Today, there is a wide range of diets that claim to provide people with the best solution for rapid weight loss. These include the low-carb diet, known as the ketogenic diet, along with the paleo diet and the Atkins diet, which provide dieters with a high-protein diet through lean protein. However, the latest diet to trend on social media is known as the Dukan diet; below, we discuss which is better, the Dukan diet or Keto.
What is the Keto Diet?
The popular ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that places the body in a state of ketosis, using ketone bodies as its main energy source rather than glucose. This can be achieved by restricting the total carb intake to just 20-50 grams of carbohydrates each day while taking on more fats at around 70% to 80% of their total calories. Keto has been known for providing benefits for health conditions such as insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome, and heart disease, while also promoting rapid weight loss.
However, many experts classify it as a fad diet due to its adverse long-term effects, which include chronic diseases like kidney disease, nutritional deficiencies, and bad breath. To ensure that you maintain a balanced diet, it’s essential to include a wide variety of foods that provides healthy fats, high-protein foods, leafy greens, and fiber. It’s also beneficial to include regular physical activity, which will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
The keto diet may not be suitable for everyone, since restrictive diets may affect those with health conditions. Consider speaking to a registered dietitian first to help you formulate the right eating plan for your overall health and goal weight.
What is the Dukan Diet?
While the Dukan diet was first introduced in the year 2000 by French doctor Pierre Dukan, it was only made popular in 2011, when the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton followed the diet in preparation for her wedding to Prince William and again after her pregnancy. However, the Dukan diet plan involves going through four different phases which are designed specifically for weight loss.
This low-carb, high-protein, and low-fat diet is the number one diet program in France, where Dr. Dukan has published books on his findings and has sold over seven million copies around the world. This diet comes in four stages, known as Attack, Cruise, Consolidation, and Stabilization, which are discussed in detail below.
Also called the Pure Protein stage, dieters will be able to enjoy high-protein foods along with low-fat foods such as poultry, lean pork and beef, tofu, eggs, fish, and non-fat dairy products. People are also allowed to consume one and a half tablespoons of oat bran each day, which may help to prevent diabetes and lower cholesterol levels while adding fiber to the diet to feel fuller for longer. Depending on how much weight you’re looking to lose, the attack phase can last anywhere between two to seven days.
After a few days on the Cruise phase, dieters will be able to eat non-starchy vegetables again, such as spinach, cucumbers, mushrooms, broccoli, and asparagus. Dieters will then need to switch between protein-vegetable days and protein-only days while taking two tablespoons of oat bran. Those participating in the second phase will have to stay in this step until they’re able to reach their true weight.
The consolidation phase was designed to prevent people from going on the rebound by gaining back the weight they had lost over the first two steps. In this third phase, food items that were restricted can now be slowly added in small quantities, where dieters will continue using a protein and vegetable diet while eating two tablespoons of oat bran. Moreover, dieters will need to adhere to a Pure Protein day as they did in the first phase.
Furthermore, dieters can eat one or two servings of fruit, (not including grapes, bananas, cherries, and grapes), along with two slices of whole-grain bread each day. The consumption of starchy food (one to two serves), hard cheese (1.5 ounces), and up to two celebration meals are now allowed. Celebration meals consist of an entrée, appetizer, dessert, and a glass of wine — the third phase will last five days for each pound lost.
The final phase of this diet allows dieters to eat whatever they want as well as three tablespoons of oat bran, and just like phase three, it’s required to have a Pure Protein day once a week. In all four phases of the diet, it’s recommended to drink six to eight cups of water every day.
What’s Not Allowed on the Dukan Diet?
The answer to this question will depend on which phase you’re doing. In the first phase, you’re only allowed to eat protein, and the diet doesn’t really allow for carbs unless you’re in a later phase. Pastas and white bread are extremely limited in this diet once you’re at the consolidation phase, but you are encouraged to choose whole-grain bread instead of white bread. However, some people will tend to stick to the attack phase and fail to move on to the other steps — but if done properly, you should be able to eat anything you please as long as it’s healthy.
