Many strength athletes choose high-protein diets as a nutritional formula, as they can simultaneously consume a lot of protein to build muscle and reduce the intake of annoying fats and carbohydrates. A high-protein diet is the so-called Dukan dietdeveloped by the French doctor Pierre Dukan. In France, this concept, which has been around for many years, is an established diet used by many celebrities. Below, we want to inform you about the process of this diet variant in more detail and concern ourselves with whether the Dukan diet is actually suitable for a strength athlete as a long-term nutrition plan.
The Dukan Diet Concept
The Dukan diet consists mainly of a high-protein diet, while the intake of fats and carbohydrates is neglected. Protein is the basic nutrient in the Dukan diet, taken in the form of 72 lean and high-protein, low-fat foods. According to Dukan, proteins have the advantage that they are difficult to digest, which means that a feeling of satiety lasts much longer. Furthermore, the body uses about 30 calories to break down proteins alone, so that a high-protein 100 calorie food can be processed in the body. In the Dukan diet, meat is the most important source of protein. Vegetable proteins should be avoided as they would not supply all eight amino acids required by the organism. Another focus in the Dukan diet is the hydration, which must consist of at least two liters of water per day. Various unsweetened teas such as herbal or black teas are allowed. The high fluid requirement is needed for the excretion of toxic metabolic products, which can be caused by the high protein consumption. Calories do not have to be counted in the Dukan diet, as the person willing to lose weight is allowed to access the given foods at will.
1st attack phase
The so-called attack phase is a kind of lightning diet, which should last at least one day and up to a maximum of 10 days. Only 72 lean and protein-rich foods from eleven different groups are allowed during this time. These include, for example, lean meats, fish, seafood, poultry and various skim milk products, eggs and vegetable proteins such as tofu. The prescribed foods may be eaten as often and as much as you want. In addition, one and a half tablespoons of oat bran should be taken daily in the attack phase. The fiber oat bran should prevent constipation. Sweetener, spices and skimmed milk are recommended for a better taste in the food. If the attack phase lasts longer than five days, the Dukan Diet recommends adding one tablespoon of dried goji berries to cover the daily vitamin requirement. Duty in the attack phase is also a daily physical activity (sport) of at least 20 minutes.
2nd construction phase
In the build-up phase, a pure protein day alternates with a protein day plus vegetables. But only 28 different vegetables are allowed. Recommended are, for example, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach or green lettuce, while starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, peas or white beans are not allowed in the Dukan diet. The daily oat bran dose is increased to two tablespoons and the physical activity to 30 minutes. The build-up phase can be terminated as soon as the desired weight has been reached.
3rd stabilization phase
The stabilization phase serves to strengthen the achieved weight sustainably and to prevent an emerging yo-yo effect. The duration of this phase depends on the individual weight loss. The Dukan Diet uses ten days per kilogram of body weight for stabilization. So if you lost ten kilos of body weight in the diet phase, the subsequent stabilization phase will take around 100 days. During this period, all protein-rich foods from the attack phase, as well as the vegetables from the start-up phase are allowed. In addition the daily meals are now extended with fruit. Not allowed are high-calorie fruit varieties such as bananas, grapes, cherries, nuts and dried fruits. Furthermore, two slices of wholemeal bread with 40 grams of Gouda or Emmentaler may be eaten daily. Twice a week you can also eat pasta made from durum wheat in this phase and even once a week cake or roast with various side dishes. On one day a week, however, you must comply with the protein food from the attack phase and the daily dose of oat bran.
4th maintenance phase
A permanent maintenance phase follows the past diet days. At this stage, the Dukan Diet will prescribe some rules that will guarantee that you can keep your body weight under control for life. It is especially important that you are allowed to eat normally six days a week and have to take a prescribed high-protein diet on a solid day. In addition, the Dukan Diet continues to prescribe three tablespoons of oat bran daily and at least 20 minutes of walking a day.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Dukan diet
A Dukan diet can be a recommended diet for a strength athlete, as it promotes an increased supply of protein, which is especially necessary for the muscle building of a strength athlete. Good is also the selection of animal proteins, which contain all eight important amino acids. Since a lot of protein also heavily contaminates the kidneys and digestion, the Dukan diet incorporates the fiber oat bran, which should ensure good digestion. Since no carbohydrates are allowed in the attack phase, the body must resort to the fat as an additional source of energy. This means for the strength athlete that he also heats his fat burning in addition to building muscle, so that the Dukan diet can also fulfill this purpose. The disadvantage is certainly the low intake of vitamins in the first two phases, since the immune system is very heavily burdened by the change in diet during an intensive training phase. The question also arises as to whether a daily protein intake for building muscle mass should not be supplemented by a protein shake.
The Dukan diet is highly controversial among nutritionists, as it consists of a one-sided diet, especially in the initial phase. Many experts claim that too much protein overloads the kidneys too much. The low vitamin intake during the diet phase is also criticized. For the strength athlete, the course of the Dukan diet looks very recommendable at first glance. The fact is that this diet variant is unsuitable for a strength athlete. Hard training without enough calorie intake is exhausting and can only be sustained for a short time. Thereafter, the body wants the energy back, which he then often takes in the form of feeding sprees again. Without supplements, the Dukan diet can not lastingly work for a strength athlete. Especially in the phase of muscle building, it is important that the body is sufficiently supplied with "all" important nutrients, otherwise the strength athletes rather loses mass, which makes his former training success again canceled out.