The Dukan Diet: the Popular French Diet Hits AmericaPosted on Mar 21st 2011 1:00PM by Deborah Dunham
So why then are the always-looking-for-the-next-great-weight-loss-solution Americans just getting wind of this diet?
Perhaps it's celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and model Giselle Bundchen who have reportedly tried it and lost their post-pregnancy pounds. Or maybe it's Kate Middleton's mom, Carol Middleton, who has lost weight because of it (with rumors that the princess bride-to-be is also trying it).
Whatever the reason, Americans have not only heard of it now, but they are hungry to try it.
The diet's creator, Dr. Pierre Dukan, said there is no counting calories and no weighing food with his plan. Instead, the diet is organized into four distinct phases, each one with certain foods that must be consumed and avoided.
The attack phase encourages dieters to eat as much lean protein-rich foods as they want, along with oat bran and lots of water.
The cruise phase allows unlimited amounts of vegetables and lean protein but no fruit.
The consolidation phase includes unlimited protein and vegetables again but also adds in two slices of bread, one serving of cheese, one serving of fruit and two servings of carbohydrates a day. Interestingly enough, it also allows for two weekly "celebration" meals with wine and dessert (leave it to the French to come up with this!).
The stabilization phase is the final period and consists of six days a week of "anything goes" and one day of a strict protein-only diet (Dukan suggests Thursdays) for the rest of your life.
Follow this plan and walk for 20 minutes a day, and Dukan promises you will never regain the weight. Sounds too good to be true? It could be, at least according to one expert.
"Because the diet is based on deprivation and the elimination of certain food groups, it is not the healthiest way to lose weight long term," said Keri Glassman, nutritional expert and author of "The O2 Diet". "An effective weight loss diet should include a variety of foods. I don't think this one is healthy, and I think it may set people up for intense cravings and overeating."
While this diet may result in weight loss, especially at the beginning stages, dieters should know there are possible side effects like fatigue, constipation, bad breath and dry mouth. It's also not intended for anyone following a vegetarian diet. "If you have not been successful with maintaining (or felt good on) a very high-protein diet, I would not recommend it," added Glassman.
But despite skeptics, Dukan stands ready to take America by storm.
"My dear friends, today I am reaching out to you with the certainty that I can help you put an end to the inevitability of weight problems in North America," he wrote in the preface of his new edition. "Now let this mutual journey begin!"