What You Need to Know About the Dukan Diet
Updated 7:00 PM EDT, Tue, Mar 22, 2011
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The princess-to-be supposedly has done this diet to get ready for the very big day, but is the Dukan Diet safe? And, should us common folk try it out?
What’s this Dukan Diet all about?
The Dukan Diet is a high protein, low carb very restrictive diet. The all-stars of this diet are lean protein, oat bran and water! The diet consists of four-phases, there is no weighing foods or counting calories and once you hit your goal weight you can “eat whatever you want” so long as you follow a few simple rules. Sound too good to be true? That’s what we are thinking too!
It sounds like a new Atkins--is that true?
The Dukan Diet is very similar to the Atkins Diet with the exception that it focuses on lean proteins and restricts fat. Similar to Atkins it also warns of bad breath, constipation, dry mouth and fatigue, typical symptoms of a high-protein diet.
This diet doesn’t sound like a lifestyle. How long do you stay on it?
You stay on each phase of the diet for a different length of time. Here they are outlined:
You are supposed to stay on phase 1 of the diet, the Attack phase for 1 to 10 days and lose up to 14 pounds. During the Attack phase you eat unlimited amounts of non-fatty, protein-rich foods including meats (excluding pork and lamb), fish, poultry, eggs, soy, and nonfat dairy. Plus, 1.5 Tbsps of oat bran and 1.5 liters of water per day.
This Cruise phase can last for months depending upon how much weight you need to lose. Most people lose about 2 pounds per week and the meal plan is very similar to the Attack phase. The only changes are you eat 2 Tbsps of oat bran per day and you add in unlimited amounts of non-starchy vegetables every other day.
Phase 3 is called the Consolidation phase. Here things start to shake up a bit!
No weight loss is expected and you are supposed to stay in this phase for 5 days for every pound you have lost. In this phase you will continue eating unlimited protein, the oat bran portion goes up to 2.5 Tbsps per day, the unlimited non- starchy veggies is now allowed daily. Plus, every day you add in a piece of fruit, 2 slices of whole grain bread, and a portion of hard cheese. And, every week you can add in 1 to 2 servings of starchy foods like rice and pasta and 1 to 2 “celebratory” meals of anything you want including dessert and wine.
In this Stabilization phase you can eat “whatever you want” as long as you follow these rules:
• Go back to the Attack phase all protein day 1 day per week
• Walk 20 minutes every day
• Eat 3 Tbsps of oat bran daily
Sounds a little gimmicky, what are critics saying?
France’s governmental National Agency for Food, Environmental and Work Health Safety has identified it as one of 15 imbalanced and potentially risky diets, and the British Dietetic Association branded it one of the five worst diets of 2011.
I am with ‘em! This diet is a quick fix that does not teach lifelong healthy eating habits. When people gain back weight they have lost, they are in a worse health position than before they lost it in the first place. Princess Kate may be getting ready for her big day but for the rest of us, let’s take our time losing in a safe way.
-Keri Glassman, LX Health Contributor
First Published: Mar 22, 2011 3:31 PM EDT