- How long does it take to complete the Dukan Diet Phase III
- Phase III complete menu & rules
- 1. Fruit
- 2. Cheese
- 3. Bread (wholegrain)
- 4. Starchy foods
- 5. Guilt-Free Meals, Sumptuous Meals
- 6. Pure Protein Day
- Phase III gradual kick-off
Seeing that his patients had been having problems with the transition from the restrictive dieting to their normal life, Dr Dukan decided that his method needed a buffer phase. That is how the Consolidation Phase concept was created. The purpose of the Consolidation Phase is to help dieters moving from the weight loss period to their normal life without causing a shock that, as it appears, often results in regaining weight and turns the whole effort into a failure.
How long does it take to complete the Dukan Diet Phase III
After analyzing thousands of cases, Dukan calculated the optimal time one should stay in the Consolidation Phase in order to keep off the unwanted pounds for good. Dukan compared patients that were able to stabilize their weight with those who suffered the yo-yo effect and determined that a dieter should stay for 4.5 days in the consolidation Phase for every pound he or she lost during the first two Phases of the Dukan Diet. This calculation has proven to be accurate and easy to perform.
Assuming that you have lost 20 lbs in the first two stages of the diet, your Phase III should last for:
20 lbs * 4.5 days = 90 days = 13 weeks
If you have lost 33 lbs, your Phase III will last for:
33 lbs * 4.5 days = 148.5 days = 21 weeks and so on.
If you use kg instead of lbs, then make an assumption that every 1 kg is 10 days. That’s even easier to count.
Important! The Phase III’s reintroduction of once forbidden foods must not serve as a reward for successful weight loss. The main reason to follow the consolidation Phase is to create a buffer zone that helps avoiding the occurrence of the destructive yo-yo effect. It’s about sticking to the ideal weight and not to regain your lost pounds. Note that during the first two phases of the diet you have forced your body to lose excessive weight. This means that, now, while you are giving yourself an access to some more varied menu, your body will (very likely) seize this opportunity to put on weight again.
Basically, your body has two ways of doing so:
- It will limit its energy expenditure by slowing down the metabolic rate.
- It will try to build up a reserve by maximizing the amount of calories and other nutrients it pulls out of the digestion of your meals.
To prevent this from happening all the new foods are being introduced gradually. That is what the consolidation Phase is for.
I have prepared a Memento Sheet that describes the main rules of the Dukan Diet Phase III. Download it here, print it and stick it to your fridge: Dukan Diet Consolidation Phase Memento (3335)
In short, the consolidation Phase menu is Phase I & Phase II menu + the following:
Fruit (Serving size = 1 big fruit = 200 g / 7 oz; 1 serving per day).
All kinds of fruit are accepted except avocados, bananas, grapes and cherries (these are known for their high sugar / fat contents, so for now they are out of the menu).
Fruit adds variety to the previous menu as it is rich in some essential nutrients including fibers, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Why is fruit good for your health?
Fruit consists mostly of water (just like human body does), it is cholesterol free, it is digested in minutes (as opposed to meat that takes even 10 hours and more to digest). A good rule of a thumb is to eat fruit before the main meal (like 20-30 minutes before) so that it will not interfere with the digestion of the protein. Not doing so may cause some bloats.
There’s a nice printable poster on “Nutrition Facts for Raw Fruits” by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (click on the title to download).
Cheese (Serving size = 40 g / 1.5 oz = 2 slices; 1 serving per day).
Cheese was not allowed during the previous phases mainly because of high fats contents. Now it’s being reintroduced as it is a very nourishing product.
What’s good about cheese?
A high concentration of quality proteins, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin and vitamin B12. By all those powers combined you get numerous health benefits from eating cheese: cavity protection, cancer prevention, bone strength, osteoporosis prevention.
There are also some downsides: cheese usually contains lots of sodium and cholesterol both of which are considered harmful in people with high blood pressure. Besides, containing a lot of natural saturated fats cheese can cause sudden weight gain.
Don’t worry though, 2 slices of cheese a day won’t make you fat but you will still benefit from eating it. If you wonder what kinds of cheese is the best for you (in a nutritional way) there’s a nice table showing the nutrition facts for various types of cheese here: Nutrition Comparison of Cheeses.
