Every January, on the first day of the month most people set themselves new goals and make various New Year resolutions. One of the top items on the to-do list for many of us is losing weight and/or getting fit. Even if you are not overweight in general, the holiday eating madness can contribute to a bit of a wobbly belly.
So why choose the Dukan diet as your fat busting regime this year? Well, both if it's just a few holiday pounds you want to shed or you are planning a full-fledged dieting and exercise regime, the way the Attack phase works will help you kick start your efforts. The quick results if offers will keep you motivated, high water intake will cleanse your body and plenty of protein will keep you full and satiated while you avoid eating sweets and chocolates. The first few days are also a great way to try out the diet, and see if it is right for you.
After all the indulgence during the holidays you want to start the New Year well and a great way to do that is to look at your diet and nutrition. There are two elements that make this phase a great detox even if you don't continue with the full diet:
Hydration is a very important, though often overlooked, element of a healthy lifestyle. With our body consisting of more than 50% water (usually between 55-78%) it is crucial to remember to drink enough fluids every day. Especially when in reality by the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Among other things water helps detoxify our bodies, reduces hunger, and improves your skin.
Eliminating sugar (most importantly refined sugar) from your diet is not easy, but in the long run it is really worth it. Just check out this list of dangers of consuming sugar.
The strict rules of the diet about what kind of food is allowed have an interesting side-effect - you will quickly become very aware of the nutrition of various foods. And it's not as much about calories, as how much fat or sugar there is in almost everything in the supermarkets. The "diet" products can be especially shocking once you realize that very often "reduced fat" really means "increased sugar".
So you started the diet, and are planning to visit the gym 5 times a week, are quitting smoking, starting an arts class, and trying to fit several other New Year's resolutions into your schedule. Stop. You are very unlikely to succeed if you try to change too many things in your life at once. New habits take time to develop - in fact it's about 28 days till it will properly "stick".
The Dukan diet doesn't require huge amounts of exercise. So if you have not done any for a while you can ease into it gently. You don't have to commit to a gym schedule, just add activity to your daily life and gradually introduce exercise that is appropriate for your fitness level.
The key thing here is, that if you do want to change more than one thing, make one of them your main goal. Then you can fit in the other changes around the big one. And make sure that they all are realistic - you won't lose 5 stone in a week, neither will you be able to sustain 8h of exercise a day, while still going to work and trying to have a life...
Despite what a lot of the critics say about the Dukan diet - it's not just meat and dairy all the time. A big selection of vegetables is added to the menu right after the attack phase. It's a great opportunity to not only start cooking more at home (as opposed to buying ready-made meals), but also explore the veggie world outside of the bare minimum. I've fallen in love with bell peppers thanks to this diet, and eat a lot more mushrooms or cauliflower than I used to.
To all those about to start out - checkout my article on what to do before you begin the program. It's also worth utilising the amount of people eager to start a diet around this time of the year and get yourself a partner. You can then share your efforts, support and motivate each other.
Good luck whether you're starting this or any other diet!
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