'The Dukan Diet' Review
The Dukan Diet: What It Is
It's been a best-seller in France for years, but now The Dukan Diet is getting attention on this side of the pond. It's no wonder: The book claims to have helped 5 million French people lose weight. And singer Jennifer Lopez and model Giselle Bundchen are reported to have lost their post-pregnancy pounds on The Dukan Diet.
The Dukan Diet was created by French physician Pierre Dukan more than 10 years ago as a treatment for obese people.
Essentially, it's a four-phase, high-protein, low-calorie diet plan. There's no weighing foods or counting calories. You eat as much as you want, at any time of day - as long as what you’re eating is lean protein, at least initially.
In fact, protein is the centerpiece in all four phases, along with oat bran, lots of water, and a 20-minute daily walk. Vegetables are allowed in the second stage, followed by small amounts of fruit and whole grains.
Sound familiar? It's much like the first Atkins diet. Dieters lose weight rapidly - as much as 1-2 pounds a day during the first phase -- which Dukan says helps to instill lasting motivation. He promises that hunger will disappear after the third day.
However, the book warns that dieters may suffer from bad breath, constipation, dry mouth, and fatigue -- all consequences of low-carb, high-protein diets.
The Dukan Diet: What You Can Eat
Phase 1, the "Attack" phase, is quite simple: Eat all you want of lean protein, along with 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran and 1.5 liters of water daily. That’s it. Dieters can choose from 72 lean or low-fat meats (excluding pork and lamb), fish, poultry, eggs, soy, and nonfat dairy.
This is followed by the "Cruise" phase, which allows unlimited amounts of 28 non-starchy vegetables every other day along with a core diet of unlimited lean/low-fat protein and 2 tablespoons of oat bran. Carrots, peas, corn, and potatoes are not on this list of vegetables but appear in the next phase.
Phase 3, "Consolidation," allows unlimited protein (including pork and lamb) and vegetables every day, along with one piece of low-sugar fruit, 2 slices of whole-grain bread, and 1 portion of hard cheese. Dieters can also have 1-2 servings of starchy foods and 1-2 "celebration" meals (in which you can eat whatever you want) per week during this phase. In this phase, you begin the lifetime commitment of eating the core diet of pure protein one day each week, preferably the same day.
Phase 4, "Stabilization," is the maintenance portion of the plan. The author promises you can eat whatever you like without regain if you follow his rules - one day a week, follow the same all-protein diet as in Phase 1; eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran a day; and walk for 20 minutes daily and never take elevators or escalators.
Sugar-free gum, artificial sweeteners, vinegars, and spices are allowed on The Dukan Diet. The book encourages dieters to take a daily multivitamin with minerals.