3. Bread (wholegrain)
Wholegrain Bread (Serving size = 2 slices = 56 g / 2 oz = 2 slices; 1 serving per day).
Yahoo! You can eat bread. But note that what we allow here is wholegrain bread. It can be whole-wheat or whole-anything but no white bread or rolls.
What’s good about bread (except for its wonderful taste, smell and our very habit of eating it on a regular basis)?
Wholemeal bread is a good source of dietry fiber, manganese and selenium. It has a decent amounts of many vitamins and microelements. Besides it is easy to store and carry and it is a key element of sandwiches.
The bad about bread is that it usually contains a lot of sodium, trans fats and, especially when commercially prepared, preservatives (read labels! Avoid buying such products).
Toasted vs. Fresh
As far as the Dukan Diet is concerned it doesn’t matter. But for those who care, I did some research and while the opinions are split, it seems like toasted bread’s calorie count is a bit lower than in fresh bread. To my understanding, difference is of no great significance.
Here’s a quote that says that toasting bread is reducing the amount of calories in it:
During the toasting process, the magic toaster fairy comes and sprinkles “magic toast dust” on toasting bread, surreptitiously whisking away 1/1000th of a calorie in the form of burnt toast crumbs. Voila! The toasted bread is lower calorie (not to mention (a) warmer; and (b) crispier) than its normal, untoasted bread counterpart.
But it seems like toasting changes the “glycemic index” of the bread:
Actually, for those people who are really carb-conscious, there is some evidence that the toasting process alters the carbohydrate structure of the bread, causing a miniscule alteration on the glycemic index. Is it significant? Nopers. Personally, I like the magic toast fairy theory much better.
You can read the whole discussion on here: “Toasted vs Fresh”. Don’t forget to get back here and leave your opinion on this silly matter of life & death in the comment section below.
4. Starchy foods
Starchy Foods (Serving size = 280 g / 10 oz; 2 servings per week). Choose whole-grain if possible.
In a healthy balanced diet, starchy foods should make up about a third of the food you eat. For now though, as we have just lost some weight, we introduce starch-rich products still in limited quantities only.
The most common starchy foods are: potatoes, bread (we’ve covered it already in pt. 4 above, so I won’t analyze bread here), cereals (but not oat bran as you may already know), rice, pasta, groat, kasha, corn etc.
Starchy foods contain starch (the most common carbohydrate in our diet) and they are a good source of energy and a range of essential nutrients like fiber, calcium, iron and B vitamins. Some say that starch is fattening, but it is only half-true. Unless you combine them with large amounts of salt and fats, they are as fattening as any other complex carbohydrates, and probably even less fattening than simple carbs like fruit’s glucose or fructose.
One of the most interesting food in our ‘Starchy’ category is potatoe.
Potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber (2 g of fiber per 100 g), B vitamins and potassium. Surprisingly potatoes are a great source of Vitamin C (33% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C per 100 g). Unfortunately, vitamin C is sensitive to heat processing, so after you cook, bake or fry your potatoes there’s only 1/3 of it left. On the other hand, people tend to eat pretty large portions of potatoes per serving.
If you want to preserve as much nutrients as possible heat process them in skin.
Here’s some comparison of the nutrition data of three different forms of potatoes, namely: boiled potatoes (with salt, without skin), potatoes cooked in skin and French fries.
5. Guilt-Free Meals, Sumptuous Meals
Sumptuous meals or Free meals (as in ‘guilt-free’) (Serving size = 2 full, non-consecutive meals with dessert and / or a glass of wine per week).
6. Pure Protein Day
Protein-only day. One day per week (preferably Thursday) is a protein-only day during which your menu is limited to Phase I food list.
Phase III gradual kick-off
Don’t be tempted not to include any of the below-mentioned foods in you Phase III menu. It won’t help. Unless you are having a medical condition or some sort of intolerance to the products I describe here, you should eat them on a regular basis. The only thing I recommend in some cases is that you extend your menu over time (i.e. not in just one shot). It’s not something the original Dukan Diet advises (nor is it misadvised either though) but it’s a good idea. You can find an exemplary Phase III Schedule here (for your convenience, a printable PDF as usual): Dukan Diet Consolidation Phase Schedule (3352)