Does it Really Help to Lose Weight?
According to the U.S. News & World Report, this diet is ranked 41 in its best diets list for 2019 and ranked 31 in the best weight loss diets list. In the Dukan Diet, dieters may lose as much as 10 pounds in the first week but because it’s such a restrictive phase, many find it to sustain for the long term. Moreover, it lacks scientific evidence to support these claims, but studies suggest that low-carb, high-protein diets can be effective for short-term weight loss.
The effectiveness of the Dukan diet on a short-term basis can’t be denied, evidence proves that it’s not the best way to maintain long-term results. The best way to secure a balanced diet is to eat items from a range of food groups, as well as physical activity. Many experts believe that this is a much more sustainable and effective way to achieve weight goals while improving your well-being and overall health.
Dukan Diet Drawbacks
While the Dukan Diet can deliver dramatic weight loss, especially in people who are obese or overweight, the diet is highly restrictive, especially in the first two steps. Because dieters need to limit their food intake of major food groups such as healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables, they may suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Moreover, a low-carb, high-protein diet could damage the kidneys since they will need to work harder to use high protein intake.
Dieters may also experience some of the common side effects as a result of this diet, such as lethargy, headaches, and constipation. Another common drawback to this diet is its negative effect on blood sugar levels, a dangerous possibility for those who suffer from diabetes. Because the early stages of the diet have a complete lack of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, many people consider this an unhealthy diet; as such, dietitians aren’t big fans of the diet and the many rules that come with it.
Who Should Try the Dukan Diet?
The Dukan Diet is a protein-heavy diet and can help keep people from losing muscle — a trap that many will fall for when it comes to diets. It is, however, a great fit for people who are looking to maintain muscle mass while helping them lose weight. Unfortunately, the diet isn’t known for its long-term results, and will only work for those who wish to quickly lose weight and won’t mind if it comes back after burning out from this restrictive diet.
Getting Started with the Dukan Diet
Before you even think about getting started on the Dukan Diet, it’s recommended that you first establish your goal weight — Dr. Dukan refers to this as your “True Weight.” This will determine how long you need to stay on each phase of this diet. When preparing for the first phase, make sure to stock up on the approved food items, and it will also help to go on the Dukan Diet website and look for their cookbook, diet book, and Facebook page.
These may help you create low-fat, low-carb, and high-protein recipes and also provide you with social support. Moreover, the Dukan Diet website has plenty of resources and further details on every step of the diet and includes a FAQ section that answers all your questions. But most importantly, before you start the Dukan Diet, be sure to consult with your primary care provider, especially those who have pre-existing conditions; pregnant women should not try this diet.
Which is Better for Weight Loss?
When comparing these two diets, it’s best to consider the benefits and disadvantages of each option. It’s true that both can support rapid weight loss, but the Dukan Diet is quite restrictive and may lead to nutritional deficiencies. The keto diet, on the other hand, can result in negative effects like bad breath, while also being a less sustainable choice for long-term weight loss.
No matter which option you choose, always consult with your registered dietitian or nutritionist and ask them which is the best option for your needs, overall health, and weight loss goals. You also need to think about the sustainability of a particular diet and see how far it can help you in the long term instead of focusing solely on weight loss. A healthy and balanced diet, along with regular physical activity is the right way to achieve and maintain the healthy lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
When deciding which diet to try, be sure to do research on your food intake, health condition, and nutritional needs. As such, it’s imperative to find the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to ensure that everything is balanced. Once you do this, you’ll be able to meet your weight loss goals and improve your overall health.
Will You Start Your Dukan Diet Today?
While both the Keto Diet and Dukan Diets have been popular choices for fast weight loss, it’s important to remember that they aren’t long-term solutions and may not be suitable for everyone. Without guidance from a registered dietitian, dieters may suffer from adverse effects on their overall health, which is why people with pre-existing conditions should proceed with caution. Furthermore, both the Keto diet and the Dukan diet can lead to dramatic weight loss but they won’t be true weight loss and will instead be due to water weight.
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