complex structure means you burn more calories processing them than you do other foods.
The rules of the Attack phase are simple. Drink two litres of water a day, walk for 20 minutes each day and avoid butter and oil. Eat as much as you want, whenever you want, of any foods on the following list. Anything not listed is forbidden.
Dr Schenker says it's important to include fish. "Try to include oily fish (up to two portions a week for women of childbearing age, up to four portions for men and post-menopausal women) to ensure a good intake of essential fats and fat-soluble vitamins."
What you can eat
- Lean beef, veal or rabbit, trimmed of all fat.
- Chicken and turkey (skin removed).
- Low-fat ham (cut any rind off) and dried beef (bresaola).
- Liver (beef or chicken).
- All fish – white, oily, fresh, frozen, dried, smoked or canned (in water or brine).
- All shellfish
- Up to two eggs a day. Stick to three to four yolks per week if you have high cholesterol. The white can be eaten without restriction.
- Fat-free dairy products, such as yoghurt, cottage cheese and skim milk. Plain and flavoured yoghurts are allowed without restriction, but fruit yoghurts (which contain fruit puree) should be restricted to two per day.
- Sweeteners, vinegar, spices, herbs, garlic, onion, gherkins and pickled onions as condiments, lemon juice, mustard and salt in moderation, sugar-free chewing gum.
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The second part of our exclusive Dukan summer diet reveals how to broaden your menu options.
- Have one to five pure protein days (with no-fat dairy products) interspersed with one to five days when vegetables can be eaten too.
- Eat two tablespoons of oat bran per day.
- Take a 30-minute brisk walk daily.
- Drink 1.5 litres of water each day.
The protein-only diet has a powerful water-loss effect. A diet rich in meat and dairy products raises the levels of uric acid and urea in the blood. These are toxic by-products of protein breakdown, which the body tries to eliminate by sucking water out of the tissues and pumping it into the kidneys and urinary tract to help it flush out.
When you start eating vegetables again, your body will naturally start to retain a little water. As soon as you switch to a pure protein day, the water expulsion will return.
Dr Dukan says you can expect to lose 900 grams for every week you're on the Cruise phase.
- EAT as often as you like. Don't go hungry.
- NEVER skip meals.
- EXPERIMENT with agar agar (from health shops). This marine gelatine reduces the speed at which sugar is assimilated by the body, cuts cholesterol and reduces the amount of calories absorbed.
- MAKE Dukan-friendly sauces and dressings. For a simple yoghurt dressing, beat a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a dash of vinegar, pepper, salt and herbs into non-fat yoghurt. Delicious!
- WEIGH yourself daily. Weight loss, no matter how tiny, is the best incentive.
- DRINK a large glass of cold water before your meal, one during, and a third afterwards. This makes you feel full and disrupts the absorption of food, allowing messages of satisfaction more time to reach the brain.
"The kilos fell off me and I'm much healthier"Karen Galkoff, 38
"I love food, which is why Dukan has suited me so well. I followed the diet, lost 44 kilograms, and happily glided through two holidays on Dukan, eating like a horse, and continuing to lose weight.
"I don't need to diet anymore, but I still eat the Dukan way. I have protein and salad or vegetables every day, and low-fat yoghurt and oat bran porridge for breakfast. If we go out for dinner, I'll call that my celebration meal, enjoy myself, then follow it with a couple of pure protein days to get back on track.
"I can honestly say there's nothing I miss. I've been doing Dukan so long, if I do have carbs, I don't enjoy them. When I've dieted in the past, I've starved myself during the day and saved my calories for chocolate in the evening. But with Dukan, not only am I allowed to eat as much as I like, but it's all good, fresh food. I'm not just slimmer, I feel much healthier, too."
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