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I am not sure which is the best diet for me to lose weight. I am 5'5" and weigh around
165 lbs. Right now, I am a bit confused and undecided whether to go on the Atkins
diet or the Dukan diet. Both diet plans seem to work really well for many of my female
friends. Can you shed some light on the Dukan diet? Thanks! – Patricia, New Mexico.
Dukan Diet or Atkins for Weight Loss?
It's interesting that you asked this question on Atkins or Dukans. Many people are
confused between the two as they share a few similarities. Both diets have the same
weight loss objectives, they each are comprised of 4 phases, and they focus on low
carb, high protein foods. However, the Atkins diet and the Dukan diet are distinctively
One of the main differences is that Atkins allows you to eat high fat foods like
bacon and butter while the dukan diet menu forbids the consumption of fatty foods
except oily fish and eggs. Unlike the Atkins diet, the final phase of the Dukan Diet
lets you consume anything that you want 6 days a week, provided that you follow the
diet the same day every week.
Let's take a closer look at the Dukan Diet and see how it is different from the Atkins
How to Get Started on the Dukan Diet
The Dukan diet was developed by the French doctor, Dr Pierre Dukan to help obese
patients lose copious amounts weight rapidly without scarifying food enjoyment. The
Dukan diet is also popular among high-profile celebrities like Penelope Cruz . Jennifer
Lopez and Gisele Bundchen, both reportedly turned to the Dukan diet to help them
drop post pregnancy pounds fast.
Phase 1 (Attack)
The first phase (1-10days) of the Dukan diet is strict, with only lean protein (meat
trimmed of all fat, fish, shellfish, eggs, non-fat dairy products), a small amount
of oat bran (1½ tablespoons of oatmeal), and water are allowed.
Calorie-free drinks including sparkling water, coffee and tea (no sugar, but skimmed
milk and sweeteners are ok), herbal tea and sugar-free sodas such as Diet Pepsi or
Coke Zero are also permitted.
What are some examples of foods allowed in the Attack phase (pure protein meals)?
You can consume low fat cottage cheese, fat free yogurt, tofu, seitan, rabbit, veal,
turkey, chicken, low fat ham, steak, shrimp, prawn, crab, crab sticks, salmon, and
If you have a lot of weight to lose, the full 10 days are recommended. You can lose
as much as 7-10 pounds within the first 5 days of pure protein phase (PP phase).
Phase 2 (Cruise)
In the second phase (which lasts until you reach your target weight), you can introduce
unlimited amounts of vegetables along with lean protein, oat bran (2 tablespoons
of oatmeal), and water. This happens alternatively with pure protein days, meaning
that you eat proteins one day, followed by proteins and vegetables the next day and
You can choose from 28 vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, celery, cucumber, asparagus,
tomato, broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, green beans, cabbage, and cauliflower.
You can consume them raw, or steamed, or boiled. However, no starchy veggies like
peas, carrots, corn or potatoes.
How much weight can you lose in phase 2 of the Dukan diet? Expect to drop about 2
pounds per week.
Phase 3 (Consolidation)
For phase 3, which lasts 5 days for every pound lost, you are permitted to add one
piece of fruit per day, cheese, 2 slices of whole-grain bread, and starchy foods
in moderation (carbs such as pasta, rice, or potato) and "celebration" meals twice
a week. It is important you do not feel deprived, says Dr. Dukan.
The celebration meals include foods such as wine, bread, butter, chocolate and sweets
but no going back for seconds.
Phase 4 (Stabilization)
Your weight should remain stable by now, and to maintain the weight loss, you can
eat and drink whatever you like for 6 days a week but return to the first Phase and
have only lean meat, oat bran (3 tablespoons), and water on Thursday.
Exercise is absolutely essential in the Dukan diet. You must walk briskly for 20
minutes everyday in phase 1 and increase the duration to 30 minutes in phase 2.
Menu Example for the Dukan Diet Attack Phase (Phase 1)
Breakfast – Warm water, low fat cream cheese and turkey ham slices
Lunch – Grilled chicken breast and low fat yogurt
Afternoon Snack – Coffee or tea without sugar and cinnamon oat bran porridge
Dinner – Garlic shrimps and hard boiled eggs
To get in-depth information, I suggest you visit their website, www.dukandiet.com
or buy the book to see if this diet is right for you.
Keep in mind that the Dukan Diet is not suitable for people who has a history of
gout, high cholesterol, or kidney disease. In addition, some dieters do not respond
well to low carb high protein diets and may experience side effects such as fatigue,
mood swings, constipation, headaches, dizziness and bad breath.
Although a high protein, low carbohydrate diet may produce rapid weight loss, you
cannot eat like that for the rest of your life. A better and safer way to lose weight
is to eat a wide variety of nutrient-densed foods, enjoy your favorite treats in
moderation and make a conscious effort to get involved in different types of regular