In the world of weight loss, the majority of diets have been developed by North Americans. This is not a coincidence because weight gain is a serious problem in the U.S. Now a French doctor has introduced the Dukan diet, which has been quite popular in Europe for many years (1). Millions of people use the Dukan diet for weight control and the diet is used by many celebs, including Giselle Bundchen, Bridget Bardot and Jennifer Lopez.
The Dukan diet is centered around eating high protein foods, no fat and severely limits carbohydrates, including fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
The diet is managed in several phases. The first phase, which lasts one to two weeks, is the attack phase where one only consumes protein foods and only uses condiments that do not contain fat or carbohydrates. The foods can be seasoned and one can drink ample water and caffeine-containing beverages. If you maintain this, you can lose 7-10 pounds.
The next phase is the cruise phase where one alternates with proteins and vegetables. The choice of vegetable is severely limited to lettuce, spinach, celery, cucumber and tomato. All vegetables are consumed either raw. steamed or in soups. You follow this phase until your target weight is reached. The author says people can lose at least 2 pounds a week in this phase.
In the third phase, one maintains the proteins and vegetables but is allowed one portion of fruit as well as two slices of whole grain bread daily. In addition, an additional serving of a carbohydrate like pasta or rice is allowed each week. In this phase, you are also allowed one "party" meal each week, which is increased to two once if you are losing weight.
In phase 4 or stabilization phase, this will be the lifestyle diet. You can go back to eating whatever you like as long as you follow the rules of the second phase. One day a week, you are supposed to eat only protein. Exercise is mandatory part of the diet program.
So does it work?
Experts have indicated that the diet does not involve calorie counting and includes options for vegetarians. The diet has specific meal plans and recipes.