If you’ve been trying to lose weight for a while, no doubt you’ve heard of all sorts of fad diets, celebrity diets, juice cleanses, and everything in between. Recently, high protein diets that limit carbs have been at the forefront of weight loss news. Two relatively well-known examples are the Atkins Diet and the Dukan Diet. Boasting fast weight loss, eating unlimited amounts of certain foods, and keeping the weight off for good, both seem enticing. So, how do you determine which diet is the right one for you? Let’s look at what the diets consist of and what makes them unique from one another.
The Typical Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is composed of four different phases to transition you through the diet. How long you follow the regime depends on the amount of weight you wish to lose.
Phase 1 – Induction
For approximately fourteen days, you should only follow fat-burning techniques. The techniques include eating high-protein meats, high-fat foods, and vegetables with few carbs. You should not eat more than 20 grams of carbs per day because the goal is to get energy from fat rather than carbs.
Phase 2 – Balancing
Gradually add nuts, fruit, and more vegetables back to your diet. The purpose of the stage is not only to provide additional nutrients to your daily intake but to add carbs to your diet progressively.
Phase 3 – Fine-Tuning
In this stage, you can start increasing carbs in your diet by 10 grams per week. It is essential to monitor that you are not overindulging in carbs because the rate of your weight loss will slow down to one pound per week.
Phase 4 – Maintenance
Healthy, complex carbs are permitted to reintegrate into your diet, and this phase begins when you reach your goal weight. You maintain your weight achievement by regulating fattening foods to ensure you do not gain the weight back.
The Typical Dukan Diet
The Dukan Diet is also a four-step diet, and the average Dukan diet is as follows:
Phase 1 – The Attack Phase.
You have 72 high protein foods to choose from, with no carbs whatsoever allowed. The phase lasts between 5 to 10 days on average. Additionally, 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran are required.
Phase 2 – The Cruise Phase.
Next, you can start consuming carbs from a list of 28 approved vegetables. Protein-only days are still available, but you need to ensure you are consuming a variety of nutrients. Your oat bran intake also increases by half a tablespoon.
Phase 3 – The Consolidation Phase.
Gradually add fruit and dairy and enjoy two ‘celebration meals’ per week. Some starchier types of foods are available in moderation.
Phase 4 – The Stabilization Phase.
The final phase of the Dukan diet eliminates a lot of the previous restrictions. There are no “off-limits” foods, but you must follow guidelines to ensure you do not regain lost weight.
See also dukan diet phases
Comparing the Atkins and Dukan Diet
Now that you know the basics of each dieting method, it’s time to examine their similarities and differences. Knowing comparable and differing information will help you determine which is best for you!
Both diets are high-protein and low-carb meal plans; which is the foundation of their effectiveness. After some time without carbohydrates, your body must turn to its stored fat deposits for energy, which promotes faster weight loss. Consult with your physician to ensure your body does not experience adverse effects of possible nutrient deficits.
Eating Without Restricted Amounts
Both diets allow you to eat unlimited amounts of approved lean meats and vegetables (so long as it is appropriate for your current phase), without having to count calories.
Foundation of Ketosis
Another similarity is that both diets can lead the body to a state called ketosis, caused by excess ketones in the body. Ketosis helps with blood sugar regulation and aging, but there are possible adverse side effects like headaches and irritability.
Differing First Phases
Within the first phase, the Dukan diet is much more limited, allowing absolutely no carbohydrates, as compared to the 20 grams allotted in phase one of the Atkins diet.
Level of Responsibility
The Atkins diet leaves it to your discretion to find foods that fit the guidelines of the dieting plan. The Dukan diet has specific lists of foods you can eat during the different phases of the regime. Having an approved reference can be helpful for people who aren’t creative in the kitchen.
Dukan’s Celebration Meals
Lastly, a notable difference is the addition of ‘celebration meals’ during the Consolidation Phase of the Dukan diet. These cheat meals allow dieters to feel like they are allowed to treat themselves to whatever they want, with some limitations.
What You Should Consider
To help you consider which diet plan is best for you, you should ask yourself some questions.
- Does the strict, prescribed lists and guidelines of the Dukan diet appeal to you?
- Is the small amount of freedom from the Atkins diet more doable for you?
- How will the side effects associated with the early stages of low-carb diets, like dizziness, headache, and fatigue affect your daily life?
- Will the meal plans and specifications in the diet be easy to follow?
- How easy will it be for you to accomplish the requirements of the transitioning phases?
- Which final phase are you likely to successfully follow the maintenance stipulations?
- Do you have medical or health complications that can be affected by the diet?
As always, consult your primary care physician before starting any weight loss journey.
Choosing What’s Best for You
Overall, everyone’s body is different. You will ultimately decide which diet is doable for your needs and capabilities. When you choose, pick the method that allows you to feel your best, fits into your schedule, doesn’t create health-related risks, and is something you can stick to with confidence. Any diet requires a measure of self-awareness and a balance between self-discipline and self-care. Choose wisely!