When I started Dukan, for about the 8 months it took me to drop the weight, I did not feel that the Dukan Diet had anything to do with calories. Although it had been shoved down my throat that weight loss was always due to burning more calories during the day then you ingest, to me, the Dukan Diet proved otherwise, and so I called bullshit.
After losing about 100lbs I hit a plateau. It took months for me to break this plateau, and I did it by cutting down on my portion sizes, although never really thought to attribute this to calories.
I mean, when you can lose 3lbs by eating over 5000cal of steak, chicken, salad, shrimp in a day… I think you can see where my skepticism started, considering I had been told a healthy maintaining caloric amount for a woman would be about 2000cal… how could I be dropping so much weight on 5000cal a day? So calorie counting is obvs false… or is it?
Since then I have learned that by digestion alone, we burn 40% of the calories in protein. Essentially it’s a tough macronutrient to break down in the body, and your body burns about 40% of the 130cal in 4oz of chicken breast you are eating for that meal. What? That’s crazy. The fat and carbs (being low in a keto diet such as Dukan) goes for energy to do things like exist and digest the large quantity of protein you are ingesting.
Protein which scientifically doesn’t do anything for your body, except help repair muscle tissue, if you are doing something like weight or resistance training. So essentially you are eating this protein, and it’s just passing through your urine, not providing energy, or anything of value.
So this is why you can eat so much in the beginning, and still drop, but everyone hits a plateau, and at this point it is probably best to drop your caloric intake, to continue losing the weight, because it IS all about calories. It has been proven through a study I heard about through Dr Layne Norton people have been proven to lose weight even on a high fat diet, as long as they watch their calories. The Dukan Diet works, and many people have found major success through it because if you are having problems with your weight, generally it’s because of the quantity of bad foods, and high fat/high carbs foods that you are eating. I know that was my problem. I couldn’t put myself on a restrictive diet in the beginning, I wouldn’t have found any success with something like weight watchers, where you limit the amount of food you eat. So switching lets say the 5000cal in junk food and high fat/high carb foods, for 5000cal in protein was easy, because I was still always stuffing my face. I was never hungry, and the results kept me from cheating.
He could have made a restrictive diet, but there are so many of those, because you can eat as much as you can of those 100 foods, it keeps most people on it, and most very obese people, like the one he mentions in his book (at least the very first edition, the one I own here in Canada… I know in different countries there are different informations provided in the book… I digress) find success with the diet, because of this non-restrictive, self-directed kind of diet… it’s genius really. I mean how many diets do you know out there that let you eat unlimited of certain foods and still have you lose weight? It’s because of the genius of the only or mostly low-fat protein options!
So yes, Dukan is about calories, but more about the calories you burn during digestion than about the calories you ingest. It’s about that secret caloric burning, and that’s why you don’t need to track, or worry, in the beginning. But if you hit a sticking point, try cutting back on your calories and see if that helps!
Hope this was somekind of informative. Comment if you disagree or have something to add!